Kaären F. Ochoa to Direct the Epic Film, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, an International feature film project about the life of Sacajawea, is proud to welcome Kaären F. Ochoa to the production team, as Director.

Kaären is an award-winning filmmaker, with three DGA Award nominations, the New Mexico Women in Film Sage Award for dedication and leadership in the film industry, and induction into the New Mexico Film & Television Hall of Fame this year. Two documentaries she wrote and field directed, as part of the La Raza Series for ABC/McGraw-Hill, were nominated for the Peabody Award.

With over 30 years in the film industry, Kaären has the knowledge and expertise to bring the character of Sacajawea to life – her history, power, perseverance and passion – all seen from Sacajawea’s perspective – on one of the most significant journeys in United States history. 

 “Jane Fitzpatrick has written a compelling and suspenseful script that allows us a window into the life and world of Sacajawea as she might have experienced it. A natural world that was wild and beautiful, capricious and often terrifying. A world that was known by the Native people who lived and died, summered and wintered, hunted and birthed within it, but was ‘unknown’ by late-arriving white men who had not yet travelled and trampled it. In this portrayal, Sacajawea is not defined by Lewis and Clark’s expedition, their expedition is defined by Sacajawea.”

~ Kaären F. Ochoa

A member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) since 1986, Kaären has worked as Assistant Director on such films as Milagro Beanfield War and A River RunsThrough It, both with Robert Redford directing; Crazy Heart, directed by Scott Cooper, with Jeff Bridges; Appaloosa, directed by Ed Harris; Selena, directed by Gregory Nava with Jennifer Lopez; Georgia O’Keeffe, directed by Bob Balaban, with Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons and most recently, the Disney film Stargirl. Her television work includes the mini-series Return to Lonesome Dove, Crazy Horse and Into the West. She AD’d the pilots for Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight and Season 2 of The Girlfriend Experience. As Unit Production Manager for Proof of Life, directed by Taylor Hackford, with Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe, she spent a year in Ecuador in 2000. In 2011, she was the U.S. Line Producer/UPM on the feature Gambit, starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz.

Kaären’s career began in Los Angeles as a writer, co-producer and director on documentaries and children’s films for ABC and PBS. She became a member of the newly formed Women in Film in Los Angeles and later a founder of New Mexico Women in Film, a board member for many years and past president. Since directing three short films, her current writing projects include the rewrite of a feature film in development, which would be her next directing project after Sacajawea, The Windcatcher.

Kaären has enjoyed mentoring other women and men, including many who are now active, long-time filmmakers. She is most proud of her daughter, 1st AD Chemen Ochoa, and her son, David Ochoa, who are both professionals in the film industry.

A mesa top, near Abiquiu, New Mexico, is home to Kaären and her husband, artist Doug Coffin (Potowatomi/Creek), where they enjoy good wine from their cellar and the beautiful views of Georgia O’Keeffe country. The entire Sacajawea production team welcomes Kaären F. Ochoa to the project, as they continue onward to produce this worldwide, epic film.

The Windcatchers!

Let Us Shift toward Greatness

Eyes of Sacajawea redA brief moment of history had a powerful effect on a New Age, as a group of individuals, the Corps of Discovery, successfully accomplished something together despite their differences. They were soldiers and traders with diverse backgrounds, a black slave who was virtually free on the trek, and a brave, strong warrior woman who endured over 4000 miles with a child on her back. We are still moved and affected by the choices they made together.

Sacajawea, despite her disappointment and sorrow, brought meaning to the group. She was purposeful and determined, knowledgeable and respectful. She was unselfish, yet she had a mind-of-her-own and was not afraid to speak it. Sacajawea did not know then, but she was walking toward a new paradigm for the world…

As a kidnapped Shoshone girl, a very young mother, Sacajawea had made enormous adjustments and shifts in her personal life up to this point. But she could not have predicted the future, the disillusionment and abuse of Native Americans. And, as the explorers endured this harrowing journey, they had no idea they were on the brink of wider racism, slavery and isolation of a people. A paradigm shift toward the hardening hearts of Humanity.

As with the Universe and all of life, paradigm shifts are moved by positive and negative energy, good and evil forces, light and dark. Humanity plays a key role in how civilizations live and act with each other through time. It is the power of choice that establishes social changes for generations. These choices manipulate and motivate the decisions that define an Era – and not always for the good.

