Congratulations to WMM filmmaker Brooke Pepion Swaney for winning two awards at the 22nd Annual Woodstock Film Festival! Swaney (Blackfeet/Salish) won the NYWIFT Award for Best Female Director and received a Special Mention for Best Emerging Filmmaker for her film, a new WMM release, DAUGHTER OF A LOST BIRD.
The film follows Kendra Mylnechuk Potter, a Native woman adopted at birth into a white family, as she sets out to find her birth mother April, also a Native adoptee, and as they then together return to their Lummi homelands in Washington State. Along the way, Kendra reconnects with her Native identity and begins to view herself as a living legacy of U.S. assimilationist policy. The jury awarded Pepion Best Emerging Filmmaker “for the intimacy and depth of [Brooke’s] portrayal of Kendra’s journey” while reckoning that “this nation was formed through the murder and displacement of indigenous peoples.” The full jury statements for both awards can be found here.