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TAC Festival On The Road


Bring the world's best archaeological and cultural heritage films to your venue!



Welcome to TAC Festival On the Road!  This film series features eight of the top films from the 2013 edition of The Archaeology Channel International Film and Video Festival, one of the world’s leading juried competitions for films relating to archaeology and cultural heritage, and the only juried international festival of this kind located in the Western Hemisphere.  It attracts worldwide attention among film makers and distributors.



TAC Festival On the Road is a turnkey film festival package designed to be delivered as a package to organizations for use at their local venues.  Its content is updated annually following each edition of TAC Festival.  TAC Festival 2013, which took place May 7-11 in Eugene, Oregon, received 79 film entries from 22 countries and selected the top 18 films for screening and for the competition.



The Festival mission is to exhibit for its audience the wonderful diversity of human cultures past and present in the exploration of our place in history and our world and to promote the genre and the makers of film productions about archaeology and indigenous peoples.  Growing in popularity and influence since its inception in 2003, TAC Festival is a showcase for a wide variety of film categories and styles.  This is a way to bring people the human story and to create for them a positive and memorable experience focused on cultural legacy.



Each of the following two-hour programs is a package that you can select for your event.  Each film description concludes with a summary of awards given for that film from TAC Festival 2013.  Each title is a hot link to a page with further information that includes a clip you can watch.


Program A:


Lost Cities of the Amazon (USA) 50 min.

 The Amazon is the largest tropical rain forest on the planet, seemingly untouched by man until the Twentieth Century.  But today, science is peeling back the canopy to reveal an untold history, one in which great swathes of the dense jungle were once gardens and farms, successfully managed by a huge and organized civilization.  This new evidence leads one wonder if the old legends of lost cities might be based in truth.  This film reconstructs conquistador Francesco de Orellana’s epic journey in search of the mythical city of gold: El Dorado.  Today, archaeologist Eduardo Neves has found more than a hundred ancient sites in the central Amazon and, with the aid of satellite photographs, archaeologist Professor Michael Heckenerger has unveiled a complex of huge villages.  This ancient society lived in a way similar to that of the Kuikuro tribe living in the area today. (Honorable Mention by Jury for Cinematography and for Inspiration)




Mysteries of the Ancient Architects (USA) 52 min.

 Beginning over 2000 years ago, enormous Glossary Link earthworks were built along Ohio’s Scioto River, all constructed on a grand scale with intriguing precision.  Many were designed as combinations of giant geometric squares, circles, and octagons.  Amazingly, the earthworks seem to adhere to a master architectural design, the earthen signature of a bygone culture. We will never know what these people called themselves, but today the ancient builders are known to archaeologists as the Hopewell Culture.  These people had neither towns nor villages.  But they did have big ideas and advanced understandings of geometry and astronomy to carry them out.  The mysteries persist.  Yet, here, we find a tantalizing glimpse into a way of life that resulted in monuments of earth that challenge the imagination. (Best Animation and Effects by Jury; Honorable Mention by Jury for Public Education Value and for Cinematography)



Program B:


I Remember, I Believe (USA) 33 min.

 I Remember, I Believe tells the story of the Avondale Burial Place, an African-American burial ground discovered by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) during planning for the Sardis Church Road Extension Project.  The trauma found on the bones, the large number of infant and children burials, and the protective charm artifacts found with the bodies tell a story of the difficulties of tenant life.  All are evidence of their hardships.  I Remember, I Believe looks at the history of African-American tenancy and the Great Migration through the legacy of an archaeological site and 101 burials and visually describes a descendant community’s discovery of their past. (Best Script and Best Music by Jury; Honorable Mention by Jury in Best Film competition and for Public Education Value, Cinematography, and Inspiration)




Mi Chacra (My Land) (Peru) 100 min.

 A young indigenous Peruvian man and his wife and son have farmed most of their lives in a small village in the mountains above the Sacred Valley.  Like many, he believes that life in the city would be better than his village life.  At sixteen, he left for the city, but when his father died, had to return to his village to work and care for his family.  Now he has a young son of his own and, like his father, desires to see his son study in the city and become something more than he has become.  Interwoven with the complex history of a people, this story paints a vivid picture of this man's life, the conflict between his love of the land and the work he has learned from his father, and the desire to see his son living what he sees as a better life in the city. (Honorable Mention by Jury for Animation and Effects)



Program C:


Ethiopia: In the Footsteps of the First Christians (France) 53 min.

