Documentary on Shoni Schimmel at Tribeca Film Festival


Jonathan Hock, eight-time Emmy Award winning producer, director, writer and editor turned his attention to the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon to follow the struggles and triumphs of a high school basketball phenom named Shoni Schimmel and her large family. Off The Rez, which premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on Tuesday, April 26 at 6:30 at the SVA Theater, tells the story of the Schimmel family's controversial decision to leave the reservation for Portland, Oregon, where Shoni's mother Ceci was offered a job coaching a high school basketball team.  Moving Shoni and the entire family (Shoni has seven siblings, including Jude, another basketball superstar who is joining her sister at the University of Louisville next year) was against the wishes of Ceci Schimmel's mother and grandmother, but both Ceci and her daughter Shoni were determined to prove that American Indian women can "become champions off the Rez," as Hock Films states on their website. The amazing story of the Schimmel family's move from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to Portland to pursue Shoni's dream of earning a basketball scholarship to a Division 1 school will also air be airing on TLC in the coming months. The producers of the film are hoping Off The Rez screens at as many reservations and Indian communities as possible, and are currently open to tribes or tribal programs contacting them if they are interested in showing the film.  If this applies to you, please contact Nelson Hernandez at:

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Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
Leaves me speechless------such a great testimony to the inate greatness of Naive Americans. Such a young girl to share her life and leave a positive image of a young native american girl. There is so much negative stuff out there about us Native Americans. We need more exposure about Shoni. Our youths need to know they can prevail. Dr. Verna Marie Bartlett, Puyallup tribal elder.