The Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival (GIIFF) is returning to Venice for its 7th annual event this coming May 25.

Founder, Executive Director and Garifuna indigene, Freda Sideroff and her husband Dr. Stephen Sideroff, are excited and honored to once again be able to showcase a wide range of films and documentaries created by award-winning Garifuna filmmakers, noteworthy cultural activists and other indigenous people.

This year’s GIIFF is a five-day event that acts as a platform to bring together the indigenous

from around the globe, converging in Southern California to discuss and witness, through film and video, many of the important topics facing their communities. The overwhelmingly comprehensive GIIFF program includes features and short films, documentaries, VR projects, panel discussions, and cultural presentations by some of today’s most respected indigenous-focused filmmakers and activists.

The 40 films covering these various genres feature topics spanning 60 countries and will be screened throughout the five-day event. These films run the indigenous-focused creative gamut, and range from documentaries about how various indigenous groups’ past experiences with human rights violations have affected their present lives, the challenging and often beautiful rediscovery of indigenous cultural roots, community collaboration aimed at bringing forth resolutions and unity between cultures, as well as sectional biographies of many important human rights activists. The list of actors and public figures involved in these films is also worthy of note.

The event begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 25, and concludes: 8:50 p.m. Saturday, June 3. Festival activities occurring May 25, 26, 27 and June 2-3 at the Electric Lodge Theater 1416 Electric Avenue Venice.

The GIIFF was founded in 2012 with a mission to preserve the values and aspirations of all

indigenous people and Garifuna cultures. Founded by Freda Sideroff, an indigene of the Garifuna, the GIIFF acts to support the preservation of all indigenous cultures in the world through art and film, while providing an annual event where leaders and members of the community are recognized for their contributions to the betterment and elevation of the dignity of humanity.

At a time when Western civilization is struggling with global problems, the GIIFF showcases important lessons to be learned from indigenous cultures such as interconnectedness, the wisdom of our elders, sustainable living and how to exist in harmony with nature.

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Submitted by Stephen Sideroff