See Lily Gladstone in the first trailer for ‘Fancy Dance,’ her latest Oklahoma-made movie

See “Killers of the Flower Moon” star Lily Gladstone play a hustler desperate to find her missing sister and keep custody of her teenage niece in the long-awaited first trailer for “Fancy Dance,” the Oscar-nominated performer’s latest Oklahoma-made movie

“Fancy Dance,” the feature film directorial debut from Oklahoma-born Native American filmmaker Erica Tremblay, will be released in select theaters June 21.

The family drama, which delves into the timely issue of missing and murdered Indigenous people, starts streaming June 28 on Apple TV+.

“I’m so grateful to Lily Gladstone’s generosity and all of her advocacy. We just kept pushing forward, and we knew that at some point, someone was going to recognize what we had and recognize the value of the film. We’re so thrilled that it was Apple. They have such an incredible relationship with Lily and saw the film and recognized its potential,” Tremblay told The Oklahoman by phone in February.

What is the movie ‘Fancy Dance’ about?
A historic Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award winner for her powerful lead turn in Martin Scorsese’s fact-based epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Gladstone, who is NiMíiPuu, or Nez Perce, and Siksikaitsitapi, or Blackfeet, stars in “Fancy Dance” as Jax, an ex-convict scraping by on the Seneca-Cayuga Reservation in Oklahoma.

After her sister’s disappearance, Jax spends every spare minute searching for her missing sibling, while helping her niece Roki (Isabel Deroy-Olson) prepare for an upcoming powwow. At the risk of losing custody of Roki to the teen’s white grandfather, Frank (Shea Whigham), Jax spirits the girl away in the middle of the night. The pair hits the road, scouring the back country in the hopes of tracking down Roki’s mother in time for the powwow.
What begins as a missing person’s search gradually morphs into a far deeper investigation of the complexities and contradictions of Indigenous women moving through a colonized world at the mercy of a failed justice system.

“She’s such a strong writer. She has such an impeccable voice that is delivered with such a light touch. And that’s really hard to find in any filmmaker,” Gladstone told The Oklahoman of Tremblay in a 2023 interview.

Who else was involved in making the Oklahoma film ‘Fancy Dance?’
Written by Tremblay and Miciana Alise, “Fancy Dance” co-stars Ryan Begay, Crystle Lightning and Audrey Wasilewski.

The independent film is produced by Tremblay, Deidre Backs, Heather Rae, Nina Yang Bongiovi and Tommy Oliver. Gladstone, University of Oklahoma graduate Bird Runningwater, Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker and Charlotte Koh are executive producers.

Lily Gladstone, star of “Fancy Dance,” prepares to present the deadCenter Film Icon award to the movie’s writer-director Erica Tremblay during the 2023 deadCenter Film Festival closing-night screening of “Fancy Dance” at the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 11, 2023.© DOUG HOKE/THE OKLAHOMANBorn in Stillwater, Tremblay is a member of the Grove-based Seneca-Cayuga Nation, which is situated in the northeast corner of Oklahoma. Although she grew up three miles across the border in Seneca, Missouri, Oklahoma has proven vital to her in telling stories through her work on the acclaimed streaming series “Reservation Dogs” and on her own films.

Tremblay, who has worked as a writer and executive story editor on “Reservation Dogs” as well as the hit show “Dark Winds,” was the first filmmaker to bring Gladstone to Oklahoma. The breakout star of “Killers of the Flower Moon” previously starred in Tremblay’s breakout short film “Little Chief,” which had its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Tremblay filmed “Fancy Dance” in her native state, where it was one of the first recipients of the Cherokee Nation Film Incentive that launched in early 2022.
Erica Tremblay, middle, and Lily Gladstone ham it up for a photo with the three deadCenter awards Tremblay received at the last viewing of deadCenter, “Fancy Dance”, directed by Erica Tremblay, at the First Americans Museum, Sunday, June 11, 2023.What awards has ‘Fancy Dance’ won ahead of its theatrical debut?
“Fancy Dance,” which was accepted into the Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Labs in 2021, made its world premiere in January 2023 at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where it was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.

At Oklahoma City’s 2023 deadCenter Film Festival, “Fancy Dance” won best Indigenous feature and best narrative feature, and Tremblay was named an Oklahoma Film Icon Award winner. Plus, the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle awarded “Fancy Dance” a Special Citation for Achievement in Oklahoma Independent Filmmaking in its 2023 year-end best-of awards.

Erica Tremblay, left, talks about the “Fancy Dance” scarf that Lily Gladstone is holding during the deadCenter Film Festival’s closing-night screening of “Fancy Dance” at the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 11, 2023.© DOUG HOKE/THE OKLAHOMAN

The Native American drama proved a hit on the film festival circuit, winning more than a dozen awards while showing at major events like BFI London, NewFest: New York’s LGBT Film Festival and South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

In March, “Fancy Dance” screened at the 14th annual Athena Film Festival in New York, where its writer-director received the inaugural Jaya Award, which includes a $10,000 grant and honors an Indigenous filmmaker from North America whose film focuses on a women-centric narrative with a compelling female lead.

Plus, the Sundance Institute recently announced that Tremblay is one of eight storytellers selected for the 2024 Momentum Fellowship, which fosters professional growth for mid-career artists, providing a full-year program of customized support as well as an unrestricted artist grant.

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