LAKOTA NATION VS. THE UNITED STATES chronicles the Lakota Indians’ quest to reclaim the Black Hills, sacred land that was stolen in violation of treaty agreements. A searing, timely portrait of resistance, the film explores the ways America has ignored its debt to Indigenous communities, and ponders what might be done today to repair the wrongs of the past.
Jesse Short Bull wrote and produced the 2013 short Istinma, set in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota. A graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts, Short Bull received a 2016 Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program Development Grant and also attended the Creative Producing Summit at Sundance. In 2014 he was part of the effort to change the name of Shannon County to Oglala Lakota County in South Dakota. Currently employed by the Oglala Lakota tribal government, he is a member of the board of the Black Hills Film Festival. With the First Peoples Fund he leads youth filmmaking workshops in the Oglala Lakota Nation.
Laura Tomaselli is a filmmaker with credits spanning narrative, documentary, and commercial projects. Most recently, she edited the documentary features MLK/FBI and Surge as well as the nonfiction shorts Feathers and Lowland Kids. For her work on MLK/FBI Tomaselli received a Cinema Eyes Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement inEditing. Her films have screened at Sundance, SXSW, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Toronto International Film Festival.