Producer Profile

The 1491s are a comedic group that travels the nation telling Native stories and bringing various social issues to light. They describe themselves as a “gaggle of Indians chock full of cynicism and splashed with a good dose of indigenous satire.” The 1491s got their start when the father of Dallas Goldtooth married the mother of Migizi Pensoneau. Growing up, the two boys made videos for fun. Eventually, the three other members asked to join in.

From Tohatchi, New Mexico, on the Navajo Reservation, Ramona Emerson (Diné) is a filmmaker who received her degree in Media Arts from the University of New Mexico in 1997 and has worked as a professional videographer, writer, and editor. Over her thirteen-year career, Emerson has received support from the State of New Mexico, National Geographic, Sundance Institute, and the Ford Foundation.

Tears of joy streamed down Kimberley Lambert-Lyman’s face when she heard the news. On May 9th, 2007 a bill was unanimously passed to bring six previously unrecognized tribes into recognition.

“They (the tribes) have spent many years, and I have been alongside with them watching this journey for years and when I heard the news it was just tears of joy for their success,” says Lambert-Lyman.

Terry Jones is a man of many talents. He’s a photographer, writer, filmmaker, and actor. He also makes one heck of a batch of Indian Corn Soup in the true Seneca tradition. Residing in New York City, Terry is on the Roster of Performing and Allied Artists at the American Indian Community House, a non-profit organization serving the health, social service, and cultural needs of Native Americans residing in New York City. Jones also hosts corn soup dinners there from time to time. In fact, his corn soup has won him some renown.

Dustinn Craig’s voice is cracking and he is having a hard time getting the words out.  Five minutes into the film “I Belong to This” Craig, the focus of the film, is breaking down into tears.  The emotion draws in the audience and it becomes evident that this isn’t a normal, informative, documentary.

“I’m looking forward to January 2009,” Julianna Brannum says with a smile when asked about her current project, We Shall Remain. “I’m looking forward to seeing all five episodes.”

With Christmas around the corner, families all over the country are looking for a family movie to sit down and enjoy. This year, families can indulge in a wholesome and entertaining film with a Native twist. Gary Robinson’s Native American Night Before Christmas released last November packs plenty of comedy, fun and education into its five-minute duration.

Jim DeNomie was born to tell stories.

As a descendent of the Loon clan, DeNomie feels that his ability as a story teller is inherent.

“Culturally, we are the people who often serve as speakers on behalf of the people,” DeNomie says.

“I kind of look at what I’m doing here (as) maybe what I would have been doing a long time ago, I’m just using new technology to speak on the behalf of the people or to communicate.”

Jim Fortier (Metis/Ojibwe) sits in the hot Arizona desert and stares at the location for his latest documentary, Bad Sugar.

This is no glamorous Hollywood movie set; there are no celebrity actors and no expensive special effects. This is a film about real people.

In the film capitol of America, just getting a start can be an obstacle too difficult to overcome.           

Randy Reinholz remembers sitting with three young Native people on a reserve somewhere in southern Canada several years ago and bringing up the idea of going to college. After a few chuckles, the students tell him that attending a university is simply out of the question.

“I never could come up with a reason why they couldn’t go to college,” Reinholz said. “But they had that impression of themselves.”

Rhiana Yazzie has been entertaining people with her creative writing since the third grade—just ask her mother.

“My mom tells me that my teacher said the whole class would always look forward to the story that I had written,” said Yazzie (Navajo). “It was sort of like, oh yeah, I have been writing stories for a very long time.”

So when it came to choosing a profession while attending the University of New Mexico, Yazzie already had a good idea of what she wanted to do.


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