Documentary24 Videos

Hakela: The Last One, 2011 (Work-In-Progress Sample)

A work-in-progress sample for an aborted documentary project from 2011 that never received funding from ITVS, National Georgraphic’s All Roads Fund, nor Vision Maker Media. “Hakela: The Last One” chronicles the story of Lakota tribal member Calvin Spotted Elk, the great-great-grandson of the famed Lakota, Chief Spotted Elk. Chief Spotted Elk, who came to be […]

Memoir of a Choctaw Indian Pt. 1, 2013

This was shot in 2013on a Canon 5D III in Wadi Rum, Jordan for Choctaw author and playwright LeAnne Howe’s forthcoming eBook “Memoirs of a Choctaw in Jordan” (Working title). Shot and edited by James Fortier.

TIP Video Archives – Documentary Work Montage, 1996-2002

The only two I did not produce or direct were The Presidio (Jon Plutte) and “Remembering Chief Dan George” for which I was the DP for the two interviews with Dustin Hoffman and Arthur Penn for Métis-Cree Canadian filmmaker Loretta Todd released in 1996.      

Mis-qui-Kiweninne “Red Face Man”, 2023 (Teaser)

The Hudson’s Bay Co., Nicol Finlayson and the Scottish-Oji-Cree legacy he left behind in Northern Ontario A work-in-progress documentary film and companion book proposal. The history of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Nicol Finlayson and the cultural and family legacy he left behind; from northern Ontario’s Long Lake to historic Fort William (Thunder Bay), on to […]

Interview with my Great Aunt Mary Michano Lees, Elder of the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation (Pic River Ojibway), 2012

I interviewed my Great Aunt Mary, youngest sibling of my grandmother Doris Finlayson/Michano/Fortier, in August 2012, for our documentary “Gifts From the Elders” with the participation of the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation (Heron Bay/Pic River) Ojibway community including many other elders both on and off the reserve and college age youth. This is the full […]

“Never Ignored: The Story of AIM, the American Indian Movement”, 2012 (WIP Teaser)

This was a 2012 work in progress sample teaser for a proposed 90-minute documentary on the history of AIM, the American Indian Movement, which I was to co-produce with filmmaker Jay Rosenstein (“In Whose Honor”). Our attempts to secure funding from several sources, including ITVS and the Sundance Documentary Fund were rejected….”too controversial.” I own […]

Clyde Bellecourt on the 7th Prophecy & AIM for “Never Ignored: The Story of AIM, the American Indian Movement”, 2012 (WIP Teaser)

I filmed this interview in San Francisco for a 2012 work in progress sample teaser for a proposed 90-minute documentary on the history of AIM, the American Indian Movement. This and other clips were to be used in a proposed 90-minute documentary on the history of AIM, the American Indian Movement, which I was to […]

Dennis Banks on the FBI AIM Trials for “Never Ignored: The Story of AIM, the American Indian Movement”, 2012 (WIP Teaser)

I filmed this interview in San Francisco for a 2012 work in progress sample teaser for a proposed 90-minute documentary on the history of AIM, the American Indian Movement, which I was to co-produce with filmmaker Jay Rosenstein (“In Whose Honor”). Our attempts to secure funding from several sources, including ITVS and the Sundance Documentary […]

Indian Country Diaries: Spiral of Fire (Filmed 2002, PBS Broadcast 2004)

This documentary explores the challenges faced by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on their reservation in North Carolina in 2002. Through the eyes of Choctaw writer LeAnne Howe, we see how their fusion of tourism, cultural preservation, and spirituality is working to insure their tribe’s vitality in the 21st century. Director of Photography, James […]

John Trudell on Joining AIM after Alcatraz for “Never Ignored: The Story of AIM, the American Indian Movement”, 2012 (WIP Teaser)

I filmed this interview in Sausalito, CA in 1996 for my documentary “Alcatraz Is Not an Island.”  This and other clips were to be used in a proposed 90-minute documentary on the history of AIM, the American Indian Movement, which I was to co-produce with filmmaker Jay Rosenstein (“In Whose Honor”). Our attempts to secure […]

Searching for Sequoyah Trailer, (PBS Premiere Nov. 2021)

Official trailer for Searching for Sequoyah. National PBS premiere November, 2021. Searching for Sequoyah chronicles the life and accomplishments of the legendary 19th century Cherokee visionary, Sequoyah (George Guess), through the oral stories of five modern day Sequoyah descendants. While much is known about Sequoyah’s Cherokee writing system or syllabary, very little is known about […]

John Trudell on AIM and Alcatraz for “Never Ignored: The Story of AIM, the American Indian Movement”, 2012 (WIP Teaser)

