Native Actors and Filmmakers : Visual Storytellers

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Biographies of Native Americans who tell their stories in film and on TV will inspire young people in the fields of entertainment and production.

Discover the unique lives and career paths of 12 Indigenous people who are actively working in the complex entertainment industry, either in front of or behind the camera. In addition to acting, their work includes motion picture, television and digital production in such roles as director, producer, writer, cinematographer and editor. Included in these biographies are real-world descriptions of what each member of a production team does, as well as advice on what it takes to get started in the entertainment industry. The glossary in the back of the book highlights the terminology used in TV/film production, and the list of resources provides a variety of ways to obtain additional information about the industry. B/W photos.

Irene Bedard: Inupiat, Yupik, Inuit, Cree, Métis actor
Tantoo Cardinal: Métis, Cree, Dene, Nakota actor
Christopher Nataanii Cegielski: Diné (Navajo) writer, producer and director
Sydney Freeland: Diné (Navajo) writer and director
Kimberly Norris Guerrero: Colville actor, writer, producer and educator
Michael Horse: Yaqui actor
Jack Kohler: Hupa actor, producer, director and educator
Doreen Manuel: Secwepemc/Ktunaxa producer, director and educator
Alanis Obomsawin: Abenaki producer and director
Randy Redroad: Cherokee writer, director and editor
Gilbert Salas: Indigenous Mexican-American cinematographer and director of photography
Ian Skorodin: Choctaw writer and director


Award-winning writer and filmmaker Gary Robinson (Choctaw/Cherokee descent) has worked most of his life to create Indigenous content in dozens of Indigenous educational, informational, and documentary television projects. He is the author of sixteen books, including eight books for teens in the PathFinders series. Gary lives in Santa Ynez, California.

“In addition to their own careers, many [of the 12 Native American and First Nations actors and filmmakers featured in the book] also work with Native youth to help make a positive difference in their lives. This is a helpful and much-needed resource about Native and Indigenous film-industry professionals.” -Booklist

“Introduces 12 Native individuals from different Indigenous nations and regions. [...]Through their stories the book captures how the US film industry is finally becoming more diverse. The personal stories from the actors and filmmakers are fun and entertaining and provide good insight into their lives and careers in the film industry.” -School Library Journal

“Each chapter in this collective biography is a self-contained profile that sparks interest in Native people working in the entertainment industry. . . . It includes a list of resources pointing readers to additional information about the film industry and Native cinema-related organizations and events.” -Kirkus


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