Native filmaker working on “We Shall Remain” with PBS

Norman, Oklahoma (ICC) 8-08

Native filmmaker Tvli Jacob is making a mark on history.  Jacob is one of many Native artists to contribute to the upcoming PBS series “We Shall Remain,” an ambitious primetime television series and multi-media project that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history. The series is being produced by American Experience for a PBS broadcast in April 2009.

In addition to working with famed director Chris Eyre on one of the episodes, Jacob has been tapped by PBS to teach the Reel Native filmmaking workshops in conjunction with the series. “We are training ordinary Native Americans to tell their own stories. The short films, produced on cell phones and mini-video formats, will be exhibited at film festivals. In fact, two of them have already premiered at the Museum of Modern Art, in New York and will be featured prominently on the extensive “We Shall Remain‚” web site,” says Jacob.

In all, more than forty films from Native Americans from around the country will be produced. “The first workshop in Phoenix produced several provocative and thoughtful personal documentaries, including an experimental meditation on urban life by a Choctaw poet; another from a Pima/Salt River woman who used a tribal payout to create the best-Christmas-ever for her younger brother; and a quirky, profound, and very funny story from a Navajo artist who tells of his unlikely journey out of homelessness to success as a painter and gallery owner.”

The participants of the second Reel Native workshop, which took place in Boston in February 2008, currently are editing their pieces.

The workshop is a 2 day in-class intensive followed by a day of individualized coaching. Participants are then expected to develop their project and tape it within four weeks.  “During that time I stay in contact with folks to solve problems or help with ideas,” Jacob said.  “At the end of four weeks we come back with an editor for a one day in-class session and then individual editing sessions.”

Jacob is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. He also is a partner with Steve Judd in Restless Natives Motion Picture Production Company, known for their hit “American Indian Graffiti.”