The Phil Lucas collection contains film and video from Lucas's prolific career as a Native American filmaker. Spanning from the late 1970's until 2006, this collection mostly contains videotapes of various formats as well as a small amount of film and manuscript material.
Scope and Contents:
The Phil Lucas Collection consists of recordings made by Phil Lucas Productions, Inc. These include Umatic, Betacam, Digital Betacam, DVCam, MiniDV, 1-inch Type C, and 2-inch Quad video formats, as well as 16mm and 16mm mag-track motion picture film. The collection also includes one archival box of containing related production materials from Looking Good, Walking with Grandfather, Hamilton's Quest, and other works, and ten floppy disks, and a notebook of production materials from Restoring the Sacred Circle.
This collection is arranged into seventy series, based on specific productions or bodies of work. Some series are further divided into subseries. The series are arranged alphabetically with the miscellaneous videos and manuscript material at the end of the collection.
Biographical / Historical:
Phil Lucas (Choctaw) is known as a leading Native American filmmaker, and has over 100 films to his credit, playing the roles of writer, director, producer, actor, and cultural content advisor. Born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1942, Lucas was a musician in New York in the early 1960's before attending Western Washington University in 1967, graduating in 1970 with his degree in visual communications. In 1980, he formed Phil Lucas Productions, beginning a prolific film career.
Lucas's films have been honored with multiple awards and honored at several film festivals. Images of Indians, a five-part PBS series hosted by Will Sampson that explores Indian stereotypes portrayed in Hollywood westerns, won the Special Achievement Award in Documentary Film in 1980 from the American Indian Film Institute, and the Prix Italia Award in 1981. His documentaries Allan Houser/Haozous: The Lifetime Works of an American Master, an hour-long documentary on the life and work of Apache artist Allan Houser, and The Honour of All, a two part documentary on the successful rehabilitation from alcoholism by the Alkali Lake Band of British Columbia, were both official selections of the Sundance Film Festival's Native Forum in 1999, where he was also honored for his body of work. The Houser documentary was also awarded the Best Documentary Award at the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Taos Mountain Award at the Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival in 1999, and the Red Earth Film Festival's Best Long-Form Documentary award in 1998. In 1993, American Indian Dance Theatre: Dances for the New Generation, a one-hour documentary part of WNET's Great Performances Series, won the Red Earth Film Festival's "Best of Show" award, and received a National Emmy nomination. The following year, Lucas directed a two-hour episode of the three-part The Native American Series for Turner Broadcasting System, which was awarded the National Emmy for Series. In 1999, Lucas was given the Taos Mountain Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Taos Talking Picture Festival.
His other awards include Best Animated Short Subject Award from the American Indian Film Institute for The Great Wolf and Little Mouse Sister and Walking with Grandfather (1984), Best Short Documentary from the Two Rivers Film Festival for I'm Not Afraid of Me (1990), Best Long Documentary from the Two Rivers Film Festival for Voyage of Rediscovery (1990), Best of Festival Award from the Dream Speakers International Film Festival for Story Tellers of the Pacific (1996), and Best Public Service Award from the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco for Restoring the Sacred Circle (2002).
In addition to his success as a producer and a director of documentaries, Lucas also worked as a producer, writer, advisor, and actor for several television and stage productions. In 1984 he co-wrote Night of the First Americans, a stage presentation by the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, which was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 1993, he co-produced Broken Chain, a feature-length film for Turner Network Television based on the history of the Iroquois Confederacy starring Graham Green, Buffy St. Marie, and Pierce Brosnan, a film which he also appeared in as an actor in the role of Iroquois Sachem. He also served as an advisor of cultural content on television shows such as MacGyver and Northern Exposure, on which he appeared in small roles in the early 1990's.
Lucas also taught throughout much of his career. He has taught at the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation in Seattle, WA; the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, where he also served as the head of the Department of Communication Arts; the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada; and Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, WA, where he was the driving force in coordinating an American Indian Film Festival in 2003, and continued to teach until his death in 2007.
The collection was donated by Mrs. Mary Lou Lucas in 2010.
