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New Film “On Sacred Ground” Highlights Pivotal Role of Veterans in Dakota Pipeline Protests

As Native Americans were being worn down in bloody protests of the Dakota Pipeline at Standing Rock over 4,000 of America’s veterans, many battling PTSD, arrived to stand by the Sioux tribe. That act of valor created a tipping point highlighted in the Big Picture Ranch film ‘On Sacred Ground’ premiering on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at the Red Nation World Premiere at the Fine Arts Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the work veterans do to protect our country and the sacrifices they make for all of us in the name of freedom. William’s character in On Sacred Ground shows the toll that this work can take by suffering through PTSD and how complicated the experience of war can be on an individual,” said David Arquette who stars in the film. “Thank you to all the veterans and their families for their bravery and commitment to a better future.”

On Sacred Ground follows Daniel (Mapother), a journalist and Afghanistan War military veteran, and Elliot (Arquette), an oil company executive, who find themselves on opposite sides of the fight during the 2016 construction of the contentious Dakota Access Pipeline, which runs through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, land that is owned by the Lakota “Sioux” Tribe.

As the story unfolds, Daniel starts to align himself more with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe than the oil company he was hired to write about favorably, and the two characters go down separate paths as the events unfold during one of the most heated protests and confrontation with Native American tribes in modern U.S. history. Embargoed trailer.

“We’re hopeful that On Sacred Ground can awaken audiences to the intersection of indigenous issues and the climate crisis,” added Big Picture Ranch’s Rebecca Tickell. “One thing we realized while making this movie is that to heal our planet, we may first have to heal the mistakes of our past.”

In North Dakota, next to and on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, nearly 15,000 people from around the world protested, staging a sit-in for months.

The film from directors Josh Tickell and Rebecca Tickell draws on their personal experiences as well as actual footage shot during the protests. The pair also consulted with Lakota tribal members and indigenous film producers to ensure the depiction of events in the film accurately told their story.

This is the 16th Big Picture Ranch film about solutions to the growing global climate crisis. Shout! Studios Acquired North American rights to the Dakota Pipeline Pic ‘On Sacred Ground’ staring starring William Mapother (Lost), David Arquette (Scream franchise), Amy Smart (Stargirl), David Midthunder, Irene Bedard, Kerry Knuppe (Pachinko), Frances Fisher (Watchmen), Irene Bedard (The Stand) and Mariel Hemingway (Grace & Grit).

Producers include: Rebecca and Josh Tickell, Joanelle Romero, William Mapother, Mark Sims, and John Paul DeJoria.

“I’ve worked with Josh and Rebecca Tickell and their Big Picture Ranch studio on many successful films, including Kiss the Ground which was a big hit on Netflix. When they approached me with the idea for a film about a Veteran with PTSD who goes to Standing Rock, it resonated on a personal level. As a US Veteran myself, I was excited to produce a movie that showed some of the challenges that Veterans face today. I also believe On Sacred Ground is a beautiful story because it shows people with different spiritual beliefs coming together to find common ground and to try to heal together.”

Big Picture Ranch has a bold mission, to use filmmaking to reverse climate change before it is too late. Their recent film Kiss the Ground (Netflix) narrated by Woody Harrelson introduced the world to the concept that we could reduce carbon in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels through improving soil health.

The Big Picture Ranch film studio is run by husband-wife filmmaking team Josh and Rebecca Tickell. The Tickell’s and their studio are known for their pedigree of award-winning, activist and star-studded documentaries including FUEL (Winner Sundance Audience Award 2008), The Big Fix (Festival de Cannes) and most recently Kiss the Ground, which launched at the Tribeca Film Festival and garnered over 75 major film festival awards before landing on Netflix.

As part of the unique release of On Sacred Ground, Josh Tickell and Rebecca Tickell’s Big Picture Ranch will also screen the film on over 1,000 college campuses, as a means of promoting its underlying message of equality and the importance of upholding indigenous rights.

Press passes are available for the Red Nation World Premiere at the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA.


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