indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Jobs at the Bureau of Indian Education
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Native Sun News: Vision Maker Media shares Native stories

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | National
More on: film, native sun news, tv
   

The following story was written and reported by Christina Rose, Native Sun News Associate Editor. All content © Native Sun News.


Vision Maker Media shares Native stories that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives with the world.

So you want to be in the movies....
By Christina Rose
Native Sun News Associate Editor

LINCOLN, NE. - Imagine if all it took to pursue your dream of making movies was to come up with seven written pages. Adrian Baker, producer of the animated series of nine half-hour shows, “Injunuity” did just that. “Whenever I talk to young filmmakers, I tell them I am living proof that six or seven pages can change your life,” he said.

“Injunuity” covers issues such as preserving sacred sites, the environment, health, language preservation and more. “We take information, make the story, then give it an animated background,” Baker said. “I had this project in my head for 10 years,” Baker said. Taking his idea, he wrote out the proposal and applied to Vision Maker Media. He received a “really positive” response, “And it took off from there,” Baker said, admitting that he was not new to the film scene and already had a comprehensive reel of films. “They knew what it would look like, and they wanted to do it. They gave me the initial funding,” he said.

Vision Maker Media is a Native organization that is heavily funded by Public Broadcasting. The group is always looking for provocative and engaging completed films from independent or public television producers. Their goal is to encourage works that address new and current issues reflecting the changing nature of Native American communities.

“We’re particularly interested in programs such as Native American Graduates, Women and Girls who Lead, and Veterans’ Issues,” said Shirley K. Sneve (Sicangu), Vision Maker Media’s executive director.

The group was founded in 1976 by public television managers who wanted to see more diversity in the medium. A consortium was formed so funds could be channeled through Vision Maker Media. “In 1990, we started funding productions and since then we have produced 300 documentaries. We acquire finished work and we also fund everything from research and development to finishing films,” Sneve said.

Besides documentaries, the group is interested in feature films and animation, as well as contemporary stories. “It's been a long time since we've seen a “Smoke Signals,” Sneve said. Historical pieces can be of interest if there is a modern twist. “Standing Bear’s documentary about a lawsuit at the turn of the 20th Century shows his relatives in the film, and how it affected the Ponca today. It is really important to let PBS audiences know we are still here, and we are still interested in our sovereignty and language,” Sneve said.

Sneve said that in their search for films, the group attends a lot of festivals, “And that is how we find some titles,” she said, adding that the stories can run from very positive to really hard. “We have a documentary of video letters from prison. It’s the story of three young girls and their mom and their relationship with their dad in prison, and the video letters shared between them,” Sneve explained.

Sneve said the field is competitive but that good films rise to the top. Because of the caliber of work expected, the producer must have a track record, even if it is a solid student film.

“We do purchase short films,” Sneve said. The company is very dedicated to providing opportunities to the next generation of filmmakers. “We have internships and paid summer jobs. We are offering one in Nebraska, one in Alaska, one in Seattle, North Dakota, San Bernardino, CA, Las Vegas, New Mexico and more.

Blue Tarpalechee, 27, (Muscogee-Creek) from Okmulgee, OK, graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts where he studied film and landed an internship with VMM. He is now working full time for the organization and is producing “Growing Native,” a series of one hour shows in seven parts.

The series travels to seven different regions of Indian country to explore the ways different tribes are addressing food and health issues. “They will explore what they are doing to combat the rising level of disease as well as the return to traditional foods and ways of living. We look at horticulture, games, it takes a broad approach,” Tarpalechee said.

“I am very blessed to have gotten the opportunity to step into this position, which came about through an internship,” he said. “I learned a lot of things by doing backpack journalism, traveling to follow stories throughout Oklahoma, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Nebraska. I worked on my production and reporting skills, learned about editing programs. I did a lot of skill and network building and learned the tools that a journalist needs to tell a good story.”

“Don’t work in isolation,” Sneve advises potential filmmakers. “Shoot, write, edit. It is a collaborative process and you need smart people on your team. Watch lots of documentaries, follow the films you like and meet the filmmakers. Attend film festivals, go to school, and you will learn so much about filmmaking and how to tell a story.”

Students interested in film careers might consider college majors in New Media, journalism, filmmaking, or mass communications, which is the background of the three filmmakers on their full time staff.

