Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement among Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, all while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona) as he works to open an Indigenous café that doubles as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne River Sioux Nation (South Dakota) who conducts landmark studies on bison; and the Ancestral Guard, a group of environmental activists from the Yurok Nation (Northern California) working diligently to save the Klamath River.
Director Sanjay Rawal and editor Alexander Meillier joined Capps Center Director Greg Johnson for a discussion of the making of Gather.
Director Sanjay Rawal
A James Beard Award-winning filmmaker, Sanjay is the director of Food Chains (2014, EP Eva Longoria, Eric Schlosser), which chronicles the battle of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a small group of Oaxacan and Chiapan indigenous farmworkers in Florida, against the largest agribusiness conglomerates in the world. The film was released theatrically in a number of countries and won numerous awards, including citations from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the White House. The film was also a winner (shared) of the 2016 BritDoc Impact award and several festival prizes.
Sanjay’s previous film, 3100: Run and Become (2018), has won several festival prizes. Following a robust U.S. theatrical release in 2018, 3100 will be opening in traditional theatrical engagements across Europe and Australia in 2020 and 2021.
Editor Alex Meillier
Alex Meillier is a documentary film producer, writer, director and editor. Alex’s career in documentary filmmaking began in 2005 while he was stationed in Timor-Leste and Sumatra, Indonesia working for the United Nations. Returning to the United States, Alex began producing feature documentaries with his wife Tanya Ager Meillier. Their first feature documentary, Obscene (2007), premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast on the Sundance Channel in the U.S. Other professional credits include 3100: Run and Become (2018, Editor), Amir Bar-Lev’s Long Strange Trip (2017, Add’l Editor), Alias Ruby Blade (2012, Director), Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story (2009, Editor), Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity (2014, Editor, Emmy award nominee), the HBO documentary Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman (2014, Editor) and numerous commercial credits. Originally from Minneapolis, he now resides in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Moderator Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson is Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at UCSB, where he is also director of the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life. Johnson’s research focuses on the intersection of law and religion in contexts of indigenous struggles over burial protection, repatriation, and sacred land. His work has focused primarily on Hawaiian and Native American contexts but also on emerging forms of global indigeneity. Johnson’s publications include Sacred Claims: Repatriation and Living Tradition (UVA 2007), Handbook of Indigenous Religion(s) (co-edited with Siv Ellen Kraft, Brill 2017), Irreverence and the Sacred: Critical Studies in the History of Religions (co-edited with Hugh Urban, Oxford 2018), Indigenous Religion(s): Local Grounds and Global Networks (co-edited with Kraft, Tafjord, Alles, and Longkumer, Routledge forthcoming), and a working manuscript entitled Religion in the Moment: Tradition, Law, and Contemporary Indigeneity.
This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center and the Walter H. Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life.
The Carsey-Wolf Center is committed to screening documentaries from across the world that engage with contemporary and historical issues, especially regarding social justice and environmental concerns. Documentaries allow filmmakers to address pressing issues and frame the critical debates of our time.