One Word Sawalmem

United States

Running time: 19 minutes - Language: English - Year: 2020

Official Trailer

Film Summary

One Word Sawalmem explores the intersection of youth, Earth healing and indigenous wisdom. One word ripples outward, vibrating with healing power. Sawalmem, meaning Sacred Water. Sawalmem could help us unravel the climate crisis we’ve created… For Winnemem Wintu Michael “Pom” Preston, Sawalmem represents an entire worldview, a vital vision for healing the world and for healing.

Category: Indigenous Rights


Natasha Deganello Giraudie

NATASHA DEGANELLO GIRAUDIE is a mother, a filmmaker and a teacher of nature practice. She helped to pioneer the micro-documentary genre for humanitarian movements, filming in more than 30 countries and reaching expansive audiences with her work. Her film, One Word Sawalmem, was selected by Robert Redford and the Redford Center as a powerful voice at the intersection of youth, indigenous wisdom and environmental change. Her experiential nature meditation film, Inmanencia, was selected to be screened in festivals around the world from Boulder to Buenos Aires to Bhutan, where it won the Audience Choice Award.

As a child, Natasha learned some of her most valuable lessons outside the classroom – from indigenous people living deep in the wilderness of her native Venezuela. As an adult, she studied nature-inspired compassion with the Dalai Lama for more than 20 years. She also attended nature-based retreats with Thich Naht Han in his monastery. As a teacher of nature-based wellbeing, Natasha has taught groups of young professionals from the United Nations, Google and Airbnb as well as medical practitioners, politicians, nonprofit leaders and fellow documentary filmmakers in the US, Latin America and Asia.


Michael “Pom” Preston

MICHAEL “POM” PRESTON is a member of the Winnemem Wintu tribe and the son of the current tribal chief, Caleen Sisk. He grew up going to his tribe’s sacred places and has been dancing in the Winnemem way since he was four years old. He continues to protect sacred sites along the McCloud River, which have been under threat of inundation from the Shasta Dam raise effort by the US Bureau of Reclamation. He is a participant in the Run4Salmon, a 300-mile prayer run from the San Francisco Bay to the headwaters of the McCloud River. Runners make prayers at specific points along the waterways for the return of the Chinook salmon and the health of the water and lands.