A contemporary dance drama loosely based on the “The Firebird” ballet, FIREBIRD portrays three generations of dancers: 17-year-old ballerina Ruby Lightfoot; her mother, Nan, a thwarted ballerina who is now a flamenco dancer in the South of France, and Ruby’s grandmother, Wilma -- a traditional Shawl Dancer, and the heart and hub of the family.

LOGLINE: A gifted teenage Cherokee ballerina with a fractured family life wins a prestigious grant to dance her dream ballet in La Camargue, the cowboy-and-Gypsy heart of France. Called home amid great heartache, she creates her own maverick dance company, fusing flamenco, hip hop and traditional dance in a Cirque de Soleil-esque performance honoring her Native roots -- and reuniting her family.

Creative Statement: I have a lifelong passion for dance, especially for Maria Tallchief, the first American prima ballerina, who became famous in France. FIREBIRD is my homage to La Tallchief, and to the four other superb Oklahoma Indian ballerinas who danced with the Ballets Russes in the mid-20th century: Marjorie Tallchief, Yvonne Chouteau, Moscylene Larkin, and Rosella Hightower. The world-renowned Indigenous fusion dance company, Dancing Earth -- and, above all, its amazing founder/director, Rulan Tangen -- was my inspiration to create a 21st-century partner to those great stars of the stage. As a dual citizen of the U.S and France, as well as of the Cherokee Nation, my hope is to showcase American Indian actors, dancers and musicians in an international, exuberant, cinematically beautiful, and ultimately “feel good” film.

 

Awards and Endorsements:

    • Quarterfinalist, Austin Film Festival, 2017
    • Final Rounder, Sundance Screenwriters Lab, 2016
    • Officially endorsed by the Cherokee Nation, 2016
    • Winner, Best Feature Screenplay, Moondance International Film Festival, 2014 "Moondance ...honors those artists who, through their creative work, actively increase awareness, provide multiple viewpoints, address complex social issues, and strengthen ties between international audiences.”