Empire State

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"As an Elder goes about preparing wild onions and corn, the outside world infiltrates through the TV: the fall of the Twin Towers, the hit on Baghdad, and the first death of a Native American soldier overseas. A subtly poignant film that simply told gives strength to the old man and to those who bear witness." — imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival (2017)

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Director Bio

“Empire State” is a collaborative effort by Terry Jones and Govind Deecee. Jones grew up on the Cattaraugus Indian reservation and is an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation of Indians from New York State. Deecee grew up and lives in Kottayam, India, which is located in the southern part of India. In 2016, both filmmakers graduated from Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts with bachelor's degrees in film.

Previously, Jones and Deecee collaborated on short films such as “Scarlett,” “Unearthed” and "Gripped."

In 2015, Jones and Deecee (along with Erin Perkins) premiered their short film "Give and Take" at the LA Skins Fest where they were awarded the 2015 Emerging Filmmaker Award.


Director Statement

Terry Jones is a Native American filmmaker and educator currently living on the Seneca Nation territory in Western New York. Growing up on an American Indian reservation has given Jones a unique worldview perspective. Jones has a passion for sharing Iroquois history and culture through his videos and sharing of indigenous foods. It is Jones’ intention to engage his audiences’ five senses through his work.

Jones would like to use his art as an agent of change. Like many other communities, Jones' home territory is confronted with many issues that negatively impact its quality of life (loss of language, drug abuse, diabetes, environmental dangers, public safety and injustice). It is his hope that his future film projects will promote and facilitate dialogue that can influence changes in public policy.

Credits

Directed by Terry Jones
Govind Deecee

Written by Terry Jones
Govind Deecee
Jenna M. Loyd

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