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Archaeology Channel International Film Festival returns to Lane County

(Image via The Archeology Channel)
(Image via The Archeology Channel)
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Lane County’s longest-running film festival, The Archaeology Channel International Film Festival, opens its 19th annual edition May 11 with the Festival Banquet at the Gordon Hotel in Eugene.

"This edition represents another step in the growth of this event that brings international prestige to the local community," organizers said in a news release.

The five-day event offers film screenings and will also feature expert speakers, a guided tour, TAC Conference on Cultural Heritage Media, and a Saturday social gathering, and will conclude with an awards reception on May 15th at the WOW Hall.

“The film-making world is producing more and more truly outstanding films about the human past and diverse cultures around the globe. These films are inspiring as well as entertaining. A central goal for us is to promote the development of this genre of film-making and to draw audiences to support it. Film-makers and TAC Conference presenters will come from many countries and US states,” says Festival Director and ALI head Rick Pettigrew. “Our 2021 launch of Heritage Broadcasting Service gives film-makers another good reason to participate in Lane County’s longest-running film festival, as we are on the lookout for premium content to stream, and this competition is a perfect proving ground. This year’s lineup of films is outstanding in terms of diversity, innovation and quality film-making. We very much look forward to bringing people together safely to enjoy this wonderful form of storytelling.”

They accepted 77 film entries from 21 countries for their 19th season.

The 19 films in the competition cover a variety of subjects from around the globe: places as far apart as Ireland and Malaysia and across the human timeline from the Minoan Bronze Age to the 1970s in Los Angeles. Also included is the daring rescue of museum artifacts from war-torn Aleppo, the real story about who wrote the Bible, the struggle of people in the Himalayas to preserve their pristine environment, and an animated short drama about native life in Borneo, among others.

Dr. Don Blakeslee will appear as the Keynote Speaker at the Festival Banquet, presenting on his fieldwork and documentary research focused on the Wichita town of Etzanoa, the present location of Arkansas City, Kansas.

While Arkansas City today has a population of 12,000, the Native American town there had an estimated population of 20,000. A pitched battle took place at this location in 1601 between a force of 1500 Wichita fighters and a Spanish Conquistador army led by Juan de Oñate, who had founded the Spanish colony of New Mexico in 1598. The Wichita fighters repulsed the Spaniards, who never returned to Kansas.
In 2015, a film crew from Archaeological Legacy Institute (ALI), the Eugene nonprofit that organizes TAC Festival, followed Dr. Blakeslee and his archaeological field school at the Etzanoa site, as they found direct evidence of this battle and the huge Wichita town.
Footage from that activity is a key part of the documentary film, “Quivira: Conquistadors on the Plains,” produced by ALI and now available for viewing on ALI’s subscription video platform, Heritage Broadcasting Service ( Dr. Blakeslee is a Professor of Anthropology and archaeologist at Wichita State University, where he specializes in Great Plains archaeology. TAC Festival is proud to welcome Dr. Blakeslee, and we look forward to hearing him speak.

"Come to the Emerald City of Eugene from May 11th to the 15th and explore the wonders of human cultures past and present in the works of skilled media producers," the organizers said.

The Archaeology Channel International Film Festival affords the viewer a chance to experience the world’s best cultural heritage films: visually rich, technically sophisticated works which are artistically produced and as entertaining as they are informative. It also provides a forum for media producers and others interested in the genre to share perspectives and form collaborations.

For a complete list of films, presentations, activities, and other Festival information, visit here:

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The following is a list and brief description of the films in this year’s Festival competition:

  • The 1001 Faces of Palmyra: The Lost Jewel of the Desert - Refound funerary portraits bring real people to life.
  • Burren Girl - Minnesota woman rediscovers her clan and her roots in beautiful, windswept County Clare, Ireland.
  • Caesar’s Doomsday War - Hard evidence reinterprets the daring conquest of Gaul.and its rebellious Celtic people.
  • The Colosseum in Quarantine - Race against time to prepare the fragile giant to reopen in the time of COVID.
  • D'Artagnan: Searching for the Real Musketeers - The prolific life behind the legend of this adventurous hero.
  • Daughters of Courage - In the Amazon, an ancient shaman and three girls defend their jungle from wildcat miners.
  • The Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry - Revealing complex secrets of this immense, millennium-old, embroidery.
  • National Archaeological Museum of Naples: Treasury of Civilization - A voyage through incredible treasures derived from Pompeii, Herculaneum, Baiae, Magna Graecia, and other parts of the Classical world.
  • The Oath of Syriac - Daring archaeologists rescue priceless antiquities at Aleppo museum during intense civil war.
  • Parizad - Lonely old Iranian woman weaves ancient textile while telling the strange story of a fairy and a shepherd.
  • The Pillar of Strength - Animated coming-of-age story about family and tradition among Borneo’s native people.
  • Raymond Lewis: L.A. Legend - True story of a mythical basketball star from Watts, blackballed by the NBA.
  • Roman Engineering: Mining - Appetite for metal reaches a scale never imagined before Roman times.
  • Roman Engineering: Roads, The Neural Network of the Empire - A great empire required a fast and effective transportation network of a magnitude unprecedented in the history of humanity.
  • Songs of the Water Spirits - Society in breathtaking Himalaya mountains fights environmental degradation.
  • The Trace of Time - Poetic biography of Greek archaeologist Yannis Sakellarakis and his Minoan research.
  • The Trojan Horse: On the Trail of a Myth - Hard data on the question: did the Trojan horse really exist?
  • Who Wrote the Bible? Revelations about one of the Greatest Mysteries in History - The Dead Sea Scrolls, the study of its texts, scientific advances, and recent archaeology gradually lift the veil on this mystery.
  • William Waldren: The Alchemist's Footprint - Avant-garde artist pioneers archaeological research in Mallorca.
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