It was a beautiful day riding across the high plateau of the Nation. The pines were pristine green monarchs superimposed on the painted cliffs of Window Rock as I came out of the trees and descended into the hidden gem of a community in the heart of the Navajo Nation. I had left Mesa early that morning, riding up through Usury Pass, along the Salt River looking for wild horses, over the glistening painting of Saguaro Lake, before climbing the Mogollon Rim and stopping for a moment rest at Al Fulton Point. Then it was back on Ghost, riding over the high desert prairie before climbing in elevation once again north of I-40. It was a gorgeous day for a ride, for a wonderful cause.
Yearly, Tse’hootsooi Nahata’Dziil Nii Dine’e’Ba’ (Medical/ Health/ Wellness Center) presents the N.Y.F.F. (Native Youth Film Festival) where participants enter to create short films that highlight a certain social need. The categories are Substance Abuse, Bullying, and Suicide Awareness. Each participant writes, films, edits, and produces a short Public Service Announcement for their chosen topic. Equipment and software are provided to the youth through the program. The Festival then highlights these youth films on the big screen, this year at Goen Theater in Window Rock. Family, friends, and honored guests coalesce to help these youth celebrate their achievement.
This year, Jon Riggs, CEO and Founder of Dark Whisper Productions was the keynote speaker of the event. But…. who is Jon Riggs, and what is Dark Whisper Productions?
In an interview earlier this year by Voyage Phoenix you were introduced to Jon and his new production company. Within this article, Jon highlights his plans to build Dark Whisper Productions into a leading production company in the Southwest. Let’s take a deeper look at what this actually looks like.
Dark Whisper Productions is split into three (four) different departments.
Representing a wide range of talent across genres, and specializing in local South Western Native talent, Dark Whisper Productions is constantly scouting for and recruiting new talent to represent and showcase. Whether a production is in need of musical acts, comedy performances, fashion/ modeling shows, or showcases of Native dance and culture DWS has the talent you are looking for!
Whether your needs lie in local location scouting, talent acquisition, or actual on site filming services, Dark Whisper Productions offers a wealth of talent across the South West! With a rich history not only in front of the camera, but also working behind it, Dark Whisper Productions uses that creative engine for not only its own feature productions, but offers support and production services to indie artists and filmmakers looking for resources and networking.
As a production company that is supplying talent to local festivals, events, and concert opportunities, Dark Whisper Productions is continually scouting for and recruiting talent across the entertainment spectrum. While specializing in promoting Native American talent, Dark Whisper Productions always has its collective ear to the ground for new and upcoming talent. Supplying exciting local talent for not only our own productions but for other projects that hire Dark Whisper Productions as their production company is a large part of what we do. As a Native American company, we specialize in Native talent and applaud the culturally correct casting, but represent talent from diverse backgrounds. Dark Whisper Productions works very closely with several designers at the forefront of their field and craft. Our skilled photographers and runway scouts are always looking for talent to showcase at fashion and modeling events. We represent a wide array of models of all genders and ethnicity, but much of our focus is on the cutting edge of Native American art and design.
Indigenous Future Filmmakers of America (I.F.F.A.)
A love of culture, and a desire to give back to our Native communities is a large part of what motivates Dark Whisper Productions. Kids of all backgrounds have challenges, but these challenges are significant in Indigenous American populations. Dark Whisper Productions represents individuals from across the entertainment industry, and showcases their unique stories and perspectives to the betterment of our Native American communities. Dark Whisper Productions is actively involved in supporting campaigns that promote and bring awareness to Youth Suicide, Bullying Prevention, and Substance Abuse. By using talent from the entertainment industry, we hope to bring a level of social acceptance to these endeavors and increase the support network of those youths who struggle with these social concerns. As the Non-Profit wing of Dark Whispers Productions, the goal of the IFFA is the encouragement of youth to express life through the use of cinematography. It is important to Dark Whisper Productions to showcase an art form that allows for the expression and creativity from a community whose voices are all too often silenced.
Back to Window Rock, where Jon Riggs is the keynote speaker at the NYFF, and Dark Whisper Productions / IFFA has come on board to show support and showcase the event.
The winners of each category will have their Public Service Films showcases on the advertising real of the Goen Theatres on the Navajo Nation: one in Window Rock, one in Kayenta, and one in Tuba City.
The Winners were:
Important by Toni V. Thomas, Morgyn S. Stanley, and Dalia J.C. Guerrero.
Intervention by Luis A. Guerrero & Arron J. Begaye
Window of Opportunity by Melikai P. Hubbard
Desperation by Elijah A Begaye, Ethan A. Barton & Gage N.A. Hoskie
Loser by Shauente M. Moore
Keep Going by Miyana J. Manus
After the event, a Meet & Greet was held with the filmmakers, Jon Riggs, and Honored Guests. The First Lady Phefelia Nez and VP Myron Lizer were both in attendance. This is the type of event that showcases exactly what Dark Whisper Productions is all about. By sponsoring these events, working closely with them, and combining resources, we can elevate these fantastic endeavors and opportunities to a whole new level.
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to seeing a whole heck of a lot more from Dark Whisper Productions! What a phenomenal event, and a solid way to….
Keep the Greasy Side Down, Amigos.