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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 22, 2004 - Issue 113


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SMSC To Host Premier of Movie Black Cloud

by SMSC press release

Actor Rick Schroder's First Time Writing, Directing

Prior Lake, Minnesota - The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will host a premier by invitation only ofthe movie Black Cloud on Saturday, May 8, 2004, at the Shakopee Town Theater. A reception featuring singer Lorrie Church will be held immediately afterwards at Lake Casino Hotel. The movie's website describes it as, "A journey through the passions of a young Navajo who, in his search for his identity, discovers his true self, his destiny, and his dreams."

Actor Rick Schroder, inspired by the true story of the challenges facing Navajo boxer Lowell Babe, wrote the film in only eight weeks. Schroder is known for his roles in The Champ, NYPD, Blue, Silver Spoons, and Scrubs. Black Cloud, an independent film, was also his directorial debut. Wanting the movie to accurately depict modern day life on a Southwestern reservation he had two Native American friends who served as script advisors. The movie was shot in Arizona and in Bahe's dad's gym in the town of Chinle in less than four weeks. With a budget of under $2.1 million the project was funded largely by tribal nations and private Native American investors including members from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

Eddie Spears, Lower Brule Sioux, plays the lead role in the movie. He also appeared in the television mini-series Dream Keeper. Country and western singer Tim McGraw made his acting debut in the film. Oglala Lakota Russell Means (Pocahontas, Last of the Mohicans), Wayne Knight (Seinfeld, Third Rock From The Sun), and Peter Greene (Pulp Fiction) also appear in the film.

Black Cloud won three major awards at the Phoenix Film Festival in April 2004 and has also debuted in Connecticut and Wisconsin. It has not yet been released nationwide.

Singer/songwriter Lorrie Church (Metis/Cree) will perform at the reception after the premier, From the Sweetgrass First Nation Indian Reservation in the province of Saskatchewan Canada, her Indian name is Wepi' Nakwa Mek'Wanak (Grey Feathers). Lorrie has received numerous Saskatchewan Country Music Association awards and has reached the top 40 radio charts nationally. Lorrie has become a respected positive role model in the Native community for her free shows for disadvantaged youth. She has performed at the Mall of America, the SMSC , Annual Pow Wow, and the Native American Music Festival.


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