Cousins and Kin

Honey Moccasin (1998) by Shelley Niro   

Cousins and Kin
series curated by the Cousin Collective

The Cousin Collective was formed in 2018 by Adam Piron, Alex Lazarowich, Sky Hopinka and Adam Khalil. The question of how to find other Indigenous filmmakers who are making work that is experimental and exciting was where we began. How to support and share their films is where we’re at now. The programs in the Cousins and Kin series are a culmination and a survey of the moving images we’ve curated individually and collectively over the years.

We’re thankful to Steve Polta and San Francisco Cinematheque for this opportunity and this platform.We’re very proud to share these works, the artists and the conversations and communion they foster, between each other as well as across nations and time. (Cousin Collective)

program one
Cycle 0
online March 16–April 15, 2021
Live curator’s talk on Opening Night: March 16
Please register in advance for the Zoom webinar at

Cousins and Kin opens with Cycle 0, an acknowledgement of what comes before a beginning. These films—by Raven Chacon & Cristóbal Martínez, Kite, Fox Maxy and Rhayne Vermette—embody artistic dedication, to practice and to self, and have been deeply inspirational to the Cousin Collective.

full program and details here

program two
what was always yours and never lost
program online April 16–May 15, 2021

Films by makers from different backgrounds, countries, homelands and nations. Films which assert identity and presence in the face of—and regardless of—colonial histories and outdated traditions of anthropology and ethnography. Films which make space for poetry, for beauty, for movement between cosmological and visceral worlds, sometimes blurring the lines between both. These filmmakers claim what was always theirs and celebrate what was never lost.

Screening includes work by Caroline Monnet; Colectivo Los Ingràvidos; Thirza Cuthand; Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil & Jackson Polys and James Luna. (Sky Hopinka)

full program and details here

program three
Shelley Niro’s Honey Moccasin
program online May 16–June 15, 2021 
**extended to June 20, 2021**

Monday, June 14 at 6pm (Pacific)
A Conversation with Shelley Niro
interviewed by Adam Piron and Fox Maxy

Whether it’s jumping from performance art sequences to a mock-cable access show to a tongue-in-cheek crime mystery, Shelley Niro’s rarely-screened Honey Moccasin (1998) melds irreverent cinematic language from elements of pop culture and a distinct brand of Native humor. Niro finds both an inviting exuberance and a playfulness in its experimental approach to questions of identity. Taking no no authoritative stance on delivering any kind of thesis on Indigeneity, the film seamlessly weaves its way through a multitude of approaches to present a surreal spectrum of subjective meaning. In its own open-endedness and the resulting nuance of this approach, Niro’s film has cemented its reputation as an underground classic of ‘90s Indigenous Cinema. (Adam Piron)

full program and details here

program four
program curated by Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil
program online June 16–July 15, 2021

For Indigenous peoples, the camera is a weapon that has been wielded against them since the device’s inception. Anthropology’s obsession with preserving images of so-called vanishing cultures, through ethnographic films or, relatedly, archives filled with boxes of ancestral remains, has long been a tool used to colonize and oppress Indigenous peoples. The ethnographer’s encapsulating gaze ignores the fact that, for Indigenous communities, tradition is not an immutable set of truths handed down by revelation, but a set of ever-evolving social practices whose continuity cannot be repaired by preservation, only elaborated through struggle and, finally, achieved under conditions of genuine self-determination. In the works assembled for this screening, the power of Indigenous people claiming the camera for themselves is explored.

Screening includes work by Guillermo Gómez-Peña; Tonia Jo Hall; Shelley Niro; Diane Burns; Sky Hopinka; Kent Monkman; Axel Gerdau, Erik Olsen & John Woo; Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil & Jackson Polys; Olivia Camfield & Woodrow Hunt; Thirza Cuthand and others.

full program and details here

Sky Hopinka’s Around the Edge of Encircling Lake (2018, Green Gallery Press) and Perfidia (2020, Wendy’s Subway) are currently available in Cinematheque’s online bookstore.

Cousins and Kin is presented with the generous support of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.