Film on Historic Meeting of Indigenous Grandmothers
 to Receive Premiere Screening on Oct. 10

CORTLAND, NY (10/02/2008; 1446) (readMedia)-- The premiere screening of a documentary on a landmark gathering of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers four years ago in upstate New York, will be held on Friday, Oct. 10, at SUNY Cortland.

The preview, featuring the first act of "For The Next Seven Generations, The Grandmothers Speak," and attended by the award-winning filmmaker Carole Hart, will take place from 7-9 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 105.

Sponsored by the College's Women's Studies Program in conjunction with the Native American Studies Program and the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, the screening is free and open to the public. A suggested donation of $10 to support the grandmothers in their visit to upstate New York and their worldwide work may be presented at the door.

The film documents events of Oct. 11, 2004, when 13 indigenous grandmothers from the Arctic Circle, North, South and Central America, Africa, and Asia arrived in upstate New York in an historic gathering fulfilling an ancient prophecy, "When the Grandmothers from the four directions speak, a new time is coming," known by many of the world's indigenous tribes. The grandmothers formed a global alliance to serve their common goals and specific local concerns.

Approximately eight of the grandmothers will attend and perform a blessing over their film. The grandmothers will answer audience questions briefly after the screening. Audience members will have a chance to provide suggestions to assist Hart in editing her film, an unusual opportunity in documentary filmmaking.

The grandmothers who plan to attend include: Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance and Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance, both Oglala Lakota from Black Hills, S.D.; Flordemayo of the Mayan Highlands, Central American; Margaret Behan of the Arapaho/Cheyene from Montana; Tsering Dolma Gyaltong from Tibet; Mona Polacca, a member of the Hopi/Havasupai/Tewa from Arizona; Rita Pitka Blumenstein, a Yup'ik from the Arctic Circle; and Agnes Baker Pilgrim of the Takelma Siletz from Oregon.

Hart is a multi-award-winning television and film producer and writer. One of the original writers of "Sesame Street," she also produced, with Marlo Thomas, the "Free To Be... You and Me" album and television special. She was creator and producer with Bruce Hart of the NBC Emmy-winning series, "Hot Hero Sandwich." Hart has produced and written for many movies for television, including "Leap of Faith" and "Sooner or Later," and the Lifetime documentary, "Our Heroes, Ourselves."

"I believe in the power of film to create real and lasting social change of the kind we all want," Hart said of her film. "‘An Inconvenient Truth' harnessed that power and we are already witnessing positive shifts in attitude and behavior across a wide swath of America and the world. I believe ‘For the Next Seven Generations' will work on people at a deeper level, transporting them from fear to hope, inspiring them to go forward always keeping heart and mind connected. In that way, we can sustain Mother Earth so that she can sustain us."

The rights to her documentary belong to the council and the proceeds from sales relating to it will support their global mission.

The screening is one of many activities taking place from Oct. 5-11 at The Grandmothers Speak event, which is based in Groton, N.Y., with activities in surrounding areas. It is being coordinated with the Women's Gathering Group in Groton.

To learn more about the screening, contact Caroline K. Kaltefleiter, associate professor of communication studies, at (607) 753-4203 or Information about the grandmothers can be found online at

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