The Good Earth State Park at Blood Run Visitors Center film “Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City", produced by Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, won seven awards at the 2018 Archaeology Channel International Film Festival (TACFF) held in Eugene, Oregon May 3-6.
"Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City" presents the story of the Good Earth/Blood Run historical and cultural site as told by a fictional Native American grandfather to his grandchildren. The Good Earth city was an important Native-American trading center for pipestone, bison hides, and culture. It was home to 6,000-10,000 Omaha, Ponca, Ioway and Otoe people at its peak in 1650--the largest city in what is now the United States.
“Out of the 800 submissions, the festival accepted 176 films from 45 countries, and in the end selected just 30 films for the competition,” said Rick Pettigrew, executive director of the Archaeological Legacy Institute, based in Eugene, Oregon. “This year’s crop of films is the best group we have ever assembled, and possibly the finest lineup of cultural heritage films ever put together anywhere.”
"Good Earth" -- a 20-minute documentary produced for Good Earth State Park at Blood Run in Sioux Falls -- was chosen "because it's a super film," Mr. Pettigrew said. "It had to be in order to compete with the huge array of competing films. We've had films from Fourth Wall before; they're a quality shop. It's quite an honor for them to come out in the top 30 films."
“Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City” received seven awards during the film festival’s gala awards ceremony: Best Narration (by Omaha Tribe of Nebraska member George McCauly); Honorable Mention by Jury in Best Film Competition; Honorable Mention (1st runner-up) by Jury for Inspiration; Honorable Mention (1st runner-up) by Jury for Script; Honorable Mention (1st runner-up) by Jury for Public Education Value; Honorable Mention by Jury for Animation & Effects; Honorable Mention by Jury for Music.
The film project received consulation from tribal representatives of the Ioway tribes (Lance Foster, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska THPO/artist/writer; Eagle McClellan, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma THPO), Omaha (Thomas Parker, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska THPO, and Marisa Miakonda Cummings), Ponca (Shannon Wright and Randy Teboe, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska THPO) and Otoe (Elsie Whitehorn, Otoe-Missouria Tribe THPO), and archaeologist, Des Moines-based Dale Henning, who says the area is the most important and interesting site he's ever worked on.
Ioway artist Reuben Ironhorse-Kent shapes pipestone during a scene in "Good Earth".
Reuben Ironhorse-Kent, a tribal member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, portrayed an Ioway artist in the film, and created pottery in the Oneota style for the project. He also consulted actors on pottery-making and contributed music and did an on-camera interview for the film.
Ioway tribal elder Pete Fee, Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, portrayed an Ioway trader in the film, and provided an on-camera interview.
Native American actors, and other actors, from Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota were cast in the film.
Fourth Wall Films was chosen by the state to produce the film for a state-of-the-art theater in South Dakota's newest state park. Filming for the documentary took place on Good Earth/Blood Run sites in Sioux Falls and Lyon County, Iowa; and other sites in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. "Good Earth" premiered at the Visitors Center in May 2017 during the park’s grand opening.
The award-winning team of "Good Earth" includes: Kevin Railsback (Filmmaking Naturally) was the nature director of photography; Chris Ryder, re-enactment director of photography/visual effects; Melinda Carriker, period wardrobe/props and set designer, and Irma White assisted with period wardrobe; Kimberly Kurtenbach was the casting director and served as assistant director; Lora Adams served as contemporary wardrobe supervisor and assistant director; Jon Van Allen was the film's gaffer; Angelique Verver was the South Dakota hair and make-up artist and Sara Wegener was the Iowa/Illinois hair/make-up artist; Michael Kopriva was production assistant and sound; Delshay Webster, Jr. was production assistant intern. Computer animation was created by the award-winning team at Grasshorse Studios under the direction of Kathy Buxton and Steve Jennings.
The Archaeology Channel is a streaming media website brought to you by Archaeological Legacy Institute. ALI is a nonprofit organization devoted to nurturing and bringing attention to the human cultural heritage, by using media in the most efficient and effective ways possible.
TACFF attracts filmmakers and archaeologists from around the globe to participate in one of only two juried competitions in this hemisphere, and one of the leading events of its kind in the world.
Fourth Wall Films is an Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois. Fourth Wall Films focuses on telling Midwestern stories through historical documentary films that reach viewers via PBS broadcasts, theaters, film festivals, national DVD release and online streaming.