Three Indigenous youth come of age on the fringes of the Navajo Nation. ‘Scenes from the Glittering World’ is a meditation on adolescence, trauma and the power of connecting with a homeland. Filmed at the most remote high school in the continental United States, at the farthest edge of the Navajo Nation, this film shares the stories of Indigenous youth as they grapple with ambitious dreams, their family responsibilities, and the isolated nature of their community — all while the school itself faces existential questions about its purpose and future.
Our central storytellers are three Navajo youth, Granite, Ilii, and Noah.
Granite Sloan is a 14-year old struggling to find purpose at school and at home after the death of his younger brother.
Ilii Neang is a freshman, new to the school after moving from Las Vegas, who doesn’t know if her family and community will accept her if she openly embraces her queerness.
Noah Begay is a senior at risk of not graduating. The school has failed to properly understand and motivate Noah, but he has found freedom, power, and connection playing Fortnite.
Jared Jakins - Director
Jared Jakins is a South African-born documentarian. His work has screened in major film festivals around the world and appeared in publications such as The Atlantic. He is the film curator at Granary Arts Center in Ephraim, Utah. Jared is interested in stories of cultural intersection, and seeks to document images of community and identity emerging from those collisions. Scenes from the Glittering World is his feature debut.
Roni Jo Draper - Producer & Cultural Advisor
Roni Jo Draper Ph.D. has spent the past 50 years in school—both as a student and as an educator. Her early work as an educator/scholar has focused on literacy and multicultural education. Her experience as a Yurok woman, and the realities and acute pain of discriminatory practices and policies enacted in school settings, has always influenced her writing and work with students and teachers. More recently she has turned her attention to storytelling practices outside of traditional academia—including poetry making, traditional basket weaving, and other art forms—as a way to explore the human experience and share stories with others.
Hunter Phillips - Producer
Hunter Phillips hails from Eastern Idaho, where he grew up near the Snake River. He now lives in central Utah, on the edge of the desert Southwest, from where he intends to produce more films.
J. Christian Jensen - Editor
J. Christian Jensen’s work focuses on intimate character-based explorations of change and ideology – with an emphasis on the American West. His films have screened broadly, garnering jury awards and an Academy Award nomination for his film, White Earth (2014). His editing credits include: the Netflix Original nonfiction football series, Last Chance U (2016); Out Run (2016), about the world’s first LGBT political party; and True Conviction (2017), about a detective agency run by exonerated men. He is currently editing a documentary series for HBO. Jensen is a graduate of Stanford University’s Documentary Film Program and is based in the mountains of Eastern Idaho.
Scott Christopherson - Producer
Scott was one of ten documentary filmmakers featured in Variety Magazine’s “Docu-makers to Watch” list in 2015. Scott’s debut feature film, Peace Officer, won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for best documentary at the SXSW Film Festival. Scott’s films have played at Hot Docs, Full Frame, Montclair, Camden, Traverse City, New Zealand International, Melbourne International, Taiwan, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Scott received his MFA in documentary cinema from San Francisco State University and also earned an MA degree in Anthropology from UW-Madison. He is fluent in the Thai and Lao languages and has shot several documentaries in Southeast Asia. He is currently an Assistant Professor of non-fiction film at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Roger Fields - Executive Producer
Passionate about independent film, Roger Fields has been an Executive Producer on ‘Recovery’ (2021), ‘The Killing of Two Lovers’ (2020), ‘The Insufferable Groo’ (2018), ‘Peace Officer’ (2015), and now ‘Scenes from the Glittering World’ (2021). In addition to his co-ownership of Sorø Films, Roger is the founder of Peninsula Land and Capital, located in the Bay Area.