River Bank (Pō-Kehgeh)

A Tewa woman struggles with guilt after stealing money from a local business. Her grandmother takes her to the River to remind her of Tewa values. The Tewa woman blesses herself with River water, and the River becomes her guide. Together, they give to the people.


Directed by Charine Pilar Gonzales

Charine Pilar Gonzales is a Tewa filmmaker from San Ildefonso Pueblo and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her esteemed short doc Our Quiyo: Maria Martinez (2022) premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and was acquired by AT&T, and will be exhibited at the Heard Museum and Millicent Rogers Museum in 2024. Charine’s debut narrative fiction short film, River Bank (Pō-Kehgeh), is currently in the film festival circuit. Charine aims to intertwine memories, dreams and truths through story.

Charine is a Producer for the Native Lens project, a crowdsourced collaboration by KSUT Tribal Radio and Rocky Mountain PBS. She owns the multimedia production company Povi Studios. Charine attends the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) MFA Creative Writing program with a focus in Screenwriting.

Charine is an alumni of the Sundance Institute Indigenous Program Full Circle Fellowship, Native Lab AiR, and a current Indigenous Film Opportunity Fellow. She’s also an alumni of First Peoples Fund ABL Fellowship, LA Skins Fest TV Writers Lab, and Jackson Wild Summit Media Lab and MCA Fellowship. She is represented by Rain Management Group, based in LA. Her favorite foods are Pueblo oven bread, red chile stew, and chicos. She resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her family and chunky orange tabby cat, Cheddar.


Charine Pilar Gonzales


Charine Pilar Gonzales, Razelle Benally, Jess X. Snow, Shaandiin Tome, Ashley Browning, Jhane Myers, Holly Baker


Charine Pilar Gonzales

Key Cast

Helena Pena, Barbara Gonzales, El Chuco

Director Statement

I come from six generations of San Ildefonso Pueblo pottery artists. My Pueblo’s traditional Tewa name is Po-woh-geh Owingeh, which means “Where the water cuts through.” Our reservation is located in northern New Mexico.

When my family works with clay, we think good thoughts so that our pottery reflects goodness, too. I practice this intention from a storytelling perspective. A quote we often say in my family, “We come from the clay and the earth, and we will return to the clay and the earth,” reflects the respect we have for clay, our ancestors, and the circle of life. Pottery often appears in my films, including River Bank (Pō-Kehgeh).

I wrote and directed River Bank (Pō-Kehgeh) after the sudden passing of my younger brother, Tyler. He was 19 years old and serving in the military. His death was one of the most devastating things I’ve ever experienced. During those early moments of grief, I leaned into the traditions of my Tewa people.

One place where I can express my grief openly is the Rio Grande, whose waters cut through San Ildefonso Pueblo. When we greet the river, we bless ourselves with the river water.

The protagonist of my film, Tisha, also struggles with grief and guilt, but she finds a way to give back to her community by embracing her Tewa values. River Bank (Pō-Kehgeh) is about my love for my Tewa people and my wish for us to heal as a community from intergenerational grief. In the film, Tisha blesses herself with the River water, and the River becomes her guide. Together, they give to the Tewa people.

River Bank (Pō-Kehgeh) is the first narrative fiction film approved by San Ildefonso Pueblo to be filmed on Tribal lands since the 1980’s. I made this film in hopes of inspiring more storytellers from my Pueblo. River Bank (Pō-Kehgeh) is told using an Indigenous story structure, inspired by traditional Tewa stories.

I’m so grateful to have support from my family and community. This film would not exist without them.
I dedicate this film to my younger brother, Tyler, because his memory lives in my heart forever. He is now home with the clay and the earth, and I miss him tremendously, but I know he is proud of me. One day, I will return to the clay and the earth, too.

River Bank (Pō-Kehgeh) is my debut narrative fiction short film, and I’m so proud of how much this film and I have grown together.




Tuesday, March 5

Screening: 6:00PM

The ticket will give access to all films
listed in the program.

Once Purchased
your name will be at ‘Will Call’

AMC The Grove 14

189 The Grove Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90036


On Site

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