 Northern Ethiopia is the birthplace of Ethiopian Christianity, a religion practiced by almost half of the country’s 80 million people.  In the northern province of Tigray lies a remote territory dedicated completely to the monastic life, the Waldeba.  The Waldeba is home to about a thousand monks and hermits that lead secluded lives of abstinence, fasting and prayer.  For these religious people, dying in Waldeba is the way to gain direct access to heaven.  In this film, the first documentary on the region, François Le Cadre goes to Waldeba to observe the religious practices of the monks and learn about Saint Samuel, the founder of the most important regional monastery called “the land of the monks.” (Best Cinematography by Jury; Honorable Mention by Jury in Best Film competition and for Narration, Public Educatiion Value, Script, and Music)




6 Generations (USA) 57 min.

 Ernestine De Soto is a Chumash Native American whose mother, Mary Yee, was the last speaker of her native Barbareño language.  In 6 Generations, she tells her family history, reaching back to the days when the Spanish made first contact in Santa Barbara.  Famous anthropologist John Peabody Harrington, whose work focused on native peoples of California, started research with her family in 1913 and continued with three generations for nearly 50 years.  This inspired Ernestine's mother to begin taking notes and, combined with mission records (which survived intact from the late 1700s), they form the heart of this story.  The impact of loss of land, language, culture, and life itself is made all the more clear as this story is told in Native American voices describing the events as they experienced them.  Ultimately, it is a story of survival and the fierce endurance of Ernestine's ancestors, particularly the women. (Honorable Mention by jury in Best Film competition and for Narration, Public Education Value, Script, Music, and Inspiration; Special Mention by Jury for increasing the awareness of the ethnographic record; Honorable Mention in Audience Favorite competition)



Program D:

  MG 4105

Unburying the Past (Malaysia) 46 min.

 Malaysia’s archaeological heritage stretches back more than a million years.  This ancient culture has attracted world attention in exhibitions abroad and in the media for the last two decades.  Sites all over the country have revealed their ancient secrets, providing important evidence on Malaysia’s earliest habitation sites.  This documentary explores Malaysia’s most important sites and their link to the rest of the world.  It showcases Southeast Asia’s oldest nearly complete Paleolithic human skeleton, the iconic Perak Man, whose discovery also has caught the attention of medical archaeology as probably the earliest example of a congenital deformity.  It also demonstrates how Malaysia has been connected over thousands of miles and thousands of years with other cultures in south and east Asia and the Pacific. (Best Narration and Best Public Education Value by Jury; Honorable Mention by Jury in Best Film competition and for Animation and Effects; Honorable Mention in Audience Favorite competition)




The 2000 Year Old Computer (UK) 59 min.

 More than a hundred years ago, sponge divers found an extraordinary mechanism at the bottom of the sea near the island of Antikythera.  It astonished the international community of experts on the ancient world.  Was it an astrolabe?  Was it a mechanical model of the solar system?  An astronomical clock?  Or something else?  This film tells the extraordinary story of how, more than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks built a computer.  A scientific detective investigation set against the glories of a classical Greece, The 2000 Year Old Computer follows a mysterious trail of numbers to solve the puzzle of the spectacular Antikythera Mechanism. (Best Film and Most Inpirational Film by jury; Honorable Mention by jury for Animation and Effects, Script, and Cinematography; Special Mention by jury for best representation of archaeology; Audience Favorite Film)





TAC Festival On the Road comprises four two-hour programs that you can show separately or in any combination.  You can show the programs in any order on your own schedule.  Festival Director Rick Pettigrew is available by arrangement to introduce screenings.


Our price structure is as follows:


$400 per program (approximately two hours long, with two films)
$1600 for the entire On the Road package of eight films (four programs)


We share these proceeds with the film makers as part of our mission to support the genre.


Our services include:

- DVD on loan to you for each film
- Background and promotional information for TAC Festival On the Road
- Background and promotional information for each title
- Promotional still images for each title
- Preview footage for each title on DVD
- A guide for conducting the event


Supporting resources include preview clips for all the films available for free viewing on TAC through our Web site links (see the title links above).


For more information, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.