May 28, 2011

Ho-Chunk Players make short films

Now Playing:  For a group of young Ho-Chunk filmmakers, movies are about having fun while learning to make a film in their native language

By Craig SpychallaIn the summer of 2008, Sherman Funmaker joined an established theater group at the Ho-Chunk House of Wellness formed by Chuck Davis, and together they helped create the Ho-Chunk Players. It's a filmmaking/theater group that has completed 20 short projects so far with a small feature on the horizon.

"What we want to do is a feature that's all in Ho-Chunk language with subtitles. It would be like 15 to 20 minutes long. A dramedy. That's our goal," said Funmaker, who started writing screenplays and doing film himself before heading to the University of New Mexico in 2007 to work on a media arts degree. When he returned, he wanted to give something back to Ho-Chunk youth.

"I just volunteered. And they gave me a couple hours and we started doing these short films."

Their first project was a scene of an actress trying to interview for a part. It wasn't scripted, but has had almost 1,000 hits on YouTube.
Comment:  For more on young Native filmmakers, see Rising Stars in Native Animation and The Rocket Boy at Sundance.

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