Rapid City, SD
Chris Eyre has been called “the preeminent Native American filmmaker of his time.” An enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribe of Oklahoma, Eyre creates films that focus on contemporary Native American life while confronting stereotypes. His film Smoke Signals won the filmmaker’s trophy and audience award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. It became the first feature film directed by a Native American to receive a national theatrical release. A Thousand Roads (2005), produced by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, is the museum’s signature film. Edge of America (2003), based on the true story of an African American English teacher who finds acceptance on a reservation through his coaching of the girls’ basketball team, won a Directors Guild Award for outstanding directorial achievement.