NMFO Monthly news & updates
July 17, 2020 | Issue 6
Senator John Pinto Memorial Fund recipients announced!
Native American Filmmakers receive grants to help open new doors into the film industry.
SANTA FE, N.M. - Recipients of the newly created Senator John Pinto Memorial Fund (SJP) for Native filmmakers include members from several tribal affiliations, exploring topics including missing women, ancient healing, modern day culture clashes, and entrepreneurship, New Mexico Film Office (NMFO) Director Amber Dodson announced.
  • Chindi, submitted by Robert Mesa (Navajo and Soboba)
  • Diyin ~ Holy Project, submitted by Carrie House (Diné)
  • Dream Touch Believe, submitted by Jenna Winters (Santa Clara Pueblo)
  • Feeding Po’Pay, submitted by Geoffrey Kie (Pueblo of Laguna)
  • Heroes of the West, submitted by Lydell Mitchell (Diné)
  • Homeopathy for Native America (working title), submitted by Leahn Marie Cox (Navajo)
  • Just Kids, submitted by Forrest Goodluck (Diné)
  • Lloyd “Kiva” New: An American Entrepreneur, submitted by Nathaniel Fuentes (Santa Clara Pueblo)
  • Marlon, submitted by Kevin Brown (Navajo)
  • Meow Loses a Button (working title), submitted by Melissa Henry (Navajo)
  • Mother’s Day, submitted by Natalie Benally (Navajo)
  • No Love 4 Lamb, submitted by Jonathan Sims (Pueblo of Acoma)
  • (MMIW), submitted by Cameron L. Martinez Jr. (Taos Pueblo and Laguna Pueblo)
  • Re-Indigenizing Minds, submitted by Colleen Gorman (Diné)
  • River Bank, submitted by Charine Gonzales (San Ildefonso Pueblo)
  • Rez Dogs, submitted by Steven Tallas (Navajo)
  • Rude Girl, submitted by Joshua Zunie (Zuni Pueblo)
  • Three Generations: A Family of Artists, submitted by Dawning Pollen Shorty (Taos Pueblo/Sioux and Diné)
  • Together, submitted by Stanley Bain Jr. (Navajo)
  • Yazhi Boy, submitted by Daniel Edward Hyde (Navajo and Belizean)
to the Senator John Pinto Memorial Fund submission committee!
Ramona Emerson is a Diné writer and filmmaker originally from Tohatchi, New Mexico. She received her degree in Media Arts in 1997 from the University of New Mexico and her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) in 2015 from the Institute of American Indian Arts. She has worked as a professional videographer, writer and editor for over twenty years and is currently working on her 8th film project, Crossing the Line. She is an Emmy nominee, a Sundance Native Lab Fellow, a Time-Warner Storyteller Fellow, a Tribeca All-Access Grantee and a WGBH Producer Fellow. Ramona just finished her first novel, Shutter the first of a trilogy, and is now working toward publishing and adapting the series into a screenplay. Through her storytelling, Emerson looks at contemporary stories about her people and aims to question and redefine the expectations of Native cultural identity, highlighting stories that are not a part of mainstream media. She currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she and her husband/producer, Kelly Byars run their production company Reel Indian Pictures.

"Senator John Pinto understood the importance of Native filmmakers telling their own stories. This grant could not come at a more perfect time as filmmakers of color are finally making strides in taking back our stories and insisting that we are writing the screenplays, running the cameras, directing and producing, all on our own. The time has come and I know that Senator Pinto would be proud to see the first projects to come from his invaluable support. We will continue to fight to make sure this fund continues and the voices of Native filmmakers continue to be supported. That is what he would have wanted," said Ramona Emerson.
Nanobah Becker: is an award-winning writer/director who earned her MFA in directing from Columbia University. Her first two short films, FLAT and CONVERSION (Sundance Film Festival), were selected to screen at numerous festivals in the U.S. and internationally. THE 6th WORLD, a sci-fi short she wrote and directed, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. The National Gallery of Canada selected the film for inclusion in its prestigious exhibition SAKAHÀN: International Indigenous Art. She directed I LOST MY SHADOW by Laura Ortman, which won best Music Video at the imagineNATIVE film + media arts festival. Her second collaboration with Laura Ortman, MY SOUL REMAINER, was in the 2019 Whitney Biennale and also recently acquired by the Baltimore Museum of Art. Nanobah is a citizen of the Navajo Nation and was a dialogue director on the Navajo language dub of FINDING NEMO. Nanobah was born and raised in Albuquerque and currently lives in Los Angeles. 

