35mm Print!

Smoke Signals with Chris Eyre in person


We’ve reached our pre-sale ticket limit for this screening. All remaining tickets will be available for sale 15 minutes before showtime.

Featuring Lofty Achievement Award recipient Chris Eyre in person! This screening will include an introduction by Miss Native American University of Arizona, and the presentation of the Lofty Achievement Award and an onstage Q&A with Chris Eyre following the film!

The Loft Film Fest is presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment.

Preceded by the short film, Holy Grail.

Billed as the first feature film entirely written, directed and acted by Native Americans, director Chris Eyre’s award-winning 1998 Sundance hit Smoke Signals is a funny, touching and honest look at what it is to be Indian in America.

“Unpretentious, funny and soulful … beautiful in both its brevity and its vision of contemporary Indian culture, Smoke Signals abounds in easygoing humor.” – Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle

Smoke Signals follows Victor (Adam Beach) and Thomas-Builds-the-Fire (Evan Adams), two young Idaho men with wildly different memories of one Arnold Joseph (Gary Farmer), a former resident of their Idaho reservation who split years before and has just died in Phoenix. Arnold’s popular, athletic son, Victor, remembers him best as an alcoholic, occasionally abusive father who drove off one day and never came back. By contrast, the highly-quirky, always-talking Thomas Builds-the-Fire, whom Arnold had saved from certain death years earlier, has chosen to romanticize the man’s life and deeds in a way that drives Victor crazy. However, circumstances bring this odd couple together in a funny and funky road trip to Phoenix to retrieve Arnold’s ashes. Along the way, they must confront the reality of Arnold’s legacy, which has profound and unexpected effects on both of them. (Dir. by Chris Eyre, 1998, USA, 89 mins., Rated PG-13)

Special thanks to our community partners, American Indian Studies Department and Indigenous Strategies.

Chris Eyre, the nation’s most celebrated American Indian film director, was born in Oregon. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in media arts, and later attended New York University’s graduate film program. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, he gained national attention in 1998 with his highly-acclaimed debut feature, Smoke Signals, which won the Audience Award and Filmmaker’s Trophy at Sundance and became the first nationally-distributed feature film that was directed, written, co-produced, and featured American Indian actors. People Magazine called him “the preeminent Native American filmmaker of his time.” He later directed Skins, Skinwalkers, Edge of America, Thief of Time, A Thousand Roads, Taming the Wild West: The Legend of Jedediah Smith, and Hideaway, along with commercials and television episodes of Law and Order and Friday Night Lights.  Eyre is currently head of Native Networkers, which recently completed consultation on the Scott Cooper film, Hostiles.

Holy Grail
A short narrative film created in conjunction with the Pascua Yaqui Youth Filmmaking Project. DIRECTED BY Taima Cannon, 2018, USA, 3 mins.