Kelly Byars is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He moved to New Mexico in 1983 and attended the Institute of American Indian Arts where he graduated in 1985 with a degree in Three-Dimensional Art. He has worked as a stone sculptor for over twenty-five years, he has won several first place ribbons with exhibitions at local and national venues. Byars then attended the University of New Mexico where he received his B.A. in Media Arts in 2004. He has been an actor in several theater and feature film performances. He won a performance award for his portrayal of Delbert Tsosie in the film “A Thief of Time”2004. Kelly also enjoys teaching, receiving his M.A. in Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies in 2009. He has produced several films as co/owner of Reel Indian Pictures in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Kelly is in the process of directing his feature documentary film, “Three Generations," a documentary about three generations of Taos potters, with which he was selected as an ITVS Humanities Documentary Fellowship Filmmaker. Mr. Byars also works as an audio recordist and videographer, and has worked as a contributing faculty member at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and an adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts.
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 a Sundance Native Lab Fellow, a Time-Warner Storyteller Fellow, a Tribeca All-Access Grantee, a PBS and ITVS grantee and a WGBH Producer Fellow. Ramona just published her first novel Shutter the first of a trilogy, with SOHO Press in August of 2022, She is represented by Nancy Stauffer Cahoon of Nancy Stauffer and Associates . 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.
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