- By Kelsey Turner
IllumiNative, The Black List and the Sundance Institute announced eight finalists for the 2022 Indigenous Screenwriters List on Tuesday morning. Launched two years ago, the Indigenous List features some of the most promising film and television scripts written by Indigenous artists, providing them a platform to showcase their scripts and connect with other storytellers in the industry.
“The Indigenous List provides an intimate look at the depth of talent and power of Native creatives in the entertainment industry,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and executive director of IllumiNative, in a Sundance Institute news release. “These Indigenous writers are leading the way and showing the power of Native authored stories.”
The 2022 screenwriters will have the opportunity to meet with four Indigenous creatives, including the Sundance Indigenous Program’s producer and former director Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), critically-acclaimed actor and director Michael Greyeyes (Nêhiyaw-Plains Cree), showrunner and co-creator of Rutherford Falls Sierra Teller Ornelas (Navajo), and showrunner and co-creator of Reservation Dogs Sterlin Harjo (Seminole Creek/Muscogee Creek).
The 2022 Indigenous List screenwriters and their scripts include:
Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire (Kanien’kehá:ka) with How to Deal with Systemic Racism in the Afterlife
Logline: Lyle Westman is dead and over it. When he discovers he has to spend 1400 years haunting in redface, he decides to strike back at the systemic problems plaguing the afterlife.
Alex Nystrom (Ojibwe) with Between
Logline: On a mysterious sinking island off the coast of Louisiana, home to a tight-knit Native community, a compulsive man finds himself up against untold tribal secrets, disappearing children, and the unearthing of a repressed traumatic past.
Logline: What do you do when your ex writes a song about you and becomes the biggest popstar in the world? If you kidnap your best friend, steal a horse, and crash Good Morning America to confront her were on your breakup bingo card, then you win!
Maya Rose Dittloff (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA Nation)c/ Amskapi Pijkuni) with Sweetness of the Blood
Logline: Rose Home Gun returns to her childhood home on the Blackfeet Reservation when ghosts of the past rise to threaten her reality — and her sanity.
W.A.W. Parker (Northern Cheyenne) with The Baron
Logline: Love is a battlefield when a brash, flamboyant, gay Prussian military commander runs into his ex at Valley Forge after he’s hired by George Washington to whip the fledgling American Army into shape during the darkest days of the Revolutionary War.
Brian Bahe (Tohono O’odham) with Decolonize
Logline: When the United States is given back to Indigenous people, two self-involved millennials are forced into a leadership role they didn’t sign up for.
Neil Tinkham (Chamorro) with The Taotaomona
Logline: A child of divorce goes on a hunt to capture a mythical creature that lives in the jungle, serendipitously bringing his family closer in the process.
Kathryn Machi (Cherokee) with June Rose
Logline: In San Francisco in the late 1960s, a housewife and mother of three teenagers belatedly discovers her Cherokee heritage and defies her conservative husband — and her Cherokee father — to join the Red Power and feminist movements.
Learn more about The Indigenous List at https://illuminatives.org/the-future-is-indigenous/
More Stories Like ThisChickasaw Graham Roland’s AMC Classic "Dark Winds" Renewed
Q&A: Native Filmmaker Erica Tremblay on Her Debut Feature Film, 'Fancy Dance'
++ILLUMINATE++ Brings Indigenous Dance, Song and Fashion to Center of Contemporary Art in Santa Fe
Native Actress Lily Gladstone Wins SAG Best Actress Award on Saturday Night
Here's What's Going in Indian Country, February 23rd —29th
Native Perspective. Native Voices. Native News.
We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers. We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.