Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud

Chief White Cloud's final wish was that the Sundance be documented in a film. He knew that the time has come for the teachings to be shared with all the people.
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Monika Marcovici
Film
Courtenay, British Columbia
Canada
2 Team Members

About this Film  

From 1895 to 1951 the Sundance, the most sacred of the Seven Sacred Lakota Ceremonies, went underground. North American indigenous people were forbidden to practice their traditional ways of life, ancient ways that sustained their culture, their language and their identity.  When the Sundance resurfaced in the 1950’s, it was fiercely protected and held in secret locations, for participation strictly by "Indians only". It was forbidden to sketch, photograph, or film the ceremony, lest it be exploited and desecrated as other sacred rituals had been. For decades the ceremony remained protected and practiced the way it had been for thousands of years.

With a new generation of medicine men came a shift in mindset.  A handful of Medicine men like Patrick Hendrickson held a vision to share the ways of the Lakota people. This need surpassed even the need to keep the ways secret and safe. He knew that if the people continue on our current trajectory, there would be no traditions and no Mother Earth to protect.  

Patrick requested that the Sundance ceremony be filmed and “documented”, as these are historical events that need to be recorded as a part of human history. He knew that the time had come, for the powerful message and healing of the Sundance to reach all people, of every race, in every corner of the world.

Director's Story

My name is Monika and I am a Sundancer, Engineer, Sustainability Consultant, mother and Yogi.  I met Chief White Cloud, or Uncle Pat, as he is lovingly called, in 1997 when he poured my first sweat lodge. Prior to this, I had little exposure to First Nations culture, and no spiritual practice to speak of. Instantly, a connection was made that would last until the end of his life, eight years later, and beyond. 

Shortly after we met he asked me to make a "historical document" in the form of a film, about the Sundance. I neither knew how to make a film, nor what a Sundance was, but he was not going to let that deter me. After a rather brutal introduction to Sundance at the Mother of all Sundances: Lenard Crowdog's dance at Rosebud, I understood that this experience was life changing and possibly had the power to change an entire Nation if not the world.

While it is traditionally forbidden to film a Sundance, Uncle Pat was a rather unorthodox medicine man and he had the vision that the time had come to share the teachings of the dance with all of the people. And in today's world, that meant film, TV, Internet .. whatever it took. With the state of the world and the rapid deterioration of our social, environmental and economic structures, we no longer have the luxury of keeping the message of the Sundance underground.

When Uncle Pat was asked to start a Sundance in New Zealand, he invited me to come along and film it. I danced… and filmed… a rather difficult balancing act. We returned to New Zealand for the three years following, during which over 50 hours of footage was shot to make Pat's vision into a reality.

After Uncle Pat died on his 63rd birthday on March 14th 2005, the footage stayed dormant until recently. In the last weeks, a Film Editor that is also a Sundancer has appeared, and also a successful Co-Producer that understands the importance of this project.

That, and a dozen "small coincidences" that are my reminder of my promise to make this film, have resulted in this campaign. You can be a part of making Chief White Cloud's vision a reality. It is time.

Filmed in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, Chief White Cloud’s story is interwoven with the experiences of Sundancers from around the world, revealing insights into themselves and into the sacred ceremony.

As Patrick explained, there is no more time to keep these ceremonies hidden; the message of the Sundance must be released to the world.

How will the money be spent? 

Specifically, we need post-production funds. These go to supporting the transcription of the 60 hours of footage, the picture editing of the film and purchase of music rights. And these funds also contribute to some of the most important components of the final film: graphics, color correction, a comprehensive sound design and mix, as well as final mastering. Our story is incomplete without these crucial final touches.

Finally, we need your help to spread the word. Festival submissions, DVD and digital duplication will allow us to create the broadest possible exposure for what we think is an important and exciting film. 

The Impact  

This film has the potential to change the way and entire generation views their connection to our home planet, and to one another. 

Uncle Pat's teachings are insightful, powerful, but also simple and down to earth. More and more people in his community know of him only through the memory of others. Even for those of us that knew him, his words are beginning to fade and some of our memories are getting fuzzy. With this document, people from all corners of the world will be able to share, view, and learn from Uncle Pat's teachings and the Sundance ways for generations to come.

With our experienced team of Jennifer Pickford as Editor and Rosalee Yagihara as Co-Producer, we have many successful projects under our belts. We know that we can bring Pat's vision to a powerful reality.

It is time.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you just can’t contribute, you can still help!

  • Please help us get the word out and make some noise about our campaign!
  • Introduce us to some people that can help make this dream a reality

ALL MY RELATIONS and THANK YOU from Monika, Jennifer and Rosalee. 

Find This Campaign On
$2,490CAD
raised by 19 people in 1 month
6% funded
0 time left
$44,444 CAD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 10, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10CAD
    Contributor Film Credit

    Receive our heartfelt thanks and have your name printed on our Official Website as a Valued Contributor to the Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud Film.

    1 out of 200 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $25CAD
    Digital Download

    You will receive a digital download of the completed Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud Film and its Special Edition poster as well as the above Contributor Credit.

    3 out of 200 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $55CAD
    Film DVD

    You will receive a DVD of the Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud Film as well as all of the above.

    4 out of 100 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $100CAD
    Film Premiere Invite

    For your generous contribution you will receive 2 Tickets to attend the Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud Film Premiere Screening and the After Party with the Cast and Crew (travel and accommodations not included) and all of the above.

    1 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $150CAD
    Extended Version DVD

    You will receive a DVD of the Extended Version of the Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud Film, including scenes and footage not included in the released version of the Film.

    1 out of 25 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $225CAD
    Full Version DVD Set

    Receive complete available footage of Uncle Pat. Uncut and raw. Re-connect with him in his talks, intimate interviews and off-the-cuff remarks. Also includes the digital download of the completed Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud Film and its Special Edition poster as well as the above Contributor Credit.

    5 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $350CAD
    On Screen Credit

    For your generous contribution your name will be seen in the film as part of the Exclusive On Screen "Special Thanks" Credit and digital download of the completed Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud Film and its Special Edition poster as well as the above Contributor Credit.

    2 out of 5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $750CAD
    Maori Jade Carving

    Carved in the Maori tradition by carver and Chief Whitecloud's "right hand man", these unique jade carvings are made of dark green BC jade. These are not available for sale in stores. Also includes digital download of the completed Sundance and the Story of Chief White Cloud Film and its Special Edition poster as well as the above Contributor Credit.

    0 out of 3 claimed

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $5,000CAD
    Associate Producer Credit

    For your very generous contribution you will receive an On-Screen Associate Producer Credit and an invitation to attend the Sundance in 2014. Includes 2 Tickets to attend the Film's Premiere Screening and the After Party with the Cast and Crew.

    0 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
  • $10,000CAD
    Executive Producer Credit

    We are very grateful for you generosity. You are truly our hero. We could not have done it without you. We'd like to really say thank you by offering you our VIP Top Tier Reward of an On Screen Executive Producer Credit, VIP Invitations for 2 to the Premiere Screening and After Party with the Cast and Crew, a personalized Thank You from the film's director, an invitation to the 2014 Sundance and a signed film DVD.

    0 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: March 2015
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