Dylan Alford is a Master’s student in the Department of English at the University of Oklahoma where he also teaches First-Year Composition. His main areas of research interest are in postcolonial studies, cultural studies, cinema, and New Media with an emphasis on hypertext fiction, video games, and B-Movies. This is his first year working on the Native Crossroads festival.
Kelli Pyron Alvarez is a full-time lecturer for First Year Composition at OU. She holds an M.A. in Native American Studies and a M.A. in English, both from the University of Oklahoma. Her academic interests include Mexican, Chicanx, and Indigenous literatures and film. She also interrogates the complexities and real-world issues of race and ethnicity in literature, film, and television.
Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham (Chickasaw) serves as Coca-Cola Professor and Chair of Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. From 2007 to 2012, she served her tribe, the Chickasaw Nation, as the Administrator of the Division of History and Culture. During her tenure, she curated and launched the state-of-the-art Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, OK.
Jeremy Charles is a Cherokee visual artist based in Oklahoma. Jeremy spent 10 years as an Art Director before becoming an award winning Photographer – best known for creative portraits of musicians, public figures and athletes. He has now added video production to his expertise, forming Fire Thief Productions with filmmaker Sterlin Harjo in 2014.
Amanda E. Cuellar is a Ph.D. candidate in the OU Department of English with an interest in border studies, Chicano literature, and Mexican cinema. Her dissertation project interrogates Gloria Anzaldúa’s notion of la frontera in contemporary Chicano texts. She has served as a volunteer for the Native Crossroads Film Festival since 2016 and is a co-programmer for this year’s event.
Melissa Elizondo studied communication at the Technology University of Mexico (UNITEC, in Spanish) and cinematography at the CUEC-UNAM film school. She participated in Guadalajara Talents 2014. She presented her short documentary Las rejas de la voz (2011), which she co-directed with Uriel López, at the 33rd International Festival of New Latin American Film in Havana. The film won 2nd place in the documentary category of the Gender and Justice Competition 2013, organized by the Gender Equity Office of Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice. She participated in other festivals, including the 11th Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) and the 62nd Trento Film Festival, with her short documentary Tumín. Economía solidaria (2013), winner of the Best Documentary Award at the 6th Festival Internacional de Cortos Proyección Corta in Mexico City.
Mark Esquivel, a Xicano from Texas, is a second-year art history Ph.D. student in the OU School of Visual Arts, working towards a specialization in Indigenous photography. He is interested in Indigenous digital aesthetics of multivalent photographs by Indigenous artists contextualized within matrices of power.
Brad Eubanks is a 33 year old single dad of two daughters, ages 5 & 8, and is from Tahlequah, OK. He is currently an Employee of the Cherokee Nation Career Services Department, Member of the Board of Directors for CASA (court appointed special advocates) and is a member of Cornerstone Fellowship in Tahlequah, OK. For the past 17 years Brad has been a Professional Wrestler known as “The Man Called” Fuel, Since 2009 Brad launched United Wrestling Entertainment based out of Tahlequah, OK producing monthly events. For the past 2 years, UWE has become a certified State non-Profit Foundation, as most if not all UWE events are for fundraising purposes such as for children fighting cancer, local organizations such as Help in Crisis, softball teams, churches, & more.
Dr. Lee Francis (Pueblo of Laguna) is the Head Indigenerd and CEO of Native Realities, the only Native and Indigenous pop culture company in the United States with the hope to change the perceptions of Native and Indigenous people through dynamic and imaginative pop culture representations. He has been published in multiple publications ranging from poetry to short stories. His first comic book is Sixkiller debuted June 2018. He is a strong advocate for Native youth, with a focus on community literacy and entrepreneurship. He lives in Albuquerque with his family (and dog).
Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa/Choctaw) is a filmmaker, scriptwriter, graphic designer and a visual artist. Specializing in pieces “for Indians to have, and that get white people to think,” he draws from the lack of mainstream Native American culture during his childhood and rewrites history. He also recently co-authored a book with Thomas Yeahpau titled The Last Pow-Wow which was released in 2016.
Charles Kenney is a Professor at University of Oklahoma, where he has taught Government and Politics of Latin America and the International Relations of Latin America since 1997. Dr. Kenney lived in Peru from 1978-79 and 1984-1991, received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 1998, was a Fulbright Fellow at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in 2000, and is the past chair of the Peru Section of the Latin American Studies Association. He was a member of the Latin American Studies Association delegation of international electoral observers for the 2000 Peruvian elections and the National Democratic Institute and Carter Center joint international observation mission in 2001.
He has published Fujimori's Coup and the Breakdown of Democracy in Latin America (University of Notre Dame Press 2004), articles in Comparative Political Studies, Party Politics, PostData, Elecciones, Estudios de Filosofía, Areté, Páginas, and chapters in books edited by Oxford University Press and the Frederich Ebert Foundation. His primary areas of interest include democratization, constitutional design, electoral and party systems, and Peruvian politics.
