#GenIndigenous Virtual Reality Fellowship winner announced

#GenIndigenous Virtual Reality Fellowship winner Raven Two Feathers.Photo by Tracy Rector. Courtesy: Native Americans in Philanthropy

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Raven Two Feathers announced as Native Youth Virtual Reality Fellowship winner by Native Americans in Philanthropy

News Release

Native Americans in Philanthropy

Native Americans in Philanthropy is excited to announce that Raven Two Feathers is the winner of the #GenIndigenous Virtual Reality Fellowship in partnership with leading Immersive Animation company Baobab Studios, and Indigenous media organizations Vision Maker Media and Longhouse Media. The #GenIndigenous Fellowship is focused on youth, fostering the sharing of techniques and building networking opportunities with Indigenous talent enthusiastic for rapid prototyping in VR.

Raven will participate in a year-long fellowship program taking place across the country, culminating in a month residency with Baobab Studios. Raven Two Feathers (Cherokee, Comanche, Seneca, and Cayuga) is a Two Spirit, Emmy award-winning filmmaker. Two Spirit is the third gender in Native culture and Raven refers to themselves as "they." They continue to produce and direct films, working with a naturally diverse cast and crew along the way. They create various forms of content, flowing between fiction and non-fiction in visual and auditory realms. Raven recently graduated magna cum laude from Santa Fe University of Art & Design with a BFA in Film Production.

Baobab Studios has also cast Native rights advocate Sarah Eagle Heart, and partnered with her organization, Native Americans in Philanthropy, to support Native American-inspired storytelling in the animated short, Crow: The Legend, inspired by the original crow legend. Also participating in the project alongside Eagle Heart are John Legend, Randy Edmonds, Constance Wu, Liza Koshy, Diego Luna, Tye Sheridan and Oprah Winfrey. Crow: The Legend debuts today, November 15th on YouTube, Facebook, and in VR on the Oculus Store.

"We are looking forward to launching this exciting fellowship and the possibilities it will create for Native youth development, something to which Baobab and our organization are both passionately committed,” said Eagle Heart. “Baobab Studios has shown its commitment to inclusivity and authentic storytelling in its approach to both producing Crow: The Legend and developing this fellowship. This is a model that we expect Hollywood to follow increasingly as the industry recognizes the value of authentic cultural storytelling.”

Native Americans in Philanthropy

Native Americans in Philanthropy educates and empowers Indigenous Peoples and philanthropies to create healthy and sustainable communities for all. Having previously supported flagship program areas, NAP is taking a bolder stance towards supporting advocacy and movement building, as well which is necessary to making positive and long-term impact in our communities. For more information, see www.nativephilanthropy.org.

Vision Maker Media

Vision Maker Media envisions a world changed by understanding Native stories and the public conversations they generate. VMM works with Native producers to develop, produce and distribute educational telecommunications programs for all media including public television and public radio. VMM supports training to increase the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives producing quality public broadcasting programs, including advocacy efforts promoting increased control and use of information technologies and policies to support this control by American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Longhouse Media

Longhouse Media is a non-profit organization with a vision to start an Indigenous media arts organization that would nurture the expression and development of Native artists, drawing from traditional and modern forms of storytelling, cultural identity, teaching and inquiry, based in the technologies of today. The mission of Longhouse Media is to catalyze Indigenous people and communities to use media as a tool for self-expression, cultural preservation, and social change.

Baobab Studios

Baobab Studios is the World’s leading immersive animation studio. Founded by Eric Darnell (Director of all 4 Madagascar films), the multi-Award winning company just won a second Emmy for the critically-acclaimed ASTEROIDS!, starring Elizabeth Banks and Ingrid Nilsen at the 2018 Emmy Awards. Baobab is also responsible for the Emmy-winning VR animation, INVASION!, starring Ethan Hawke which holds the record for most downloaded VR app in history. Roth Kirschenbaum Films (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman) is slated to adapt INVASION! into an upcoming feature film. . In addition to Crow: The Legend, Baobab just debuted “Jack” at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, an interactive animation - based on Jack and the Beanstalk - starring Lupita Nyongo.

Related coverage:

Native actors and John Legend, Oprah shine in animated film: ‘Crow: The Legend'


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