June 25, 2009

DIY films by OYBMedia

Outta Your Backpack Media--a mouse that roars

Flagstaff youth project attracting national attention

By S.J. Wilson
"If you don't like the news you hear, create your own." This is the premise behind the Outta Your Backpack Media project. Outta Your Backpack is the brainchild of Klee Benally and a group of high school students, founded in 2004 as a project of the nonprofit Indigenous Action Media.

"Outta Your Backpack Media was started because of the interest of young people wanting to express themselves in a positive way, especially in recognition that the mainstream press doesn't leave much room for youth and indigenous people," Benally explained.

OYBM's most recent victory was at the 2009 National Museum of the American Indian's Film and Video Festival, screening three films, Save the Peaks: Sacred Sites March, Stick Mania, and Graffiti: Art or Vandalism.
More on their films:Deidre Peaches and her group produced a music video featuring a graffiti artist, a hobo and someone who witnessed the tagging of "Bob." Peaches explained at the screening of the film that the group had also interviewed participants in the downtown mural project, and that when finished the film will include the positive side of graffiti artists and their work.

An incredibly beautiful film depicting a young boy's fantasy of being a pirate was also screened by filmmaker Donovan Seschillie, who took care of lighting for the film.

Sheepcamp tells the story of a young Navajo boy living in Flagstaff who enjoys spending time talking to his Cheii about his life on the reservation. One afternoon the boy sits in a park, snacking on canned lunchmeat and drawing his grandfather and his sheep-and amazingly the cartoon sheep come to life.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.

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