Up Heartbreak Hill

Thomas, Tamara and Gabby--three Native American teenagers in Navajo, New Mexico--traverse their senior year at a Reservation high school. As graduation approaches, they must decide whether to stay in their community--a place inextricably linked to their identity--or leave in pursuit of opportunities elsewhere.

King’s body of work spans news, documentary and film. After producing broadcast news in her home state of Oklahoma, King went on to associate produce the documentaries Election Day (PBS), Bad Blood and human rights projects for the ACLU.

Erica Scharf has spent much of her career in documentary film and television. She is currently editing the documentary television show, The Shift, airing on Investigation Discovery.

Blog Series:

Author: 

I was honored to sit on the panel, “Building Community Awareness through Long Form Documentaries” at the AFI SilverDocs Festival this year. Moderated by Doug McKenney, Executive Producer of CPB’s Public Awareness Initiative, the panel also included Sandy St. Louis, Project Manager for Frontline’s Dropout Nation, Jacquie Jones, Executive Director of the National Black Programming Consortium and Executive Producer of DC Met: Life Inside School Reform and Tanishia Williams-Minor, the high school principal featured in DC Met.

Blog Series:

Author: 

The fourth biennial VisionMaker Film Festival was held September 30 through October 6, 2011, with screenings at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, Sheldon Art Museum, NET Television, Film Streams (Omaha, Neb.) and Merryman Performing Arts Center (Kearney, Neb.) with the help of the following funders and supporters: Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Humanities Council, NET Television, Lincoln Journal Star, Southeast Nebraska Native American Coalition (SENNAC), University of Nebraska-Omaha (UNO), Creighton University,

Blog Series:

Author: 

I recently attended imagineNative where my film, Up Heartbreak Hill, had its Canadian premiere. The festival was amazing – it ran from Oct. 19 – 23 in Toronto and was a whirlwind of films, panels and networking opportunities. The festival kicked off with a screening of On the Ice and The Country of Wolves, which were both phenomenal. At the opening night party, I had the chance to chat with a number of Khoi-San filmmakers and artists, who were there as a part of the delegation representing South Africa’s indigenous community.

In the new film Up Heartbreak Hill, Thomas Martinez, resident of Crystal New Mexico, a community on the Navajo Reservation, tells viewers about the realities of life on the Reservation. “Around here everyone thinks they live in a third world country,” explains Thomas, “what I hear from people is that living in Navajo is just straight up bad.” Thomas attends high school in Navajo, a nearby town of about 2000 people with a per capita income of $4,600 and a high school graduation rate of 56%.

 
Subscribe to Up Heartbreak Hill
 

Films

Native stories that represent the cultures, experiences, and values of American Indians and Alaska Natives for your station!

Filmmakers

Current funding, job, and training opportunities that support the production of Native content. Plus, additional information for filmmakers.

Educators

Hands-on educational tools for middle school to college-aged students that increase the Impact of Native films in the classroom.