‘Bad River’: Comcast Chronicles a Native Community’s Fight for Sovereignty

Comcast Bad River

Comcast NBCUniversal's Black Experience partnered with acclaimed filmmaker Mary Mazzio and NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill to produce “Bad River”, a documentary that chronicles the troubled history and present struggle of the Bad River Ojibwe, a Native community in northern Wisconsin.

A David vs. Goliath battle

The film follows the Bad River Ojibwe as they contest a 70-year-old pipeline on the brink of rupture into Lake Superior, the largest freshwater resource in North America and approximately 20% of the entire world's freshwater supply. For the Bad River Ojibwe, a pipeline rupture would devastate their reservation, resources, and way of life.

Comcast’s focus on multicultural programming

This film is just the latest production by Comcast NBCUniversal that offers insights into marginalized groups, a key component of the company’s diversity and inclusion strategy.

  • Loren Hudson, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Comcast Cable, spoke to the company’s efforts to create and curate a diverse collection of entertainment, “Through our partnership with Mary Mazzio and Grant Hill, and with platforms like the Black Experience on Xfinity, we are proud to play a role in expanding access to original programming that shines a light on the stories of underrepresented communities for millions of additional viewers.”
  • The film premiered exclusively on the Black Experience on Xfinity Channel, a first-of-its-kind curated destination of Black content endorsed by the African American Film Critics Association.

Behind the scenes

Executive producers on this project encompass a diverse range of talents, including Allison Abner (“Narcos”), NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill, Grammy-nominated singer Tamia, Mato Wayuhi (“Reservation Dogs”), who also wrote several hip-hop tracks for the film, and Grammy-winning producer Shep Crawford, who composed the original score.

Taylor Hensel (“Reservation Dogs”, “Reciprocity Project”) contributed to both the story and strategic development, and Alec Sokolow (“Toy Story”) collaborated with Abner and Mazzio across all narrative elements. Additionally, Bad River Ojibwe students lent their talents by creating original artwork for the animation team at PunkRobot, an Academy Award-winning studio (“Bear Story”).

“Bad River” is now streaming on Xfinity and Vimeo. 

Watch the trailer below.