04/30/2013 A couple more clips have been added, they are rough cuts.
01/17/2013 Post-production is continuing! Hoping to be finished by December 2013, including subtitles.
10/24/2012 Production is Complete and I'm back in the U.S.! Now on to editing. I've posted an update on the project on Kickstarter. This whole site will soon be updated. Here is also a link to some clips on Vimeo.
"Sawiyano: Traditional Arts & Crafts" is a documentary and book about the Sawiyano who live the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. By following the daily lives of families, it is an intimate view into the lives of a tribe in the midst of cultural change. It will show where and how supplies are gathered in the rainforest and swamp, how objects are crafted, and the final uses of objects.
The elders have given Betni Kalk permission to do this documentary. This will be a collaboration between her and Sawiyano who wish to participate in the project. They will choose the aspects of their lives they wish to share and some will also shoot their own videos and take photographs.
Having grown up in the Sawiyano tribe, Betni has an understanding of and deep appreciation for the traditional ways. Since earning a BFA and MFA in Painting and Drawing, she has an even greater respect for the arts and craft of the Sawiyano. Because the culture is changing, it is important to capture traditional elements on film and in photos before more elders die. Not only is the documentation for the future generations of Sawiyano, hopefully this will allow others to gain an appreciation for the Sawiyano culture and to develop an interest in other indigenous cultures. Because traditional ways disappear as natural resources are depleted, it is hoped that the documentary will show the importance of leaving most areas of the rainforest intact.