Joseph ‘Sagonige Yanasi’ Pekara (Tsalagi/Choctaw) is no stranger to the Red Carpet. With three Grammys, three Sony awards, and more, taking home the 2024 Grammy for ‘Best Short Film’ was given.
Pekara’s short film, ‘The Final Lap Documentary,’ follows legendary rapper 50 Cent across his nationwide tour for the 20th anniversary of his blockbuster album, ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin.’ “I was on the road for 90 days straight doing over 100 shows on tour for ‘The Final Lap Tour.’ 50 Cent has been my favorite artist since I was a kid, so working for him was a dream come true.” Says Pekara. “It was tiring filming day in and day out.”
The three months that Joe spent with 50 Cent and his crew were unforgettable. The process of creating his first released film taught him more than he’d ever expected. “It was overall a humbling and educating experience. I learned so much about video, how to fly drones, and a new way of life in the industry. 50 Cent is the hardest-working person I have ever worked with.” Pekara reminisces.
Pekara was recently in an interview about the lack of Indigenous representation in the Grammys. For the 2024 televised Grammy Awards, not a single Indigenous artist was even nominated. Pekara is a highly recognized photographer in the industry and feels it’s crucial to represent his culture through his work. “It was also a HUGE honor to have my Auntie (Raelene Whiteshield) design what I wore to the Grammys. That meant the world to me.” To see more pictures from the night, check out Pekara’s Instagram.
Pekara’s 50 Cent documentary is currently in the works of being adopted by HULU. The short film is rumored to be available this August, but keep an eye on Pekara’s Instagram to stay in the loop.