Script Files

In the Land Where Acorns Dance

Two young men raised as Quakers stake claims in the gold fields of California in the Rush of ’49. While BEN WRIGHT campaigns to be the preeminent Indian fighter of his time, JOAQUIN MILLER struggles to be the poet laureate of the land and its indigenous peoples.

An eyewitness to cataclysmic change brought on by the mining invasion of the traditional haunts of the California River Tribes, the poet Joaquin must put down his pen and pick up the gun to defend the Shasta tribe that has adopted him. Based on historic events, the outcome will define the history of not only the West, but also the nation.

  • Michael O'Rourke
    Refuge of Dragonflies
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    United States
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  • Oregon Film Awards
    Portland, OR
    November 7, 2014
    Feature Screenplay Finalist
  • Oaxaca FilmFest 6
    Oaxaca Mexico
    October 9, 2015
    Official Selection Global Script Challenge
  • Yosemite International Film Festival
    October 30, 2015
    Screenplay Competition Grand Prize
Writer Biography - Michael O'Rourke

Michael O'Rourke co-founded Actors’ Theatre in Southern Oregon in 1982, producing 100 productions in 13 years, and served as executive director for the capital campaign to purchase and remodel the company’s vaudeville home into a 100-seat black box.

Michael’s collaboration with Lakota actor Robert Greygrass resulted in the one-man show “Walking on Turtle Island” that toured internationally for 16 years.

As managing artistic director of Anchorage Community Theatre he co-produced collaborations with the Alaska Native Heritage Center, which resulted in a Native American Music Award for Best Music Video (2005).

Recipient of grants for development of heritage scripts celebrating the Klamath Siskiyou Bioregion, he wrote “In the Land Where Acorns Dance,” a screenplay based on Quaker and poet Joaquin Miller’s life among the Shasta Indians during the California Gold Rush. The script received the 2015 Grand Prize from the Yosemite International Film Festival. His adaptations of stories in Native American activist Winona LaDuke’s novel “Last Standing Woman” have won awards at Bucharest Short Cut CineFest, Nashville Film Festival; and placed as a BlueCat semifinalist.

His mini-series adaptation of “A Tale of Two Cities” was selected as the Best Original Concept and Best Global Script of 2017 at Oaxaca FilmFest; and this year (2018) was selected as a finalist with Jaipur International Screenplay Competition (all episodes) and Twister Alley Film Festival (Episode 1).

O’Rourke’s credits include script consulting on the independent feature “All for Liberty,” earning a “Top 10 Revolutionary War Movie” in the Journal of the American Revolution.

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