Includes pre-screening reception and post-screening Q&A with Director and Producer Charlie Soap and Kristina Kiehl
The Cherokee Word For Water is a film inspired by the true story of the struggle for, opposition to, and ultimate success of a rural Cherokee community to bring running water to their families by using the traditional concept of gadugi - working together to solve a problem. The idea to make a movie based on the incredible events surrounding the Bell Waterline Project was born from a lifelong relationship of producer Kristina Kiehl with Wilma Mankiller and her husband director and producer Charlie Soap.
CHARLIE SOAP - PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
Charlie Soap was Wilma Mankiller’s husband and community development partner for more than thirty years, and a leader in the Bell Waterline Project that inspired the film.
Charlie is a full-blood bilingual Cherokee, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Northeastern State University. He served in the United States Navy from l965-l969, and received an honorable discharge. Mr. Soap has dedicated virtually his entire career working to strengthen the many Cherokee communities and currently serves as the Cherokee Nation Group Leader for Community Services. Since early 2002, Cherokee Nation Community Services has facilitated construction of 8 community buildings and numerous other critical self-help initiatives.
Due to his accomplishments and innovative approaches to community development in rural communities, Mr. Soap has received numerous awards, including the Common Cause Public Service Achievement Award, and two National Certificates of Merit from the Department of Housing and Development. Mr. Soap has lectured on community development at Cornell University, Arizona State University Law School, the University of Maryland, Tufts University, Indiana State University, Mayo Clinic, and numerous other places.
Mr. Soap also worked with business, education and political leaders to establish the Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah and served as its founding Director. Under Mr. Soap’s leadership, the Club operated a comprehensive summer enrichment program and working with Tahlequah Public Schools developed the first after-school programs in the school system. The collaboration between the Boys and Girls Club and the Tahlequah Public Schools has served as a national model.
Mr. Soap served as Director of the Cherokee Nation Community Development Department and 7 years as the Oklahoma Area Director of the Christian Children’s Fund.
He is also a skilled photographer who is working on a book of photographs of indigenous people in the South American Amazon. Mr. Soap is a fancy war dancer, an avid golfer, fisherman and cyclist.
KRISTINA KIEHL - PRODUCER
Kristina Kiehl has been an organizer in the women’s movement for more than three decades. She co-founded the Political Action Committee Voters for Choice along with author and feminist Gloria Steinem. Kristina created almost all of Wilma Mankiller's ads during her campaigns for Chief and has helped develop ads and events for a number of other national political candidates, including Ann Richards, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and others. In 2004, Kristina partnered with Gloria Steinem to organize a 1,500 mile tour in support Democratic Party candidates in the mid-west, and in 2008, the same team traveled to Colorado and partnered with local organizations to plan nearly thirty events in nine days. As a skilled photographer, she has documented some of these historic campaign events with photographs and video productions. Her passion for The Cherokee Word for Water and dedication to Wilma’s vision has been one of the driving forces behind the movie since its inception and comes out of her decades of deep friendship with Wilma and Charlie.
Top Billed Cast:
KIMBERLY GUERRERO - WILMA MANKILLER
(Cherokee, Colville, Salish-Kootenai) A native Oklahoman and graduate of UCLA, Kimberly enjoys a career in entertainment as an actor, writer and director and also works with tribal communities throughout North America teaching filmmaking as a creative tool promoting personal and community development. A few of her film and television credits include Longmire , Grey’s Anatomy , Hidalgo and The Sopranos though she is most often recognized as “Winona”, Jerry’s Native American girlfriend on Seinfeld . Having originated the role of “Johnna” in Steppenwolf’s Tony Award-winning play August: Osage County , Kimberly joined the ensemble performing in Chicago, on Broadway, at The National Theatre in London and most recently at the Sydney Theatre Company in Australia. Kimberly is married to Artist/Composer Johnny Guerrero and lives in Southern California.
MO J. - CHARLIE SOAP
Mo Brings Plenty is of the Lakota Nation, born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He is a gifted musician, actor, model, and devoted spokesperson, who travels the nation advocating for the rights of Indian communities, focusing heavily on the safety and protection of elders and the support and positive development of the youth. Mo takes a proactive approach in all that he does and is a true visionary about what he as a spiritual Indian man with strong traditional values can bring to the continuation and revitalization of tradition. It is through sharing and talking with people that he endeavors to maintain a sacred way of life that so many who have come before him have sacrificed to keep alive.
Mo has been employed with the Kansas City Indian Center since January 2012, as a Cultural Outreach Liaison. As a speaker and presenter locally and nationally, Mo conducts educational talks and presentations on topics that range from the traditional values and ways of life of Indian people, youth empowerment, human rights of Indian people, Indians in film and television, and much more. Additionally, Mo provides traditional teachings and peer counseling to members and clients of the Kansas City Indian Center.
As an actor, he has worked in television, film and theatre. Mo was most recently cast as “Charlie Soap” in The Cherokee Word for Water , which is a feature-length motion picture that tells the story of the work that led Wilma Mankiller to become the first modern female Chief of the Cherokee Nation, due to be released in November, 2012. In November, 2011, Mo was awarded "Best Actor" from the 14th Annual Native American Film Festival of the Southeast for his role as "Crazy Horse" in the Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas Whyte film. Holy Man also took home the award for "Best Cinematography." In addition to numerous other awards, Holy Man: The USA vs. Douglas Whyte has recently been selected to be a featured documentary in the Academy Award-qualifying International Documentary Association's DocuWeeks showcase beginning August 10, 2012. Other film credits include the DreamWorks film Cowboys & Aliens , Rez Bomb , Hidalgo and Pirates of the Caribbean . He has played several traditional roles in The History Channel’s movie Comanche Warrior where he played the role of “Quanah Parker” and also the role of “Crazy Horse” in their investigating history documentary, Who Killed Crazy Horse . On television, he was most recently seen portraying “Crazy Horse” and “Comanche Hero” in the Spike Television series Deadliest Warrior . Overseas, he participated in the BBC’s piece Custer’s Last Stand , and his national theatre accolades include performances at The Rose Performing Arts Center, Creighton University and the Nebraska Repertory Theatre.
As a musician, he is a traditional drummer, percussionist, and vocalist. He is a former member of the award-winning musical group Brule’ and has contributed his traditional musical acumen and Lakota language to several of Brule’s songs. Currently, Mo’s talent and flair can be seen with his own band and production, Brings Plenty Band.
Mo has appeared in ads for Ed Hardy and in several other commercials and print ads. Cover stories have included RedSkin Magazine out of Canada and Native Legacy Magazine published out of South Dakota.
STEVE REEVES - JOHNSON SOAP
Steve Reeves was born and raised on the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana. Son of Curley and Lila Reevis, he is the 4th of 6 siblings. He graduated from Flandreau High School and attended Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence, Kansas where he received a degree in arts. After junior college, he left the reservation in Montana to try to begin an acting career in Los Angeles. He lived on the beach in his car, a 1971 Ford Torino, for many months before he began to have a more steady income. He and his wife Macile, an artist and clothing designer, have three sons.
In 1996 Steve received an award from First Americans in the Arts (FAITA) for his supporting roles in both the critically acclaimed movie Fargo and in the made for television movie Crazy Horse . In 2004 he repeated this honor for his work on the ABC series Line of Fire .