International Film Festival

Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival:

Premier of the Short Film "Kana"

Short Film Kana


he Nepal International Film Festival for 2011 (NIIFF 2011) premiered the film Kana which was directed by the editor of, Dan Pantone, and by Marek Stepien.  On April 23, 2011 Kana was first screened for the public at the Nepal International Indigenous Film Festival (NIIFF 2011) in Kathmandu, Nepal.  The theme for the festival was "the indomitable spirit of the indigenous woman."  Kana was the only film selected from Peru and one of only two films from South America that were chosen to be screened at the film festival.  The film festival was held in conjunction with the International Conference of "The Evolving Indigenous Woman," and the participants formulated the Kathmandu Declaration of Indigenous Woman which declared, "WE THE PARTICIPANTS OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 'THE EVOLVING INDIGENOUS WOMAN' April 21, 2011, Kathmandu Nepal, SOLEMNLY AFFIRMING OUR FAITH in the will and determination of indigenous women to change the existing social relation based on domination, exclusion, exploitation and discrimination to a new order based on justice equality and respect for human dignity."

Internationl Indigenous Film FestivalThe short film Kana is the story of an indigenous Amazonian woman named Kana Matis, and how she helped her people survive after a series of disease epidemics decimated her tribe. Until 1976, the Matis people lived in voluntary isolation from the Western world in the Amazon Rainforest. After making first contact with Westerners, a series of disease epidemics decimated these indigenous people. The film shows Kana's life through a series of flashbacks while she is making ceramic masks for use in a spiritual ritual, the Ceremony of Mariwin. Flashbacks to Kana’s youth show Kana mourning for her parents who died in an epidemic, clearing a field with a machete, fishing in a canoe, feeding her younger brothers, and getting facial tattoos. The climax of the movie features the Ceremony of Mariwin and shows how the ceramic masks that Kana is making are used in this spiritual ceremony. Sadly, Kana Matis died in 2009. However, she left her legacy in the form of two surviving younger brothers and two sons, thereby perpetuating the continued existence of her people. is very honored to have participated in this indigenous film festival and this momentous event in combination the International Conference of "The Evolving Indigenous Woman" is helping to set up a framework for the survival of indigenous women and their cultures.  For more information on these important proceedings, please visit the International Film Archive (IFA).           


Matis Indians

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