Private Project

Running Eagle

The North Dakota oil fracking boom transformed quiet small towns nearly overnight into places where enough money will buy you anything—including women. "Running Eagle" tells the story of Judith, a teenage Blackfeet Indian girl who escapes from sex traffickers in North Dakota and braves the brutal Plains winter, hitchhiking back to her home country: the Blackfeet Nation in Montana. Realizing in her rearview that she is being followed by her captors, she decides to leap out of her eighteen-wheeled ride and into the frozen Triple Divide of Glacier National Park. On foot and still miles to go from home, she risks all battling brutal winter. Running Eagle was a revered Blackfeet warrior princess. In this great escape, Judith embodies Running Eagle’s fight for the Blackfeet people against all odds.

  • Konrad Tho Fiedler
  • Konrad Thọ Fiedler
  • Konrad Thọ Fiedler
  • Tina Trinh
  • Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs
    Key Cast
  • Heath McGough
    Key Cast
  • Film Type:
  • Genres:
    Drama, Thriller, Mystery
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 15, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Raindance Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 1, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
    United States
    November 8, 2016
    International Premiere
  • Deadcenter Film Festival
    Oklahoma City
    United States
    June 9, 2017
    U.S. Premiere
  • Barcelona International Film Festival
    Excellence in Editing
  • Bend Film Festival
    Bend, Oregon
    United States
    October 13, 2017
    Best of the Northwest Short
Director Biography

Konrad Thọ Fiedler is a new filmmaker currently developing a feature film adaptation of the novel Dakota by Gwen Florio. Running Eagle is his first short film as a director. He is an American Film Institute Conservatory trained cinematographer. Prior to AFI, Konrad was a staff photographer for The New York Sun newspaper and his news and documentary clients include: The New York Times, Vice, Agence France-Presse, The History Channel, Marie Claire, Bloomberg News, Getty Images. Photographs from the crisis in Darfur are in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress.

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Director Statement

Running Eagle expresses one young woman's internal and external struggle to overcome past choices and her determination to return home back to her family. In her fearless escape from captivity to the ensuing battle with a merciless winter, she remembers a recent experience with her brother hunting buffalo.

Running Eagle is also an introduction to the world of The Patch, drawing protagonist, reckless reporter Lola Wicks, into a mystery, covering a story that will take her across the frozen tundra of Montana into the wild west of fracking oil boom North Dakota on the trail of other missing Blackfeet women like Running Eagle.

Running Eagle is an important work for me and my evolution as a visual storyteller generally and with regards to its larger project specifically. The three page prologue in the novel changed much and was expanded into a more self-contained piece from my time on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana last winter. I am so grateful and honored to have been able to spend time living there for the couple of months of rewriting and pre-production. I met so many wonderful guides that have left their mark on this piece through story, location, casting, and my life. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have made this short with such a wonderful group of people. Their insights and creativity on this project were crucial in helping me develop my approach to the larger story.