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Respected By Her People

Documentary Short | Sonya Oberly

The documentary film highlights the idea of identity and empowerment in Native American communities. As a result of the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic, tribal communities fight against victimization with a call to action and self preservation.

The story focuses on the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho. The film introduces the topic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. From there, it transitions to the response of the tribal community posing the question; “how do you raise strong, confident girls in a world that doesn’t always respect their place in society?” Through the use of interviews and collected footage, the film strives to answer: where does empowerment of the Individual lie in culture and traditional customs?

TRT: 14 Minutes

Release: October 19, 2021

Sonya Oberly

SONYA OBERLY is a Native American filmmaker from the Pacific Northwest. She’s Nez Perce, Comanche and Osage. Sonya attended the University of Nevada completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She worked in the counseling field until pursuing graduate studies. In 2009, she earned an MFA degree in Film and Television Production at the University of Southern California. Sonya focuses much of her work on the idea of cultural narratives and preservation. She has written and produced several digital media projects and documentaries. Her films have screened at the Portland Film Festival; LA Skins Fest in Los Angeles and Native FilmFest. Sonya is committed to breaking the time/space continuum while supporting Indigenous film, education and the arts. If you ever have the fortune to meet Sonya in person, recite any line from Walter Hill’s “The Warriors” and she’ll respond appropriately.

Ian Skorodin

IAN SKORODIN graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and began his directing career with an award winning feature film, entitled Tushka, based on the murder of a Native American activist’s family. After premiering at Sundance, TUSHKA went on to win Best Feature at the Arizona International Film Festival. Skorodin is currently overseeing a second all Native American writers room.

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.