Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2021
SCENES FROM THE GLITTERING WORLD
Directed By Jared Jakins
SCENES FROM THE GLITTERING WORLD directed by Jared Jakins is set to have its virtual World Premiere at the 2021 Full Frame Documentary Festival June 2-6. This powerful documentary follows Granite, Ilii & Noah, three Indigenous youths who are trying to figure out who they are and how best to forge their own paths in life.
We spoke with Ilii ahead of the festival.
Hi Ilii, thank you for talking to TNC, how have you been holding up during these strange times?
Holy Shit! Thank you for being interested our stories! It’s sorta crazy that you’re in the UK.
I’ve been doing pretty well I guess. Nothing too bad has happened, haven’t gotten sick or anything so things have been going fine. My family has had enough food and I’ve been doing alright! My social anxiety hasn’t been bad lately because I haven’t been talking to people much. It’s actually funny, I was doing well with school from home, the first semester I got really ahead, but then the second semester I lost all motivation and got a little behind, but my brother has been helping me. Still being an A-Hole but he’s been good at motivating me. I was in Vegas for most of quarantining but am back in Navajo Mountain now and it’s really good to be back.
Has this time offered you any new creative inspiration?
Sort of. Ever since the pandemic started I’ve been (yells at Reaksmei for bugging her) getting a lot more ideas for my comic book. Things that have been pretty disassociated from reality. I think I’ve finally got the plot figured out. Quarantine’s been good that way, got some character designs done, and some personalities and themes worked out that I want to include. Stuff about social anxiety, some Navajo culture. It’s been harder than ever to go to a store! It’s weird because it’s been really good generally with my anxieties but something like stores have been worse than before.
How does it feel to be having your World Premiere of your film Scenes From The Glittering World at the 2021 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2021?
Not gonna lie. It’s been really weird in a good way. The team worked really hard making it but it’s kinda crazy to think about it being real. Really glad people are paying attention, and really glad to see Granite and Noah and how great they are on camera. I really don’t like being on camera but it was also pretty fun, and nice. It was really nice seeing my brother Reaksmei and other siblings. I don’t want to say anything sentimental about that or he’ll make fun of me! It’s exciting that people might get to know the Reservation better. Hopefully we shared it in a good way. I’m proud of it, even though people will be seeing me!
Are there any nerves ahead of the festival?
Actually before watching the film I was pretty nervous because I wasn’t sure all what I’d shared or if some things were too personal, but then after watching it, and seeing Noah and Granite being so honest and open about themselves it made me feel better. Especially the parts with my Grandma. I feel a lot better generally after talking with my Grandma about stuff.
Did you have any apprehensions about taking part in such a unique documentary?
Not really, it was pretty fun, just worried about being in front of the camera. Didn’t mind talking and being interviewed.
What has the experience been like for you making this film and is there any thing you think you would do/say differently?
It’s been a fun experience. I’ve liked talking with Jared and the rest of the Team, I probably wouldn’t change much, maybe I would have shared more about myself and my emotions now that I’ve seen it. I wish I was less awkward.
Do you think once other Indigenous youth (and elders) watch your experiences in Scenes From The Glittering World that it could open a wider discussion within the communities?
Yeah, I definitely hope so. I know there is a lot of stress about keeping our culture alive. I really want to young people to see how important it is that we make an effort to live it. I Grew up mostly in Vegas and sorta missed out on a lot of the cultural teachings, but since then really I’ve loved learning from my Grandma. The government doesn’t really care about us, if you look at history there is so much that’s been done to us, but we can care care for each other and talk about it so there is a recognition of us and our challenges. I think people know about us but they choose not to listen or learn more. Hopefully the film can help people talk more about it.
"We have a way of life that we have adapted too but, I think everyone should have clean running water in their homes for example."
If you could describe your school experience in one word what would it be and why?
Fun. I guess. I think that’s the best way to describe it, I do actually have some nice friends there and they’ve helped me not be anxious. I like the teachers.
Is there any advice you wish you had been offered and do you have any advice to offer someone who might be going through the same experiences as you?
I’m not sure. To me I feel like my stuff it’s much of a big deal, but if someone was going through similar things I’d just want to be nice. I’m not good at advice. I’d say give yourself time. If you have a problem, just give it time, hope it’ll better, there is almost always a silver lining.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Scenes From The Glittering World?
Colonization still affects indigenous life. We have a way of life that we have adapted too but, I think everyone should have clean running water in their homes for example. I know some people say that “those things happened in the past, just get over it”, but no it's still here. I hope it shows we are real, normal people, we can be a-holes too, but we are good people.