How sharper than a serpents tooth
Russell Bates - Walking Bear -2

The Russell Bates Indigenous Peoples Screenwriters Award

by Leslie Owen @simeyowen and Troy P. Bernier @troybernier  

The Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival is proud to recognize two productions for the Russell Bates Indigenous Peoples Screenwriters Award. This award will be given annually to a screenwriter, director, or cast member of a submitted/nominated screenplay/film who is a member of the worldwide community of Indigenous Peoples.

By furthering the memory and the work of Kiowa writer Russell Bates, we will continue to recognize Indigenous contributions of fantastic themed content.  

Russell Bates was the first Native American writer to win an Emmy Award for the 1974 episode of Star Trek The Animated Adventures, “How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth.”

The Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival is an experience. Not only for the attendee but the filmmaker too. We meticulously select films that represent the very essence of science fiction. As a result of our internationally recognized founders, we receive a considerable amount of films and screenplays from dozens of countries each year.

Sign up to our newsletter for release information and other Sci-Fi news.

2021 Winners

Season Eight was truly remarkable.  We had a considerable number of entries that fit the Russell Bates award. 

Looking Glass –  After his father was murdered Benjamin Looking Glass II, a young Native American man, builds a time machine using modern science and ancient knowledge in an attempt to bring his father back but ultimately discovers his true purpose in creation. – (Read more).

Parallel Minds – In the near future, technology firm Red-Eye is on the verge of developing a revolutionary contact lens that records human sight to replicate memories. The device uses an artificially engineered intelligence known as U.R.M. When the company’s lead researcher is strangely murdered at the time of the technology’s release, Thomas Elliot (Greg Bryk), an old-fashioned police detective investigates with intrepid researcher Margo Elson (Tommie Amber Pirie) who are drawn into searching deeper to apprehend the elusive digital shapeshifter.  Both soon are terrifyingly threatened by memories of their past the deeper they continue to seek in uncovering what this dangerous artificial intelligence is trying to consume – (Read More).

The Girl on the Moon – The year is 2069. Aboriginal Australian girl Luna, the only child ever born on the Moon, yearns to travel to Earth but her weak Moonling body would never survive there. At least that’s what her mother has always told her … – (Read More).

Each film illustrates indigenous artistic and cultural messages. 

Parallel Minds

Interview coming soon..

Looking Glass

Interview with Ginew Benton

Interview coming soon. . .

2020 Winners

In 2020, we recognize the short film Brolga, (Australia) and the feature film Blood Quantum, (Canada). Brolga is about a ravaged future-Australia, a solitary hermit guarding a priceless treasure is forced to offer sanctuary to a young girl who is fleeing murderous scavengers. With danger around every corner, can they learn to survive together? (ReadMore) Blood Quantum is a story about the dead who are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gMaq reserve of Red Crow. One exception is for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague.  

Both films illustrate indigenous artistic and cultural messages. 

Brolga is still in its festival run, but reachable via youtube and facebook. Blood Quantum picked up distribution while screening at the Boston SciFi Festival.  It has been available since May 2020 via, catch it with friends, it’s a very social film too.  


Interview coming soon..

Blood Quantum

Tribbles and Trilobites Episode 0303/0304 Part Part One and Two – Star Trek or Star Wars – The story, evidence, and madness.

Listen to Russell Bates in these Tribbles and Trilobites Episodes 0303/0304 part one and two, your co-hosts are Troy Bernier and Leslie Owen.  The title for today’s topic is Star Trek or Star Wars – The story, evidence, and madness.  A considerable background is covered with our guests Robert Meyer Burnett, Russell Bates, Dr. George Gonzalez, Johan Albrechtsen, Steve Wise, and James Cole. You are going to enjoy this one.


Please enter your information below to subscribe to our mailing list and get all the awesome news.

    To Attend, Sign up below now!