Shadow Spotlight: Native Americans in Film


Shadow Spotlight Week continues to celebrate Native Americans in film. Did a little bit of research on these filmmakers. I found a few videos on almost all of them except for one, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. 

Chris Eyre

A film director and producer who is a member of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, Eyre’s debut film, Smoke Signals (1998) won Sundance Film Festivals Filmmaker’s Trophy and Audience Awards and won Best Film honors at American Indian Film Festival in 1998. As of 2012, Eyre is chairman of the film department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. 

Eyre other films include:

Things We Do, The Doe Boy, Skins, Skinwalkers, Imprint, and The Seventh Fire





Billy Luther

Luther is a Native American Independent film director and producer, who currently belongs to the Navajo, Hopi, and Laguna Pueblo Tribes. He mainly works on cultural documentaries and short films. His works include Miss Navajo, Grab, Rebel Music: Native America, and Red Lake






Sandra Osawa

Sandra Osawa is a Makah filmmaker and poet. In 1974, she directed, wrote, and produced the Native American series for NBC. She was the first Native American filmmaker to produce a POV program with PBS. Her most prominent works are Lighting the Seventh Fire (1995) and On and Off the Res with Charlie Hill (1999). Her other film work includes Goin’ Back, In the Heart of Big Mountain, Pepper’s Pow Wow, Maria Tallchief, and Princess Angeline.

Sandy Osawa (Makah), a filmmaker based in Seattle, WA, was the featured speaker in the fall 2014 installment of The Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community, presenting “Maria Tallchief,” a lecture and viewing of the film.





Julianna Brahnum

Julianna Brannum is a documentary filmmaker based in Oklahoma. Her first film, The Creek Runs Red, was selected to air on PBS’s national prime-time series, Independent Lens. She later served as Producer for “Wounded Knee”, the final episode in the PBS series We Shall Remain for American Experience.

From Vision Maker Media





Sydney Freeland

Freeland is a transgender Navajo filmmaker who wrote and directed the short film Hoverboard and Drunktown’s Finest, which has gained numerous awards after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2017 her second film Diedra and Lainy Rob a Train was released on Netflix and debuted at Sundance. She has also directed, wrote, and produced The Migration, Her Story, Grey’s Anatomy, and Heathers

Again, I hope you like this edition of Native Americans in film. Enjoy your Thursday, be blessed. 


Featured and other images:  High Country News, Articlebio,, Ecotrust, Getty Images, & The Mary Sue


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