Coeur d'Alene tribal members Theresa Iyall-Williams, left, and filmmaker Jeanne Givens talk at the Hibulb Film Festival on Sept. 21.


The Hibulb Film Festival brought out both Native and non-Native filmmakers to Tulalip to show their locally produced films on Sept. 21.

The seventh annual film festival at the Hibulb Cultural Center had one of their best turnouts ever.

"I think it's going great. I was really happy we had more films than usual," said Lena Jones, one of the main coordinators of the event.

"I like that we have a much better turnout each year. We have more films than we did last year," said festival judge Robin Carneen.

The event is a way to give Native filmmakers a place to get their work shown.

"We do this to highlight Native and indigenous filmmaking," said Jones.

Everyone is welcome at the film festival and it's a way to help introduce anyone to some local art produced by Native people, said Carneen.

"I always say Native Americans and first nation people are pretty invisible, so the more we do this the more visible we can be and create opportunities for people to learn more about us," she said.

Jeanne Givens, of the Coeur d'Alene tribe, was one of the filmmakers who brought a film to this year's event.

Her documentary was about a tribal elder from her area.

"Russell Jim was a tribal elder of the Yakama Nation and he spent his life devoting his life and energy toward cleaning up the nuclear waste of Hanford, Washington," she said.

"Russell passed away last April and the tribe and family have been very glad that the film about him is here," she said.

Non-Natives also submit films to the festival as well.

"Everyone is welcome to join the film festival … you don't have to be Native American or first nation to be here," said Carneen.

"It's kind of a eclectic mix of Native and non-Native films," she said.

Jones wanted to thank all who put in work to make something for the festival.

"I appreciate all who submitted, it was really great work and great talent," she said.

There were a lot of films this year that took on heavy topics, said Carneen, which is something she appreciated.

"We got a lot of documentaries, about some really important and touchy subjects. I think the people that make these type of films are really brave because you have to put that stuff out there in the world," she said.

Givens said that she appreciates film festivals for the way they allow many voices to be heard.

"Film festivals are a great way to keep good ideas alive and they generate good conversations. We learn and get more excited, more informed in a different kind of way," she said.

Jones also wanted to thank filmmaker Darrell Hillaire and storyteller and violinist Swil Kanim for coming to the festival to receive lifetime achievement awards.

"I was appreciative of the two people who showed up for their lifetime achievement awards, because they're really respected in the northwest and are big names for me," she said.

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