Film Makers at the Taos Teen Media Conference

Miranda July and Student. Photo by Tania Casselle.

Teens Take Taos with Miranda July
Report and photos by Tania Casselle for Release Print Magazine.

“So, what do you want to film today?” asked video maker David Wilson to a quartet of teenagers, laden with cameras and mikes. How students from Massachusetts, California, and all points between went hands-on with indie film gurus Miranda July, Art Jones, and Mindy Faber in the Taos Teen Media Conference.

Release Print is the magazine of the Film Arts Foundation based in San Francisco, now part of the San Francisco Film Society.

Review of Taos Mountain Film Festival (for Film Festival Channel TV)

Adrenaline Junkies in a Mañana Town
Festival review and visitor guide to Taos for Film Festival Channel TV.

There comes a moment at the Taos Mountain Film Festival when you start feeling like a wimp if you haven’t hurled yourself over a cliff recently, kayaked the Orinoco, or out-skied an avalanche.

The festival focuses on films with a wilderness theme – mountains, rivers, deserts, and rainforests – and the many ways in which humans challenge themselves in the most daunting environments on earth, whether for sport, exploration, or the preservation of the natural world. This leads to much awe-inspiring footage from remote locations most of us will never see, and edge-of-the-seat moments as you wonder how the devil they’ll get out of this one. (You can rest assured that the cameraman survived – he’s doing a Q&A session later.)

Read the print story that accompanied my filmed segment for TV, by producer and writer Tania Casselle.

Movie Director Chris Eyre Exposes the Heart and Muscle beneath ‘Skins’

Movie fans awaiting the follow-up to director Chris Eyre’s hit feature Smoke Signals will not be disappointed by Skins. Filmed on location at the Pine Ridge Reservation, Skins tells the story of Rudy Yellow Lodge (Eric Schweig), a reservation cop whose job includes regular encounters with his unruly but endearing brother Mogie (Graham Greene). The climax of Skins presents a breathtaking moment of defiance at Mount Rushmore, involving a one-on-one showdown between Rudy Yellow Lodge and George Washington.

“Skins is a very patriotic movie,” says Chris Eyre. “Rudy as a trickster is making a statement. He’s counting coup. Patriotism isn’t about waving a flag. It’s about exercising your right to challenge, to question and improve and to open up dialogues about ways to make this country better.”

Read my full interview with Chris Eyre for Indian Country Today.

Images of Indians in Film: The Good, The Bad, and The Stereotype (for Indian Country Today)

“Those teepees need Viagra,”said comedian Drew Lacapa. He was watching an old black and white movie where a circle of whooping Indians hopped around Buster Keaton, tied to a stake in the center of a fire. “Do you know that dance?”

Story by Tania Casselle on images of Indians in film, and two movie premieres: Chris Eyre’s Skins and Sherman Alexie’s The Business of Fancydancing. Read the full article at Indian Country Today.