After premiering at the ImagiNATIVE film festival in Toronto, Blackhorse Lowe’s latest film FUKRY was slated for another round of screenings, including the Maoriland Film Festival in New Zealand this spring. But that changed once COVID-19 forced many festivals to either go online or postpone indefinitely.
Rather than wait it out, he decided to partner with Tulsa’s historic movie theater Circle Cinema to host a virtual screening and promote the relief effort for the Navajo Nation.
“Since most people are stuck inside at home, they can just connect to Circle Cinema and show the film,” said Lowe.
Lowe is a citizen of the Navajo Nation, which has been hit hard by COVID-19. His family lives outside of the Farmington, New Mexico area and they’re safe. But, some of his friends in Albuquerque have contracted the virus. So, while the online screening of the film is free, he’s asking people to support one of the organizations helping out.
“Most of the time, you go and pay for your ticket. Or, if you go to a film festival, you pay for a pass,” explained Lowe.
He’s asking that people take that money they would have used for a pass or a ticket and support one of the organizations listed on Circle Cinema’s website.
“So that money can go back to the people who really need it, who really need the PPE, need food, need water, especially out in the Navajo Nation, which is being hit hard right now,” Lowe said.
Lowe and his collaborators Morningstar Angeline, Daniel E. Hyde, Sally Kewayosh and Lydell Mitchell shot the film in 2018 before he moved to Tulsa to be a part of the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. He spent all of 2019 editing the feature-length film which his friend describes as a “doom rom-com.”
“It's about this character named Ching Yazzie who falls in love with three multiple women. And then it all falls apart on him,” said Lowe.
Lowe drew upon a mix of influences like Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Three Stooges and Rodney Dangerfield.
“We wanted to emulate a kind of 80’s comedy that was more slapstick and silly,” laughed Lowe. “But with Andrei Tarkovsky, Terrence Malick way of shooting.”
The soundtrack is a mix of punk bands from Albuquerque, New Mexico and Window Rock, Arizona to a haunting score produced by Crieslol, which is made up of another Tulsa Artist Fellow Matt Galindo from Atomic Culture.
Even though Lowe wants to shine a spotlight on what’s happening within the Navajo Nation, the film isn’t about issues. That’s on purpose.
“It’s purely for comedy and hopefully for people to forget their troubles. A lot of the time, the Native films people see are really heavy on issues. But, we wanted to go in the opposite direction and show something that hasn’t been shown before as far as Indigenous film,” explained Lowe.
Lowe is hopeful he’ll get to shoot another film, but like a lot of artists, he’s waiting to see when it’s safe. In the meantime, he wants audiences to enjoy his new film FUKRY from their homes and support an important cause.
FUKRY will be available to watch online starting Friday May 15 until May 21. More information about the movie and about the organizations Lowe is supporting is available at circlecinema.org.