Start your engines, we got a new episode of… Indie Beat!
Our guest is Terry Jones, a rising Native American filmmaker based in upstate New York.
Jones enrolled in the film program at Syracuse University in 2012 and composed a number of film projects there with collaborator Govind Deecee. Since graduating in 2016 the pair have toured around the world with their movies and even scored the rare distribution deal for their short films.
The majority of Jones’ work explores his Native American identity; he uses the documentary form to capture their customs and culture while inserting various other elements as a foil. “Empire State” exhibits an elderly man skinning vegetables as the television in front of him blares various news items — the political undercurrent within is evident yet powerful. “Soup For My Brother” is similar to the principal action being the preparation of food, but this time for a loved one. The chef is a middle-aged Native American and we sit with him as he intimately details stories of his youth and the personal history of the land he’s currently on, thumbing through photographs and quietly speaking of loss and regret. For more info on Tery or to stream his films, click here.
I spoke with Terry about his ambitions as a filmmaker, the political nature of his movies, being a Native American director, and working with very little resources.