Titan Film Series to Present Visiting Author’s Film, Smoke Signals

September 20, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University’s Titan Film Series will present the film Smoke Signals, by American Indian author Sherman Alexie, on Monday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington).

The event, which is free and open to the public, will coincide with Alexie’s presence in Bloomington as the guest of honor at Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State Universities’ 4th Annual Ames/Milner Visiting Author Program on Oct. 4, 2005.

Released in 1998, Smoke Signals is the first feature-length film written, directed and acted completely by American Indians. 

The film, which is based on Alexie’s collection of short stories, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, tells the story of Thomas and Victor, two teenage Coeur d’Alene Indians, who travel from their reservation in Idaho to Pheonix to retrieve the ashes of Victor’s estranged father. 

Alexie was raised on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, Wash., approximately 50 miles from Spokane, Wash.  Before undertaking the adaptation of his short story into the screenplay for Smoke Signals, Alexie also published poetry and novels, as well as performing readings and stand-up comedy.  His work, often semi-autobiographical, reflects his experience growing up on an Indian reservation in the United States.

Smoke Signals is rated PG-13.  For more information, contact Illinois Wesleyan’s Office of Student Activities (OSA) at (309) 556-3850 or browse the OSA Web site: http://titan.iwu.edu/~studact/.

Contact: Rebecca Welzenbach, (309) 556-3181