In our time, we are living through unbelievable sickness and death, insufferable economic hardship and intolerable racism. We can be assured the choices we make now, are a pivotal part of our collective journey, vital for Humanity going forward.

We have a great opportunity and purpose to change the conversations of the past, to shine a light on injustice and racism, to stand as One People for All People. What we do now will absolutely set a new and powerful paradigm shift.

It is our time to choose the way ahead, and part of the way is to tell the story of Sacajawea with her life-changing message of Oneness, Peace and Love for Humanity and the Earth. We are privileged to live at this exciting time – indeed, a time of Awakening. Let us press onward to a vision of Truth on the very path Sacajawea and many others were willing to walk – through the darkness, yet always stepping toward the Light.

ONWARD!

Jane

– Digital Art by Marcia K. Moore, Concept Artist

Higher Ground

Night great water

Boinair (Sacajawea) faced many hardships in her life. Though we have spoken of them before in this blog, we want to look at her life in a different way. It is 1800, in the early morning hours of a dark, sad day. Boinair has been stolen away from those she loves.

20191029_101115When she awakens, she finds her wrists and ankles are bound, and she is tied to a tree. Young women and children sob and cry around her, they are hungry and hurting both inside and out. Through yesterday’s chaos, Boinair remembers catching sight of her mother and grandmother, and wonders if she will ever see them again… Her world has turned dark, and she can only think of one thing – how to escape!

Thoughts for today…

“If Sacajawea’s life had been easy, we may never have seen her spirit revealed to us in our time. She may never have become the icon she is today, to the children’s children of the world.”

If she had grown up on the prairie and the mountains, married her betrothed, had children and lived happily-ever-after, we most likely would never have heard her name – and her existence would have been lost in time.

Saca chief wonderingIronically, it is the darkness around her that made us aware of her light. She was stolen away – and in that terrible moment, our story began…

 

Sacajawea’s trials and tribulations opened doors that she never imaged existed. She knew her Spirit was unstoppable because she was able to recognize a powerful path through the darkness by Being the light, and that is a divine trait.

She was strong to stand her ground, and even though she was a Native American woman in 1805, with all the injustice and prejudice around her, she refused to succumb to it. Sacajawea was “awake and aware.” Her ego did not guide her, for she knew she had a higher calling, from a higher Being, and there was a higher ground to walk.

It is a choice we make when we see something greater in ourselves and in humanity. Though, like Sacajawea’s life, our world seems chaotic at the moment. But, nothing is more powerful than our own choice to change it.

~ Spirit Wind

Let us each be a Symbol of Peace for the world.

Sacajawea symbol of peaceThe spelling (and meaning) of Sacajawea’s name is controversial. In honoring her Shoshone people we have written her name with a “j” (Sacajawea) in the screenplay, SACAJAWEA, The Windcatcher, because the story is through her eyes.

Historians record, through the Lewis & Clark journals and some Hidatsa people, that the spelling is with a “g” (Sacagawea meaning “Bird Woman” in Hidatsa). And, there are other spellings of her name, as well (like Sakakawea).

We believe our mission is to bring people together around the person of Sacaj(g)wea. It is our passion to celebrate her life. Therefore, we have created a spearhead that we hope becomes a “Symbol of Peace.” Using the medicine wheel (representing all races) for the bowl of the “g” and red feathers for the “j” (representing the vermillion Sacajawea wore for peace and “women warriors,” who struggle around the world) we have created a powerful, unifying symbol that embraces us all.

The words of Sacajawea’s story compel us to open our hearts, enhanced by the magnificent artwork, by Marcia K Moore, and the meaningful and creative design of the red feather, by Shawna Neece Fitzpatrick. This dynamic symbol of the “g-j” represents a collaboration of women and we believe it will ignite Sacajawea’s spiritual purpose to soar as a whirlwind around the world.

 

Giving Credit to a Great Team!

The Shell cover
Gia Fisher, Actor

Broken Hand Productions is honored to be producing the teaser reel for the epic feature film, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher. This teaser, “The Shell,” would not have happened without the commitment from a visionary investor and the film’s production team. These people have a passion for Sacajawea and for giving life to her story!

Blaine C. Ginther is an Executive Producer for the feature film. He is devoted to bringing in the funds needed to keep the production moving forward! Blaine embraces a reverence for history and he is committed to this amazing project with all his heart.

