OPENING NIGHT – 2022
Thursday Dec 8th @ Laemmle Theater
OPENING NIGHT – 2022
Opening Night – Directors
Josh and Rebecca Tickell are a multi-award-winning filmmaking couple who specialize in films with environmental themes including FUEL, THE BIG FIX, PUMP, and GOOD FORTUNE and the recent hit Netflix film, KISS THE GROUND (with Woody Harrelson). ON SACRED GROUND is their debut scripted film.
In 2014 Chief Arvol Looking Horse, keeper of the sacred bundle for the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota peoples, visited our home in Ojai, California. During a profound retelling of the history of his people that stretched from the beginning of time through trials and tribulations until modern day, he told us of a Lakota prophecy which would soon change the course of our lives and the lives of many others.
Chief Arvol explained that for generations, the Lakota people have spoken of a series of events that, if they came to pass, would indicate the beginning of a dark time for humanity. Sometimes called “the prophecy of the black snake,” Arvol described it simply by saying, “when the black snake crosses the land, a time of great troubles will begin.”
Two years after our first encounter with Chief Arvol, a protest began at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation over a massive cross-continent oil pipeline called the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). To many indigenous people, this pipeline represented the black snake that had been predicted in their prophecy.
We made ON SACRED GROUND partly to try to tease apart why, despite numerous legal, ecological and ethical arguments against it, the Dakota Access Pipeline was successfully completed. On a deeper level, there was a very difficult to capture clash of racial, ecological and cultural issues that for the first time in our nation’s history were laid bare at Standing Rock.
Standing Rock/DAPL was a fight between that which is socially acceptable and that which is morally right. It is also a fight that is not over. This is the core conflict that Dan, the main character of ON SACRED GROUND faces. He must choose between following his social conditioning versus following a group of Native Americans who are fighting for sovereignty, dignity, and justice. The implications of which side Dan takes (and which side our country ultimately takes) are vast.
As predicted by Lakota prophecy, we now live in the “time of great troubles.” The moment when oil began flowing through “the black snake” in late 2016 is a line of demarcation in our country’s history.
Josh and Rebecca Tickell
Opening Night – Host & Emcee
He has appeared on television shows such as “Star Search”, “Evening at the Improv” and “Comedy Showcase with Louie Anderson.” He has his own special on Dry Bar Comedy and can be heard regularly on Sirius/XM satellite radio. He is a past winner of both the Seattle Comedy Competition and the Great American Comedy Festival. He has showcased at comedy festivals in Aspen, Vancouver, Grand Rapids, Boise, and Las Vegas.