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Meet the Filmmaker: Hyapatia Lee, “Native Strength – Pilot Episode”

Native Strength – Pilot EpisodeNativeStrength.xyz

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
HL: As a child, I fell in love with live theater. I had been in 72 productions of plays and musicals by the time I graduated from high school. Telling stories in a variety of ways fascinated me. The medium of film opens up so many more possibilities for the creative mind to share their vision. When I first directed and produced films in the 1980’s we had to edit film by hand, send celluloid out to the lab for color correction, and basically fly blind during many steps of the process. Now that everything is digital, I have hands-on control from conception to delivery. This really opens up the creative process for me and I can’t wait to get more of my ideas on the screen.

Q: What are we going to see at Mile Hi Mocs & Docs? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
HL: This is the pilot episode of my Native Strength series. It is on TV in DC, Virginia, and Milwaukee. I am currently working on the sixth episode. The series is based on my Native Strength books, a traditional indigenous system for maintaining mental health and integrity. I discovered this system when traveling and studying with traditional leaders in Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Hawaii and all across North America. This is the path to an indomitable life, where one is not thrown off balance by man or nature. This is how to find your happiness from within. The teachings are said to have come from the Star People many thousands of years ago and were given to us in hopes that we would learn to grow past the need for war.

Q: Who would enjoy attending the festival? Is it just for the filmmaking community, or is there a reason why non-filmmakers should attend?
HL: In my opinion, anyone who is alive would benefit from the festival. This is a reflection of life and provides varying viewpoints to give one a new perspective. When we can look at life differently, it is often easier to find answers to what is troubling us or discover things to explore that we never knew existed.

Q: What else are you working on?
HL: My company, The Lee Studios, has two sit-coms and two movie franchises in conception. At least one of these sit-coms will be animated. The Native Strength series is still in production and my executive producer has requested that I double my output. My company is expanding and I am very excited.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
HL: Just one? There are so many! Ok, the weirdest, I got my start in the adult movie business. Please keep in mind that was many, many years age. I am a grandmother many times over now and The Lee Studios will not be making any sexually suggestive material. About Native Strength? The information comes from the aliens and is given to us in Medicine Wheels that are like the circles the aliens in the movie Arrival used to communicate.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
HL: NativeStrength.xyz is a hub for information on the Native Strength series. I invite people to follow me on Twitter (twitter.com/HyapatiaLee) for frequent updates on our projects.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about Mile Hi Mocs & Docs and The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
HL: Thank you for showcasing independent filmmakers and giving us a chance to expand our audience! It is so encouraging to have someone give us a chance, show us some support, and encourage us on our uphill battle to get our creative works noticed in a world where money and power dominate. I am always amazed at how many wonderful filmmakers we have that haven’t been “discovered” yet. It is your hard work that encourages us to pick up the camera and record our vision. My life is enriched every time I attend a film festival and see what brilliant minds who are not restrained by bureaucracy have created.

Native Strength – Pilot Episode will screen December 3rd at 4:00pm during the 2017 Mile Hi Mocs & Docs Film Festival at The Bug Theatre.

  • Chad Adams

    That’s a great story. I saw an adaptation of The Canterbury Tales directed by Me. Lee from the 80s, which was brilliant for its genre, and it’s great to see her transitioning into new frontiers in film. I hope I can make it to the festival.