Virgil First Raise
Chaske Spencer was born of the Lakota Sioux tribe, and raised on Indian Reservations in Montana and Idaho. Chaske moved to New York City and he was cast in his first off-Broadway play, Dracula, playing the title role. From there he was fortunate enough to be discovered by television/film casting director Rene Haynes. Rene cast him in his first feature film SKINS, the lead in Dreamkeeper, and Steven Spielberg’s Into the West. Lately, he has been keeping busy with his most box office buzzworthy role to date, “Sam Uley” the alpha male leader of the werewolves, in the popular THE TWILIGHT SAGA film series. Most recently Chaske landed the NBC pilot Frontier from writer/exec producer Shaun Cassidy. Additionally, Chaske recently completed shooting several independent films— Desert Cathedral in Washington State and Shouting Secrets. Chaske is slotted to film Forgotten Allies based on the book of the same name. Partnered with Josselyne Herman and Ted Kurdyla, his production company Urban Dream Productions is also in development on a feature film called The Block, in which he will be starring. Chaske resides in Brooklyn, NY.
David is an Emmy Award nominated actor with thirty years experience in film and television. Among his many film credits are The Hurt Locker, Disturbia, Proof of Life, The Green Mile, Contact, The Rock and two films directed by Sean Penn--The Indian Runner and The Crossing Guard. He was also a lead in The Slaughter Rule, directed by Alex and Andrew Smith. On television Morse appeared as Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison in the series St. Elsewhere. He was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy on House M.D. and again for his work as George Washington in the HBO mini-series John Adams. Recently finished films include World War Z with Brad Pitt, Yellow directed by Nick Cassavetes, Horns with Daniel Radcliffe, and the title role in McCanick. Currently he is in New Orleans filming the fourth and final season of David Simon's HBO series Treme.
Julia studied at The Boston Ballet School from the age of four. She has modeled for Levis, The GAP, Esprit, and L'Oreal. She is a descendant of the Choctaw First Nation of Northern Mississippi as well as being part Chickasaw. Jones graduated from the historic Boston Latin School, the oldest school in America, and later Columbia University with a degree in English. Julia had a starring role as Leah Clearwater in The Twilight Saga. She's also starred in Jonah Hex and Hell Ride, and as Dr. Kaya Montoya on ER. She will next appear in Missed Connections, out next year.
Gary was born in Ohsweken, Ontario into the Cayuga Nation and Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois Confederacy. Farmer studied film production and photography at Syracuse University and Ryerson University. Farmer's first big role was on the CBC's SPIRIT BAY. He is known for his role as the spiritual guide "Nobody" in DEAD MAN. He reprised the role in GHOST DOG: THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI. A three-time Indie Spirit Award nominee, Gary has had starring roles in the films POWWOW HIGHWAY, SMOKE SIGNALS, DARK WIND, DREAMKEEPER, SKINS, and in numerous comedic and dramatic TV series.
Dana Wheeler-Nicholson was born and raised in New York City, and has been acting in film and television for 30 years. She has lead roles in Fletch, Tombstone, My Life's in Turnaround, 5 Time Champion, and many other films as well as television appearences on Sex and the City, Seinfeld, Law and Order, NYPD Blue, The X Files, and many others. For five years, Dana recurred as the troubled "Angela Colette" on the critically acclaimed NBC series Friday Night Lights. Dana will appear in the upcoming film When Angels Sing playing alongside Kris Kristofferson, Harry Connick Jr., and Willie Nelson. She also teaches acting, and is an accomplished singer who performs in and around Austin, Texas as well as in her native New York. She plans to record her first CD in early 2013.
Lily is from the Blackfeet and Nez Perce Nations, and having spent most of her formative years on the Blackfeet reservation, considers it to be home above all other places. Lily is an alumnus of the University of Montana, earning a BFA in Acting with a minor in Native American Studies in the fall of 2008. She currently performs a series of one-woman shows with the Seattle based theater company Living Voices. She will be seen in the upcoming AKA Jimmy Picard, directed by Arnaud Desplechin and starring Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric. She loves the work of James Welch, and is beyond giddy to be on this project.
