DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
“A Beautiful Story...”
"The film does such a good job at enabling people to have a place to enter a conversation..."
- Rachel Gregg, 2021 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Director
Award winning film, 'The Bears on Pine Ridge' is a cinematic POV short film documentary project that began 5 years ago on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, telling a story of hope and resilience during the toughest of times for an isolated Native American community. Viewers are given unprecedented access to a State-of-Emergency happening on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, as the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe is devastated by a shocking youth mental health crisis. With little to no assistance from the Federal Government, the task is left up to the residents of Pine Ridge to help heal their community.
“Tiny” DeCory, a highly respected and life-saving female Lakota elder, sacrifices her own health to answer the many needs on the reservation. In an effort to empower young suicide-survivors, Tiny creates an inspirational and uplifting youth performance project, made up of mostly suicide-survivors, called The BEAR Program.
The BEAR Program is a resilient and inspirational group of young suicide-survivors, most who still struggle with depression, self-harm, or PTSD. They band together to perform truly dynamic skits for their community. Dressed in big colorful animal costumes, most tattered with rips and tears, the group dances energetically to upbeat pop music, performing uplifting comedic sketches for the community. These performances help lift spirits during the crisis, while empowering the survivors in costume. Afterward, the “Bears” remove their outfits to open up to the community, speaking courageously to young audiences about their own personal struggles with suicide ideations.
Through the Bear Program, these resilient youth find their “voice”, courageously speaking out to bring awareness, while bringing joy and hope to other youth in the community.
Listed in Top 8 films out of 250 by Teddy Grouya, 2021 AmDocs Film Festival, Director
"I think it's beautiful..."
"...to see a community working to heal itself... there’s a lot of joy in your film…these youth, these young people are taking their experiences and trying to break the cycle.”
- Chloe Gbai - Director, IF/Then Shorts
“A Powerful Film”
"This film...it's been a really big part of our film festival...it's an important film." - Robert Misovic, 2021 Pendance Film Festival, Director
"This is a solution oriented film..."
“Thank you for sharing this beautiful and important work and I encourage everyone to go see it in the festival.” - Caitlin Mae Burke - Supervising Producer - IF/Then Shorts
“Your film honors us as Native Americans...”
"...for the depth of its message and its artistic and technological quality. Your film demonstrates clearly that there is no shortage of good people doing good things in the world." - Carlos A. Torres, 2021 Latino and Native American Film Festival, Director
WATCH THE FILM
The Bears on Pine Ridge is currently screening exclusively through select film festivals worldwide (some virtual). Find out how to watch the film today!
Check out our video extras, Filmmaker Q&A's, Special Panels discussing Native Mental Health and more!
Are you an educational organization helping with Indigenous issues, mental health, or similar topics. We are looking to support like minded causes. Contact us to set up a private screening.