home 2019, Indigenous Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival 2019

Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival 2019


The Mother Tongue Film Festivalmothertongue.si.edu – is a collaborative Smithsonian annual event, initiated by the Recovering Voices Program of the National Museum of Natural History. The festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world over four days of screenings in Washington, D.C. All events are free.

The 2019 event just wrapped up, a celebration of the United Nations International Mother Languages Day (February 21) by showcasing recently-produced feature and short-length films about the cultural richness of Indigenous and endangered languages.

This Planeta.com page features key links, the program and when possible videos, and favorite tweets. Whether we were there in person or experiencing FOMO, we continue our celebration of Indigenous Languages in this most interesting year.

Key Links
Facebook event

Questions = Preguntas

  • Did the event have any livestreaming sessions? = ¿El evento tuvo sesiones de transmisión en vivo?
  • Which of the videos are accessible online? = ¿Cuáles de los videos son accesibles en línea?
  • Are there recommended online resources for those keen on Indigenous languages and recovering voices? = ¿Existen recursos en línea recomendados para aquellos interesados en las lenguas indígenas y en la recuperación de voces?

Schedule of Events

National Museum of the American Indian
Potomac Atrium and Rasmuson Theater
5:30 pm – Opening Reception
7:00 pm – Evening Program
“Boy in the Moon”
Edge of the Knife

Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler
Meyer Auditorium
11:00 am – Education Program
“My Heart Speaks Sauk”
“The Boarding School Experience”
“To Wake Up the Nakota Language”
“Colours of the Alphabet”
Dizhsa Nabani / Living Language: Language Access”

Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler
Meyer Auditorium
2:00 pm – Shorts Program
“Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes)”

NYU Washington, DC
Abramson Family Auditorium
7:00 pm – Evening Program
“Leitis in Waiting”


National Museum of the American Indian
Rasmuson Theater
11:00 am – Family Program
Dizhsa Nabani / Living Language: Grinding Chocolate”
“The Girl Who Talks to the Moon”
“Maisa: The Chamoru Girl Who Saves Guåhan”

National Museum of the American Indian
Rasmuson Theater
3:00 pm – Afternoon Program
“In Times of Rain”
Dizhsa Nabani / Living Language: Tlacolula Market”

National Museum of Natural History
Baird Auditorium
6:30 pm – Evening Program
Bhutanese Cham Performance
“The Next Guardian”

Eaton Workshop
Eaton Cinema
2:00 pm – Afternoon Program
Sami Blood

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Millennium Stage
6:00 – Closing Reception
“Last Whispers: Oratorio for Vanishing Voices, Collapsing Universes and a Falling Tree”

The Mother Tongue Film Festival is a collaboration between Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and Smithsonian Folklife.



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