Ghosts, a short film screening, 2022 Cornell Biennial

A short film screening, 2022 Cornell Biennial
Directed by Jeff Palmer, Written by Austin Bunn

Thursday, November 17, 5:00 p.m.
Film Forum, Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts

Film running time: 17 mins, Q&A with filmmakers will follow.
Free and open to the public, first-come, first-served
Co-sponsored by the Department of Performing and Media Arts and Cornell Council for the Arts.

Ghosts tells the story of three Kiowa boys' daring escape from a government boarding school in Anadarko, Oklahoma in 1891, to attend a ghost dance ceremony at a distant Kiowa encampment. After being whipped for insubordination and feeling defeated, CHARLES, a rebellious teenager, plans to escape with an unlikely group of partners, the spiritual ZEPH, who has visions of his grandfather and an upcoming ghost dance, which is sweeping across Indian Territory promising the resurrection of their ancestors, and JUDAH, a trickster, who seizes the opportunity to join them and help them flee. Ghosts is an oral history of tribal alliance, resistance, and survival from the degradation of forced assimilation. Kiowa director and Cornell faculty member Jeff Palmer directs this moving, dramatization of their escape, utilizing historical source materials (e.g., the official reports by Army Captain Hugh L. Scott, tasked with investigating the deaths) and interviews with living tribal members to produce a highly cinematic dramatization with young native actors.

Jeffrey Palmer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts. He is a Kiowa filmmaker and media artist and his first feature film, N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and aired on the PBS series American Masters. His short films have also screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Hot Docs, The Seattle International Film Festival, and many others around the world.

Austin Bunn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts and the Director of the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity. He co-wrote the script for Kill Your Darlings (Sony Pictures Classics), which debuted at the Sundance and won the International Days Prize at the Venice Film Festival. He is the author of The Brink: stories (Harper Perennial) and he’s has written feature screenplays and television pilots for Twentieth Century Fox, Lionsgate, Participant Media, and Annapurna. His short films have been selected as Vimeo Staff Picks, Short of the Week “Short of the Month,” and screened at Frameline, OutFest, InsideOut (Toronto), Brooklyn Film Festival, and elsewhere. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Science and Nature Writing, and Best American Fantasy.

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Poster for Ghosts, a short film directed by Jeffrey Palmer