Zach Litwack is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker based out of Tulsa, OK. Having worked in the industry for over 15 years, his fiction and documentary films have screened at festivals throughout the U.S. and at international festivals, including the Maoriland Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival. He currently works as the Lead Editor at FireThief Productions, where he edits the television show, "Osiyo: Voices of the Cherokee People" as well as assorted documentary and fiction films.
Jesse Littlebird was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and he attended the University of New Mexico with a major in Film and Digital Media and a minor in Photography. He was a 2017 Full Circle Fellow through the Sundance Institute’s Native and Indigenous Program.
Jennifer Loren is an Emmy-award winning journalist and filmmaker. Evolving from a reporter and producer to a documentarian and host, she has been in the television and video production business since 2001. Jennifer started her career in television news where she was an anchor, producer and investigative reporter. In 2014, she joined Cherokee Nation Businesses where she co-created the highly acclaimed documentary-style show Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People. Jennifer is the executive producer, host and many times a director of the short documentaries in the show, which is often called OsiyoTV. A proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Jennifer is humbled and thrilled to share her tribe’s stories with the world.
Dr. Joshua Nelson (Joshua Nelson, a Cherokee citizen and native Oklahoman, is Director of Film & Media Studies, Associate Professor of English, and affiliated faculty with Native American Studies at OU, where he teaches American Indian film and literature. He earned his B.A. in psychology at Yale and his Ph.D. at Cornell. His book Progressive Traditions: Identity in Cherokee Literature and Culture appeared in 2014, and he is at work on a book on representations of the body in Indigenous film. He is the lead organizer of Native Crossroads, an ex officio member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Secretary of the Faculty Senate, Faculty Fellow for Dunham Residential College, and future Faculty in Residence at OU’s Cross Neighborhood. For the forthcoming documentary film Searching for Sequoyah, about the legacy of the inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, he is an associate producer, narrator, and interviewer.
Hud Oberly (Comanche, Osage, Caddo) is the Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Program at Sundance Institute where he touches a wide variety of areas including artist relations, Indigenous/tribal community relations and creative input. Hud specializes his work to hit the broader goal of changing outdated narratives of Native American, Indigenous and First Nations peoples.
Rodrick Pocowatchit is from the Comanche, Pawnee and Shawnee nations, and has produced, written, edited, directed and starred in four independent feature films, including the zombie cult hit THE DEAD CAN'T DANCE and the forthcoming RED HAND. He is an alumnus of the Sundance Institute’s screenwriting and feature film program and the L.A. SkinsFest Directors Initiative at CBS. He is also a film columnist for The Wichita Eagle newspaper in Kansas.
Karl Schmidt is the Digital Media Lab Manager for the Film & Media Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma. He is a co-founder of Native Crossroads and a co-programmer of the festival for 2018. He handles the graphical, technological, and media needs for the festival. Karl holds B.A.’s in Visual Anthropology, and New Media Photojournalism from Western Kentucky University.
Jorge Scobell’s work was included in Mexico’s selection for Sights and Sounds: Global Film at the Jewish Museum in New York. He participated in the 62nd International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany. He also received funding (2012-2014) from the BBVA Bancomer Program/MACG Arte Actual (Today’s Art).
Joleen D. Scott is a Master’s student in the Department of Native American Studies with an interest in the connections between visual media and intellectual or cultural sovereignty among Indigenous people within the United States. Her thesis is looking into the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and focalizing what those rights mean through a Cherokee artistic lens. Her professional experience includes being an online instructor for the Intro to Native American Studies course as a graduate teaching assistant. This is her first time working for Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium.
Heather Shotton is a citizen of the Wichita & Affiliated Tribes, and is also of Kiowa and Cheyenne descent. She serves as an Associate Professor in Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She received her doctorate in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma in 2008. Dr. Shotton’s research focuses on Indigenous students in higher education and Indigenous women, particularly in the areas of leadership and Indigenous women in academia. She served as a co-editor for the book, Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education (Stylus), which addresses strategies for serving Native college students, and is a co-editor for the forthcoming book, Reclaiming Indigenous Research in Higher Education (Rutgers University Press). She has been faculty at OU for nine years, prior to returning to OU she served as Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs at Oklahoma City University. She has spent her career serving students both in and out of the classroom. Dr. Shotton is the past president for the National Indian Education Association and was recently named the NIEA Educator of the Year. She is a strong advocate for Native education and serves Native students and communities on a national and local level.