Teresa First Raise
Casey Camp-Horinek is a long time Native Rights Activist, Environmentalist, Actress and member of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma. Having worked in theatre, film, and television since the mid 1980’s, Casey has been proud to take on roles that change the image of Native Women and bring Indigenous Peoples into the 21st Century. In 2009, Casey was selected as Best Actress by the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco, as well as the Breckinridge Film Festival, for her portrayal of Irene in Sterlin Harjo’s Barking Water, a Sundance Film Festival Official Selection. Casey has also been voted Favorite Indian Actress by Native American Times, and received the DOBE Award from the Colorado Western Film Society. Casey was also mentioned as one of the best Indian Actors of all time by Cowboys and Indians Magazine. Casey has served as a mentor and advisor for aspiring Native American film makers, actors, and actresses, from stages as grand as the Sundance Film Institute to local summer programs, and proudly continues to encourage Native American Youth to stay true to their cultural identities, while striving for success in the entertainment industry.
Richard Ray Whitman
Richard grew up in Gypsy, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Yuchi Tribe, enrolled with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. He's had a long career as an artist and photographer, showing his work at museums and galleries worldwide, including exhibits at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and La Biennale di Venezia in Italy. Richard's first role on camera was in the Institute of American Indian Arts 1969 production "Red Reflections." Since then, he's appeared in "War Party", "Lakota Woman", "The Only Good Indian", "American Indian Graffiti", "Four Sheets to the Wind" and other films. He played the lead role in the acclaimed independent film "Barking Water". He was also featured in the PBS TV series "We Shall Remain", about the 1973 American Indian Movement occupation of Wounded Knee, SD.
Saginaw has worked with other well known celebrities such as: Anthony Hopkins, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Urich, Rita Coolidge just to name a few. This year he will be seen in the cable television series, "American Horror Story" starring Jessica Lange, MTV Reality show "The Dudesons" where he portrays himself and the movie thriller, "Maneater" which he completed filming in early 2009. He is currently filming the upcoming major motion picture, "The Lone Ranger" starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and Helena Bonham Carter and has enjoyed working with director Gore Verbinski.
Born in Luton, England, David migrated to New York City at the age of twenty, where he began to write and perform monologues, stories and songs. His solo shows including The History of Kisses, Palomino, A Likely Story, Lillian and Deep in a Dream of You have been presented throughout the United States. He appeared as Floyd Duffner a.k.a. Studebaker in Alex and Andrew Smith’s The Slaughter Rule, and subsequently wrote, and portrayed Floyd in, a musical based on the character from the film, entitled Floyd and Clea Under the Western Sky. The show premiered at The Goodman Theatre, Chicago and ran off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. David's film credits also include Pollock and Two Lovers.
Ken was also a writer and co-producer on Winter in the Blood. (see below)
Michael Spears’ role in “Dances with Wolves” as Otter catapulted him into the world of Film, Music and Public Speaking. His many film and television appearances include the role of Adam, a child born with fetal alcohol syndrome, in ABC’S 1992 production of the “Broken Chord”, “The Broken Chain” (1993), “Lakota Woman” (1994), “SKINS”(2002) (director Chris Eyre), and the Stephen Spielberg-produced mini-series, “Into the West” (2003) as “Dog Star.” Recent roles include “Chief Coacoochee” (2008) for the Tampa Bay IMAX Museum, Broken Wing in “Yellow Rock” (2010) Black Elk Mountain Prods LLC, and Ten Kill in “Jesus In Cowboy Boots” (2012). As a Champion Hand Drum Singer, and lead vocalist for Bad Nation Singers, Michael is also an accomplished singer, known for both traditional and contemporary singing style.
After his debut role as Young Virgil in Winter in the Blood, Alex continued to hone his craft by participating in Longhouse Media’s 36 hour Superfly filmmaking workshop in partnership with Seattle International Film Festival. Alex is an enrolled member of the Chippewa-Cree and lives in Box Elder, MT.
Yancy is a bull-rider and team roper from Fort Belknap, and his horseback riding expertise was critical during several of his scenes in Winter in the Blood. Now bitten by the acting bug, Yancy is interested in pursuing more opportunities in film. Yancy is an enrolled member of the A’aninin (White Clay) and splits his time between Billings and Fort Belknap, MT.
Susan began her career working as a newspaper and broadcast journalist, writing and editing for The Japan Times, CNN Tokyo, The Dallas Morning News, and the Austin American-Statesman. She lived in Tokyo for two years, and then segued into the film industry, doing her first job with Troma Entertainment, in New York.