Vision Maker Media is always looking for new films. They can be submitted at any time throughout the year but should be high-quality, accurate, authentic and unique enough for national broadcast. Films can include documentary, performance, cultural/public affairs, and animation. For more information regarding eligibility and application procedures, please visit Vision Maker Media online at www.visionmakermedia.org/finished_program_acquisitions. For questions pertaining to the acquisition submission process, contact Assistant Director Georgiana Lee (Navajo) at georgiana.lee@unl.edu.

(Contact Christina Rose at Christinarose.sd@gmail.com)

Copyright permission by Native Sun News


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Steven Newcomb: NMAI should help expose bigotry in Indian law (3/2)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Native sovereignty in a race-based society (3/2)
Joseph Webster: Tribes assert sovereignty over Class II gaming (3/2)
New Mexico lawmakers advance new Class III gaming compact (3/2)
Fort Sill Apache Tribe in court for gaming compact in New Mexico (3/2)
Wrapup from National Congress of American Indians DC meeting (2/27)
Native Sun News: Rapid City leader calls for tax on alcohol sales (2/27)
Mark Trahant: Beautiful trend emerges with power of Native vote (2/27)
Ivan Star: Lakota traditional history tells the true untold stories (2/27)
Audio: House Appropriations Committee hearing on BIA budget (2/27)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee to hold hearing on irrigation bill (2/27)
National Indian Gaming Commission choice gets another hearing (2/27)
Kevin Abourezk: Omaha language advocate passes on at age 58 (2/27)
Gyasi Ross: Yawna Allen shares her Native and African ancestry (2/27)
Frank Hopper: Alaska Native Brotherhood was about resistance (2/27)
Stanley Heller: Don't forget the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado (2/27)
Cherokee Nation chief faces at least four challengers in election (2/27)
BIA and DOJ seek to mediate Cayuga Nation leadership dispute (2/27)
Non-Indians guilty for hunting incidents on Montana reservation (2/27)
Man from Te-Moak Tribe pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter (2/27)
Administrator for Alaska tribe cuts her position out of the budget (2/27)
Opinion: Find common ground on Indian mascots in Connecticut (2/27)
Hannahville Indian Community starts $8M casino expansion work (2/27)
Wilton Rancheria still waiting for BIA movement on casino project (2/27)
Lytton Band paid $4.6M to use land as parking for Class II facility (2/27)
Opinion: Menominee Nation might turn to tokers instead of poker (2/27)
Opinion: Poarch Creeks come with slot machines and marijuana (2/27)
Updates from National Congress of American Indians meet in DC (2/26)
Native Sun News: Rosebud Sioux Tribe leader sidelined by council (2/26)
James Giago Davies: Native activism must embrace all relations (2/26)
Donna Ennis: Obama budget supports tribal self-determination (2/26)
Rich Winter: Let's keep Lakota Nation Invitational in Rapid City (2/26)
Oglala Sioux Tribe wants Lakota Nation Invitational out of Rapid (2/26)
Former Sisseton Wahpeton chairman joins marijuana company (2/26)
Hoopa Valley Tribe places marijuana referendum on April ballot (2/26)
Blog: Firm saves billions by exploiting Native 'loophole' at FCC (2/26)
Klamath Tribes aid investigation into stolen artifacts in Oregon (2/26)
Alaska Native community still waiting on funding for relocation (2/26)
Alaska Native lawmaker in hospital after emergency at capitol (2/26)
Elise Patkotak: Alaska must acknowledge high rate of violence (2/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe waits for decision in recognition lawsuit (2/26)
Muscogee Nation seeks 5000 workers for big casino expansion (2/26)
Little River Band expects wait for $180M off-reservation casino (2/26)
Northern Arapaho Tribe plans to open casino food court in May (2/26)
Cherokee Nation promotes citizen to manager of $80M casino (2/26)
Tribes share nearly $16M in casino revenues with New Mexico (2/26)
Connecticut tribes face threat from casinos in Massachusetts (2/26)
Updates from National Congress of American Indians meeting (2/25)
Native Sun News: Artist Del Iron Cloud wins top award at show (2/25)
Witness List: Senate Indian Affairs Committee budget hearing (2/25)
Steve Russell: Cherokees learned discrimination from colonists (2/25)
Mary Pember: Tlingit masks appraised on 'Antiques Roadshow' (2/25)
Julianne Jennings: Keep talking about race in American history (2/25)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.