In the cells of your body are the songs of your ancestors.
PROGRESS TO DATE
The project has received small grants from Regional Arts and Culture Council as well as the Portland Art Museum/Northwest Film Center. We have fiscal sponsorship. We are finalizing the proof of concept and preparing for a crowdfunding campaign in April. We hope to film this summer!
Get in touch to find out more about the project and how you can help!
Dawn Jones Redstone, Writer/Director
Dawn (she/her) is an award-winning queer, Mexican-American writer/director whose short films (like Sista in the Brotherhood) have screened around the globe. Her work features women of color and explores themes of resistance, feminism and the internal machinations that help us transform into the people we want to become. She’s the recipient of MRG Foundation’s Lilla Jewel Artist Award and was named a Woman of Vision by Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce. She’s been awarded four grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in Oregon and in 2017, she was selected to shadow director Debra Granik on the set of Leave No Trace through the 5to50 program. She believes in using her hiring decisions to lift people up and help create a filmmaking community that better reflects our world. Learn more here.
Ana del Rocío, Lead Actor
Ana del Rocío (she/her/hers), Executive Director of Color PAC and Oregon Futures Lab, is a first-generation Chicana/Peruana based in Portland, Oregon. She is a mother of two young boys and the past policy director and chief of staff to Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson. Ana was elected to Director for Position 1 in the David Douglas School District in 2017, in a historic election that saw people of color on the ballot for the first time in the "majority-minority" school district. She also serves on the board of Family Forward Action, and in 2019 was appointed by Governor Kate Brown to a statewide task force on maternal health outcomes. Ana enjoys trying new foods, live music of all kinds, and managing her small team of organizers-in-training: Tupac, age 7; and Inti, age 4. She has previously acted in the short film We Have Our Ways. Noelia will be her feature debut.
Tara Johnson-Medinger, Producer
Tara Johnson-Medinger is an American film director, producer and champion of gender equality in the entertainment industry. Co-producer of the award-winning, music documentary The Winding Stream and feature film City Baby, her feature film directorial debut My Summer as a Goth will be released theatrically in 2020. An advocate for women in film, Johnson-Medinger honors groundbreaking female and non-binary filmmakers as Executive Director of the international Power of Women in Film Festival (POW Film Fest), while developing the next generation of media makers through the youth education forum she founded, POWGirls. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children.
Ashley Mellinger, Production Coordinator
Ashley Mellinger is a mixed-race actor and producer whose work amplifies marginalized voices and helps contribute to more equitable filmmaking. She co-founded Desert Island Studios to create greater access to film resources within the creative community. After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and acting professionally for a decade, Ashley began producing. She has since worked on a feature, five short films, four commercials, and countless music videos in the span of three years. In 2018, she acted in a film directed by Dawn Jones Redstone at Hearts+Sparks Productions. Their first project together was the award-winning short film Magnificent. Ashley’s first feature as a producer was a Spanish-language movie shot on 16mm film. It premiered at Portland International Film Festival in 2020.
Sean Conley, Director of Photography
Sean Conley is a Director of Photography based in Portland, Oregon. At the age of 17, Sean picked up his Dad’s 35mm film camera and fell in love with photography and the ability to capture a moment in time. This informed his transition into cinematography where he shot skate videos for friends and eventually short films, music videos, commercials and narrative & documentary features--experience that has given him a wide variety of shooting conditions. His clients include Netflix, A24, Nike, and Adidas and his work has screened in Europe, Korea and the United States. Sean loves collaborating with directors to tell visually meaningful stories and is committed to being an ally for underrepresented voices in the industry. He is a member of the Oregon Media Production Association, the Freelancers Union and is on the Board of the Couch Film Collective.
Kenya Juarez, Communications Strategist
Kenya (she / her) grew up in Woodburn, Oregon with her first-generation Mexican immigrant family. She is a communications professional with experience in ballot measures, legislation, digital campaigns, and fundraising. Kenya believes in her own voice—and using it to pursue
social justice. She is committed to pursuing messages that empower and elevate people of all walks of life. Outside of work, Kenya spends her time at concerts (before COVID) and loves cheering on the Portland Trail Blazers.
Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba, music
Y La Bamba has been many things, but at the heart of it is singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza’s inquisitive sense of self. Their fifth record, Mujeres, carries on the Portland-based band’s affinity for spiritual contemplation, but goes a step further in telling a story with a full emotional spectrum. Coming off Ojos Del Sol, one of NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2016, Mujeres exhibits the scope of Mendoza’s artistic voice like never before. “Music is an extension of everything I have inside. It’s how I emote,” Mendoza says.