October 11, 2012
Enjoy These Featured Producer Profile Podcasts to Accompany NAPT's October & November Broadcasts on PBS Stations Nationwide
Barking Water's Sterlin Harjo

Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek) is the director of the award-winning film Barking Water. The film is about Frankie (played by Richard Ray Whitman) and Irene (played by Casey Camp-Horinek), "an older couple who's relationship has been on-and-off again for the past 40 years or so," explains Harjo. And, she comes back to visit him one last time to take him home to see his family after she is made aware of his terminal illness, after he becomes hospitalized. A road film, it follows the couple as they drive through Oklahoma visiting family and friends, all the while looking back on their tumultuous relationship.

 

Good Meat's Sam Hurst
Good Meat, a film co-produced by Sam Hurst, captures a glimpse of the obesity epidemic faced by Native Americans today. "Forty percent of the Oglala Lakota people are already struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease," says Hurst. "This is not a marginal issue for them." Part of this statistic--and star of Good Meat--is Beau LeBeau (Oglala Lakota). Le Beau is remembered on the Pine Ridge Reservation as one of the best high school star athletes to ever come out of South Dakota. After years of poor diet options and exercise, LeBeau decides to lose weight by choosing a traditional Indigenous diet centered around buffalo.

GRAB's Billy Luther
GRAB, by award-winning filmmaker Billy Luther (Navajo/Hopi/Laguna Pueblo), takes viewers to a place where outsider cameras are normally prohibited. For the first time in its 300-year-old history, the Laguna Pueblo villages of New Mexico have let video cameras into the community to tell the story of Grab Day--a feast day celebration in honor of their patron saints. The celebration culimates in the Throw--when families flock to the flat, traditional pueblo-style roofs of their homes to shower high-spirited crowds of community members below with bread, water, toys, food, and other gifts. "I wanted to shift people into another very colorful world," Luther said. "Almost make it fairy-tale like."

The Medicine Game's Lukas Korver

Brothers Jeremy and Jerome "Hiana" Thompson grew up in two worlds--two cultures. As members of the Onondaga Nation located a few miles south of Syracuse, NY, the film captures the unique bicultural lives of the Thompson brothers as they prepare to transition from high school to college, all while making a name for themselves as two of the best lacrosse players in America.

 

My Louisiana Love's Monique Verdin & Sharon Linezo Hong

My Louisiana Love, the new documentary by Monique Verdin (Houma) and Sharon Linezo Hong, tells a story of love, loss and life in the wetlands of southeastern Louisiana. Told from Verdin's perspective, the film follows her journey to document the untold story of the Houma people, whose existence and culture have been eroded by years of U.S. government and oil industry intrusion, plus environmental devastation from recent events including Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Racing the Rez's Brian Truglio
Brian Truglio's Racing the Rez, was born from his love for running and his deep connection with the culture of the Navajo and Hopi in Arizona. "I knew that running had a powerful effect on me and I was looking to see if it also had that effect on other young people," Truglio said. The film tells the story of contemporary life on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations through the eyes and legs of boys running high school cross-country for the fiercly competitive rival teams of Tuba City and Chinle.

Smokin' Fish's Luke Griswold-Tergis & Cory Mann
Luke Griswold-Tergis met Cory Mann (Tlingit) while hitchhiking through Alaska--on a sailboat. "Luke and I became friends mainly because he was sleeping on my floor," explains Mann. During his time he spent in Alaska, Griswold-Tergis was struck by the recollection of Alaskan Native peoples' history and traditions, but realized that the knowledge "is endangered, and people to work on preserving it more." As co-producers of the film Smokin' Fish, Griswold-Tergis and Mann explore Tlingit tradition of smoking fish from the perspective of Mann.

Sousa on the Rez's Cathleen O'Connell
Marching bands may not be synonymous with Native American music, but in Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum, filmmaker Cathleen O'Connell uncovers the tradition of Native American marching bands that dates back over a hundred years. The film explores the history of Native American marching bands that began in the 1880s, peaked in the early 1900s, and has since declined. She profiles two of the four remaining bands that still perform today, the Iroquois Indian Band and Fort Mojave Tribal Band.

Standing Bear's Footsteps Christine Lesiak and Princella Parker

Standing Bear's Footsteps, the new historical documentary by Christine Lesiak and Princella Parker (Omaha), tells the story of one of America's original civil rights activists, Ponca Chief Standing Bear.


"The film is about what it means to be a person as told through the life of a Ponca Indian Chief, and his struggle to be free," said Lesiak.


It is the first documentary to tell the story of Standing Bear's life and activism work for Native American rights in America. The film presents his story through historical reenactments, photographs, film footage and interviews.

 
Sun Kissed's Maya Stark & Adi Lavy

In Sun Kissed, the new documentary by Israeli filmmakers Maya Stark and Adi Lavy, Dorey and Yolanda Nez search for the cause of their children's fatal condition--Xeroderma Pigmentosum, or XP for short. XP is a rare, genetic disorder that causes an afflicted person to rapidly develop skin cancer and other ailments from any exposure to sunlight.

The Thick Dark Fog's Randy Vasquez & Jonathan Skurnik
This award-winning documentary from Director/Producer Randy Vasquez and Producer Jonathan Skurnik tells the story of Walter Littlemoon (Lakota), as he confronts the memories and lingering trauma surrounding his experience as a child in a Native American boarding school. Littlemoon's traumatic experience at the boarding school became deeply rooted into his being--causing him great mental and emotional pain well into his adult years. Prior to seeking psychological help, he had a name for his state-of-mind: "The thick dark fog."

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