National Museum of the American Indian

Phil Lucas Videotape Collection, 1977-2006

Collection ID:
Lucas, Phil, 1942-2007
Phil Lucas Productions
Physical Description:
710 Items
312 Betacams, 135 BetacamSPs, 146 Umatics, 50 1inch open reels, 39 MiniDVs, 9 16 mms, 6 DVCams 3 Digibetas 3 16 mm mag tracks 1 2 inch quad, 1 D2, 1 Video8, 2 archival boxes of production materials
The Phil Lucas collection contains film and video from Lucas's prolific career as a Native American filmaker. Spanning from the late 1970's until 2006, this collection mostly contains videotapes of various formats as well as a small amount of film and manuscript material.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Phil Lucas Collection consists of recordings made by Phil Lucas Productions, Inc. These include Umatic, Betacam, Digital Betacam, DVCam, MiniDV, 1-inch Type C, and 2-inch Quad video formats, as well as 16mm and 16mm mag-track motion picture film. The collection also includes one archival box of containing related production materials from Looking Good, Walking with Grandfather, Hamilton's Quest, and other works, and ten floppy disks, and a notebook of production materials from Restoring the Sacred Circle.

This collection is arranged into seventy series, based on specific productions or bodies of work. Some series are further divided into subseries. The series are arranged alphabetically with the miscellaneous videos and manuscript material at the end of the collection.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Phil Lucas (Choctaw) is known as a leading Native American filmmaker, and has over 100 films to his credit, playing the roles of writer, director, producer, actor, and cultural content advisor. Born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1942, Lucas was a musician in New York in the early 1960's before attending Western Washington University in 1967, graduating in 1970 with his degree in visual communications. In 1980, he formed Phil Lucas Productions, beginning a prolific film career.
Lucas's films have been honored with multiple awards and honored at several film festivals. Images of Indians, a five-part PBS series hosted by Will Sampson that explores Indian stereotypes portrayed in Hollywood westerns, won the Special Achievement Award in Documentary Film in 1980 from the American Indian Film Institute, and the Prix Italia Award in 1981. His documentaries Allan Houser/Haozous: The Lifetime Works of an American Master, an hour-long documentary on the life and work of Apache artist Allan Houser, and The Honour of All, a two part documentary on the successful rehabilitation from alcoholism by the Alkali Lake Band of British Columbia, were both official selections of the Sundance Film Festival's Native Forum in 1999, where he was also honored for his body of work. The Houser documentary was also awarded the Best Documentary Award at the Santa Fe Film Festival, the Taos Mountain Award at the Taos Talking Pictures Film Festival in 1999, and the Red Earth Film Festival's Best Long-Form Documentary award in 1998. In 1993, American Indian Dance Theatre: Dances for the New Generation, a one-hour documentary part of WNET's Great Performances Series, won the Red Earth Film Festival's "Best of Show" award, and received a National Emmy nomination. The following year, Lucas directed a two-hour episode of the three-part The Native American Series for Turner Broadcasting System, which was awarded the National Emmy for Series. In 1999, Lucas was given the Taos Mountain Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Taos Talking Picture Festival.
His other awards include Best Animated Short Subject Award from the American Indian Film Institute for The Great Wolf and Little Mouse Sister and Walking with Grandfather (1984), Best Short Documentary from the Two Rivers Film Festival for I'm Not Afraid of Me (1990), Best Long Documentary from the Two Rivers Film Festival for Voyage of Rediscovery (1990), Best of Festival Award from the Dream Speakers International Film Festival for Story Tellers of the Pacific (1996), and Best Public Service Award from the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco for Restoring the Sacred Circle (2002).
In addition to his success as a producer and a director of documentaries, Lucas also worked as a producer, writer, advisor, and actor for several television and stage productions. In 1984 he co-wrote Night of the First Americans, a stage presentation by the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, which was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 1993, he co-produced Broken Chain, a feature-length film for Turner Network Television based on the history of the Iroquois Confederacy starring Graham Green, Buffy St. Marie, and Pierce Brosnan, a film which he also appeared in as an actor in the role of Iroquois Sachem. He also served as an advisor of cultural content on television shows such as MacGyver and Northern Exposure, on which he appeared in small roles in the early 1990's.
Lucas also taught throughout much of his career. He has taught at the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation in Seattle, WA; the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM, where he also served as the head of the Department of Communication Arts; the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada; and Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, WA, where he was the driving force in coordinating an American Indian Film Festival in 2003, and continued to teach until his death in 2007.

Camille Tyndall
Custodial History
This collection was the property of Phil Lucas Productions in Issaquah, Washington, prior to being donated to the National Museum of the American Indian through the Phil Lucas estate.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Mrs. Mary Lou Lucas in 2010.
Processing Information
Processed by Camille Tyndall, summer intern in August, 2011.

Using the Collection
Additional Preservation of film required.
Conditions Governing Use
Researchers must contact copyright holders directly for permission to reproduce published materials. The National Museum of the American Indian cannot grant permission to use or reproduce copyrighted materials.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is closed to researchers until the films have been digitized.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Indians in motion pictures -- Social conditions Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indian motion picture producers and directors -- United States Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lucas, Mary Lou, Mrs. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland, Maryland 20746-2863