Smoke Signals 25th Anniversary

Smoke Signals 25th Anniversary

In person: Chris Eyre, Ray Halbritter.

In person: Chris Eyre.  
Filmed on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation in northwestern Idaho, screenwriter Sherman Alexie’s screenplay, based on his own collection of stories The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, has been lauded by Indigenous communities for its authenticity in casting and its sublime story, which follows Victor Joseph (Adam Beach as an adult, Cody Lightning as a youth) and Thomas Builds-the-Fire (Evan Adams, Simon Baker), two young men made into brothers by circumstance who reluctantly band together to retrieve their father’s ashes. Upon its initial release, Smoke Signals was promoted by distributor Miramax as the first feature film produced, directed, and written by Indigenous artists to reach a broad audience, first at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the Audience Award and eventually on an international scale. A coming-of-age story with a light, comedic heart, Smoke Signals was added to the National Film Registry in 2018 for its cultural significance to film history. To honor National Native American Heritage Month, the Academy Museum is celebrating the film’s 25th anniversary with a screening of a 35mm release print of the film, an introduction from Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Trustee Ray Halbritter, and filmmaker Chris Eyre in conversation.

Programmed and note by K.J. Relth-Miller.
DIRECTED BY: Chris Eyre. WRITTEN BY: Sherman Alexie. WITH: Adam Beach, Evan Adams, Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer. 1998. 88 min. USA/Canada. Color. English. Rated PG-13. 35mm. Print courtesy of the Sundance Collection at the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

Theater accessibility accommodations available upon request. Learn more about our accessibility initiatives.

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