This past Saturday was the world premiere of my documentary The Thick Dark Fog at the 36th annual American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. Walter Littlemoon, the subject of the film, and his wife Jane Ridgway were in attendance. A packed house watched the film and then had the opportunity to ask Walter and myself questions afterwards. Also joining us were producer Jonathan Skurnik, composer Kathryn Bostic and wardrobe person and actress Joyce Ferrer. There was a discussion panel on Friday at the S.F. Public Library that was also well-attended and gave all present the chance to speak freely about the boarding school experience. A wider context of the consequences of childhood abuse that was rampant at the schools was provided by the panel and by those in the audience. The boarding school as a safe haven from violent households on the reservation was brought up by an Alaskan Native woman. All in all it was a grand kick-off for the film and once again I want to thank those at the festival for having us and providing a first-class event for our film. Also thank you NAPT for your support and in helping Walter and Jane attend the festival.
When I got the invitation to go to Santa Fe from NAPT to attend the Media For Change Workshop, I thought, “Oh yeah, Santa Fe during Indian Market? Never done that. I’m in.” So along with my girlfriend, Joyce, we arrived that Thursday by plane. The trip was an especially big thrill for Joyce who had never been to New Mexico. I was excited for her as we took the Rail Runner from Albuquerque to Santa Fe because as a photographer I knew she’d have plenty to shoot. Upon arrival into town I hooked up with my friends and fellow filmmakers Sydney Freeland and Julianna Brannum. The four of us drove to the plaza where the action was. We cruised the galleries where we met Bruce Curliss, training manager at Tesuque Pueblo, renowned artist Joanna Bigfeather and fun-guy performance artist James Luna. Friday night in the plaza a group of us were fortunate enough to run into and chat with LaDonna Harris. What a wonderful person.
Friday we all gathered at IAIA to listen to Molly Murphy from Working Films, about 35 of us. Here are the main things I cam away with from the workshop:
My name is Randy Vasquez and the new website for my documentary film about one man's experience in the Indian boarding school is up at www.thickdarkfog.com
Next week, on July 15, my team and I will begin a fundraising campaign on kickstarter.com to raise post-production money in order to deliver the final product to NAPT. Please check out the site and send me your comments and help me spread the word about this important story through email, facebook, twitter, and conversations with your friends and family.