Native Nations, Native Voices: The Movie

Gordon Bronitsky g.bronitsky at
Thu Aug 26 03:34:55 UTC 2004

	I wanted to share with you the good news that we are going to create a
documentary film about Native Nations, Native Voices!  This is a
project I have wanted to do since I began thinking about honoring
contemporary Native language writers.  Below is the e-mail I just
received from Rebecca Jo Dakota, who will be the Director of
Photography for the documentary.  We have already asked a Navajo
filmmaker here in Albuquerque to serve as Associate Producer and of
course, we’re hoping she says yes—I’ll let you know.
	I must confess that searching for funds for film projects is a new
experience for me, so I would certainly welcome any suggestions you
might have, either for filming the actual Native Nations, Native Voices
festival or the segments in the writers’ home communities.
	In other news, Jonathan Reyhnman at Northern Arizona University in
Flagstaff has produced several very successful conferences over the
years on the theme of Stabilizing Indigenous Languages.  It is one of
the few annual conferences I know dealing with Native languages so I
asked him recently about attendance.  He told me that about 400-500
people attend the conference each year so that gives some idea of what
might be possible for the festival.  I’ll keep you posted.

Gordon Bronitsky

PS:  I will be in Mongolia September 2-13, as I’m touring the Fernando
Cellicion Traditional Zuni Dancers from New Mexico and Compagnie Solim,
a dance group from Togo (West Africa) to a festival there, so I will
probably only have sporadic access to e-mail at best while I’m there,
should anyone want to contact me (hopefully with funding suggestions).

  Videography and Consulting
  Rebecca Jo Dakota
  rebdakota at

  August 25, 2004

  Gordon Bronitsky, PhD
  Bronitsky and Associates
  3715 La Hacienda Dr NE
  Albuquerque, NM  87110

  Dear Gordon,

  It was great to meet with you and discuss the Native Nations, Native
Voices festival to honor contemporary Native language writers.  I agree
that a documentary film will be essential and I'm delighted to be on
board as the Director of Photography.  This festival of Native language
writers is crucial, timely, huge.  Every language carries its own
truths, insights and values - its own culture.  When languages are not
used, they are lost, and that culture goes, too.  We are on the cusp of
losing many Indigenous languages.

  I can see a documentary film, yes, and also shorts for cultural
workers to use in sustaining indigenous languages and artists, plus
educational pieces for museums such as the National Museum of the
American Indian.

  It is essential that we involve Indigenous people in this creative
process, from concept to production and beyond.  To that end, I
recommend that we immediately engage professionals to join us as
  Associate Producer, Director and/or Scriptwriter (and I'll begin
looking for people who would be interested in working with us).  If we
can find funding, I want to film segments in the writers' home
communities and create an internship in each of the writer's home
communities, as well, as we create the documentary.  This can provide
Indigenous young people in these communities with hands-on experience
and skills in digital filmmaking.   I have considerable experience
working with Native American and other minority youth which I will
bring to bear on this project.  And of course we'll want indigenous
music for the film soundtrack.

  Thank you for this unique opportunity.



  Rebecca Jo Dakota

"A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of
a poet."  Orson Welles

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