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Four headliners for Flathead Lake International Cinemafest set for January 24-26

POLSON — Four special guests are headliners at the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest (FLIC) being held Friday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 26. Filmmakers, producers, writers, film editors and those interested in the inner workings of filmmaking will be in town to take in the second annual FLIC.

Brooke Pepion Swaney is co-headliner the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest. (courtesy photo) Brooke Pepion Swaney is co-headliner the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest. (courtesy photo)

Meet Brooke Pepion Swaney on Friday night following her short film “OK Breathe Auralee,” scheduled to screen at 8 p.m. Brooke, a Blackfeet/Salish with a Masters in Fine Arts, is an emerging filmmaker and presently a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellow and a Time Warner Fellow through the Sundance Institute. Since her undergraduate work at Stanford University, Brooke has researched the portrayal of American Indians in the Media and has worked to add dimension to otherwise stereotypical representations of American Indians through her films. “OK Breathe Auralee,” her NYU graduate thesis film, screened at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, 2012 Melbourne International Film Festival and the 2011 ImagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Fest. It also was finalist in NBC/Universal’s Short Cuts Film Festival, wherein the lead actress won Best Actor. Brooke’s experience, besides editing, also includes producing a local feature film, “Bella Vista,” and freelance work on political campaigns, corporate videos around Montana, and a mobile documentary narrative project about the 64’ Flood on the Blackfeet Reservation. Brooke currently lives in Polson.

Jeff Chiba Stearns is co-headliner the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest. (courtesy photo) Jeff Chiba Stearns is co-headliner the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest. (courtesy photo)

Enjoy Jeff Chiba Stearns, an Emmy® nominated and Webby award winning animator and documentary filmmaker, to be featured Saturday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. This is Jeff’s second year to be featured by FLIC. After graduating from the Emily Carr University with a degree in Film Animation, Jeff founded Vancouver based boutique animation studio Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. in 2001. From animated viral video ads and broadcast commercials for companies like Sharpie, 3M, Generali and Post-it Note, to short and feature films like “What Are You Anyways?” (2005), Yellow Sticky Notes (2007), One Big Hapa Family (2010), Ode to a Post-it Note (2010) and Yellow Sticky Notes | Canadian Anijam (2013), Jeff’s work has shown around the world, screened in hundreds of international film festivals and garnered 33 awards. Jeff brings an amazing slate of animation films from all over the world to this year’s festival. Jeff will also conduct an animation workshop following the animation film program on Saturday.

Alberta Iron Cloud Miller and James Miller worked on “Dakota 38,” a documentary scheduled to screen at 8 p.m., Saturday. “Dakota 38” documents the execution of 38 Dakota Warriors, which is noted as the largest mass public execution ever held in the United States. A question and answer session and a wine and cheese reception follows the screening.

Alberta Iron Cloud Miller and James Miller will present at the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest. (courtesy photo) Alberta Iron Cloud Miller and James Miller will present at the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest. (courtesy photo)

Alberta Iron Cloud Miller is an Oglala Lakota tribal member with Crow ancestry who lives in Knife Chief Community in Porcupine, SD on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She has lived the majority of her life on the reservation and has dedicated her knowledge, education and skills to improving life for the coming generations. Alberta currently serves as the Prevention Coordinator for the Tawacin Ohokila (Taking Care of the Whole Self) Substance Abuse Prevention Project for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. In the past she served as the Attorney General for the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and was also a Tribal Judge. Alberta completed a Criminal Justice Studies degree at Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska, a M.Ed. degree at Montana State University, Bozeman and completed all requirements, except the dissertation, for a doctoral degree in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education.

James Miller is involved in the Dakota Wokiksuye Memorial Ride for the 38 Dakota who were hung in a mass public execution in Mankato, Minnesota on Dec. 26, 1862. The healing ride to Mankato started in 2005 after Jim received a dream to travel on horseback to Mankato and take offerings to feed the spirits as a means of healing or the Dakota nation and for reconciliation. The ride is documented in the film Dakota 38 which shares the history of the Dakota people and also documents the healing process from the ride.

Rub shoulders with filmmakers and those involved in the craft at a no-host “After Hours” party on Saturday at 11 p.m. in the Lake Bar located at 49494 US Hwy 93.

FLIC tickets are available online at and at the Showboat Cinemas; Opening Party tickets can also be purchased at Terrace Flowers and Gifts, 308 Main Street. Tickets ordered online can be picked up at the registration table beginning at 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino. The Opening Night Party, 5 to 7:30 p.m., is a tribute to The Great Gatsby and partygoers are urged to dress in Roaring 20s attire. Hors d’oeuvres, champagne, wine and beer will be served. KECI Television Anchor Steve Fetveit will serve as emcee for the evening. Following the party at 8 p.m. the film screenings begin on both screens at the Showboat Cinemas in downtown Polson. See the complete program on the FLIC web site,, with show times and film synopses included.

Saturday morning FLIC Jr. begins at 8:30 a.m. with a free kids’ movie “Despicable Me 2.” A light breakfast will be provided and kids are invited to wear “jammies” for a comfortable morning event. Films continue through Saturday night, and on Sunday film blocks begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. “The Best Of” awards will be announced at the Closing Party Dessert Reception, Sunday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Showboat Cinemas.

The KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino has reserved a block of rooms for “FLIC Film Festival” attendees. When reserving a room, mention the festival to get the special FLIC rate.

An All Access Pass plus individual party and film block tickets can be purchased online at or at Showboat Cinemas, 416 Main St. Last year the first showing on Friday was sold out, so reserve tickets early. Information is also available by calling 406-274-0181 or emailing

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