CoJMC professor to serve as moderator at Vision Maker Film Festival

CoJMC professor to serve as moderator at Vision Maker Film Festival

Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 6:00pm
CoJMC Professor Joe Starita
Joe Starita

Joe Starita, a University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications professor, will moderate a Q&A session with the filmmakers of “Medicine Woman” following its premiere at the Vision Maker Film Festival March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Van Brunt Visitors Center.

“Medicine Woman,” a NET Television film, is a new one-hour PBS documentary produced by and about women and features historic and contemporary profiles of female healers.

Starita is the author of “A Warrior of the People,” a book set to be released in November about Susan La Flesche Picotte, the subject of the film premiering at the festival. La Flesche (1865-1915) was the nation’s first Native American doctor and was a member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska.

“Medicine Woman provides a terrific opportunity to learn more about the heroic roles that Native American women have long played in Native culture,” Starita said. “And no one showcased the strength, moral courage, love of country and devotion to her people better than Susan La Flesche.”

Starita has published two additional books on Native American history: “The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge: A Lakota Odyssey,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and translated into six languages, and “ I Am Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice,” which became the One Book One Nebraska selection in 2012.

In July 2011, Starita received the Leo Reano Award, a national civil rights award, from the National Education Association for his work with the Native American community.

Before joining the journalism faculty in 2000, Starita spent 13 years at the Miami Herald and served as the paper's New York bureau chief from 1983-1987. He also spent four years on the Herald's Investigations Team, where he specialized in stories exposing unethical doctors and lawyers. One of those stories, an article examining how impoverished and illiterate Haitians were being used to extort insurance companies into settling bogus auto claims, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in local reporting.

The premiere kicks off the three-day festival. The festival schedule can be found at: An all-access festival pass costs $25. Ticket prices for individual films are the same as Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center costs.

During the festival, more than a dozen guest speakers who were involved in the showcased films will be in attendance.