DOCUMENTARY FEATURE FILMS
Essence of Healing: The Journey of American Indian Nurses (57 min, USA)
Directed by Loretta Heuer and Candace Muggerud
Produced by Juan Thomas, Matt Foster and Mike Watson
Written by Greg Kasowski and Jane Greer
This film showcases the lives of 14 nurses who live and work in the Upper Great Plains. While their lives and stories are different, they all share a common theme—their past life experiences and American Indian heritage have made them extraordinary healers.
The Mayors of Shiprock (56 min 45 sec, USA)
Directed by Ramona Emerson
Produced by Kelly Byars and Ramona Emerson
Written by Ramona Emerson and Fernanda Rossi
In the small town of Shiprock, New Mexico a group of young Navajo leaders work to bring hope and change into their once thriving community. Every Monday the young leaders meet to decide hoe they will help their community. For over seven years, the Northern Dine Youth Committee has worked to give youth opportunities to directly make changes within their community. But while the NDYC works to make changes, many members also consider their own futures, commitments to family and the world outside of Shiprock. While they love their community, they all must consider their options both on and off the reservation. https://themayorsofshiprock.weebly.com
More Than A Word (70 min, USA)
Directed and Produced by Kenn and John Little
More Than A Word analyzes the Washington football team and their use of the derogatory term R*dskins. Using interviews from both those in favor of changing the name and those against, More Than A Word presents a deeper analysis of the many issues surrounding the Washington team name. More Than A Word also examines the history of Native American mascots and cultural appropriation.
Defending the Fire (56 min 46 sec, USA)
Directed by David Aubrey
Produced by Pamela Pierce, Lisa Lucas, Matthew Martinez, Jhane Myers, and Maura Dhu Studi
Written by Mara Dhu Studi
Defending the Fire follows the journey of the Native Warrior as he (and she) continue conflict resolution in order to survive and secure resources and culture. The answer to “Why Fight” requires a complex look at the truth through decades of stereotypes and misperceptions. To Protect and Defend—the cohesive thread that connections generations and tribes.
Your Way Back to Me (60 min, USA)
Directed by Alexandra Dietz
Written and Produced by Hannah Sheridan
Hannah Sheridan is half Cheyenne and half Kiowa, born in El Reno, Oklahoma. On the night of her high school graduation she saw a Navy recruitment commercial and joined the next day, despite the fact that she was a lesbian in the era of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” Ten years later, after the deaths of her father and grandmother and her recent discharge from the Navy, Hannah returns to her Native-American community to fulfill her role in the mourning rituals that honor her deceased relatives and to try to find her place again within her culture and family.
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILMS (under 25’)
School Days (16 min, USA)
Directed by Cheo Tyehimba Taylor
Produced by Game Changers Films
Tribal leaders and parents rise up to seek equity for students at neglected school on the Yurok reservation in Del Norte County, CA, and in the process shed light on the history and generational trauma inflicted by Indian boarding schools in the region.
Old Harbor, New Hope (15 min, USA)
Written, Directed and Produced by Joshua Branstetter
Western control suppressed Alutiq language and culture for centuries. Today, only 400 people in the world speak Alutiq, 60 of them reside in Old Harbor, Alaska. This is the story of the first Alutiq dance festival. Produced in collaboration with the Old Harbor Alliance, and shot on location in Old Harbor, AK during the A Time to Dance Again-Dance Festival, ‘Old Harbor, New Hope’ captures the efforts of the Alutiq people to save their language, culture and children.
Carry the Flag (28 min, Australia)
Directed by Danielle MacLean
Co-Produced by Danielle MacLean, Anna Grieve, and Bernard Namok
Co-Written by Danielle MacLean and Bernard Namok
In 2017, it is the 25th anniversary of the Torres Strait Flag. For Bernard Namok Jr., ‘Bala B’ the flag is a poignant reminder of home, family and the father he hardly knew. Bernard Namok Sr. won the flag design competition in 1992 but a year later, at just 31 years, he died leaving behind his wife with four young children. Journey across the Torres Straits with Bala B to honor his father’s legacy and witness a rich and powerful story of a man whose design created meaning for a people once invisible to mainland Australia, the people of the Torres Strait.
