This May Be the Last Time
Christina D. King
Matt Leach Music by Ryan Beveridge Cinematography Sterlin Harjo
Matt Leach Edited by Matt Leach Distributed by Sundance Channel
- January 19, 2014(Sundance Film Festival)
This May Be the Last Time is a 2014 American documentary film produced and directed by Sterlin Harjo. The film had its world premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014.
After its premiere at Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Channel acquired the distribution rights of the film. The film received its TV premiere in spring 2014.
The film narrates that when in 1962 Pete Harjo, the director's grandfather, mysteriously went missing after his car crashed on a rural bridge in Sasakwa, Oklahoma, members of his Seminole and Muscogee community searched for him while singing songs of faith and hope that had been passed on for generations, with roots in both Scottish hymn lining and African American music. Harjo interviews family members and locals, as well as academic experts on the subject including the Yale professor Willie Ruff and Rogers State University's Hugh Foley.
This May Be The Last Time is the story of Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole hymns. A unique style of singing that may have gotten its start in Europe. Told from a first person VO by directer Sterlin Harjo, we travel through rural southeastern Oklahoma to uncover the stories of these songs. We talk to the few people that keep this singing alive, as well as tell the history of the songs through oral histories. It's a personal film about songs that is all woven together by a mystery. The death of the filmmakers grandfather. It's a very exclusive world that the viewer is let in on, and by the end they will realize that these songs have shaped the modern world as we know it.
Director Sterlin Harjo (Seminole/Creek) has gained critical and audience acclaim with his films throughout the world. In 2006 he was selected as one of the inaugural recipients (the youngest and the first Native American recipient) of the prestigious United States Artists Fellowship, which is supported by a consortium of major foundations. He was selected for a 2006 Media Arts Fellowship from Renew Media. In the same year, he won the Creative Promise Award from Tribeca All Access for his script Before the Beast Returns (working title).
At twenty three Harjo was accepted into the Sundance Institutes Filmmakers Lab and spent a year developing his first film Four Sheets to the Wind. His short film Goodnight, Irene, premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and was cited for Special Jury Recognition at the Aspen Shortsfest.
Four Sheets to the Wind, premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and has been widely screened nationally and internationally at film festivals and art cinemas. To enable concentrated work on this production, Harjo was selected in 2004 as one of the Sundance Institute's first five Annenberg Film Fellows, a multi-year program launched to provide filmmakers with financial support and full involvement in Sundance's professional workshops.
Harjos second dramatic feature Barking Water premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was the only American film to play in the Venice Days section of the 2009 Venice Film Festival. He is one of seven Innovative indigenous filmmakers who participated in the Embargo Collective, a project launched in 2008 by imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival. The works produced by the collective, including Harjos Cepanvkuce Tutcenen/Three Little Boys, premiered at imagineNATIVE in 2009, and were selected for screening in the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival and the 2011 Native American Film + Video Festival.
In 2010 Harjo served as a jury member for the Sundance Film Festival and in 2009 as an Advisor for the Sundance Institute Ford Foundation Film Fellowship.
Harjo is a founding member of the comedy collective The 1491s.
Harjo grew up in Holdenville, Oklahoma, and now lives in Tulsa.
Matt Leach has spent the past decade sharing the strange and wonderful stories of Oklahoma. His early claim to fame was the video for the song, Midnight Vignette by Evangelicals, which was voted one of the top 10 indie videos of 2008. Matt's work would be featured MTV and at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX. He has also produced national commercials for Cox Cable, high profile political candidates and the XBOX title Splosion Man and Ms. Splosion Man. Thanks in large part to his wide ranging background, Matt's documentary work at This Land Press has brought a fresh take as well as a dose of humanity to “flyover country.” His joint effort with Sterlin Harjo, titled simply “This Land,” is a thought provoking and delicately crafted series on life in middle America. He currently resides in Tulsa, OK where he continues to hunt for the next great story.
Christina D. King
Oklahoma-born Christina D. King (Creek/Seminole) is a producer and filmmaker whose work focuses largely on human rights issues, civic engagement through storytelling and democratizing filmmaker opportunities for minority voices.
A graduate of the University of Tulsa with a degree in Film Studies and Mass Communications, King started her career in broadcast news, before going on to produce commercials, network television, and documentaries.
King is the co-director and producer of Warrior Women (ITVS), a documentary about the women and daughters on the front lines of the fight for Native rights in the 1970’s. King recently produced the documentary Up Heartbreak Hill (POV) that follows the lives of three Navajo teens during their senior year at a reservation high school.
Other credits include Ric Burns and Chris Eyre’s, American Experience: Tecumseh’s Vision, as well as Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, Pushing The Elephant (Independent Lens), Election Day (POV), Six by Sondheim (HBO), Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, Che, and the award-winning short The Kook.