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We Are Still Here Debuts

04-12-2011 07:35 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Violet Hills Productions

We Are Still Here, the story of Katherine Siva Saubel and the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California, has been acquired by the George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian Institution in New York City.

Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Leigh Podgorski adapted the play she created from Mrs. Saubel’s oral history to craft the documentary.

The play premiered at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in 2000, and since then has performed throughout Southern California at venues such as UCLA, Chaffey College, Idyllwild Arts Academy, UC Riverside, Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State San Marcos, Sherman Indian School, and Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, performed by a professional cast of all Native American actors.

The film was selected for screening at the American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco, and juried at the Talking Stick Film Festival, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and at the Native Pride Film Festival in Riverside, Cal;ifornia, and is archived at the Getty Institute in Los Angeles, the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., the Riverside County Public Libraries, as well as UCLA, USC, CSU , and numerous university, college, and cultural institute libraries in the United States and Canada.

The Library Journal wrote of We Are Still Here in November of 2009:.

We Are Still Here chronicles an effort by Katherine Siva Saubel and the Cahuilla Indians of Southern California to preserve the culture, history, and traditions of the Cahuilla, presented through in-depth interviews with elder Saubel and her brother Alvino Siva. The film also portrays the Creation mythology of the Cahuilla, performed by a Native American cast, which is well done and sustains viewer interest. There are a lot of important ideas and traditions illuminated here. This project is made possible, in part, by a grant from the California Council for the Humanities as part of the council's statewide California Stories Initiative.
[The film] will be appreciated by history buffs, students of Native American history, and general viewers.—Margaret B. Miller, Univ. of South Dakota Lib., Vermillion

The culture and history of the Cahuilla people is kept alive through the personages of Katherine Siva Saubel and her brothers, Alvino and Paul Siva. The Cahuilla people have lived in the tradition of their ancestors, and are teachers of their language and the songs that maintain their culture.

We Are Still Here is available for personal and institutional use at the web site:

Violet Hills Productions presents films, screenplays, plays and novels by Leigh Podgorski and reaches out to others interested in documenting their stories

17139 Cantara St
Van Nuys, CA 91406

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