The Coyote Way: (Going) Back Home is a short sci‐fi/docu-narritive film about a young boy named Charlie, who must make a life changing decision to join a Native street gang or begin an epic pilgrimage that will reveal the truth of his existence.
Coyote The Trickster
Coyote represents the deepest darkness that lives within. He is the spirit that rides on the wilds of our dreams, unfurled by the wind. He is the laughter and the joy of new life.
Trickster stories are some of the most popular and important cultural teachings In Native American stories, today and yesterday. Coyote's escapades have been passed down from generation to generation by elders and story tellers, each story giving him renewed life in imaginations and dreams. He is an illusionist and shape shifter, who has the ability to transform into a man, animal or spirit. Coyote's adventures communicate both the successes and missteps of humanity, giving us the answers that we seek when we are afraid, when we have lost our way, or when we are seeking wisdom to keep us in alignment with the natural world.
In 2012, the Concept Trailer was released in, to help gain visibility and support for production. Fortunately, in 2014 The Coyote Way: Going Back Home project selection by The Sundance Native Lab/ Fellowship to help further develop the concept, story and script. This was the spark that was needed to make Coyote come alive. Later that year with support from Jerome Foundation and Tiwahe Foundation helped move the film into production.
In September of 2015, production commenced with a stellar cast and crew and wrapped principal photography in October of 2015.
This project promises to break new ground with it’s unique cinematic style and add to the cultural conversation about the urban Native experience.
Writer, Director, & Producer
Missy Whiteman, (Northern Arapahoe & Kickapoo Nations) grew up in Minneapolis, MN where early experiences in the Native Arts community helped her to develop as a young artist. Her artist father Ernest Whiteman taught the importance of the visionary process and to see the world though an artists eye.
As a teenager, Missy attended the Minnesota Center for Arts education where her artistic and healing creative process were first developed. She later attended the Minneapolis College for Art and Design for Filmmaking and photography where she continued developed her skills as a media artist and filmmaker.
Today, in her films, she incorporates, Indigenous languages, teachings and values, as a means of documentation, revitalization and preservation. To date, Missy's work has screened for audiences ranging from intertribal reservations, local urban venues such as The Walker Art Center, nationally at the National Geographic All Roads Festival and internationally in Bilbao Spain.
Director Of Photography
Darren Alexander Cole, has worked on a diverse spectrum of projects, including touring with P.Diddy, developing music videos for Rick Ross, interviewing the likes of Noam Chomsky and Justin Bieber and producing commercial work for Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nike Jordan and many others. Darren is currently working on completing his MFA at Massachusetts College of Art and Design while focusing on creating short, feature films, painting and performance art.
Jonathan Thunder (painter, digital media artist) is a painter and digital media artist currently residing in Duluth, Minnesota. He has attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics from the Art Institutes International Minnesota. His work has been featured in many state, regional, and national exhibitions, as well as in local and international publications.
Louis Whiteman belongs to the Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo Nations and is 12 years old. He has been in film and voice talent in film and video, since the young age of 3 years old. Along side his acting talents, Louis also creates videos and Vines, dances b-boy, grass dance and hip-hop styles, and loves to play basket ball.
Lumhe Micco Sampson, Seneca/Mvskoke Creek born in California, a resident of the entire Turtle Island (N. America). As an actor, he has been acting since childhood in several films, music videos, and TV shows, such as Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, Geronimo, and Through the Window.
Lumhe has also been dancing since his first steps; with over 28yrs of classical experience in PowWow, he has become a world renowned Hoop dancer and is also a part of U.S.A.'s first entirely indigenous contemporary dance company, Dancing Earth Creations. Specializing in the art of Hoop Dance, Lumhe uses his skills and talent as a tool to bring enlightenment to the subject of indigenous peoples, as well as contemporary knowledge.
R. Vincent Moniz Jr. is an enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation of Fort Berthold North Dakota, R. Vincent Moniz Jr. (NuEta) is an emerging voice hailing from the Philips neighborhood of south Minneapolis. Vincent has been a part of the Twin Cities artistic community for over two decades as an actor, but has only shared his poetry a handful of times. Most recently he performed as part of Equilibrium: Spoken Word at the Loft and performs though out The Twin Cities.
Isabella Star LaBlanc is an 18 year old Sisseton Whapeton Dakota actress based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 2006 Isabella has been involved in over a dozen onstage and on-camera productions in the Twin Cities. She has had the pleasure of working with an array of wonderful theaters including Steppingstone Theater, New Native Theater, The Minnesota History Theater, and the Minnesota Children’s Theater. As a Native actor, Isabella strives to incorporate elements of her cultures traditional storytelling as a tool to reclaim and decolonize indigenous representation.
The Final Phase
Now that we have completed production, we need to raise $10,000 in order to complete our film. The funds that we raise will cover editing, color correction, original music score, sound mastering and PR costs for The Coyote Way:Going Back Home.
At this very moment, there is so much love and support surrounding this project and we want to share it with you. In Progress, a small non-profit in St.Paul, MN is supporting us as our fiscal sponsor.
So, what this means for you... not only does your donation support Native Women in the film industry-it's also TAX DEDUCTIBLE! How amazing is that?
BE A PART OF GROUND MAKING CINEMA.
BE A PART OF THE COYOTE WAY.
- Back us and receive one of many exclusive rewards including a privatescreening!
- Email this this campaign to your with friends and family and ask them to donate as well.
- Share our campaign widely with your networks, groups on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using some of the following hashtags: #thecoyoteway #goingbackhome #Sundance #nativelab #nativefilm
- Follow us on social media: GoingBackHome.Co, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
One more thing... Come back and visit our page and AND SHARE OFTEN!! As the campaign progresses be sure to check for updates to the campaign, Ho' Hou/Thank You!
Risks and challenges
As with most film projects, the greatest challenge is the unknown. This project has required, patience, love and the ability to grow and learn trail and error. A trying process, but one that will not be given up on.
The best and sometimes only solution for this film to move forward has been time.
There is so much depth and so many cultural elements that have required us to step back, acknowledge our ancestors and ask for help though prayer.
To us this is more than just a film, but a reclamation of story, language and cultural identity. This is a humbling truth and why your assistance is vital. With your support we will complete this powerful film that will act as a valuable asset for future generations and many years to come.
We will make our absolute best effort to deliver your rewards in a timely fashion in accordance with the dates we list on our Kickstarter page. However, as with any creative project, there are unforeseen challenges that we may have to problem-solve – challenges that could potentially hinder our delivery of your rewards. We’ll keep you posted with our regular Kickstarter updates, informing you of any snags (if any).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)