Kaaren Ochoa is a Producer/2nd Unit Director for the feature film and has been with the project since 2014. She and her husband, Doug, drove all the way from NM to OR to Direct the teaser reel. Her devotion astounds us and she has always seen the most wonderful, powerful vision for the story, that has taken us down many paths on this journey!

Susan Funk is a Co-Producer for the feature film and has been with the project since 2015. As Producer of the teaser, Susan worked very hard to coordinate the details, the actors, the locations, the editor. She is of the Flathead Nation, and believes in our purpose. Susan has always been an encouragement and she’s given so much to this production.

Shawna Fitzpatrick is the Costume Assistant for the feature film and Costumer for the teaser reel. She did a fantastic job of gathering authentic costumes, working with Wendy Partridge, one of the costume designers on the feature film. Shawna is pouring herself into the Sacajawea productions including the Warrior Woman Spirit campaign, the Spirit Wind Collection online store and other associated projects.

Kevin England and Vincent Caldoni are the Cinematographers for the teaser reel. These gentlemen were incredible to work with and their vision for this production, utilizing their equipment, including a drone, captured the glorious scenery and magnificent sky to make “The Shell” deeply emotional and dynamic.

spirit chief teaser
Scott Morgan, Actor

Gia Fisher and Scott Morgan, are the Actors who played “Sacajawea” and the “Spirit Chief” for the teaser reel. The connection was immediate between them, and it transferred its energy to the filming. Just in this teaser reel, watching the actors perform through their expressions and the body language, brought tears to our eyes. It is going to be absolutely magical! We thank Gia’s mother, Rebecca, for her support and love for Gia and for accepting this opportunity!

Jacob Halseth is the Production Assistant/Photographer for the teaser reel. At 16 years old, we were very proud of Jacob’s commitment to brave the cold and wind to get the photos and footage we needed to continue our posts on social media, as we generate excitement for the project.

Laura Roe is the Video Editor for the teaser reel production. She was recommended by members of our production team. We believe Laura will take all the pieces we have brought together, and create a promotional tool that will attract major investors. Laura’s expertise and talent will unfold a magnificent, emotional journey, worthy of Sacajawea and the overall film production.

Sarah Ortegon and Dennis Ambriz are the Voiceover Actors for the teaser reel. Sarah is also an Associate Producer and Dennis is an actor for the feature film. They have taken the words of the teaser script to transform the actions of Gia and Scott into a compelling and inspirationally dramatic experience for the audience.

Marcia K. Moore is the Concept Artist for the feature film, and also for the teaser. In the “The Shell,” as Sacajawea speaks to us about her “Spirit Chief” and how she met people who were different from her own on the Lewis and Clark journey, we see Marcia’s concept art. It will give us a glimpse of our vision for the feature film and the magnificent characters we will see.

ocean teaser
In the midst of a winter storm, we saw the Light! 2-9-2019

Ronald Owen is the Composer for the feature film and the teaser reel. Ronald’s music grabs us in the very beginning of the teaser and builds our emotions through the arc, to the very powerful ending. Coupled with Native drums, this background music is both professional and moving, and it will bring the vibrant effect we have imagined.

Even though the teaser is less than 3 minutes long, it will tug at hearts and show, through words, visuals and music, our undying devotion to authenticity and making sure Sacajawea and her message are represented in the most beautiful and profound way to the world. Thank you to each one of these passionate and devoted team members. We are so very blessed each and every day.

ONWARD! We soar on eagle’s wings!

Jane

The Shell

SACAJAWEA UPDATE! February 8th, 2019, we are off to the Great Water to produce our first emotional and epic teaser reel, “The Shell.” Our journey will take us to the Oregon coastline where wind, rain and snow are in the forecast! Indeed, we are embarking on a true adventure!

The Shell teaser Ad 1“The Shell,” is a powerful and beautiful short video that will capture the very essence and spiritual meaning of the feature film, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher. It will grab hearts everywhere, and not let go!

