Award thrills director

Georgina Lightning has been on a journey for the past 20 years to create “media that matters.”

Georgina Lightning has been on a journey for the past 20 years to create “media that matters.”

And audiences have decided her latest project, Older Than America, is indeed a story that matters.

On Wednesday, the 46-year-old Cree woman of Samson First Nation was the first to ever be awarded the EPIC Emerging Artist award, a new honour bestowed by The White House Project.

The winner was determined by an online poll and Lightning admitted to dancing the night away after receiving the prize.

The latest win adds to the more than 20 awards she has garnered for the full-length feature film concerned with the impact of Native American boarding schools.

Lightning wrote, produced, directed and stars in the thriller.

During a layover between New York and Los Angeles on Friday afternoon, Lightning proudly shared that her directorial debut is achieving levels of success beyond her expectations.

“It’s validation for all your hard work,” she said of the outpouring of recognition.

“Now that I’ve directed Older Than America, I’ve had more satisfaction than ever before.”

She has been touring with the movie to various film festivals for the past 14 months and numerous other engagements are scheduled to show the project that was filmed in northern Minnesota three years ago.

“I knew I had to cover something that is important to my community,” Lightning said of her decision to created the film once she received financial backing.

“I thought I may never get the chance again.”

She is currently working on two new projects, a documentary and a film that will feature Canadian aboriginal subject matter.

“I’m so grateful and feel like the luckiest woman in the world,” Lightning said of having the opportunity to enlighten people through film.

“I hope the ride doesn’t stop.”

ptrotter@bprda.wpengine.com

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