The roots of the American Indian Film Festival stretch back to 1975 when the first American Indian Film Festival was presented in Seattle by the late Michael Smith (Fort Peck Sioux). In 1977, he relocated the festival to San Francisco where it found its permanent home. AIFI was incorporated in 1979, with the late Will Sampson (One Flew Over the Cuckcoo’s Nest) among its founding members. Today AIFI is the major presenter of Native American media arts in California, and the festival is the world’s oldest and most recognized international film exposition dedicated to Native American cinematic achievements. AIFI encourages Indian and non-Indian filmmakers to bring to the broader media culture of Native voices, viewpoints and stories that have been historically excluded from mainstream media; to develop Indian and non-Indian audience for this work; to advocate for authentic visual and workforce representation for Indians in the media; and open up opportunities for native Americans to enter the workforce of the creative economy.