Moroni for President

Documentary | Saila J. Huusko & Jasper M. Rischen


Every four years, the Navajo Nation elects its president, whom many consider the most powerful Native American in the country. Frustrated about the lack of progress in the reservation, Moroni Benally, a witty academic with radical ideas, hopes to defeat the incumbent president. Moroni for President follows the political newcomer’s grueling, lonely campaign against the “old guard,” and the monumental effort it takes to change the narrative and inspire people to move in new directions.

Watch the Trailer

53 minutes

Release: November 20, 2018

Expiration: November 20, 2022

Distributor: American ReFramed

Rights: Six (6) releases over four (4) years beginning 11/20/2018;

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


Saila J. Huusko

Saila J. Huusko is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. Her video work has appeared online at Al Jazeera America, GlobalPost, The Guardian, and The Village Voice – among others. She worked for three years as the in-house filmmaker for Crisis Management Initiative, an NGO founded by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Martti Ahtisaari. While there, she worked in several conflict zones, including in South Sudan and Afghanistan.

Jasper M. Rischen

Jasper M. Rischen graduated with high honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, winning a Pulitzer grant awarded to top students, as well as the Henry N. Taylor Award for best foreign student and a DuPont/Judy F. Crichton Award for best thesis film. He was the recipient of a Maria Moors Cabot Prize Scholarship and was named the Paul Steiger Annual Fund Scholar. Originally from The Netherlands, he worked as the U.S. producer for leading Dutch TV news shows prior to joining Columbia.

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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.