Tantoo Cardinal to get lifetime achievement award at SFIFF
Tantoo Cardinal has a résumé that one would envy.
She’s helped represent Native Americans in film and TV for decades.
On Oct. 19, she will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
“Tantoo is an actress unparalleled in her craft and body of work,” said Jacques Paisner, SFIFF artistic director. “We are honored to present her the Lifetime Achievement Award to be held at the Lensic.”
During the festival, which runs Oct. 16-20, Cardinal will introduce her latest film, “Falls Around Her.”
The biopic is centered on the life of legendary singer and Anishinaabe musician, Mary Birchbark.
It is directed by Darlene Naponse and authentically portrays the complexities of Birchbark’s character without relying on conventional indigenous imagery, allowing Cardinal’s long-cultivated talents to shine in her first lead role in a feature length film.
SFIFF Advisory Board Chair, Gary Farmer, said Cardinal is “a staunch worker for Indigenous people’s rights and well-being who happens to be a unique inspirational [and] phenomenal actor.”
Paisner said the Canadian-born Cree/Métis actor is considered by many to be the most influential indigenous actress of her generation.
She has been a Member of the Order of Canada for a decade, a title that is designated as the second highest civilian honor in Canada.
She rose to stardom with the 1990 Oscar-winning film, “Dances With Wolves.”
Cardinal continued to accept indigenous roles, seeking to combat harmful on-screen stereotypes against her people.
Throughout 48 years of cinematic performances, Cardinal has contributed more than 100 roles to film and television, including feature films “Wind River” and “Legends of the Fall,” as well as TV series such as “Westworld,” “Godless” and “Longmire.”
By Adrian Gomez