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‘Whispers’ gains new voices

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HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Sir Ben Kingsley’s SBK Pictures and Luis Moro Productions have announced the additions of Keith Harper and Erik Huey as executive producers on the feature film “Whispers Like Thunder,” written by Trip Brooks and Luis Moro.

Based on actual events, the film will detail the story of three Native American sisters who fought the U.S. government for 67 years to protect their ancestral Native burial ground. It is a sweeping epic that stretches from the Wyandotte Trail of Tears in the 1850s to the United States Supreme Court nearly a century later.

Harper is a highly-respected representative for Native American affairs and has represented tribes and individual Indians in some of the most high profile litigation in the country. A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Harper most recently served as an advisor to the Barack Obama campaign on Native American policy and outreach. The National Law Journal has recognized him as one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America.”

Huey has served as a successful entertainment industry lawyer and was listed as one of the “100 Most Influential Media & Entertainment Lawyers in America” by the Hollywood Reporter’s “Power Lawyer List.” He is an active liaison between Washington politics and Hollywood entertainment, most recently working on the Barack Obama campaign in its voter protection and mobilization efforts in western Pennsylvania.

“This is a quintessential Native American story of courage and perseverance, but unfortunately, it is also a story that is largely forgotten. We want to bring this amazing narrative to life for a new generation of Americans, and we want to do so authentically, utilizing Native American talent wherever possible every step of the way,” Harper said of the project.

In addition to his producing chores, along with partners Simone Sheffield and Valerie Hoffman, Kingsley will portray Charles Curtis, the only Native American to serve as vice president of the United States. Daniela Lavender is also on board to portray Ida Conley.

“We are honored to be working with Sir Ben Kingsley and thrilled to be a part of a team that is so strongly committed to the Native American experience and vision,” Huey said.

“It is my hope in producing this film to illuminate the noble struggle the Conley sisters had to endure to preserve their ancestor’s sacred burial ground and legacy,” Kingsley said.

SBK Pictures was formed in 2007 by Kingsley and his producing partners, Sheffield and Hoffman. Luis Moro Productions is headed by the producing team of Luis and Bobbi Miller-Moro.