PAIGE BETHMANN (HAUDENOSAUNEE)
Paige is a director/producer based in Reno, Nevada. Over the last 10 years, Paige has worked in non-fiction television for various digital and broadcast networks such as Vox Media, Facebook, Youtube Originals, USA and NBC. Her latest project, Emmy nominated series ‘Glad You Asked’ centered around issues of racial injustice and premiered in July of 2021. Paige is currently a Logan Non-Fiction Fellow and 2022 PGA Create fellow. Her debut feature film, ‘Remaining Native,’ has also been supported by the IDA Logan Elevate Grant and the Tracksmith Fellowship. A graduate of Ithaca College, Paige has a bachelor’s degree in Film, Television, and Radio from the Park School of Communications. Remaining Native will be her directorial debut.
When I started this project, I thought I could gain support from the media structures where I built my career. Even with years of industry experience, time and time again, pitch after pitch, my ideas for telling stories about Indigenous peoples were overlooked. The pervasive lack of awareness of modern Indigenous peoples, a symptom of systemic erasure tactics- often dismissed the importance of telling stories like Ku’s and Frank’s. That is why I made a radical decision and left my job of six years to pursue this project independently to ensure this story gets told across all of Turtle Island with the cinematic quality, care, and reverence it deserves. For me, as an Indigenous director and producer, Remaining Native created a responsibility to both maintain a historical legacy of culture and tradition and to educate all people about that legacy and how it exists today.
This film emerges during a time when Indigenous children are still being discovered in unmarked graves at former boarding school institutions as I type. The time for this story is now and is well overdue.
Throughout the filmmaking process, I’ve thought back to my grandmother, the storyteller. I remember as a child being in awe of her ability to recall every vivid detail of her stories. When I asked her how she remembered these stories without a book, she smiled and said, “when stories are passed down they remain in the heart, not the head. And I always remember what’s in my heart.” For me, this work is personal and challenging, but stories like Ku’s that are rich, three-dimensional, respectful and engaging are the stories that are in my heart. These are the stories I want to pass on to others.
BILLY MILLS (OGLALA LAKOTA , SIOUX)
Born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota) is an Olympic Gold Medalist and National Spokesperson of Running Strong for American Indian Youth, a national non-profit organization he co-founded in 1986. After his Olympic victory in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics in the 10,000 meter race, Billy co-founded Running Strong as a way to give back to the Native community that raised and empowered him. Billy travels to tribal communities across the country encouraging Native youth to follow their dreams and harness the power of their cultural values to impact the world.