The Los Angeles Film Festival announced “Winter in the Blood” is one of a dozen feature films it has selected to compete in the festival’s Narrative Competition next month.
The narrative and documentary categories are the festival’s most prestigious competitions, and carry $15,000 prizes for the winners.
The festival attracts more than 90,000 filmgoers annually.
Also known as the LA Film Fest, the 11-day event starts June 13 this year.
“Winter in the Blood” will have its world premiere on June 14, and be screened again on June 19. In addition to the Narrative Competition, it is eligible for the Audience Award for Best Narrative Film.
Last year’s Audience Award winner was “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” which went on to earn four Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.
Fewer than 200 feature films, shorts, documentaries and music videos are screened during the festival, chosen from 5,428 that were submitted this year.
“The Way, Way Back,” starring Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Allison Janney, was announced Tuesday as the Closing Night film for 2013.
Also headlining the festival are “Only God Forgives” with Ryan Gosling and “Fruitvale Station,” both named as the festival’s Gala screenings.
“Winter in the Blood” will compete with 11 other films “made by talented emerging filmmakers” in the Narrative Competition, the festival announced. Eight of them are making their world premieres in Los Angeles.
The other 11 are “All Together Now,” “Forey,” “Forty Years from Yesterday,” “Four Dogs,” “Goodbye World,” “The House that Jack Built,” “I.D.,” “Mother, I Love You,” “My Sister’s Quinceanera,” “Pollywogs” and “Workers.”
James Welch was born in Browning, Montana, in 1940 and was raised on the Blackfeet and Fort Belknap reservations. His father was Blackfeet, his mother Gros Ventre, each having Irish ancestors. In the mid 1960′s, the family settled in Harlem, Montana, just off the reservation.
From an early age, Welch dreamed of becoming a writer. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana and continued his study of creative writing in the university’s MFA program. Welch married Lois Monk, a professor of English and comparative literature in 1968.
His first book of poetry, Riding the Earthboy 40, was published in 1971. In addition to Winter in the Blood and The Death of Jim Loney, Welch also wrote the award-winning novels: Fools Crow, The Indian Lawyer, and The Heartsong of Charging Elk.
In addition to his published work, workshops and conferences, Welch taught at both the University of Washington and Cornell University. He was awarded a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1995. Welch died of lung cancer in 2003 at his home in Missoula.
Purchase the novel, Winter in the Blood at one of these independent bookstores:
During his life, James Welch came to be regarded as a master of American prose, and his first novel, Winter in the Blood, is one of his most enduring works. The narrator of this beautiful, often disquieting novel is a young Native American man living on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana. Sensitive and self-destructive, he searches for something that will bind him to the lands of his ancestors but is haunted by personal tragedy, the dissolution of his once proud heritage, and Montana’s vast emptiness. Winter in the Blood is an evocative and unforgettable work of literature that will continue to move and inspire anyone who encounters it.
I just wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes research that was done for the costume department. This was probably my favorite part of the whole process. I loved seeing these photos come to life on-screen thanks to the wonderfully talented Kristen Burke! Authenticity was really important for this film and getting photos from the area and from the time-period was essential in order for us to gather the build the best costumes that we could. (With mucho effort by the glorious Anthony Tran) If I could make a living out of just pulling photos for costume and production design, I would! They are all from Sean Chandler, a tribal artist and professor at Ft. Belknap college. Some of them are of his family and others are from albums that people have brought into him. A lot of them come from a series of albums that someone found in an abandoned office and did not want to throw away. I think it’s interesting that when we were looking for photos of Gros Ventre and Assiniboine people from the 50′s and 70′s there wasn’t a whole lot of ‘historical’ photos out there. It seems like only the old Indian photos have really been preserved, but saving and storing these more contemporary photos is just as important.
Northern Montana has always been full of surprises for me.
I reported on the Montana Hi-Line for about three years as a reporter for the Great Falls Tribune. The topics varied – weather catastrophes, summer festivals, soldier send-offs or homecomings, homicides. People make stories and from Browning to Malta, northern Montana was always character rich.
I didn’t expect that my first time on a film set would take place here but I’m glad it did. At first glance, Havre and Chinook may not seem to be more than typical small towns but there are pockets of serene landscapes, charming bars and people always willing to help. I’m discovering new and interesting places, despite having worked here for years. I couldn’t imagine this story being brought to life in a place other than northern Montana.
Surprised is one way to describe my time working behind the scenes for ‘Winter in the Blood.’ Overwhelmed would be another. I’m learning that there is so much work needed to shoot just one scene, even if it amounts to a few seconds of footage. I’m just trying to contribute as much as I can in the props and set dressing departments. I now know how exhausting set and prop continuity can be!
Probably my favorite surprise is getting to know the Native actors on set. Casey Camp-Horinek and Richard Ray Whitman have provided some much-needed laughs and wisdom between scenes. Despite being so busy, Chaske Spencer remains generous and willing to joke around. Meeting them has made me realize just how great they are as people. That is something I’ll never forget.
Travis Coleman (Ponca)
Longhouse Media Intern
Winter in the Blood
We want to thank these fabulous businesses for their support of Winter in the Blood
In our efforts to provide excellent, wholesome products to our crew we reached out to these businesses and they responded with enthusiasm and incredible generosity.
Please check out their sites below and stay tuned to the blog!