Red Dirt Diaries: Oklahoma Director Premieres Film At Sundance

Friday, February 15th 2019, 9:15 pm
By: Karl Torp

A film director from Carnegie, Oklahoma, just had his film premiere at the largest independent film festival in the country. 

Jeffery Palmer’s documentary “Words from a Bear” was one of the just over 100 films selected at Sundance. Thousands of films are submitted to the Sundance Film Festival each year.

“Words from a Bear” is about the life of Kiowa author N. Scott Momaday, the first Native American to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

“The American Dream. I think this story is certainly about that,” said Palmer, who used to teach at the University of Central Oklahoma and is also Kiowa.

He’s now teaching film at Syracuse University. Palmer’s film features Momaday reading from his many books. Hollywood heavyweights like Beau and Jeff Bridges, James Earl Jones, and Robert Redford all appear in the film.

“I would like for people to understand more about the Kiowa people, my heritage,” said Momaday at the Sundance premiere.

“Words from a Bear” is the first full-length feature film Palmer has directed.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” laughed Palmer on the red carpet of the Sundance showing in front of media cameras.

“There are more and more people who are coming to Oklahoma to make films. I think it’s an exciting time to be in Oklahoma and be a filmmaker,” Palmer told News 9 at Sundance.

“Words from a Bear” will be shown on PBS later this year and will also be shown at the DeadCenter Film Festival this year in Oklahoma City.