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  • By K'iya Wilson

Film Students Working on Their Final Edits

Activities surrounding our being selected for the Klamath Independent Film Festival kept our students busy the first week or so of September. We were interviewed on Zoom by the Board Chair of the Festival because he was fascinated by our subject matter and had a lot of questions. That interview was uploaded to Eventive where our film was streaming for their festival.


They allowed us last minute edits, and we were able to add the 16 MM footage one of our volunteer film professionals helped shoot of the University of Oregon Grand Entry to the Mother’s Day Powwow, as well as songs written by our UO Music Major student Kimo. His film: A History and Evolution of Native Music also needed to be finished by the time Fall term started, so we focused on finishing that film as well, with his narration.


Kimo narrates his film in K’iya’s truck as the Longhouse was mostly closed in August and September.
Kimo narrates his film in K’iya’s truck as the Longhouse was mostly closed in August and September.

Princess, another one of our students just finished learning how to edit, and is next in line for where Kimo’s film currently is, called the “Sound Sweetening” stage; where we balance the levels and edit out as much background noise as we can. Academy Award Producer Mitchell Block (now a Professor of Documentary Production at the UO) taught the students at our Doc Film Camp that editing is the greatest teacher of how to be a filmmaker; because you have to fix all your errors in post—whether lighting or sound levels—and that can really make or break a film, and that is where we are right now. In the meantime, we have dispersed all of the film equipment among the students, encouraging them to keep filming their culture’s stories. Jordon had great plans for making his short into a full length documentary film, (as many of us at the Longhouse shot stills or footage for him) but he had to put that on hold for the opportunity of a lifetime—as a Mark Hatfield Fellow working for 10 months with Senator Ron Wyden in Washington DC.


Our fourth student, Anais, just started her edit, and found she needs to do one more interview. We are busy juggling these various stages to get them ready for exhibiting in November. However, Jordon’s film is being shown in Klamath Falls for “Indigenous Day” at the Ross Raglund Theater in October as well. We are also anxiously waiting to hear whether we have been selected at the Tulalip Film Festival north of Seattle. That was an amazing honor—that they reached out to Elderberry Wisdom to ask us to submit it!


Anais storyboards her film.
Anais storyboards her film.

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