Jury Names Best Film in Native American Documentary Challenge

 In Contests, Winners

Audience Awards announces United By Water by Derrick LaMere as the Grand Jury Prize winner in the Native American Documentary Challange.

The grand jury prize was decided on by The Native American Documentary Challenge jury panel, championed by Native American filmmaker and actor, Forrest Goodluck best know for appearing in the award-winning epic, The Revenant; First Nations Of Canada film and television actress, Kawennahere Devery Jacobs who debuted in the leading role in the award-winning feature film, Rhymes for Young Ghouls; and Native American filmmaker, Shaandiin Tome, alumna of the 2016 Sundance Full Circle Fellowship.

Native American Doc Challenge Jury Panel

The Native American Doc Challenge jury panel from left to right; Forrest Goodluck, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, Shaandiin Tome.

United By Water by Derrick LaMere follows the 5 tribes of the Upper Columbia River as they unite on the water in traditional canoes for the first time since the Grand Coulee Dam flooded their traditional waterways 76 years ago. This film contains archival footage from the last Salmon Ceremony in 1940 when the tribes of the upper Columbia River last united on their traditional waterways at Kettle Falls. It also features footage from the tribes reuniting on the water in 2016 at Kettle Falls for the first time in 76 years. The film is narrated by Sherman Alexie. LaMere is a Native American Filmmaker from Spokane Washington by way of the Colville Indian Reservation. His grand jury prize consists of $1,000 and a FilmStro soundtrack license.

The announcement was officially made directly following the premiere of the eight Native American Documentary Challenge films at the 15th annual Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, MT. LaMere was in attendance and joined fellow NADC filmmakers, Deidra Peaches, Protect and Anthony Florez, Generations in a Q & A following the screening. Florez’s film, Generations was selected by the jury as the Runner Up-Honorable Mention Film in the challenge.

Native American Doc Challenge Filmmakers at Big Sky Doc Film Festival

The photograph on the left was taken during the filmmaker Q&A at the NADC premiere at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. From left to right; Deidra Peaches, Derrick LaMere, and Anthony Florez. The photograph on the right was taken at BSDFF Audience Awards party. Derrick LaMere spoke about his film, United By Water.

The eight finalists in this year’s Native American Documentary Challenge are Florence Pelletier,QAMANIQ; Jack Kohler, Hinowu Hand Games; Anthony Florez, Generations; JJ Neepin, Headdress; Erin Lau, Ka Pua; Deidra Peaches, Protect; Michael Redhouse, Turquoise; and Derrick LaMere, United By Water. The films are due to screen at the Vision Maker Film Festival in April 2018 and at AudFest in June 2018. Audience Awards voting for all eight films will run April 4-10, 2018 where the most voted film will win $500 and a FilmStro soundtrack license.

The goal of this challenge is to accelerate Native American filmmakers’ careers.

ABOUT AUDIENCE AWARDS: Audience Awards provides filmmakers the opportunity to change the world through stories, win prizes and build an audience. Films are judged by the audience as well as industry professionals. Previous jurors represent Vice, YouTube, Variety, Sundance and the list goes on. We are committed to providing a stage for diverse, emerging talent and their creative work. Our platform is dedicated to celebrating the power of storytelling and building an audience. Created by filmmakers, for filmmakers, Audience Awards offers an invaluable platform for exposure. Our filmmakers don’t just gain exposure – like press and social media engagement – but also opportunities to accelerate their careers.

ABOUT BIG SKY DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL: The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is the premier venue for non-fiction film in the American West. Big Sky offers an ideal setting for filmmakers to premiere new work and develop lasting relationships with fellow filmmakers and industry. The festival draws an audience of 20,000 and film entries from every corner of the globe to a uniquely intimate mountain town setting with a local Montana flavor.

ABOUT VISION MAKER FILM FESTIVAL: Vision Maker Media empowers and engages Native People to tell stories and envisions a world changed and healed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate. The biennial Vision Maker Film Festival is set for April 20-26, 2018.

ABOUT AUDIENCE AWARDS FILM FESTIVAL: Your days at AudFest will be filled with invaluable industry panels and workshops, your nights filled with screenings, networking parties and awards ceremonies. AudFest is the capstone of 365 days full of stellar filmmaking and an opportunity for us to provide opportunity and exposure to our filmmaker family. We play with cameras, gear, learn from industry experts, get mentored by industry execs. We award three pioneer filmmakers and screen your amazing films. Everyone who submits to this festival receives a pass to attend AudFest!

For more industry news, happenings, and filmmaking opportunities visit: audnews.com

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