Oglala Lakota Sweeps AIHEC Film Competition

Aug 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 18-1: The Winding Road to Student Success, Tribal College News

The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Student Congress initiated the First Annual Film Competition in Green Bay, WI, last spring. From among 13 entries, the Oglala Lakota College’s (OLC, Kyle, SD) TV Production program students captured the three top awards.

OLC TV Production program is in its second year of existence. Kathy Aplan, program director since January 2005, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from University of South Dakota and has worked in television specializing in production and copy writing.

She states, “It has been exciting – recording elders and getting them archived. It is nice for the students to capture what life is like, rather than having others come in to do the same.” Out of seven students in the program, six of them entered the AIHEC film competition.

The OLC students walked away with first, second, and third place in a people’s choice vote. First place was Brandon Ferguson with his first video production “War Ponies” (Ferguson is currently finishing his second production “Rez Dogs”); second place was Tony Brave with “A Lakota Elder: Marie Randall”; third place went to Amber Montileaux for “Cecilia,” an interview with elder Cecilia Hernandez Montgomery.

The program prepares students for production positions in documentary storytelling and in small entrepreneurship production businesses and for work with broadcast and cable companies or with projects that routinely come to the Pine Ridge Reservation.

In past years, many production companies and filmmakers from other places have found a wealth of stories on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Through the TV Production Program, students at Oglala Lakota College can now start telling their own community and cultural stories, but most importantly they can tell the stories from their own perspectives, according to Aplan.

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