She enjoys most working on auteur-driven independent films, having worked as line producer on such films as Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me, John Sayles' Honeydripper, Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly and Doug McGrath's Infamous. She produced Benavides Born, which premiered in Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2011. She holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton University and an MFA from NYU. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Heather has worked as a producer and executive for twenty years. In September of 2009 she was named one of Ten Producers To Watch by Variety. She produced Frozen River, which stars Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo. Frozen River premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, won the Grand Jury Prize and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. Frozen River was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress and Best Screenplay, won Gotham Awards for Best Picture and Best Actress and was nominated for seven Spirit Awards resulting in a Best Actress win for Melissa Leo and the Producer of the Year for Rae. Rae produced The Dry Land, starring America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Jason Ritter, and Melissa Leo, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Rae produced Magic Valley, which was acquired for distribution by Rezo Films International at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2011.
Previously, Rae has had producing roles in many narrative and documentary feature films, including Trudell, which premièred at the Sundance 2005 and played at over 100 festivals. Trudell screened in over 60 theatrical markets before airing on PBS' Independent Lens and the Sundance Channel. Rae also produced and directed First Circle, a documentary about the foster care system. The project received the Sundance Documentary Grant and the ReNew Media Rockefeller Award. For six years Rae ran the Native Program at the Sundance Institute. Rae has worked as an advisor or consultant to the Sundance Institute, ITVS, the Rockefeller Foundation, National Geographic, PBS, Film Independent, the Independent Feature Project, and other media companies and organizations.
Carl is an independent producer based in Los Angeles. Current projects include The Bleeder with director Jeff Feuerzeig and producer Mike Tollin starring Liev Schreiber, The Flock with writer Chris Landon, and Wilderness of Mirrors with Writer/Director David Scarpa, among others. Prior to becoming a producer Hampe spent ten years in the specialty film business as a studio executive and film consultant with clients including Sony, Lionsgate, and National Geographic. While at Miramax Films and Warner Independent Pictures, he worked on a number of Academy Award-winning and nominated films including City of God, Amelie, Jet Li's Hero, The Painted Veil and Slumdog Millionaire.
Sherman is a Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Indian who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. He is an internationally renowned Native American writer, poet, screenwriter and filmmaker. Sherman wrote the screenplay for and co-produced Smoke Signals, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Award and the Filmmakers Trophy, as well as receiving the Christopher Award, an award presented for affirming "the highest values of the human spirit." Alexie was also nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. Alexie also wrote and directed The Business of Fancydancing. In 2010 he won the PEN/Faulkner Fiction award for his novel, War Dances. In 2007 he won the National Book Award for Young Peoples Literature for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, a highly regarded autobiographical novel. He has earned the NEA Poetry Fellowship, and the PEN/Hemingway Award for Best First Book of Fiction for The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven.
He is a founding Board Member of Seattle based Longhouse Media, a non-profit organization that is committed to teaching filmmaking skills to Native American youth and to the use of media for cultural expression. Alexie lives in Seattle, WA, with his wife and two sons.
Patrick Cook is a film Producer/Director based in Missoula, MT. He holds degrees in Theatre and Film. His past projects include a documentary project for the Irish Government entitled "The Gathering", Co-Producer on "Be Again" a short film based on the words and works of Samuel Becket, an ongoing documentary project with author Rick Bass and Missoula band Stellarondo, several short works and an animated WWI stop-motion silhouette feature with artist Andy Smetanka (My Winnipeg, The Tain) He is currently travelling, writing and working as a crowd-funding consultant.
Will is a project manager and social equity advocate who specializes in government relations, community organizing and real estate development in Austin Texas. His past work includes leadership positions with the Austin Film Society and the Austin Studios, and his current endeavors include work in early childhood education, local food systems advocacy, social entrepreneurship development and empowerment through the creative arts. Will and his family have called Montana home for over the past 15 years, during which time Will has worked throughout the state with The American Prairie Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and in the political sector with Senator Max Baucus on his 2002 re-election campaign.
Peter Booth Wiley is the chairman of the board of John Wiley & Sons, a global publishing house founded in 1807. A former journalist and newspaper columnist, Wiley is the author of five books including Empires in the Sun: The Rise of the New American West, America’s Saints: The Rise of Mormon Power, coauthored with Bob Gottlieb, and the National Trust Guide San Francisco: America's Guide for Architecture and History Travelers. Wiley was a researcher/writer for Mormons: Missionaries to the World, a documentary, which won an Honorable Mention at the San Francisco Film Festival in 1985.
Mark grew up in rural Wisconsin, but moved to Texas for law school at the University of Houston Law Center (J.D. 1981). Mark has taken and passed four state bar exams (Wisconsin, Texas, Montana and Louisiana) and been admitted by reciprocity in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Oklahoma.