Jill Simpson serves as Executive Director of the Society for Cinema & Media Studies (SCMS). The international organization’s home office is situated at the University of Oklahoma. Prior to joining SCMS in 2014, she served for ten years as Director of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office and spent the first 18 years of her career working in the film industry in Los Angeles. She was named one of Oklahoma Magazine’s 2014 Oklahomans of the year. She received an Oklahoma Film Icon Award at the 2014 deadCENTER Film Festival, and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Film & Video Society.
Dr. Laurel C. Smith is an Associate Professor in the OU Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, where she has taught cultural geography, critical theory and qualitative research methods since 2007. She also serves as affiliate faculty with the Film and Media Studies and the Women’s and Gender Studies Programs at OU. Dr. Smith’s interest in Indigenous regions of Latin America began when she was a geography graduate student at the University of Kentucky. During a field study course in Oaxaca, Mexico she encountered for the first time a video made by comunicadores indígenas. She then spent four years in Oaxaca, learning Spanish and studying how and why Indigenous individuals and collectives collaborated with others to mobilize video technologies to represent their communities’ situations, stories, and strategies. Dr. Smith’s scholarship focuses on the ways Indigenous videos rework notions of authorship and academic authority. In the classroom, Dr. Smith often screens and teaches about these kinds of videos so students can learn about – and from – Indigenous communities’ perspectives on and proposals for environmental and social justice. She is married to Filoteo Gómez Martínez – an Indigenous media maker from la Sierra Mixe of Oaxaca. Together they parent and collaborate with others on various video projects that examine social, environmental, and/or intellectual geographies.
Dr. Lindsey Claire Smith is Associate Professor of English and American Studies and Associate Director of American Indian Studies at Oklahoma State University. She is the author of Indians, Environment, and Identity on the Borders of American Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) and editor of Alternative Contact: Indigeneity, Globalism, and American Studies (Johns Hopkins, 2011) with Paul Lai. She is the editor of American Indian Quarterly and a founding member of the Tulsa Indigenous Studies Alliance. She is also Interim Director of the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa, and co-chair of Tulsa Lit.Fest.
Angela Startz is an extremely busy individual with eclectic tastes in travel, music and food. She would like to be able to watch movies, but she’s too busy making them, acting in them and promoting them. When she’s not working in film and television, she’s tap dancing her way across the globe. A member of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, her Inupiaq roots come from Kotzebue and Point Hope. For the past 14 years, Angela has worked at the University of Oklahoma in public relations. This is the third year she’s given her talents to NXR. And it keeps getting better, every single time she sees it.
Dr. Dustin Tahmahkera (Comanche Nation) is an interdisciplinary scholar of North American indigeneities, critical media, and cultural sound studies. In his first book Tribal Television: Viewing Native People in Sitcoms (University of North Carolina Press, 2014), Tahmahkera foregrounds representations of the Indigenous, including Native actors, producers, and comedic subjects, in U.S., First Nations, and Canadian television and other media from the 1930s-2010s within the contexts of federal policy and social activism. His current book project Cinematic Comanches: In the Media Borderlands of The Lone Ranger (under contract with the University of Nebraska Press’ “Indigenous Films” series) continues his interest in the politics of Indigenous visualities. At UT, he also serves on the Advisory Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies program.
Sunrise Tippeconnie (Comanche/Navajo) started working with Native Crossroads with the integration of a concurrent media course in 2014. Additionally, he is a Lecturer in the Film & Media Studies Program where he emphasizes in courses in media production. He supports production coursework with on-set practice as an IATSE Local 484 member as well as in his own independent media work. He is currently in post-production on several fictional shorts that investigate Comanche identity and spirituality within the science-fiction and horror genres.
Dr. Kimberly Wieser is an Associate Professor of English and an affiliated faculty member with Native American Studies and Environmental Studies at the University of Oklahoma. She is the director of the Native Writers Circle of the Americas and serves as president of the Board of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Her areas of interest are Native critical theories, contemporary Native literatures, Native rhetorics, and Native creative writing.
Mark Williams is a Choctaw writer and director from Oklahoma and creator of production company Native Boy Productions LLC. His short and feature length films have won several awards including those from the Red Fork Film Festival, Mvskoke Film Festival, Red Dirt International Film Festival, Gallup Film Festival, Eye Catcher International Film Festival, and the Native American Film Festival of the Southwest. Categories include Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.
Celia Xavier (Salish, Athabaskan and Mayan) is the CEO and Head of Original Programming at Tribal TV, a dedicated channel on Amazon Prime and Roku, and Founder and Executive Director of Tribal Film Festival in Tulsa, OKLA, whose mission is advocating a broader audience for Indigenous films. She is also the owner of IndieIN films (Filmmaking with Intention) and a co-founder with Mary Aboud of a filmmaking bootcamp that “empowers, inspires, and sustains students to tell their digital stories.” Celia comes from the Big Island of Hawaii and resides in Los Angeles.