Check back here this weekend for updates as the filming progresses! Watch for photos and video clips to share with others! We want the world to know that the Warrior Woman, Sacajawea, is catching the wind!

www.warriorwomanspirit.com

Warrior Woman Spirit Campaign

One night in 2014, I was awakened from a deep sleep. At the time, I was in Los Angeles, trying to get the multimillion dollar movie, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, produced. I thought that was why I had to go there, why I had to “disrupt” my life in Washington and give it everything I had…

… But, that night at 3 AM, it all changed. I sat up in bed and reached for the script I always had lying beside me, ready to write down spirit words that sometimes came in the night. This night, however, the words and the energy I felt were more powerful; they were innately vital to where the film project was going:

“Embrace the world with love words, and the world will be changed.”

I wouldn’t fully know what that message meant until several years later. But, one thing I believed that night, the project purpose had shifted in my limited understanding, to something far greater.

In 2018, the light began to shine brighter. Circumstances were happening in the world — both dark and light — that were moving us to an “awakening” space. Women were stepping forward, beginning to take their rightful place with bold resolve. But, when the injustices to Indigenous women, who were lost, stolen, abused and even murdered, were Artboard 1@2x (1)being reported around the world, I was so distraught. For, I realized Sacajawea was, in fact, one of them. The revealed meaning of her story became more transparent, the messages in the night became more profound, the waking-up of women and Sacajawea’s undaunted efforts to come to us in our time became more Spiritual. All are part of the change we seek for humanity. Her destiny rings true for Love, Peace and Oneness, something we long for in our souls.

Symbol of peaceIllumination — So, we end this year and begin the next, to align ourselves with others on the same journey. As we continue to produce this enormous film, we want everyone to experience the journey with us – for it is magical! One of our first steps is to honor the women’s movement, shine a light on the plight of Indigenous women around the world, tapping into the warrior woman spirit that is awakening.

Today, we embrace the world with “love words” so the world will continue to change! Our new website, WarriorWomanSpirit.com, is launched to carry the stories of warrior women who lift and heal us all. We invite you to read our very first blog post by Susan Hickman Sater, “Even in despair, you can rise!” at:

https://warriorwomanspirit.com/2018/12/11/even-in-despair-you-can-rise/

After you read the blog, visit the website contact page, fill in the form and connect with us – we want you to tell your story to help others. Our passion is to post the stories of 100 women! Please help by sharing these links and posts with your friends and contacts. Thank you so very much!

ONWARD! We soar on eagle’s wings.
Jane

Hidden Blessings

Scene Description:
It is August 17, 1805, Camp Fortunate, Shoshone camp. After a long and arduous trek, Sacajawea’s uncle (brother) Chief Cameahwait, tells her she cannot stay with her people because she has a child and belongs to the “white man.” This is the darkest, most hurtful moment in the young woman’s life. She’s given up everything to get back home. When she was first taken by the Hidatsa, her life was harsh as a slave, but things got better, she developed a friendship with Otter Woman, and she was safe, warm and fed. Her choice to go on this harrowing journey was motivated by love for the future husband she’d left behind. Until this very moment, she truly believed he would surely be waiting, no matter what, and he would want her back. It was hard to see the blessing…

There are many horrendous experiences in Sacajawea’s story that would cause most people today to give up. Hiking for 26 days in the pouring rain, without cover, and carrying a crying baby on her back, was not for the faint-of-heart. Many people today could not imagine a life without running water or an electric stove. They’d be devastated without a roof over their head, a TV or the latest cell phone in their hand. Today, our day-to-day needs are taken for granted, and without even the simplest modern convenience, many have believed their life was over – with nothing to live for.

Blog Hidden Blessings
Artwork by Marcia K. Moore, Production Artist

But, our greatest strength is our inner fortitude, our ability to spiritually see beyond our current experience, good or bad, and know that in truth our every need is taken care of – even the birds of the air are clothed in splendor. Yes, there are consequences to our decisions, and, unfortunately, the decisions others make for us. But, Sacajawea had a driving force within to push her toward the unknown. And, when she realized she could not stay, it moved her to another place. She could have ignored Cameahwait’s words, with great heartache ahead, or she could have listened to her intuition, her Spirit’s call, and walked on, believing in faith there was a greater purpose…

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, shows us something if we are open to see.  If Sacajawea had made a different choice and stayed with her people anyway, she probably would not have been an icon of history and we would not have heard her message of Oneness and Love through this story today.

