January 19, 2009

Native masseuse's Bigfoot film

Amateur Native Filmmakers Gain a Voice in ReelNative Film Project

Project Part of American Experience’s We Shall Remain Mini-SeriesAs a 20-year-old masseuse from Apache, Okla., Clarissa Archilta is used to working with her hands. But when a friend asked her to apply for a special project that aids amateur Native American filmmakers in producing their own short film, Archilta wasn't sure she wanted to do it because although she had helped her friend a little with filming, she's never created a whole movie before. Her friend kept prodding her, though, because he knew she had a good story to tell. About a year and a half ago, Archilta and her sister saw Bigfoot, the huge ape-like creature that has been legend in Oklahoma.

"When me and my sister were coming home from my aunt's funeral…I decided to go on the back roads hoping that we could talk because we were both upset about the funeral. I was joking around that we should get our camera phones out because we might see Bigfoot. Then there it was on the side of the road as we got closer," Archilta said. "It saw us and then it took two steps across the road and it was gone."

The experience has compelled Archilta to share her story often, although she knows she has her disbelievers. And now Archilta is putting her story on film with the help of the long-running history series on PBS, American Experience. The unique project is part of the debut of American Experience's newest mini-series, We Shall Remain, an exploration of 300 years of Native American history in America slated to air in April.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.

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