Cherokee Nation Film Office returning to Sundance Film Festival with film ‘Fancy Dance’

SUNDANCE, Utah — The Cherokee Nation Film Office will return to the Sundance Film Festival after four years to celebrate the premiere of Erica Tremblay’s “Fancy Dance.”

This will mark the four-year anniversary of the Cherokee Nation Film Office as they announced themselves as America’s first Native Film Commission at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Tremblay’s film, “Fancy Dance,” will premiere in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Eccles Theatre and will screen from Jan. 20 - 27 and be available online.

“Fancy Dance” is directed by Erica Tremblay.

The storyline centers around Jax (Lily Gladstone) who finds herself looking after her niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson) on the Seneca-Cayuga Reservation in Oklahoma, since her sister’s disappearance. As the character, Jax desperately searches for her sister she prepares Roki for an upcoming powwow. Jax fears losing custody of Roki to Jax’s father Frank, (Shea Whigham) and so the two venture out on a pursuit to find Roki’s mother and to uncover the truth behind her disappearance.

Described as a darker, coming-of-age, mystery, the script sheds light on the hard reality of missing and murdered indigenous women. The film also gives a voice to the souls that are forever altered and to the lives left behind by this human crisis.

Officials from both the Tulsa Office of Film and the Cherokee Nation film office, Cherokee Film Senior Director Jennifer Loren and Cherokee Nation Film Office Director and Film Commissioner Tava Maloy Sofsky and Confluential Films will join Tremblay and “Fancy Dance” cast and crew in celebration at the festival.

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The film was created to illustrate important issues faced by indigenous women, children and their families. It will feature Native American talent and is one of the first recipients of the Cherokee Nation Film Incentive of 2022.

“Fancy Dance”  was written by Tremblay and Miciana Alise, stars Lily Gladstone and was produced by Deidre Backs, Heather Rae, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Tommy Oliver and Confluential Films.