While riding the shuttle to a late-night Sundance premiere, I ran into a wonderfully chatty group of people. As we settled into our seats, we started talking about what we were doing at the festival. I mentioned I was a film critic and they revealed they were the crew of the film we were about to see, Fancy Dance. As we pulled into the parking lot of the Eccles theater, they raved about how attentive and caring their director, Erica Tremblay, was.
That personal touch runs rampant through Fancy Dance. Jax, a Native woman taking care of her niece when her sister disappears, loses custody to the child’s white grandparents. Soon she decided to take matters into her own hands and the two ride off to a powwow.
I sat down with Tremblay to talk about the film and learned that the film comes from her own life being raised by Indigenous mother with the fear her white father’s side would come for them. Proud of her mother’s side, Tremblay clung to her identity immersing herself in the language and bringing her culture into her work in her short films and in her writing and director second season of Reservation Dogs.
Check out my interview with Tremblay as we continue the discussion about the wonderful leads Isabel Deroy-Olson and Lily Gladstone.