The Indigenous truth, “The end is the beginning,” creates a continuous circle, which is part of Nature. It will not and cannot be broken, it is infinite. Our experiences in life cause us to make choices. When we dwell on our heartache and needs “as lacking,” we miss what is there for us, and we hide our own blessings – blessings that may extend to future generations. ~ Spirit Wind

“A strong woman is one who deeply loves. Fiercely, her tears flow as abundantly as her laughter. A strong woman is both soft and powerful. She is both practical and spiritual. A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.”  ~Native American saying

 

Spirit Whale

Scene Description:
January 1806 – the explorers are making one of their last journeys to the ocean before returning east. Sacajawea has not yet seen the ocean. Though she tells Captain Clark, “It will be too hard not to see the Great Water after coming so far,” the deeper reason is her spiritual calling… she has to see the “Big Fish” on the shore.

Sacajawea stands on Tillamook Head looking down at the wide expanse of the magnificent beach. Her eyes scan the endless horizon, breath-taking waves crash one after the other onto the infinite shoreline. Her heart pounds when she sees enormous whales splashing and playing in the Great Water. She tears at the sight of the lifeless whale stuck in the sand… its rib cage picked clean, its bones reaching toward the sky. Sacajawea closes her eyes in awe of the majestic spirit. She prays with reverence, “Thank you, Great Father.”

great water whale beach
The actual beach where Sacajawea stood inside the ribs of the “Big Fish.”

The purpose of the whale in the screenplay, SACAJAWEA, The Windcatcher, is to show Sacajawea’s deep spiritual connection to creation and the literal world that crosses her path, both light and dark. The Spirit Whale helps her bridge the expanse of miles to the family she had to leave behind. She is able to face her true feelings and emotions from her losses, and embrace the Great Spirit’s purpose for her life. To her, seeing the whales in the water and on the beach had a much deeper meaning.

The fascinating and thought-provoking fact, as the journals tell us, the whales were swimming and breaching in the water, the beached whale truly was on the shore with its rib cage in the sand, the Clatsop Indians did tell the soldiers it was there, Sacajawea actually stood up for herself and said she had to see the Big Fish… This is not a made-up event, it is actual and Spiritual. The most astounding revelation is that we have been entrusted, through this powerful scene, with a glimpse of Creator and how he worked in Sacajawea’s life – and, how she embraced her own intuition and her true calling. It also gives us a look into the future and assures us Creator is always at work moving us toward the light.

Sacajawea made it to the Great Water, and in the film, it becomes the purpose of her life that transcends generations. It is the end of our story, but, as spirituality shows us every day, “The end… is the beginning.” Though darkness followed through history, it is from this reality that we claim the message for us today: The whale is a wisdom-holder, a keeper-of-history, and a way-shower for Sacajawea’s rebirth… and our own. ~ Spirit Wind

INTERESTING SYNERGY FACT – Sacajawea was born in Salmon, Idaho. Little did she know that the basalt rock she hiked, called Tillamook Head, was actually a tilted remnant of a basalt lava flow that had traveled down the Columbia River, 15-million-years before. And, incredibly, the flow originated in Idaho, Sacajawea’s “home.” So, as she gazed out at the great water from that 1000 foot high cliff, she was, in fact, standing on her own land. Now isn’t that amazing!

 

Sacred Teachings

Scene Description:
From the moment Sacajawea’s story begins, an eagle leads…  He watches her, alone in a small tipi at the edge of the mountains. He follows her path when she is stolen away and made a slave. He is there when she finds a way home to her people. He guides her to them and gives her strength through great heartache when she cannot stay. He waits for her to come to him, and brings her to another soul — a soul who needs her love. And, when she finally reaches the Great Water and her destiny is revealed, the eagle rests, watching from a tall evergreen tree… carrying her prayers of Love on its wings.

eagle through the tipi
Sacajawea sees the eagle through the smokey tipi hole.

Final Thoughts:
In the screenplay, SACAJAWEA, The Windcatcher, we see powerful metaphors and deeper meanings that give us something to see, “if” we will see. Life does not appear to give us “light” all the time, yet light is never gone. As a very young child, Sacajawea did not know the eagle traveled with her, nor did she understand his teachings. But, as she grew into a young woman, on her moon time journey, she prayed for Creator to guide her way… not knowing the harrowing path that was ahead. But, the teachings from her people kept her grounded and focused. She believed and trusted in her guide, her teacher, that led her to Love. Love for all and love for self – a balancing of the human being and the human soul. ~ Spirit Wind