Water Warriors (22 min, Canada)
Directed and Produced by Michael Premo
Co-Produced by Storyline Media in association with Working Films, Dillon Colucci and Rachel Falcone
Water Warriors is a short film and multimedia photo exhibition about one community’s resistance against seemingly insurmountable odds.
In 2013, Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada to begin seismic testing to determine the extent of the region’s recoverable natural gas. The area is known for its forestry, farming and fishing industries, which are both commercial and small-scale subsistence operations that poor rural communities depend on. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors—including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white anglophone families—set up a series of road blockades, sometimes on fire, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling; they elected a new government and won an indefinites moratorium on fracking in the province that was announced in May 2016.
People of the Standing Stone: The Oneida Nation, The War of Independence, and The Making of America (25 min, USA)
Written and Directed by Ric Burns
Narrated by Kevin Costner
Narrated by Academy Award Winner Kevin Costner, and directed by Emmy Award Winner Ric Burns, People of the Standing Stone explores the little known, yet crucial history of the extraordinary contributions of one Native American people—the Oneidas—who during the darkest hours of the Revolutionary War became the only member of the Six Nation Iroquois Confederacy to side with the rebelling colonists. This powerful and sweeping film, is a moving and unique cinematic experience that sheds light on an American story that has gone shamefully overlooked in the annals of American history.
Tribal Radio (20 min 35 sec, USA)
Directed by Sean Owen
Produced by Sheila Naneato
There are over 35 tribal radio stations scattered throughout the U.S. on Native American reservations that serve their local communities. They provide a source of traditional music, announcements of ceremonies, community news, personal messages, weather warnings, local sports events, and national native news. These stations are often manned by a few professionals and volunteers operating on a shoe string budget that is dependent upon fundraising and grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“Tribal Radio” tells the story of the KSUT radio station located on the Southern Ute reservation, of the four corners region, in Ignacio Colorado. Through glimpses into the operations of KSUT tribal radio and its unique connection to the community, tribal activities, and ceremonies (like the Bear Dance and Sundance) it illuminates the value and significance of Native radio stations throughout the country.
NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS
ᎠᏴᏓᏆᎶᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎧᏖᎾ (8 min 50sec, USA)
Directed and Produced by Joseph Lewis Erb
Communicated entirely in the Cherokee language (with English subtitles), this animated narrative short depicts a very old Cherokee Nation story. Long ago, two boys feed a small starving snake. The snake grows up to be a large Uktena that fights Thunder.
Pouri (6 min, USA)
Narrative Short (Student Project)
Directed and Written by Shaun Dikilato
Produced and Edited by Nich Perez
Pōuri, meaning ‘sadness, regret or remorse’ in the Māori language, tells a heartwarming story about a son and his mother, and the love and culture that bind them. The son, Logan, performs a powerful Haka, the traditional Māori war dance, as he remembers his mother, Nuku, and the wounds of their past.
Clear (15 min, USA)
Narrative Fiction, Short
Directed, Writen and Produced by Maya Washington
Co-Produced by Samantha Manalang and Tina Nagata Barr
CLEAR follows Ember Bearheart Johnson’s first day at home after a 16-year prison sentence for a crime she didn’t commit. Reuniting with her daughter (who was an infant at the time she was incarcerated) is bittersweet as she uncovers how her family’s lives have gone on without her all these years. Through fictional narrative, CLEAR illuminates a common struggle for exonerees—namely, that coming together is easy but picking up the pieces is a whole other thing.
The opinions expressed in these films do not necessarily reflect the views of the One Nation Film Festival. All films selected and shown are Unrated (UR).