Ariz. - As a youngster growing up in Nenahnezad, N.M., Larry Blackhorse
Lowe would act out scenes from "Conan the Barbarian" and
where it all started," Lowe, 25, said of his career in film
now Lowe has made the big leap from student filmmaker to Sundance
Film Festival honoree.
an eight-minute film written and directed by Lowe, was selected
to be screened in the Indigenous Films category at the festival
held in Park City, Utah Jan. 15 to 25.
festival screens cutting-edge independent films and documentaries
from around the world. When the festival is over, awards are given
to directors at the Sundance Film Festival Awards as chosen by a
jury and an audience vote.
is one of the biggest and most well-known festivals in America.
If you're there you know you've made it to the top," Lowe said.
"So it feels good to know that I'm in that company."
of the films that have been screened at Sundance in the past include,
"Reservoir Dogs," "Hoop Dreams," "Memento,"
"The Blair Witch Project," "In the Bedroom,"
"The Good Girl" and "Thirteen."
will be screened with 15 other films in the Indigenous Films category
including "49?" by Coeur d'Alene author Sherman Alexie
and "Two Cars, One Night" by Taika Waititi.
said being chosen for Sundance is an honor considering that he made
the film while he was a student in the film department at Scottsdale
Community College. Lowe was the first student filmmaker from SCC's
film program department to make it to Sundance.
said he's also proud that "Shush" beat out other works
from rival film programs at Arizona State University and University
of California-Los Angeles.
he remains especially proud that he's the only Navajo director in
the film program who made it to Sundance.
pretty cool because most of my crew tends to be on the brown side,"
Lowe said. He said most minorities in the program do well but to
achieve an honor like Sundance has its merits.
Lowe was attending SCC, he started his own production company, Blackhorse
Films, and has decided to pursue film fulltime.
"All I needed to learn about were the tools needed for making
films," Lowe said.
production company is based out of his home in Mesa. Currently Lowe
is producing a documentary about Native American artists and their
his films, Lowe said he captures the reality of Navajo people and
stays away from cliché films about Native Americans. Lowe
said he wrote the screenplay for "Shush" with that in
mind by showing contemporary native people involved with real world
problems such as domestic violence.
is about an urban Indian family whose daughter is in an abusive
relationship and whose brother, "Shush," takes matters
in his own hands to protect the family.
Keefee, 22, of the San Carlos Apache Nation, plays the lead role.
a movie piece that I've always wanted to do and it's also a character
I've wanted to play for a long time," Keefee said of his lead
role. He said that his character's strong emotions play out well
in the film and can relate to those extremes.
Navajo cast members said they are honored to be a part of "Shush"
and the Sundance nomination.
Silentwalker, 27, originally from Chinle, said this has been the
biggest project he's done since he began acting a couple of years
don't think there is a word big enough to express how I happy I
feel," Silentwalker said. "Being in Sundance is big and
to be in something like this is amazing."
said that being in a Sundance film will help his career with future
film roles. He has had three other roles in independent films and
has done a commercial for the fast-food chain Whataburger.
Begay, 27, originally from Window Rock, portrayed Terry in the film.
Begay is also studying film at SCC and said it's important to get
more Native American directors in the film industry.
need them out there because it's important to portray the truth
about native people," Begay said. She said that "Shush"
does this well.
think it's awesome. Larry is an up and coming director, though he
can be controversial, but anything coming from the heart is good,"
Begay said, referring to some of the violent scenes in "Shush."
said that's what makes his films stand out from the norm.
is a reality, as it is for all people, but it's good to show Navajo
people as regular human beings because they suffer through the same
emotions as everyone else," Lowe said. "We're not all
feathers, flutes and fry bread. We are a modern people with traditional
values set in a modern world."
get more information on "Shush" e-mail email@example.com
or call 602-326-3764. For more information about Sundance Film Festival
head to www.sundance.org.