Currently on the Indie film festival circuit is a new Native Horror flick by Mike J. Marin called, “The Smudging”.
This film is about a paranormal research group called the Night Stalkers who get called in to investigate the aggressive supernatural activity of the Native American Cultural Center (NACC) in Chicago, Illinois. The NACC is one of the most haunted buildings in Chicago and after conducting interviews with staff and community members, the team spends the night investigating the buildings past and experience something they weren't prepared to face.
Click this link, “The Smudging“, for future updates and screenings.
Let's get to know Director Mike J. Marin!
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Mike J. Marin (Navajo, Laguna Pueblo, Washoe), born and raised in Oakland, California., and I am an independent filmmaker and actor living in Los Angeles, California.
How did you come up with the idea, “The Smudging”, for your movie?
Well, smudging, or blessing is an integral part of Native tradition during ceremony and everyday life. It is important for us because it helps cleanse us of bad thoughts and feelings and provides us with an aura of light and good energy. In my film The Smudging, using traditional medicine to protect oneself from the darkness plays heavily in the film, as the paranormal researchers end up facing an evil they never expected and they need the light and protection of good medicine if they are to survive their investigation.
Heres Mike attending his screening at the Red Nations Film Festival!
Native people are very superstitious, how are you culturally sensitive without compromising too much for mainstream audiences?
As a Native filmmaker, I want to usher in a new area of the horror genre called Urban Native Horror, which takes traditional legends and brings them into an urban setting. But I don’t want to show too much, ya know? I want to keep the aura of mystique and menace hidden in the shadows. So, when it comes to bringing traditional scary stories into a mainstream arena, you have to show discipline in what you’re going to show and how much of it you're willing to show, or are even allowed to show. Many tribes hold their stories very sacred and those are the ones you do not want to offend. The stories I’m choosing to tell are from my tribes and my own experiences.
Check out actor Adam Kessel of, “The Smudging”.
Where do you see the movement of Natives Indie films going, for genres, actors, storytelling?
Independent Native Film is a category all to itself. They are stories that ultimately only we can tell. They are chapters of our lives and experiences that are personal to us and meaningful to our own people. We can relate to these stories on a level that not many can understand. Our stories and visions are our diaries, our testimonies, and often our confessions put on film. They are windows into the world very few have to sever seen and they are told with a passion and style that is nothing short of majestic.
Check out this mad line waiting to see this movie!
Currently, we are on break from filming my new project called Moshego, about a Native American boogeyman legend and the investigation to find the truth behind it. Filming began in the Oakland/SF Bay Area last April and we plan to be wrapped up with principal photography by mid-March 2018.
Go see, “The Smudging”, coming to a theater near you! #aho