Rain in the Mountains Press Coverage
"New Sheriff in Town"
September 2005

Puyallup Tribal member Robert Satiacum is the new sheriff in town! Hollywood that is. Robert recently finished acting in a full length feature film, a Foxhall Films Production of New York. After answering an open casting call last year, Satiacum received word that he landed the significant role as the “tribal cop”.

In the early part of 2005 the cast gathered for a read through of the script in Olympia. The cast included the members of various tribes from around the state of Washington. Initially two other Puyallup tribal members, Dennis La Pointe and Nancy Shippentower-Games, were cast as council members, but were cut out due to a script revision. Rehearsals began in May in preparation for production to begin in July.

The film, “Rain in the Mountains” is a Native American comedy written and directed by Joel Metlen. The movie is about Eric, an out of work Indian father who happens upon a dead men hanging from a tree one day on a walk. When the man pokes the dead man with a stick he comes alive. The dead man persuades the other man to cut him down by telling him he will tell him his destiny, which is to lead his family, tribe, and the “People”, back to the old way of life before the white man came. Problem is, he doesn't know the way to the old way of life. After many hilarious stereotypical failed attempts, the instigating “dead man” returns to misguide him into more mischief and misfortune. Managing to alienate himself from the ones who love him the most, except his forgiving son, and the community, he has become the town’s laughing stock. His long time friend Sheriff John attempts to help and shepherd his friend, as his antics begin to get him in trouble. The trouble becomes insurmountable when the dead man returns to advise him he's going about it all wrong and that he needs to go to source to get back to the old ways by blowing up the dam which provides all the power and electricity. The sheriff is the only one who can save him.

“The movie was wonderful and rewarding experience. It was a breathe of fresh air, finally a movie about Indian life today with Indians portraying Indians. Aside from a dead man coming back to life, I believe it exposed the fact that there a lot of Indians today, like Eric, that really don't know the old ways and traditions of the past” cited Satiacum. “Joel (the director) was open to script revisions, allowing a few of us to say our lines like us Indian people talk. When it came to the climactic scene I was allowed the liberty to improvise and use my own words and experiences from a spiritual point of view. I think it went over well, when the director hollered ‘cut!' and I turned around, there wasn't a dry eye amongst the crew! In all it was a lot of fun, made a little money and a great experience. It was great to experience the police car from behind the steering wheel rather than the back seat for once!” said Satiacum.

“After wrapping the film, the director and some of the crew members were invited out to my home place for a sweat and meal. They brought some of the dailies (a days shooting) to watch. Finally got to see myself do a little acting, I asked Joel if they could digitally take off some pounds for me. Then a few weeks later Joel gifted me a bear that he carved from a big chunk of Oak. He said he did that because I always using the nickname ‘Buddy Bear' for everyone, he even let me use it the movie!”

The script was revised to create more scenes for Satiacum. The movie is in the can and into post production in New York and is scheduled for release sometime mid 2006.

Robert Satiacum is pursuing his acting career and in hopes of landing a role in California Indian, a movie being shot on location in California, and being produced by Chris Eyre of Smoke Signals fame.