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BEST MN FILM - Frozen River Film Festival | OFFICIAL SELECTION - DOC NYC | OFFICIAL SELECTION - Mill Valley Film Festival |
Honorable Mention – Seattle Queer Film Festival
Female Solidarity • Women in the Arts • Asian American Identity • Music Performance • LGBTQ Families • Trans-racial Adoption
Date of Completion: 2022 | Run Time: 88 minutes | Language: English & Japanese | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Directors: Dawn Mikkelson & Keri Pickett | Producers: Dawn Mikkelson & Jennifer Weir | Editors: Dawn Mikkelson & Keri Pickett | Director of Photography: Keri Pickett | Field Producers: Shiho Fukada & Caroline Mariko Stucky | Cinematographers: Shiho Fukada & Caroline Mariko Stucky | Principal Participant: Jennifer Weir
A master of Japanese drumming and a Korean adoptee from Minnesota boldly convene an all-female troupe to perform Taiko, the Japanese drumming art that has been off-limits to women for centuries. As the early menace of Covid rumbles in the background, the group faces down hurdles to prepare for a historic performance in snowy St. Paul. Buoyed by dynamic drum performances and do-or-die spirit, FINDING HER BEAT is an energizing and uplifting story of music, cultural expression and sisterhood.
Best MN Film – Frozen River Film Festival
Honorable Mention – Seattle Queer Film Festival
Salem Film Fest
Outfest Fusion QTBIPOC Film Festival
Sonoma International Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival
Minnesota Film Festival (Centerpiece Film)
Mill Valley Film Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Film Fest Tucson
Heartland Film Festival
Newport Beach Film Festival
Hawai’i International Film Festival
Key West Film Festival
Cucalorus Film Festival
DOXA Documentary Film Festival & Powell Street Festival
Waimea Film Festival - HIFF HANA HOU
Queer Screen’s 30th Mardi Gras Film Festival
Seattle Asian American Film Festival (Opening Night Film)
DisOrient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon (Opening Night Film)
Durango Independent Film Festival
Oxford Film Festival
Pickford Film Center
Sound Unseen (Opening Night Film)
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH JENNIFER WEIR
Producer & Featured Artist of FINDING HER BEAT
of Enso Daiko, and has been actively performing, creating, producing, and teaching taiko drumming for over 25 years. She is the producer and featured artist of the FINDING HER BEAT documentary film. She also produced and directed the HERbeat concert featured in the film. She is the recipient of past grants from the MN State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, American Composers Forum, and Taiko Community Alliance. She has led leadership workshops for the Shannon Institute with the Wilder Foundation, and has presented at TedxUMN and the BushConnect Conference. She also has extensive background as a theater director and dramaturg, and workshop leader.
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH MEGAN CHAO SMITH
Associate Producer & Featured Artist of FINDING HER BEAT
and a Japanese mentality. They studied with Tiffany Tamaribuchi, assisting
in hundreds of workshops, performances, and contests around the world.
MCS then spent 12 years in Japan, learning dance as well as taiko. They finally gained the skills they sought, living and training as a member and producer with SHIDARA, a professional touring ensemble in the bamboo forests of TOEI-CHO. They were the first foreigner in 800 years to dance in the town's harvest festival.
They currently reside in Minneapolis. As a public health and psychiatric nurse, they are a published writer on topics of health equity and environmental racism. They are guest speaker and teacher at local Nursing Schools on topics of trauma-informed care, and health equity. In addition to performing taiko, they now combine professional nursing experience with traditional artistic practice towards community healing and empowerment, especially for BIPOC, LGBQTIA+, and homeless youth.
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH DAWN MIKKELSON
Director, Producer & Editor of FINDING HER BEAT
A former television news reporter at an ABC affiliate, Mikkelson has taught Documentary Film as Adjunct Faculty at Ottawa University in Kansas, as well as at Film North. Most recently she served as Broadcast Content Manager at WDSE|WRPT in Duluth, MN. Over her time at WDSE the station and it’s productions quadrupled their Regional Emmy Award Nominations and received national acclaim by NAJA (Native American Journalist Association).
Based in Lake City, Minnesota, Mikkelson is a proud member of the Film Fatales and the DPA (Documentary Producers Alliance), as Co-Representative of the Midwest Region and Member of the Ethics Committee.
REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH KERI PICKETT
Director, DoP & Editor of FINDING HER BEAT