"There absolutely is nothing else like the SJP Memorial Fund out there. To be able to help support 20 talented indigneous filmmakers is an incredible honor. I cannot wait to see their finished projects," said Nanobah Becker.
Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho) is an internationally recognized film and
television director and producer who has received many awards for his work including,a Peabody, an Emmy and a Sundance Audience Award. Eyre directorial-debut was the Miramax Classic Film “SMOKE SIGNALS (1998), which won Eyre the 1998 Sundance Filmmakers’ Trophy and 1998 Sundance Audience Award. In 2018, “SMOKE SIGANALS (1998) was inducted by the Library of Congress to the National Film Registry for movies of historic and cultural significance to be preserved for all time. Eyre’s television credits as a director include multiple episodes of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC) and work on LAW AND ORDER – SVU (NBC), as well as directing the dramatic mini-series WE SHALL REMAIN (2009) for PBS. Eyre began by attended the graduate film program at New York University and went on to the Sundance Institute's Directors’ Lab being mentored by Robert Redford in 1995. Eyre’s film “EDGE OF AMERICA (2004)” was selected as the “Opening Night” film at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, and garnered Eyre the highly prestigious, Outstanding Directorial Achievement from the Directors Guild of America (DGA) in 2005. Eyre has directed and/or produced over fifteen-feature films. In 2017, Eyre’s company created and supervised the cultural team that advised language and Cheyenne Native American culture for the Christian Bale feature film “HOSTILES (2018)” directed by Scott Cooper. Chris Eyre is currently developing a television series with fellow producers George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) and Robert Redford to be in production in 2020. Chris Eyre resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“In the face of all that is happening in our country today, I’m incredibly proud to see the state and the people of New Mexico supporting new and emerging Native American filmmakers success. Storytellers are critically to our history, culture and most importantly, our entertainment! Thank you to the late-Senator Pinto for his vision, to the filmmakers for their stories, and to the state of New Mexico for being New Mexicans!!” said Chris Eyre.
Beverly Morris is a Producer/Director and owner of Chain Reaction Productions, a Native American film company that develops, produces and directs video projects for and about Native American People. She was one of the founders of Native Images, a video production center at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She served as the Director of the Summer Film and Television Workshop at the Institute of American Indian Arts in collaboration with the Walt Disney Studios/ABC Entertainment Talent Development Programs. Ms. Morris produced and directed Dancing with Photons , profile of Navajo physicist, Dr. Fred Begay, and produced Looking Toward Home, a one-hour program about Native American people living in urban areas. Ms. Morris produced the pilot for a ten episode PBS series Growing Native , co-produced by KNME TV-5 and Native American Public Telecommunications. She is currently in the post-production phase of Chasing My DNA: Travels From the Steppes of Mongolian to Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Ms. Morris serves on the Institute of American Indian Arts Board of Trustees. Ms. Morris is a member of the Qawalangin Tribe (Aleut) of Unalaska, Alaska and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

" I was thrilled to be asked to served as one of the judges for the Senator John Pinto Film Grant project because I wanted to learn about what our Indigenous filmmakers in New Mexico were up to. I am impressed with the variety of film projects submitted and I look forward to watching all of the films soon. Congratulations to our Native Filmmakers," said Beverly Morris.
Film and Motion Picture Industry Favorably is 70% Among New Mexico Residents
New Mexico residents have a very favorable opinion of the Film and Motion Picture Industry according to the 2020 Garrity Perception Survey (GPS). Among the 17 industries surveyed, the film and motion picture industry is the third most favorable in the state, tied with New Mexico community colleges. The scientific survey among New Mexico residents was conducted in late January 2020.

The Film and Motion Picture Industry ties with Community Colleges as the third most favorable industry in New Mexico. Small Business (79%) and the Farm & Ranch Industry (77%) are the most favorable industries. The National Laboratories and Local Banks (both 67%) follow the Film Industry as the next most favorable industries. 
Insights with Director of the New Mexico Film Office Amber Dodson
Sierra County Film Liaison
Cody "Jagger" Gustin
Cody "Jagger" Gustin was first appointed to the post of Sierra County Film Liaison in 1994, a position he has held continuously since that time. In addition to serving the county as a whole, he is the film liaison for largest town in the county, Truth or Consequences. A native of New Mexico, Jagger majored in marketing and management at Western New Mexico University. His work on the Sierra County Economic Development Organization Board led to his being named as the Film Liaison.

As an actively engaged liaison, Jagger has assisted numerous productions including "The Book of Eli," "Mad Love," and "Cheating Hearts." He also provided liaison assistance for advertising campaigns that used the dramatic Sierra County landscapes as their backdrops including national and international ads for Volvo Motors, Chevy Trucks, Kawasaki Motorcycles and many more.

In 2018, the New Mexico House of Representatives honored Jagger for his "tireless service" to the growth and enhancement of his community and the state as a whole.

The New Mexico Film Office honors Jagger's unbroken and dedicated service that has been instrumental in the development of a statewide network of professionals committed to the growth of New Mexico's film and media industry.
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