“The Lakota Daughters,” a VOA documentary about the lives of girls and women of the Oglala Lakota tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, won the Audience Choice Best Documentary Short award at the Kansas City FilmFest International 2021.
New York-based VOA Russian service journalist, Victoria Kupchinetsky, wrote and directed the 33-minute documentary, shot by cinematographer Vladimir Badikov and produced by Joy Wagner, both also with VOA Russian.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the VOA team obtained rare access to the Pine Ridge Reservation to film and interview the women and girls of the Lakota Nation who narrate their very personal stories. The documentary shows that, although life on the Pine Ridge Reservation is often very complicated, the women are working to create "a girl society" that fosters resilience, promotes self-confidence in girls aged 10 to 18 and empowers future generations of Lakota girls and women.
“This second award for the documentary shows it has struck a chord with film festival judges and audiences,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda Lόpez. “Congratulations to the VOA Russian team for telling this American story in such an honest and compelling way.”
The Kansas City FilmFest International, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is the longest running and largest film festival in the Kansas City metro area. It is presented and governed by the Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee, a nonprofit arts organization. According to its mission statement, the festival “showcases the art and power of storytelling worldwide and gathers communities to share diverse cultures, viewpoints and conversation.”