The Location Managers Guild International (LMGI) has announced that it will be giving its esteemed Trailblazer Award to the Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI) for its efforts to train Native Americans to be Location Professionals and Tribal Film Liaisons at the 9th Annual LMGI Awards on Saturday, August 27, 2022 at the Los Angeles Center Studios.
The LMGI will honor RNCI’s trailblazing initiatives to promote inclusivity in the film industry and bring revenue to Native communities, to embrace their knowledge of and sensitivity to Native culture, and to make them invaluable assets to film productions and their own Native communities. The announcement was made by John Rakich, LMGI President and Committee Chair of this year’s LMGI Awards.
Rakich notes, “The Red Nation Celebration Institute has been working to eliminate the barriers of racism by creating systemic change through media and pop culture to eliminate Native American stereotypes. Their vision for the future of cinema is one in which Native Indigenous perspectives are authentically pictured, recognized, and valued in a way that promotes strong authentic Native identities, economic outcomes, equity, and wellness for all Indigenous communities. We are delighted to honor them this year with the LMGI Trailblazer Award.”
Joanelle Romero, Founder and President of RNCI, accepted the award on behalf of the organization, stating, “Red Nation Celebration Institute board of directors is honored to accept the LMGI Trailblazer Award. Who tells the story matters. When it comes to authentic representation in film and television and in all media, it’s up to us all, collectively, to be inclusive to hire Native Indigenous Talent in front of and behind the camera, in the writing rooms and as executives at studios. To receive this prestigious award from the LMGI speaks volumes to their commitment of inclusivity and equality for all.”
This year marks Joanelle Romero’s 45th year in the entertainment industry. Her mother was an actress in several Elvis films, and Joanelle followed in her footsteps. From her lead role in the first contemporary Native woman’s story The Girl Called Hatter Fox, Joanelle created opportunities and broke the glass ceiling for the Native Indigenous communities and talent. She was cast as the lead role in George Harrison’s award-winning film Powwow Highway, the first contemporary film that changed the Native narrative in Hollywood. Romero was also the first Native filmmaker to be short-listed for an Academy Award® for the celebrated film American Holocaust: When It’s All Over I’ll Still Be Indian.
She founded the Red Nation Celebration Institute (RNCI), the longest-running Native Women-Led Indigenous Media Arts and Cultural non-profit enterprise in the history of the entertainment industry. RNCI represents more than 570 Native Nations, amplifying more than 5000 Native and Indigenous content creators through its streaming company Red Nation Television Network (predating Netflix and all other streamers), supporting nearly 900 Native Indigenous filmmakers through its Red Nation International Film Festival, including films directed by women through its Native Women in Film & Television in All Media, since 1995.
Current RNCI Global Film & Television Location Scouting and Management Career Development partners include: Location Managers Guild International (LMGI), NYC Media & Entertainment, New Mexico Film Office, Crewvie, Albuquerque Film Office, IATSE Local 480, Santa Fe Film Office, Santa Fe: The City Different, Kentucky Film Commission, Neighbor Island Film Group, Neighbor Islands Movie and Television Consortium, Nebraska Film Association, Nebraska Film Office, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), The Refinery, and Red Nation Television Network.
Previously, it was announced that Academy Award®-winning director Martin Scorsese would receive the prestigious Eva Monley Award, presented to a filmmaker whose efforts have demonstrated “above and beyond” support of the work of location professionals.
The LMGI Awards honor the outstanding and creative visual contributions by location professionals in film, television, and commercials from around the globe. Outstanding service by film commissions is also recognized for their support “above and beyond” during the production process.
For a list of 2022 LMGI Awards nominees, visit: www.LocationManagers.org.