Documentary | Adam Mazo & Ben Pender-Cudlip

For decades, child welfare authorities have been removing Native American children from their homes. In Maine, the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” in the United States begins a historic investigation. DAWNLAND goes behind-the-scenes as this historic body grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations.

55 minutes

Release: December 16, 2018

Expiration: November 5, 2021

Distributor: Independent Lens

Rights: Unlimited releases over three (3) years beginning 11/5/2018;

SCH/1YR (for K‐12); and non‐commercial cable rights.

Adam Mazo

ADAM MAZO is the co-director and a producer of DAWNLAND and FIRST LIGHT (Camden, 2015). His feature film; Coexist (Africa Movie Academy Award nominee, 2011), aired on public television and WORLD Channel. His lasting relationships with supporters bolster the Upstander Project (UP), now in its eighth year.

Ben Pender-Cudlip

BEN PENDER-CUDLIP is co-director and director of photography of DAWNLAND and FIRST LIGHT. He has directed numerous short documentaries (including SANJIBAN), and contributed cinematography to independent documentaries like TICKLING GIANTS, THE PEACEMAKER, and BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS. He was selected as a 2014 Points North Fellow at the Camden International Film Festival alongside Mr. Mazo, and presented DAWNLAND at pitch sessions at the Salem Film Festival and Independent Film Festival of Boston.

N. Bruce Duthu, J.D.

Professor N. Bruce Duthu (Houma) is the Samson Occom Professor (and former Chair) of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. An internationally recognized scholar of Native American law and policy, Professor Duthu joined the faculty of Arts & Sciences at Dartmouth in 2008.

Heather Rae

Executive Producer
HEATHER RAE (Cherokee) is a film producer and narrative change activist. She produced such films as Academy Award nominated Frozen River, Netflix Originals Tallulah with Ellen Page and Allison Janney and Dude with Lucy Hale. She is currently in post-production on Bull starring Mudbound's Rob Morgan.

Walt Pourier

Vice Chair

Walt is Oglala Lakota and created the logo for Urban Rez. He is Creative Director, owner of Nakota Designs Advertising Designs and Graphics. Executive Director of the Stronghold Society nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns.


Program Coordinator

(Hataža Mani Winga)​

"Cinema Aficionado"

Role: Jordana is excited to engage with different Native/Indigenous communities. Her passion for working with youth will help develop the Native Youth Media Project. She will also assist with the Creative Shorts Fellowship (CSF) to help organize deliverables for filmmakers.