Dylan Alford is a Master’s student in the Department of English at the University of Oklahoma where he 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 second 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.
Matt Barse (Wichita) developed his creative skills at the University of Oklahoma Fine Arts Department at and technical know-how at the Oklahoma City Community College Digital Cinema Production Program and has found time to produce short and feature-length films, using life experiences to create unique and relatable works of art, which can be described as “fact-based fiction.” Barse has worked with many creative professionals in the filmmaking world to help bring his vision to life.
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.
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.
Federico Cuatlacuatl is a Mexican Indigenous artist born in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. He then immigrated to Indiana and received his MFA specializing in Digital Arts at Bowling Green State University. Federico’s work is invested in disseminating topics of Latinx immigration, social art practice, and cultural sustainability. Building from his own experience growing up as an undocumented immigrant and currently holding DACA, Federico’s research is primarily concerned with pressing realities in current social, political, and cultural issues that Latinx undocumented immigrants face in the U.S. Federico’s independent productions have been screened in various national and international film festivals including: Mexico; USA; Canada; Finland; Athens, Greece; Delph, England; Lucknow, India; Paris, France; and Azires Islands, Portugal. As founder and director of the Rasquache Artist Residency in Puebla, Mexico, he actively stays involved in socially engaged works and binational endeavors.
Erica Cruice is an undergraduate student in the Helmerich School of Drama at the University of Oklahoma where she is studying Stage Management. Erica is the Event Coordinator for the Film & Media Studies department. This is her second year working for Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium.
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.
Morningstar Derosier (Anishinaabe) Morningstar Derosier is a filmmaker who grew up in northwestern Ontario. Her experiences growing up on the land taught her the importance of hard work and respect, values which she carries into her personal work.
Vanessa Erat A current grantee of the Fulbright award, Vanessa Erat serves as a Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant with the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at OU. She graduated from the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, with an M.A. in English and American Studies. As a Humanities-trained researcher, she has a pronounced interest in cultural and mythological contextualization, worldbuilding and mythopoesis in the Fantastic across media. Texts she has worked with extensively include the science fiction and fantasy franchises Mass Effect and Dragon Age by Canadian videogame developer BioWare.
Brad Eubanks (Cherokee) 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. For the past 17 years Brad has been a professional wrestler known as “The Man Called Fuel”. In 2009 Brad launched United Wrestling Entertainment based out of Tahlequah 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.
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), won the Best Documentary Award at the 6th Festival Internacional de Cortos Proyección Corta in Mexico City.
Mark Esquivel, a Xicano from Texas, is Ph.D. candidate of Native American Art History in the OU School of Visual Arts. He has an interest in Indigenous lens-based cultural production, and art employing alternative media and emerging technologies. His dissertation project investigates how Indigenous photography projects forward discourse on politics and Indigenous forms of community life beyond the state.
Dr. Lee Francis IV (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 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.
John Gamber is Associate Professor of English at Utah State University and has previously taught at Columbia University and the College of William and Mary. He has published extensively on Native American literature and film, including a forthcoming article on Drunktown’s Finest, as well as on Asian American, Chicanx, and African American literatures. His current book project maps the ways that 21st century Native artists are resisting settler toxic masculinities in their work, particularly via an emphasis on matrifocality and connections to the other than human.
Rachel Gregg is a communications specialist and producer with a M.A. in Communication and Environmental Rhetoric from the University of Montana. Before joining Big Sky, Rachel was a PR specialist with the Montana Film Office where she coordinated public relations, marketing, communications, project development, and web & social media promotions, as well as event-based marketing and brand activation at film festivals including Sundance, SXSW and LA Film Festival. Rachel produced the first Montana Forum on Film and New Media and assisted in developing Montana’s film industry infrastructure through workforce development projects and administration of the Montana Department of Commerce Big Sky Film Grant program.
Chelsea Herr (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma) is a Ph.D. candidate in Native American Art History at the University of Oklahoma. She is writing her dissertation, “Future Tense: Possibilities, Portents, and Permutations in Native American Art,” on Indigenous Futurisms in the work of living Native North American artists.
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 (Laguna/Kewa Pueblos) 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.
María C. Marchand was born and did her undergraduate studies in pedagogy in Lima, Peru. After moving to the University of Oklahoma, she earned a MA in Spanish Literature and has taught as a Spanish Instructor in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics for over 20 years. She has taught study abroad programs in Peru and has served as Faculty in Residence in Arezzo, Italy, Puebla, Mexico, and in Cross on the Norman Campus.
Dr. Joshua Nelson, a Cherokee citizen and native Oklahoman, is Chair of the Film & Media Studies department, Associate Professor of English, President’s Associates Presidential Professor, 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, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate, Faculty Fellow for Dunham Residential College, and 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 a co-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 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 department at the University of Oklahoma. He is a co-founder of Native Crossroads and a co-programmer of the festival for 2018 and 2019. 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.
Joleen D. Scott (Cherokee) 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 second time working for Native Crossroads Film Festival and Symposium.
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 Laurel is an associate professor in the department of geography and environmental sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. Her scholarship asks how video technologies mediate Indigenous participation in the authorship of authoritative environmental and cultural knowledge. Her scholarship has been published in journals such as cultural geographies, Historical Geography, and History and Technology. Laurel teaches courses focused on research methods, critical theory, media geographies and more.
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.
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 department where he emphasizes 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.
Dr. Theodore (Ted) Van Alst, JR. is Associate Professor and Director of Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University. He is co-editor and Creative Editor for Transmotion (an open-access on-line journal of postmodern indigenous studies). His short story collection about growing up in Chicago, Sacred Smokes, has recently been published by the University of New Mexico Press, who also published his edited volume The Faster Redder Road: The Best UnAmerican Stories of Stephen Graham Jones. He is a chapter contributor for collections such as Seeing Red: Hollywood’s Pixelated Skins, and Visualities: Perspectives on Contemporary American Indian Film and Art, both from Michigan State University Press as well as The Routledge Companion to Native American Literature. His fiction, reviews, and photography have been published widely. Dr. Van Alst’s teaching and scholarship focus on contemporary Native film and literature, as well as spirituality, activism, and representation.
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, 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.