He began his private law practice in Houston,Texas and eventually developed a national reputation for obtaining winning verdicts in complex and difficult birth injury cases. His work and cases contributed to groundbreaking medical publications and presentations. In addition to his substantial and often precedent-setting birth injury work, Mark has handled cases involving chemical and radiation exposures, business fraud, insurance bad faith, deaths and injuries from unsafe industrial and household products, deceptive trade practices, Native American land rights, premises liability for rapes and assaults from poor security, and sexual misconduct against religious orders, therapists and counselors. His cases have led to appearances on Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, the Today Show, Montel Williams as well as national front page news coverage by the NY Times.
Mark has been involved in a wide variety of environmental and progressive groups and causes. In addition to his legal activities, he has founded and runs Voodoo Cowboy, an entertainment company in Austin, which served as executive producer of Downloading Nancy (Sundance 2008) and as producer of The 2 Bobs (SXSW 2009). He also throws the best party of the year in August in Austin.
Jason is a 5th generation Montanan. After many different roads traveled, his love of movies brought him to film work in 2008. Since then he has worked as a Director, Actor, Writer, Associate Producer, and Producer of various film projects in Montana. Jason's impact on Winter in the Blood has been invaluable. He helped secure several early investment partners; on set he performed a variety of intriguing jobs including rain-maker, race car driver, human shield, cheerleader, and shoulder to cry on.
Neil Gobioff and Shawn Paonessa began their professional venture in 1999, when they co-wrote their first one-act, which was immediately accepted for production by Jobsite Theater in Tampa. The duo spent the next decade or so writing several more one-acts and full length productions, all of which were produced, culminating in their Off-Broadway premiere. During all of that, Gobioff also developed as a behind-the-scenes theatre technician and producer, while Paonessa developed as an actor and director. In 2011, they formed Kitefliers Studios, a film and media production house. Their credits include Associate Producers of the Off-Broadway hit SILENCE! The Musical and Co-Executive Producers of Table Ten Films' Clutter, currently in post-production, starring Carol Kane. They are also in post-production with their first self-produced work, The Bedford Devil, a dark comedy short expected by the end of 2012. .
Rene is a two-time Emmy Nominee for the TNT/DreamWorks mini-series Into the West and the HBO feature Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, for which she also received the Artios Award for excellence in casting. She is recognized in the entertainment industry as one of the foremost experts in Native American and First Nations casting and consults on many projects, both domestic and foreign. During her career she has easily moved back and forth between large studio projects with industry icons such as Steven Spielberg and Terrence Malick, to casting low budget first features for emerging and student filmmakers. Rene became part of the uber-crazy pop culture world surrounding the popular Twilight Saga – when she joined the casting team to find the Wolf Pack for New Moon and then to cast all the leads in Eclipse. Rene recently cast the civil war picture, Copperhead and the Jeff Barnaby feature debut, Rhymes for Young Ghouls. She is currently attached to cast Deerslayer, Man Called Buffalo, Lee, Die Laughing, Monkey Beach and several other feature projects. As a producer, Rene was on the producing team of the award winning, independent film, Butterfly Dreaming.
Paula Huidobro was born in Mexico City. She studied at the London International Film School and at the American Film Institute where she received her MFA in cinematography. One of her earlier features, Gardens of the Night, premiered at the Official Selection in Competition at the Berlin Film Festival and won the International Critics Award at the Deauville Film Festival. It also earned her a nomination for best cinematography at the Milan Film Festival. She worked with director Leland Orser on feature, Morning, starring Jeanne Tripplehorn, Laura Linney and Elliot Gould and has also shot several projects with award winning director Rodrigo Garcia. She has collaborated with Academy Award winning producer Mark Johnson on two features, Bless Me Ultima, directed by Carl Franklin, and Last Weekend starring Patricia Clarkson.
Paula frequently collaborates with her mentor, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubeski, including shooting second unit for him on the latest Terrence Malick film. Paula has shot commercials both in the US and Mexico for brands such as McDonalds, Sprite, Kellog’s. She has worked with award winning commercial directors Frank Budgeon, Robert Logevall, Dante Ariola and Mark Webb among others. In 2009 she was selected as one of the 25 New Faces of Filmaker Magazine.
Michael has been a part of the editing team on over 30 feature films. He has worked alongside directors Danny DeVito, Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, Milos Forman, Michael Mann, and Jodie Foster. Some of the films he has worked on include The 40 Year Old Virgin, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, Ali, Man on the Moon, Matilda, Home for the Holidays, and The Beaver. He recently completed editing the independent films Shelter and Frankie Go Boom.
