A film documentary directed and shot by Jim Virga, photojournalism lecturer in UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, has won the Eastman Kodak Best Documentary Award from the Indo-American Arts Council.
Dancing on Mother Earth provides a behind-the-scenes look at Grammy-nominated Native American singer/songwriter Joanne Shenandoah as she leads a battle for traditional tribal government and her family’s claim to tribal land.
Shenandoah, a leading preserver of Iroquois culture, lives with her husband on Oneida Indian Nation ancestral lands in central New York. There she composes and records music, writes children’s books and participates in the regional politics of Native Americans.
Virga and the film’s producer, Tula Goenka, received a $750 award for the winning documentary. The Indo-American Arts Council is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to build an awareness of Indian artists and artistic disciplines in North America.