I filmed this interview in Sausalito, CA in 1996 for my documentary “Alcatraz Is Not an Island.”  This and other clips were to be used in a proposed 90-minute documentary on the history of AIM, the American Indian Movement, which I was to co-produce with filmmaker Jay Rosenstein (“In Whose Honor”). Our attempts to secure […]

Playing Pastime: American Indians, Softball & Survival, 2006

Documentary short, 30 minutes from 2005. This was a work-in-progress sample that screened at a few film festivals but never received completion funding for the proposed 90-minute verité documentary LeAnne Howe and I envisioned. The story is still out there waiting though. When most people think of baseball, the last thing that comes to mind […]

Waasa Inaabidaa: We Look In All Directions: Episode 4, Bimaadiziwin “A Healthy Way of Life”, 2002

Episode four of the PBS-8 (Duluth) six-hour historical documentary series Waasa Inaabidaa: We Look In All Directions by Producer/Director Lorraine Norrgard. Best  Documentary Feature at the 2002 American Indain Film Festival. Mid West Region Emmy Award. I was the Writer, Associate Producer, and Director of Photography for re-enactment scenes filmed on location on the Lac […]

Gifts From the Elders Trailer, 2013

The trailer for the documentary Gifts from the Elders, 2013, written, produced, directed, and edited by James Fortier. “Gifts from the Elders” follows five Anishinaabe youth on a summer research project with their Elders, whose stories guide them on a journey back to proceeding generations that lived a healthy lifestyle off of the land. Their […]

Waasa Inaabidaa: We Look In All Directions: Episode 6, Ojibwemowin “Ojibwe Oral Tradition”, 2002

I was the Writer, Associate Producer and Director of Photography for re-enactment scenes filmed on the Lac du Flambeau reservation in northern Wisconsin. The series won Best Documentary Feature at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco in 2002 and this episode won a Midwest Region Emmy Award. Produced and Directed by Lorraine Norrgard […]

Memoir of a Choctaw Indian Pt. 2, 2013

This was shot in 2013 on a Canon 5D III in Wadi Rum, Jordan for Choctaw author and playwright LeAnne Howe’s forthcoming eBook “Memoirs of a Choctaw in Jordan” (Working title). Shot and edited by James Fortier.

From These Silent Ashes: Mormons, Utes, & the Black Hawk War, 2009 (WIP Sample)

A work-in-progress sample that never received funding to continue, but the story is still there waiting to be told. This 60-90-minute documentary for PBS will, for the first time, bring to light the little known history of the Ute warrior Noonch, better know as Black Hawk, who’s leadership, and in the eyes of some, whose […]

Wawatay: Maker of Light, 2023

“Wawatay: Maker of Light” is a sequel to my 2013 documentary “Gifts from the Elders” to mark the original film’s 10th anniversary, using hours of mostly unused footage filmed at Heron Bay/Pic River (Biigtigong Nishanaabeg First Nation Reserve) in 2012. It is more of a long form music video set to verité cinema footage to […]

Alcatraz Is Not an Island, 1999 (Open)

Alcatraz Is Not An Island, (Festival Premiere at the AIFF 1999, Sundance Screening  2001, national PBS Broadcast 2002-2006) Executive Producer: Millie Ketcheshawno (Mvskoke) Producer: Jon Plutte Writer, Cinematographer, Director: James M. Fortier (Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation -Formerly The Ojibways of the Pic River) Associate Producer/Historical Consultant: Dr. Troy Johnson Editor: Mike Yearling For thousands of […]

Pulling Together, 2003

2003 verité documentary for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe near Tacoma, WA. Reflecting the traditions of their ancestors, the Muckleshoot canoe “family” learns to put the group before the individual in order to survive the often treacherous waters of Washington’s Puget Sound. Chronicling their 14-day odyssey during Tribal Canoe Journey – 2003, filmmaker James M. Fortier […]

Path of Renewal: A Decade of Transformation in Native Community Development, 2010

Produced in 2010 for the non-profit Oweesta, Corp. in South Dakota. Narrated by Michael Horse. This is the short version. There is also a more detailed and story-driven 30- minute version. “Journey through the last decade and discover how Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) are addressing critical barriers to economic development, enriching the lives […]

Gathering Together, 2006

“Gathering Together” was produced, directed, shot and edited by James Fortier in 2006 for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe near Tacoma, WA. Gathering Together goes behind the scenes to chronicle the story of the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s first traditional potlatch in over a century as host of the 2006 Tribal Canoe Journey. As a sort of […]

Bad Sugar, 2008

Bad Sugar: Episode 3 of the national PBS series “Unnatural Causes: Is Society Making Us Sick?” 2008. Producer/Director/Co-DP   Dupont-Columbia Broadcast Journalism Award. The Pima and Tohono O’odham Indians of southern Arizona have arguably the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes in the world. A century ago, the disease was virtually unknown here, but the subsequent […]