David Storm has Art Directed for some of the industry’s pioneering independent artists including David Lynch, Wim Wenders, The Polish Brothers and the late photographer Herb Ritts. David has art directed commercials for Nintendo Wii, Microsoft, Nike, IBM, HP, Doritos, Wrangler, and Target as well as music Videos for Anya Marina, Handsome Furs, The Fruit Bats, and Wolf Parade. Recent feature films include Scott Coffey’s ADULT WORLD for Anonymous Content, WINTER IN THE BLOOD for The Brothers Smith and Michael James Johnsons’ THE WILDERNESS OF JAMES. Born in Montana, David attended Montana State University for film production. Having spent over 10 years in Los Angeles, he now calls Portland, Oregon home.
Kristin Burke has designed costumes for more than forty feature films and television movies, including The Conjuring, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Insidious, Paranormal Activity 2, Crossing Over, Running Scared, The Cooler, The Slaughter Rule, and Star Maps. She has also designed costumes for music videos, commercials, and two television series. In addition, Ms. Burke is an internationally-exhibited artist, specializing in collage and mail art, with her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in 2001. She has also authored two books: Costuming for Film: the Art and the Craft, co-written with Holly Cole for Silman James Press, and Going Hollywood: How to Get Started, Keep Going, and Not Turn Into a Sleaze.
SNAPSOUND is sound for storytellers. Formed in 2008, Zach Seivers and J.M. Davey realized they were natural collaborators in shaping sound. They wanted to create a boutique facility offering comprehensive post-production sound services for Film, Television and New Media. Since then SNAPSOUND has been honored with a Primetime Emmy Award and an MPSE Golden Reel Award for their work on Gettysburg, produced by Scott Free and History. Most recently, Zach and Justin completed work on Look of Love, starring Annette Bening, Ed Harris and Robin Williams. This psychological romance required detailed and subtle sound design to complement the filmmakers vision. Earlier this year, the guys let it get loud, sound designing and mixing the futuristic, science-fiction HALO 4: Forward Unto Dawn based on the HALO video game franchise. Zach and Justin continue to enjoy their work on multiple television series for [Adult Swim] as well as projects for other clients including: Fox Searchlight, The Weinstein Co., HBO Documentary Films, NBC Universal, ABC/Disney, Warner Bros. and more. SNAPSOUND looks forward to continuing work with creative individuals to enhance and illuminate the storytelling process through sound.
Best known as the multi-instrumentalist in the indie rock band The Decemberists, Chris Funk has also found much success as a music producer, composer, and studio musician. The artist has lent his musical acumen to such bands as The Shins, Laura Veirs, Blue Giant and more. Funk is also a founding member of the acclaimed neo-gothic string band Black Prairie on Sugar Hill Records. He has produced records for Red Fang, Langhorne Slim, The Builders and The Butchers, and Y La Bamba. He recently opened a studio in the office’s of Search Party West, a music supervision company headed by the legendary music supervisor Randall Poster where he plans to continue producing as well as focusing on soundtrack work and supervision.
Bio coming soon
After working with Alex and Andrew Smith at the Sundance Filmmakers’ Lab, Brent cut the Smith's first feature The Slaughter Rule. Since then, he’s become America’s pre-eminent comedy editor, working with Adam McKay on The Other Guys, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (and soon, the Anchorman sequel!). He also edits Judd Apatow’s films, including Funny People, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and the upcoming This is Forty. He’s currently in post on Paul Feig’s follow-up to Bridesmaids— The Heat.
Brent’s other credits include Arthur, A River Runs Through It, And The Band Played On, Matilda, Panic, and the television series’ Desperate Housewives, Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared. He received an Emmy award nomination for his work as part of the editing team for the 2002 Academy Awards. He began his career as an editor for the Sundance Film Institute's summer lab program and has assisted on such films as The Milagro Beanfield War, Glory, and Home for the Holidays.
Bio coming soon
Eric has been behind the camera on more than 30 films including director Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho, for which Eric garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination; Gus Van Sant’s To Die For, Larry Clark's highly controversial Kids, David O. Russell’s Flirting with Disaster, Copland, Another Day in Paradise, and Clay Pigeons, starring Vince Vaughn and Joaquin Phoenix. Edwards also lensed, in wide screen format, The Slaughter Rule. He next shot The Break Up and Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up. Edwards is currently shooting The Delivery Man for Vince Vaughn, and recently completed Lovelace, the romantic comedy Management, starring Jennifer Aniston and Woody Harrelson; and Traveling starring Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston. In addition to his film work, Edwards is known for his international commercials and music videos for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Donna Summers, Alanis Morissette, Paul Simon and the Red Hot Chile Peppers.