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UIS will host screening of "The Return of Navajo Boy"

February 27, 2008

Contact: Jim Ottery, 217/206-7443, jotte1@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a showing of the documentary "The Return of Navajo Boy" beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, in room 2008 of University Hall on the UIS campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Director/producer Jeff Spitz will be on hand to discuss the film, which was an official selection at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and has been broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens.

"The Return of Navajo Boy" chronicles an extraordinary chain of events that began with the discovery of an old film reel and ended with a long-lost brother's return to his family. In the process, Spitz examines a number of issues, including stereotypical portrayals of American Indians during the mid-20th century and interracial adoption. The film also triggered a federal investigation into contamination resulting from uranium mining on the Navajo Reservation in Monument Valley, Utah.

It has been widely screened internationally and received the Programmer's Choice Award at the 2000 Planet-in-Focus Environmental Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario.

Spitz is currently faculty coordinator of the Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary Film at Columbia College, Chicago. He has directed several other documentaries, including the PBS special From the Bottom Up, and is also a partner at the communications firm Amdur Spitz and Associates, which develops cultural and educational outreach programs and marketing campaigns.

UIS sponsors of this event are the Capital Scholars Honors Program, Speakers' Bureau, and Office of Undergraduate Education.

For more information, contact UIS Associate Professor of English Jim Ottery at 206-7443.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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