Local filmmakers aspire to tell stories of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Thursday, August 8, 2019
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Cdale Enick (left) and Marcus Takes Horse are part of the production team at Fallen Hour Productions working to created a series of videos and podcasts that will tell the stories of different Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women from the local area.

The team at Fallen Hour Productions started in 2016 producing custom art projects, which soon evolved into contracting social media marketing services. Social media led to producing web content, which consisted of mostly funny videos about life on the reservation, or discussions on contemporary and historical lore and urban legends. But then things took a turn and got serious, when they said they began to see the differences in the reporting and response to missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Cdale Enick, Alethia Jerry and Marcus Takes Horse, of Fallen Hour, started discussing the discrepancies.

Last fall, Takes Horse said, his phone went off with an Amber Alert for a missing child. The child was found five hours later. Takes Horse said later that evening he saw a social media post about a local Native child who had been missing for three days with no police involved in the search or a state-wide Amber Alert issued and, he said, it affected him.

“We shouldn’t have to gather in the hundreds to get people to notice us,” Takes Horse said.

The production team said they decided to do something about it. They are currently working on producing four videos and companion podcasts that will tell the stories of some missing or murdered Indigenous people.

Indigenous women go missing at a higher rate than women of any other race or ethnicity. In Montana, Native Americans make up 6.7 percent of the population, The Billings Gazette reported this year, but 26 percent of missing persons cases state-wide involve Native Americans.

Enick said the project, which is operating on volunteer hours, could be difficult for them as producers, but it could be healing for some of the families affected by the disturbing trends.

“Having the (families of) the victims there and telling their story will have a big impact on them,” he said. “We understand it’s going to be an emotional journey and it’s going to stick with us.”

The work, Takes Horse said, is exactly the type of content Fallen Hour is looking to produce.

“We want to give them a voice,” he said.

The multimedia production is only in its infancy and the production crew is working with local businesswoman and activist Niki Stewart and musician Jonah Morsette to figure out exactly how they want to move forward.

“We want it to be more cinematic,” Enick said.

Fallen Hour Productions primarily produces video content for Facebook and You-Tube. Enick supplements the production by maintaining several different clients’ social media presence online.

The docu-series can be viewed on facebook.com/Fallenhour or YouTube @FallenHour. Podcasts will be @ FallenHourRadio on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Radio Public, Podbean, Anchor and Pocket Cast.

View a teaser for Fallen Hour Productions' MMIW project here: