PALM SPRINGS, CA – January 2007: The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum and Camelot Threatres will present the Sixth Annual Palm Springs Native American Film Festival as part of the Native American Cultural Weekend, March 14 – 18, 2007. The event will benefit the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum.

This highly anticipated cultural celebration will begin with an opening night screening and reception at Camelot Theatres on Wednesday, March 14 and continue with screenings and events throughout the week. Focusing on films created by, or on the subject of, Native American and other indigenous peoples, the Festival will present a varied combination of feature films, documentaries, and short films that represent a wealth of talent and a diversity of expression that continues the tradition of previous years. The complete Festival schedule and a synopsis of each film will be announced in early February, so be sure to visit the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum’s web site ( for information on the films, including premieres and special events.

A gala dinner on the evening of Friday, March 16 at Hotel Zoso in downtown Palm Springs will feature evocative Native American entertainment and a very special guest: author, poet, and screenwriter Sherman Alexie. Alexie’s first screenplay, Smoke Signals, based on his book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, became the first feature film produced, written, and directed by American Indians. It premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy. Smoke Signals also received a Christopher Award in 1999. Alexie was nominated for the Independent Feature Project/West 1999 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

A gifted speaker, Alexie teaches, entertains, and inspires and is one of the most celebrated and honored voices of our generation. Tickets for the Gala, at $300 per person, are available now through the Museum administrative offices. Proceeds from the Gala will help ensure the availability of quality Museum exhibitions, lectures and classes – and education and cultural outreach programs that serve more than 3,000 schoolchildren and classroom teachers each year.

On Saturday, March 17 the Southern California Indian Storytelling Festival will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Pavilion Auditorium in Sunrise Park, Palm Springs. This all-day event is free to the public and will showcase Native storytelling presentations and performances based on indigenous oral traditions and language. This year’s event will also include children’s activities, basket weaving circles, children’s story time, and Native American vendors.

Saturday evening at Camelot Theatres, the Festival’s centerpiece screening will be Sherman Alexie’s outstanding film: Smoke Signals. Sherman Alexie and others associated with the film will be available for a Q & A after the screening. Tickets for all screenings will be available through Camelot Theatres Box Office after March 1.

For more information regarding the Native American Film Festival and Cultural Weekend, please call 760/778-1079, ext. 116.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution, inspires people to learn about the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and other Native cultures. It keeps the spirit alive through exhibitions, collections, research, and educational programs. As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum will be able to access the richness of the Smithsonian’s educational programs and cultural objects, and bring its world-acclaimed exhibitions to the Coachella Valley.

The Agua Caliente Cultural Museum is located at 219 South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.