Directed & Written by Jenna Cavelle
Doc Short | USA | 37 mins.
Date: February 25
Time: Red is Green Carpet Arrivals 6:30p. **This is a full evening includes: feature film at 7:00p Should you just want to see this film; screening time: 8:20p.
Location: 715 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
** Q & A Session following screening followed by a live performance of “Paya for the People” by Owens Valley Paiute hiphop sensations “Obsidian Domes” (formerly Kwaz & Scruples) at the Native Women In Film and Television festival in Los Angeles! The film’s water warrior and female Native protagonist Teri Red Owl will be in attendance for the Q&A/panel discussion after the screening!
The year 2013 marks both the centennial anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct and America’s longest-lived Water War. From critically-acclaimed films like Chinatown to best-selling books like Cadillac Desert, for the past 100-years, the “LA-Owens Valley Water War” narrative has centered around the viewpoint that LA went out and “stole” Owens Valley’s water. But there is a greater story, an untold story that is rich in history and human achievement, a story that is as much a part of American memory as the creation of our great cities.
My film documents the history of Paiute Native Americans who constructed and managed 60-miles of intricate irrigation systems in Owens Valley for millennia long before LA secured its largest source of water through modern engineering a century ago. After the Indian War of 1863, surviving Paiute returned to the Valley from the Eastern Sierra and White Mountains to find their ancient waterworks taken over by white settlers. Today, 150-years later, the Paiute continue the fight to save their waterworks, which are remnant in the Owens Valley landscape. PAYA (“water” in Paiute) stands to recover Paiute water culture and history through the powerful medium of documentary film.