100 Years is the underdog tale of the unrelenting activist and tribal elder, Elouise Cobell, who led a 30-year fight against the United States government to protect the rights of her people and their land. Filing the largest ever federal class action lawsuit on behalf of 300,000 Native Americans, Elouise prevailed in the face of unrepentant obstructions and tampering by officials determined to withhold justice from Native Americans.
Melinda Janko, Producer, Director, Writer, graduated cum laude from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Shortly after, she formed Turning Point Productions, a company that specialized in producing promotional videos for the non-profit sector. In 2003, after moving to Southern California, Melinda formed Fire in the Belly Productions, Inc., after discovering the story of the broken Indian Trust Fund and Elouise Cobell’s lawsuit. Outraged by the injustice, she vowed to bring the story to the world and spent two years researching and building relationships of trust with Elouise and Native American leaders. Consequently Elouise gave Melinda exclusive rights to tell her story. For four years Melinda traveled throughout the U.S. with Elouise and filmed in eight states, Washington, D.C. and on many Tribal lands.
She was also granted exclusive access to high-level officials of the Department of the Interior who had previously declined to talk. Janko has interviewed Senators, Congressmen, the Federal Judge, the lead attorney, and many Native American beneficiaries of the Indian Trust Fund. She has been interviewed by the BBC Radio, NPR, and Indian Country Today and wrote a special feature article, “Elouise Cobell: A Small Measure of Justice”, for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian Magazine.