‘Inage’i’ selected to screen at ‘LA Skins Fest’

BY STAFF REPORTS
11/19/2020 03:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
“Inage’i” (In the Woods) premiered on Sept. 4 in Tahlequah and features the Cherokee language. COURTESY
LOS ANGELES – The animated pilot episode of “Inage’i” (In the Woods) was selected to screen at the virtual 14th annual “LA Skins Fest” and was nominated for the festival’s “Achievement in Animation Award.”

Events and screenings for the virtual film festival began Nov. 18 and runs through Nov. 22.

The animated episode follows the adventures of four animal friends who live together in the forests of Turtle Island. Iga Daya’I, the mischievous rabbit; Juksvsgi, the gruff wolf; Anawegi, the conscientious deer, and Kvliwohi, the wise bear, are characters drawn from a rich Cherokee storytelling tradition.

The film company FireThief, in close collaboration with the tribe’s Cherokee Language Masters-Apprentice Program, assembled an all-Oklahoma team to create the pilot episode. Creative Filter brought Cherokee artist Roy Boney Jr.’s artwork to life while composer Kawnar collaborated with Cherokee musicians, the Cherokee Youth Choir and vocalist Cora Flute who wrote and performed the lyrics to the theme song. CN citizens Harry Oosahwee, Betty Frogg, Lauren Hummingbird and United Keetoowah Band citizen Schon Duncan were cast as voice actors. The tribe’s Cherokee Translation team provided translations for the project.

“There needs to be more of that type of work done with the language where the kids can get involved,” said Oosahwee, who plays Juksvsgi. “Kids can identify with the names. They don’t have to just say yona (bear) or waya (wolf). The characters actually have names. It is neat.”

Duncan said the bear character, Kvliwohi, is a medicine keeper.

“He has these little roots that do different things for him, and he helps the other characters with guidance to keep them on the right track,” he said.

The CN funded the animation through the Durbin Feeling Language Preservation Act, which was enacted to preserve and revitalize the Cherokee language. It was created through a partnership between the CN, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office and FireThief Productions, an independent film company responsible for the Emmy-winning “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People” TV program.

Visit https://laskinsfest.com for information about the festival.

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