4th World - Indigenous Media Lab

4th World is an annual training for talented emerging and mid-career Indigenous filmmakers, to develop their skills, through industry master classes and hands-on trainings during the Seattle International Film Festival.

4th World

May 23 - 27, 2019

The city of Seattle sits on Coast Salish land, and Washington is home to 29 tribal nations and 11 tribal communities, each with its own culture, language, identity, and history. Uniquely located to elevate Native voices, the Seattle International Film Festival has a long tradition of celebrating Indigenous film, stories, education, and media.

For Indigenous communities, media-making can be many things: a form of self-expression, a method of empowerment, an education in leadership and teamwork, a way of learning about and preserving one's own culture, a way of connecting with their communities and their elders, and a skill that can lead to a satisfying career in the creative industries. Indigenous Media adds a new voice to the debate on Native, First Nations, Aboriginal, and Indigenous issues-what some call "diversifying the dialogue." As many of these creative filmmakers' skills and commitment strengthen, they are increasingly seen as determined contributors and visionary creators.

In partnership with Longhouse Media, we are in our fifth year of a training program for emerging and mid- stage Indigenous filmmakers, which through intensive workshopping and networking will build access to new skills and connect them to industry professionals and to one another via a cohort model known as 4th World Media Lab.

SIFF has a long history of supporting innovative Indigenous film, education, and workshops, most notably the nine-year, formerly annual SuperFly Filmmaking Experience in partnership with Longhouse Media and local Coast Salish tribes. We remain committed to nurturing, highlighting, and raising up diverse talent and voices. 4th World Media Lab is our commitment to showcasing and strengthening the media-making talent across the borders within First People communities.

The 2019 fellows are: 

  • Taylor Hensel (Cherokee Nation)
  • Cleo Keahna (White Earth Anishinaabe and Meskawaki)
  • Ivy Macdonald (Blackfeet)
  • Courtney Montour (Mohawk, Kahnawake)
  • JJ Neepin (Cree)
  • Evelyn Pakinewatik (Nipissing First Nation, Ojibwe)
  • Camille Tso (Diné)
  • Raven Two Feathers (Cherokee, Seneca, Cayuga, and Comanche)

The 4th World Indigenous Media Lab is supported by Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ITVS, Na'ah Illahee Fund, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Seattle Foundation, Seattle Public Library, Snoqualmie Tribe, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and the Suquamish Museum. SIFF Indigenous programming is supported by Tulalip Tribes.