This collection is closed to researchers until the films have been digitized.
Researchers must contact copyright holders directly for permission to reproduce published materials. The National Museum of the American Indian cannot grant permission to use or reproduce copyrighted materials.
Indians in motion pictures -- Social conditions Search this
Prärie- und Plainsindianer : die Reise in das innere Nord-America von Maximilian Prinz zu Wied und Karl Bodmer : zur Geschichte eines Klischees : Katalog zur Ausstellung des Landesmuseums Koblenz aus Anlass des Rheinland-Pfalz-Tages 1993 in Neuwied / [Herausgeber, Ulrich Löber ; Redaktion, Andrea Mork]
National Museum of the American Indian. Film and Video Center Search this
21.5 cu. ft. (21 record storage boxes) (1 document box)
Digital versatile discs
This accession consists of records that document the breadth and history of the programs and work of the FVC, including the NAFVF, film screenings, the Native Americans
on Film and Video publications, and the Native Networks / Redes Indigenas website. Some materials date to when the before the National Museum of the American Indian as
was a part of the Smithsonian and was known at the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
Another project documented in the accession is Proyecto Audio-Visual Indigenista (PAVI), which was a project to survey individuals and organizations in twenty-six South
and Central American countries who are knowledgeable about indigenous works on audio, film and video in their respective regions. The project was initiated to increase awareness
of the media in Central and South America - who produces it, what types of works are available, how these works are used in relation to indigenous and non-indigenous communities
- as well as to facilitate contact between indigenous producers and organization in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries and funding, distribution, and producing organization
in the United States and Europe.
Staff represented in the collection include Elizabeth Weatherford, Founder and Head, and Emelia Seubert, Assistant Curator. Materials include correspondence, memoranda,
grant proposals, images, newsletters, programs, budget records, brochures, invitations, press releases, transcripts, survey records, retreat records, audience evaluations,
permissions and releases, audio and video recordings, clippings, and other related records. Some materials are in Spanish as well as in electronic format.
Created in 1979 within the former Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation in New York, the Film and Video Center (FVC) was the country's oldest media arts center
for Native and indigenous film. The center was dedicated to promoting Native and indigenous filmmaking throughout the Americas and opening up new opportunities for Native
One of its major programs was the biennial Native American Film + Video Festival (NAFVF), which showcased new works of independent film and videomakers and Native American
mediamakers, with a focus on current issues and contemporary life. The Festival ran from 1979 to 2011.
In addition to the NAFVF, the FVC also presented and supported a variety of film festivals. Starting in 2000 as a partnership with the Center for Contemporary Arts, the
Native Cinema Showcase brought Native films and filmmakers to Santa Fe's Indian Market. Among the other festivals it participated in or supported are: the Pacifika Showcase;
the D.C. Environmental Film Festival; First Nations/First Features: A Showcase of World Indigenous Cinema; the Agua Caliente Cultural Museum's Native FilmFest in Palm Springs,
California; and Arizona State Museum's Native Eyes Film Festival in Tucson, Arizona.
FVC also hosted two film ongoing film series that showed feature-length films, followed by discussion: Dinner and a Movie in Washington, D.C., and At the Movies in New
York. At each location there were regular daytime screenings for general audiences and frequent special programs. In Washington, films were shown several time a week that
were geared towards families, educators, and students. In New York, daily screenings highlighted topics related to current exhibitions and important themes in contemporary
Native American life. Also in New York, FVC presented Especially for Kids which was a daily morning program for children.
In addition the FVC published Native Americans on Film and Video (2 volumes) which serves as a compilation of primarily documentary films made by and about Native
Americans. Not only do the volumes contain listings of video tapes and films, including general descriptions, production data, running times, production credits, language
of the production, and distribution information; but also sections on special film collections across the country and additional resources.
Another project that the FVC worked on was developing the website, Native Networks / Redes Indigenas, which reflected the live meetings and workshops that the FVC organized
for filmmakers attending the NAFVF.
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2032; Transferring office; 06/23/2017 memorandum, Toda to Brill; Contact reference staff for details.