Roscoe Pond - A Man of Many Talents
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Portland State University in Oregon and was a member of the Daystar Dance Company from 1990 to 1998. Pond is a radio commentator for Native Voice, a production coordinator and skilled cameraman, an Internet Entertainment columnist and above all the producer and creator of the American Indian LA Film and Television Awards because he wanted to recognize American Indian performances in independent film and television that would otherwise might go unnoticed.
Pond was not only surprised at the people all over the world who sent in their votes and comments by phone and the Internet for their film choices, he was equally amazed by the reaction of not only locally based American Indians but also of those who voted from remote reservations across the country.
The audience favorite was “Nate and The Colonel” which won the best feature film award. It was written up on Native Unity several months ago in an article featuring Native actor Lee Whitestar, a very special friend of mine. Roscoe wrote me that Nate and the Colonel was selected as No. 29 out of the 30 Best Native films. The top 20 are listed below.
“Hollywood did take notice of the American Indian if only for a glimpse throughout the 1990’s.” Pond’s words from a 2002 article in “Canku Ota” – Many Paths - an Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America. In the story entitled, “Hollywood Diversity for the American Indian,” Pond further states, “Yet, it only encouraged that image and did very little to change it. By the end of the decade, only Independent films became the voice for modern Indians.
“’Dances With Wolves’ in 1990 opened many doors for us whether we want to believe it or not. We became visible to the world for the first time as a good, decent race. That film won seven Academy Awards and a place in history of Indians as seen through the eyes of a non-Indian.
“By the end of the decade Independent films came to the forefront with ‘Smoke Signals’ in 1998. That film kicked off a frenzy of Independent productions that were made by Indians. With Independent films we have come a long way with portraying American Indians in a positive light,” Pond concluded, “but we still have a long way to go. The road to diversity for the American Indian in Hollywood is a battle that will continue long into the future.”
Pond submitted selections from four online newspapers for the 20 Best Native Films.
1. Grand Avenue – Inner city urban Indian drama that deals with the struggle to hold onto dying traditions.
2. I Heard The Owl Call My Name – A legend of the Northwest Indians that if you hear an owl call your name you will soon die.
3. Smoke Signals – Two boyhood friends have to forgive no matter the abuse or neglect.
4. Dances With Wolves – To live among the Sioux people that roam the Great Plains.
5. Pow Wow Highway – Two Montana Indians take a road trip to Santa Fe to find there are Indians more lost than they are.
6. Legends Of The Fall – Brad Pit could not control the grizzly spirit that lived next to his soul.
7. I Will Fight No More Forever – Young Chief Joseph and the plight of the Nez Perce is dramatized.
8. The Emerald Forest – A father searches for his only son for ten years after he was kidnapped by Indians.
9. The Doe Boy – Growing up a half-breed Cherokee isn’t easy.
10. The Last of The Mohicans – The tragic love story between Uncas and a white slave girl.
11. Running Brave – The biography of Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills.
12. The Dark Wind – Gary Farmer has a wonderful supporting role as the tribal cop who befriends Jim Chee.
13. Windwalker – The degree of spirituality needed to bring twin sons back together after one is kidnapped by an enemy tribe.
14. Little Big Man – (My all-time favorite) Chief Dan George will be remembered forever in the role of Grandfather.
15. Dreamkeeper – Blackfeet story of a son who cannot let go of his father who died years earlier.
16. Thunderheart – A first rate Native mystery that echoes back to the siege at Wounded Knee.
17. Windtalkers – WWII saga of the Navajo Codetalkers.
18. Skins – Tormented Vietnam Veteran on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
19. Fish Hawk – Story of a raging alcoholic who passes down his knowledge of life and wisdom to a white boy.
20. Black Robe – The path of a Catholic priest whose mission is to convert Tribes to the church.
Got a special favorite to add to the list, email your selection to Roscoe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"THE NEW WORLD" FEATURE FILM OPEN CASTING CALL AT RICHMOND VA - Friday June 11th and Saturday June 12th from 10 AM to 7 PM at The Shops at Willow Lane, Willow Lane Drive and West Broad Street. - "The New World" will be conducting an open casting call for extras and day-players. NA flute players, dancers and archers are being sought. See story below!
NATIVE UNITY - A place for Native American Peoples to solidify their tribes to make a positive impact on the cultural, social, economic and political fabric of American society and a place for non-Natives to better understand the ways of the American Indian.
NATIONAL VOICE, a coalition of non-profit and community groups working to maximize the impact of voter groups, has set up a Native Voter listserve to inform about Native voting projects, training opportunities, funding and breaking news throughout
To learn more about National Voice - http://nationalvoice.org.
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Alyssa Burhans, Organizing Director for Native America and Young Voters at National Voice.