Lights, camera, Oscars: Meet the creators decolonizing Hollywood
Originally published on February 7, 2020.
This week, Unreserved is rolling out the red carpet just in time for the Oscars. We'll head to Los Angeles to talk about the push to decolonize Hollywood, from the inside.
Tataviam videographer Timothy Ornelas grew up in Los Angeles, visiting theme parks just like tourists do. But when he found out many of them were built on Indigneous village sites, he started looking at things differently. Now Ornelas wants visitors to consider whose traditional homelands they're standing on while they're waiting in line at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The imagineNATIVE Film Festival is a trailblazing platform for Indigenous filmmakers and storytellers. A few months ago, it became the first and only Indigenous festival to qualify films for the Oscars. Jason Ryle is the executive director of imagineNATIVE and explains what this distinction means for Indigenous filmmakers.
Hollywood might be slow at diversifying who plays leading roles in film, but Navajo photographer Pamela Peters is reimagining Hollywood movies with Indigenous actors in those roles. In her series Real NDNZ Re-Take Hollywood, Peters recreated iconic Hollywood photos, with contemporary Indigenous actors portraying stars like Audrey Hepburn, Elvis Presley and Ava Gardner.
Tonantzin Carmelo is a Tongva actress who has thought a lot about raising the visibility of the Indigenous lands that LA is built upon. She explains what she sees when she looks up into the Hollywood Hills.
We head to the Paramount Studio lot in LA where five Indigenous writers and comics are rewriting the Hollywood story. Sierra Teller Ornelas, who is Navajo, is the showrunner and co-creator of a brand new NBC sitcom called Rutherford Falls. Ornelas is working alongside Tai Leclaire, Tazbah Chavez, Jana Schmieding, and Bobby Wilson. Tune in to learn how their show will pass "the Native Bechdel Test."
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