Based on Navajo tradition and origin stories, it is said that the current world is the Fifth World.
Navajo people believe that there are a number of worlds in which the Navajo people emerged.
While we are currently in the Fifth World Navajo film director Nanobah Becker decided to look into the future and give people a glimpes of the next world, the Sixth World.
For Becker the Navajo origin story became a bases for her current short film entitled "The 6th World." It is a science fiction film about a Navajo Astronaut named Tazbah Redhouse and her journey to Mars to build a new community.
"Future in the Navajo way would be the next world. The end of a cycle and the start of a new one," Becker said.
Future States, the sponsor of the film, is an organization that explores the condition of America in the future based on the reality of current global conditions. They do this by compiling a series of independent short films.
"The whole point was the story had to be set in the near future," Becker said.
So, of course Navajos on Mars made sense.
The premise of the film is corn, an important and relatable resource to Native Americans, especially Navajos. Becker did a lot of research and found that corn in modern society is used very differently from the older traditional days.
She said today companies are trying to make money off of mega farming and corn syrup. In contrast to that the film brings corn back into the light of a life-sustaining vegetable, one many Native tribes use to survive.
Becker however had her struggles with her first science-fiction film and the world around it.
"You're recreating a whole reality," she said.
And with that comes the creation of characters.
The cast of the film included two Navajo actors, Roger Willie, who plays General Bahe and Jenada Benally as Tazbah Redhouse. Willie is best known for his role in Windtalkers as Private Charlie Whitehorse.
Becker said she believes the part was written just for him.
"I always knew I wanted Roger Willie," she said.
Becker said she was also very excited to work with Benally. She said she found Benally through a series of YouTube videos and knew of the band Blackfire that Benally plays in.
"She was very eager and intrigued," Becker said.
Phone calls to Willie were unanswered. Benally could not be reached for comment because she is currently on tour with the band Blackfire.
The recreating also included the atmosphere and environment in which the filming took place.
There was no going out into the street and getting an every day shot. The space ship that Redhouse and her partner take had to be designed as well the costumes. It became a project that required a new spark of innovation and creation from Becker.
This film also allowed Becker to use her ethnic background and local her surroundings. She was able to film at Monument Valley due to her friend Carlos Mose, who was her location scout.
"It really helped having his eye," she said. Sadly Mose passed on before the film finished.
The video has officially gone viral for a couple of weeks and so far the reaction has been positive.
With the spread of it through Facebook, Becker said she is very proud and excited to be reaching her fan base.
"My main focus was to get out to Navajos," she said.
The opportunity to produce Native content in Hollywood isn't always one that is given. She said her ultimate goal with the film is to start dialogue.
"We need to make more stories," she said.
Check out scenes from the film here: http://futurestates.tv/episodes/6th-world
Stacy Thacker is (Navajo) from Navajo, N.M.