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Heather Rae (Cherokee), a 20-year veteran of the film industry with a strong record in Native and other independent film, has worked on more than two dozen documentary and narrative film projects in various capacities—as an actor, director, editor, and producer. In 2009, Variety named her one of “10 Producers to Watch” for her success with both independent and mainstream films.
In 2008 Rae produced the critically acclaimed film Frozen River (d. Courtney Hunt). The film won two Independent Spirit Awards, including one for Rae as Producer of the Year. It also received Academy Award nominations for the director and for lead actress Melissa Leo and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2005 Rae released the feature documentary Trudell, the culmination of more than 13 years of work. The film, which profiles the life of Native American activist and spoken word artist John Trudell, premiered at Sundance and screened at more than 50 film festivals worldwide, winning Best Documentary Feature at the American Indian Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival. In 2007 Trudell was nationally broadcast on PBS in the documentary series Independent Lens. Rae’s documentary First Circle, about the foster care system and the impact of drugs on families and children, recently premiered at the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival.
From 1996 to 2001, Rae directed the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and was a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. Prior to Sundance, Rae worked as a producer on such documentaries for television as CBS’ 500 Nations and PBS’ Storytellers of the Pacific. After leaving Sundance, she began producing feature films, including American Monster, starring Adam Beach, Gary Farmer, and Udo Kier. Rae grew up in Boise, Idaho, and returned there to live in 2003. With her husband, writer and director Russell Friedenberg, she has established a production center in Boise where such independent filmmakers as Randy Redroad and Blackhorse Lowe have recently worked. In Idaho Rae and Friedenberg also founded the True West Film Festival (now defunct) and produced four feature films.
"I think the state of Native Cinema is ever-growing and
fluid. There is
so much talent and new ideas and even a younger generation that
is stepping forward with provocative images, new traditions and
a solid vision. And the generation before did such important groundwork
to create opportunity and a body of work to stem from. In some
ways my film bridges between those generations I know it
took me thirteen years to make TRUDELL but the process
overall was just right."
Presentado por NMAI
Heather Rae - gentileza del realizador