Leighton Peterson, assistant professor of anthropology at Miami University, is producer of the documentary film “Columbus Day Legacy,” which is an official selection for the 2011 Smithsonian Native American Film + Video Festival, March 31-April 3. It had its world premier at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Mont., in February.
Directed by Navajo filmmaker Bennie Klain, “Columbus Day Legacy” explores tensions and contradictions between Native- and Italian-American participants in the ongoing Columbus Day parade controversy in Denver, Colo.
The conflict is visualized through hard questions about the freedom of speech, the interpretation of history and what it means to be an “American.”
Peterson is a producer for TricksterFilms and Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT). His academic work focuses on the practice and study of indigenous media and language.
Peterson and Klain also produced and directed the feature documentary film “Weaving Worlds” which was the winner of the Best Documentary Feature at the Black Hills Film Festival (2010), the winner of the 2nd Rigoberta Menchu Prize for social justice films at the First Peoples Film and Video Festival in Montreal (2007) and was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Native American Film Festival in San Francisco in 2008.
“Columbus Day Legacy” is being released the weekend of March 26 and will be screened on public television: it can be seen on Kentucky Education Television (KET) at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 29, and at 12:30 a.m. Thursday, April 7; check local listings for other dates.