“Killers of the Flower Moon” actress Lily Gladstone is asking why her feature film “Fancy Dance” still lacks distribution, this in spite of her success in Martin Scorsese’s latest film and critical acclaim for the feature out of the Sundance and SXSW Film Festivals.
TheWrap saw the actress’ speech firsthand. Gladstone, who was given the Performance Award at this year’s IndieWire Honors, praised her work as Molly Burkehart in “Flower Moon” but said during her speech she wanted to talk about another performance that “has been the absolute highlight of my career. The best work I feel like I’ve ever done.”
Gladstone went on to how the film highlighted the story of missing and murdered indigenous women, had “the greatest, most visionary, most committed director of my life.” Many in the audience assumed the actress was talking about Scorsese’s feature until she mentioned the film had no distribution. “Y’all thought I was talking about the other one,” she joked.
Her comments come just days after the film’s director, Erica Tremblay, spoke to TheWrap about her own frustration as to why the film hasn’t found a buyer, even though it stars Gladstone, who is poised to secure an Oscar nomination. “The thing that’s just been toughest is to grapple with is the fact that, if we don’t find the right distribution partner, the film won’t find an audience,” Tremblay told TheWrap. “And, for me, that’s just so sad, because you look at these films that are made on similar topics by non-Native, mostly white, filmmakers, and those find the audience.”
Tremblay, like Gladstone, also said she loved Scorsese’s feature. The issue is the continued mentality that only one film can represent a marginalized community at a time, as well as the continued emphasis on showing Natives in peril. “There’s a real commodification of Native pain and Native trauma,” Tremblay said.
Gladstone herself told TheWrap that she’s more dedicated than ever now to advocacy, and her comments during Wednesday’s event are indicative of it. “Where I’m finding a lot of power, if that’s even the right word, is I’m in a better position to advocate in rooms with people who can affect change immediately,” told TheWrap during a November interview. “I don’t necessarily like the cliché of opening doors. It’s setting the table. There’s a chance to bring community to the table in a way that I haven’t really had the influence to do before. So that’s nice.”
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is in theaters now.