Katherine (K’iya) Wilson
Native Film Students Produce Prequel
April has been an incredible month for Elderberry Wisdom Farm's Film Training down here in Eugene at the University of Oregon. Even with all the distractions of our student's final days planning their 55th Annual UO Mother's Day Pow-wow; their Midterms; organizing the Take Back the Night program this week; and some of them even navigating Graduation, they worked with me to submit our film training's creative research video (a Prequel for their upcoming UO Pow-wow film) to the UO Undergraduate Research Symposium.
We screened our film prior to a Longhouse event, and got a standing ovation from other Native students. We now have 10 students signed up to film the U of O Mother’s Day Pow-wow on May 13, including our four student leaders.
We also worked with Professor Mitchell Block to get letters of recommendation for one of our students for the Undergrad Research SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Award), as well as for one of our students who qualified for the FRYE (First Year Research Experience) award scholarships while they attend his documentary film camp this summer.
The co-professor of the doc camp, Rebecca Cammisa, then told us about an event here on campus she highly recommended we attend, and we were so glad we did! The event was a screening of Oregon Native Filmmakers supported by the Sundance Film Institute's Indigenous Program. Our students were able to network with other award-winning Native Youth as well as the head of UO's Cinema Studies Department, other Professors, as well as Sundance Director Adam Piron, who is a member of the Sundance Film Festival’s Short Film Programming Team and the Sundance Institute Director of the program for Native Youth. Together, we learned how Piron’s curation of film festivals and community building is amplifying new filmmakers’ voices. We are so inspired!