The site of the original settlement of the Cherokee, the Kituwah mound, was thought lost for centuries. In her moving retelling of the efforts to reclaim the tribe’s land, former Chief Joyce Dugan and fellow tribe members foreground the spiritual, emotional, and social impact of Kituwah’s legacy. This is the story of how the Cherokee finally took their “land back.”

  • Anthony Sneed
  • Nick Price
    Reel South
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 18 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 6, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Hot Springs Film Festival
  • New Orleans Film Festival
Distribution Information
  • PBS
Director Biography - Anthony Sneed

Anthony Sneed is an award-winning Cherokee filmmaker (EBCI) who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and Cherokee, North Carolina. In 2008, he landed the lead role in Frank Henenlotter’s horror-comedy “Bad Biology.” The two have since collaborated on the films “Chasing Banksy” and the award-winning doc “Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana.” During this time, Anthony spent six years studying comedy at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade and Magnet Theaters, where he performed regularly on sketch and improv house teams. In 2018, his directorial debut, the dark-comedy short “SUCK,” premiered at Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal. He’s since graduated from the director program at the prestigious American Film Institute in Los Angeles where he completed his thesis film “Kush: A Bubblegum Western”. Since graduating, Anthony’s short “SWIPE” has won numerous awards, including Best Comedy at Cleveland International Film Festival. In 2021, he was featured in CAA’s MOEBIUS Film Festival and was a finalist in Disney’s Launchpad Season 2. His newest short, “STRIPPER,” shot entirely on the Cherokee Indian Reservation with an all indigenous cast, has recently been completed and is now submitting to festivals. He’s currently in production on his feature documentary “Bastards of the Boundary: Indian Stickball,” which chronicles a year in the lives of stickball team The Hummingbirds in the little-seen, violently beautiful game of Indian Stickball aka “The Little Brother of War”.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I chose to make a documentary on the Kituwah mound simply because I didn’t know the whole story surrounding this iconic piece of Cherokee land. During production, I discovered the story of how Joyce Dugan, our first and only female Chief, spearheaded the campaign to buy the land back. That became the core of the story in which we shaped everything else around. It was an honor to sit with these elders and hear our history spoken directly to me and my DP, Robert Hunter. We certainly laughed on set and occasionally cried. It was a definitely transformative experience that I will never forget.