PBS Online Film Fest: The Longest Sun

Austin has three locally-made films in the 2nd Annual PBS Online Film Festival. You can vote for the audience award until March 22. Vote at pbs.org/filmfestival

The Longest Sun is a narrative short film inspired by the mythology of the Tewa peoples of northern New Mexico, and is told entirely in the endangered language of Tewa (less than 500 native speakers remain). A blend of fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction, The Longest Sun is a quest story that follows Tahn Pi, a young Tewa boy who sets out on a mythical journey to stop the sun from setting.

As the first film told entirely in the Tewa language, The Longest Sun is the culmination of nearly three years of collaboration with the San Juan, San Idelfonso, Santa Clara, Nambe, and Pojoaque pueblo communities and local governments. From conception to translation, the filmmaker and various Tewa community leaders worked together to document and preserve the oral traditions and language of the Tewa people through the medium of film. Peppered with colorful characters and rich in oral tradition, The Longest Sun explores universal perceptions of time, maturation, and death through a modern adaptation of an ancient Tewa origin story.

About the Filmmaker: Patrick William Smith (MFA in Film Production, UT Austin) works as a director and cinematographer between Austin, TX and Seattle, WA. He has directed a number of award-winning fiction and nonfiction films, web-series, and commercials. His documentary, Shades of The Border, toured at over two dozen film festivals worldwide (including SXSW, Media That Matters), garnering a number of awards and DVD distribution.  Patrick went on to direct a reality web-series for internet mogul, Penny Arcade, and later developed a comedy web-series funded through a successful, front-page crowdsourcing campaign on Kickstarter (Kris and Scott’s, Scott and Kris Show), which drew national media attention. Patrick’s most recent endeavor, a narrative quest film told entirely in the endangered Tewa language, is currently touring festivals worldwide. Looking ahead, Patrick has begun development on his first feature.