Expired September 26, 2021 6:00 PM
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A celebration of student and indie created animations from filmmakers world-wide, this collection will delight and amaze you. Included are shorts plus one feature length film from the UK.

Rosie is preparing to dance in her first pow wow, but after Nookomis tells her the origin story of jingle dancing, she worries that she’s not as ready as she thought she was. The drums are calling, but will Rosie answer them?

Juror comments: I like the short animated film, The Healing Dance, because it is full of culture and brings out many messages relating to important and spiritual topics. The little girl is drawn to the music of the dance and learns about its healing origins in this film. Her grandma encourages her to get out and dance with her heart, to not think about it too much. The girl overcomes her fear and helps heal her community not just from physical sickness, but mental also.

A young girl of Native American descent, Rosie, learns the story behind a dance she is most fond of. Her grandmother tells her that a long time ago a girl was very sick and the father of that girl dreamed about women dancing in special dresses. The man then made the dresses and had the women of the tribe do the dance, which healed the girl. The little girl then participates in the dance and helps her people.

I like that this film includes some history and not only focuses on the one little girl the whole time. The animation is quite detailed, reflecting the culture. The costumes when the traditional festivities happen are traditional tribal clothing, which are very interesting. The background music is primarily drumming. The music and the dancing are what drives the girl to participate in the activities. Rosie is played by Kailani Austin; Nookomis by Monica M. Benso; the mother by Nicole Cardinal; the father by Douglas Treloar. The voice acting by all is quite good. This short film taught me about the healing dance and what its purpose is. My favorite part is when Rosie pushes away her fears and starts dancing from her heart. Its only short-coming is that it is not full-range animation. I know that will be a draw back for some viewers. I wish the filmmaker had engaged an animator for this so it would have full motion. It tells such a beautiful story, but the lack of full animation holds it back.

This film tells a story of lessons, beliefs, and culture. The message is about learning the importance of culture and realizing that nothing should hold you back from pursuing something dear to you and your family.

I give The Healing Dance 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 2 to 11. I like that it talks a lot about Native Americans and a little bit of the government’s affects on them culturally. Reviewed by Winter Freeman, KIDS FIRST! Juror.

  • Year
  • Runtime
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Shaelyn Johnston
  • Screenwriter
    Shaelyn Johnston
  • Producer
    Shaelyn Johnston, Sara McIntyre
  • Cast
    Kailani Austin, Monica M. Benson. Nicole Cardinal, Douglas Treloar,
  • Editor
    Boom Patty T.
  • Animator
    Stephen Gladue, Elliot Waters
  • Composer
    Tracey Draper
  • Sound Design
    Peter Robinson