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“OLDER THAN AMERICA”
Gains Choice Spot for New York Premiere
A Tribal Alliance Production and Georgina Lightning Film
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN’S
2009 FILM + VIDEO FESTIVAL, NEW YORK, NY
Friday, March 27, 2009 @ 7:00pm
Film + Video Center at the
George Gustav Heye Center
One Bowling Green
New York, NY
Native American director/..producer Georgina Lightning is the co-founder and director of Tribal Alliance Productions, and the director of the highly acclaimed independent film “Older than America.” Lightning along with her Tribal Alliance business partner and executive director, Audrey Martinez, teamed up with award winning producer Christine Kunewa Walker (“Foctotum” “Head of State”) to make “Older than America,” which has won 17 awards to date, including “Best Director,” “Excellence in Film Making,” and “Best Feature”.
“Older than America” is the story of a woman’s haunting visions that reveal a Catholic priest’s sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that occurred at a Native American Indian boarding school. It is a contemporary drama about suspense, as “Older than America” delves into the lasting impact of the cultural genocide that occurred at Indian boarding schools across the United States and Canada. Lightning states, the film “covers the root of the problem that caused our Native nation to be in the state that it is in today,” Lighting further says “the film exposes the reality of the murders and violence that happened in the Indian boarding school system.”
Starring: Adam Beach (“Flags of our Fathers” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”), Bradley Cooper (“He’s Just Not That Into You” “Wedding Crashers”), Tantoo Cardinal (“Smoke Signals” “Mothers and Daughters”), Georgina Lightning (“Christmas in the Clouds” “West Wing”) and Wes Studi (“Avatar” “Call of the Wild”).
“Older than America” production credits include: cinematography by Austin native Shane Kelly (“A Scanner Darkly”), production design by Carol Strober (“Staring Out in the Evening”), editing by Michael Miller (“Ghost World”) and an original score by George S. Clinton (“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”). “Older than America” was Executive Produced by Audrey Martinez of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians in Highland, CA, and she received crucial support from her tribe as well as the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to finance the film.
More information about “Older than America” and its creators can be found at http:../../..www...olderthanameric..a.co
VIEW THE TRAILER TO “OLDER THAN AMERICA”
In the 1870s the federal government began taking American Indian children from their families and sending them to off-..reservation boarding schools to "erase and replace" their Indian culture. It wasn’t until 1969 that a government report known as The Kennedy Report, declared Indian education to be a national tragedy.
For the tens of thousands of Indians who went to boarding schools, those years were still largely remembered as a time of abuse and desecration of culture. These events are still shaping American Indian Communities today.
American Indians and Alaska natives have the highest suicide rates in the United States – 70 percent higher than the general population. American Indian and Alaska native youths have the highest rate of suicide of any group in the nation.
Just last month on February 26, 2009, the US Senate Indian Affairs Committee called a hearing in Washington, DC to examine the crisis of youth suicide in the American Indian community. Chairman Cyron Dorgan, (D-ND) brought experts and community leadership together to discuss this urgent and increasing epidemic.
In part, it was statistics like this that inspired Georgina Lightning to make “Older Than America” which she dedicated to her father, George De Jong, who, after years of battling the demons of his boarding school experience, committed suicide. As a means of making sense of the tragedy, and to open a dialogue within and outside of her community, LIghtning was compelled to learn more about her father’s boarding school experiences and bring those stories to the screen. Lightning emphasizes, that “Older Than America “is not just an indictment of the past; the title refers to who we were as a nation before mandatory assimilation transformed our identity and refers to the history and traditions that will empower us to heal and move on.”