The former lead mining town of Picher, Oklahoma is one of the most toxic places in America, but a dwindling population still calls it home.
Julianna Brannum is the director of Ladonna Harris: Indian 101 as well as the producer of an episode in a five-part series for PBS’s American Experience on the rise of Native American activism in the '60s and ’70s. She recently worked as associate producer for the Discovery Channel documentary series, Play’s Anatomy: The History of Video Games.
Prior to that, she served as segment producer for LTN’s Red Light, a documentary-like weekly lifestyle program on Los Angeles subcultures. Brannum spent eight years working as a film programmer for AFI Fest, the Los Angeles Film Festival and Film Independent (formerly IFP/Los Angeles). She has also consulted on various film projects and film festivals. Brannum is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma where she studied journalism/radio/TV/film production. She is a member of the Comanche Tribe of Oklahoma.
Ladonna Harris’s activism began in Oklahoma, fighting segregation and assisting grassroots Native and women’s groups. She continued her work in Washington DC where she helped to introduce landmark programs and legislation including tribal land return claims, improving education and healthcare for Native Americans, ending job discrimination against women, and protecting environmental resources for tribes. Using interviews, archival footage and photographs, Ladonna Harris: Indian 101 celebrates Harris’s life and the personal struggles that led her to become a voice for Native people. The film highlights her contemporary work to strengthen and rebuild indigenous communities and train emerging Native leaders around the world.