San Diego International Film Festival-2017- Announces The American Indian Advisory Board


The San Diego Film Foundation , best known for presenting The San Diego International Film Festival each
October, announces the members of their 2017 American Indian Advisory Board . For the first time, the
advisory board has major representation from the diverse tribes in San Diego County. The San Diego Intl Film
Festival has a film track dedicated to stories of Indigenous people. The tribes are very involved in the American
Indian Film track as well as the filmmaker awards. They were also instrumental in the choice to change the
name of the Advisory Board from Native American to American Indian.

Hereditary Chief of the Sac and Fox Nation and Actor Saginaw Grant (Lone Ranger, World’s Fastest Indian) is
a respected voice of the SDFF American Indian Advisory Council. “Storytelling is an intrinsic cyclical part of
American Indian culture. Stories are told, tradition is shared, a culture continues – so more stories can be told….
I am drawn to cinema as it provides broader access to our culture and allows a larger community to examine
our past and present as we plan for our future.”

The mission of the San Diego International Film Festival’s American Indian Advisory Board is to authentically
tell the story of Indigenous people and to perpetuate the beauty and strength of these cultures. The American
Indian Film category was created to give filmmakers the opportunity to tell the stories and traditions of the
American Indian and to convey historical truths from an Indigenous peoples perspective. From historical and
cultural topics to contemporary local issues to the complex national and global problems faced by tribes the
track provides an opportunity for dialog and understanding.

Executive and Artistic Director of the Festival, Tonya Mantooth, a Seminole Indian whose father grew up on an
Oklahoma reservation, embraces the opportunity to work with the community and champion the American
Indian voice. Mantooth said, “ The San Diego tribes have really come together and they see that the Festival is a
platform for us communicate messages that are important to American Indians. Whether it is the local
challenges of area tribes or national issues addressing tribal land usage like Standing Rock or reflections and
education on the expanding economic development of the tribes – the American Indian Film track starts these
conversations through the very public and accessible forum of film .”

2017 American Indian Advisory Board Members
● Saginaw Grant , Hereditary Chief – Sac and Fox Nation
● Erica M. Pinto , Chairwoman – Jamul Indian Village
● Cody Martinez, Chairman — Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation
● Tishmall Turner , Vice Chairwoman – Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians
● Adrian Brown , Councilman – Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
● Ruben Chato , Lipan/Mescalero Apache
● Brandon Banegas , Barona Band of Mission Indians
Honorary Members
● Larry Banegas , Barona Band of Mission Indians
● Randolph Mantooth , Seminole Indian