The Navajo Times reported on “The Return of Navajo Boy”‘s premiere screening at The Sundance Film Festival in January, 2000:
The private screening room was darker and smaller than most public theaters. But the sounds of people quietly crying clearly showed that “The Return of Navajo Boy” penetrated their hearts. And as soon as the credits started rolling to signal the end of The Return of Navajo Boy, applause filled the room. A standing ovation was given to the stars, who had to be coaxed to the front of the room by the co-directors, which was highly unusual behavior. Most of the actors and actresses attending their premier shows at the internationally renown annual Sundance Film Festival scrambled for attention.
But there was no rivalry among the stars of The Return of Navajo Boy because they were family. And so it was surprise that the cast photo included the brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren of Elsie Cly of Monument Valley. The group, which included executive producer Bill Kennedy, co-producers Jeff Spitz of Chicago, Ill., and Bennie Klain of Tuba City and flutist Douglas Spotted Eagle, filled the stage. The audience immediately stood up and applauded. Throughout the showing of the Return of Navajo Boy, the crowd displayed its emotions, either through laughter, clapping, whistling and even tears.
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