Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021


Year: 2018
Country: United States
Run Time: 86 minutes



It’s no secret that the U.S. government’s track record with Native Americans has never been stellar. But you may be unaware of the horrors documented in DAWNLAND. For much of the 20th century, social workers stole Native American children from their homes and placed them with white families. The reasons for their removal were often unfounded; some were the result of cultural differences that non-Native Americans didn’t understand. More troubling is this practice seemed to be part of a systematic move to distance the children from their heritage and erase their culture. They were given new names and forced to act, dress, and talk like white Americans. These methods were an effort to once again wipe Native Americans from our history. DAWNLAND focuses on the recent formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission by the Wabanaki tribes and the state of Maine that aims to help those affected by this atrocity. In this eye-opening documentary, their heartbreaking stories are finally told. But the healing won’t be easy. Though many of the victims are now adults, the painful wounds are still quite fresh. —E.F.

DAWNLAND impact producer Tracy Rector is also the director of the Perspectives VR experience Ch'aak' S'aggi (Eagle Bone).

CIFF42 Screenings

Tower City Cinemas

Friday, April 13, 2018 at 8:30 PM -
Friday, April 13, 2018 at 9:56 PM

Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 1:20 PM -
Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 3:31 PM

Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 9:20 AM -
Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 10:46 AM

Race Relations

Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition

Related Daily Postings
Dawnland: An Eye-Opening Documentary


Adam Mazo, Ben Pender-Cudlip

Adam Mazo and Ben Pender-Cudlip are Boston-based filmmakers who work with the Upstander Project, a documentary production company that helps bystanders become upstanders. Mazo is from Minnesota and graduated from the University of Florida. In 2009 he co-founded the Upstander Project. Pender-Cudlip graduated from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. He has directed over a dozen short documentary films.


Adam Mazo, N. Bruce Duthu

Ben Pender-Cudlip

Kristen Salerno

Film Contact

Community Partner

Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

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