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Alcatraz is Not an Island
The Filmmakers

Co-presented by:
ITVS
KQED



The Filmmakers

ALCATRAZ IS NOT AN ISLAND, presented by the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and KQED, is a one-hour public television documentary directed by James M. Fortier and produced by Jon Plutte. Actor Benjamin Bratt (Quechua) provides voice-over narration. Watch Quicktime Preview.

Millie Ketcheshawno
Executive Producer


The late Millie Ketcheshawno was a longtime Bay Area Indian community advocate. Her personal involvement with the occupation story was instrumental in bringing the occupation experience "behind the scenes" to this production. Until her death in December 2000, Millie was very active in Bay Area Indian affairs and organizations. After completing the UC Berkeley Film Program she went on to establish herself as a filmmaker and screenwriter. Along with this production, she worked with Peter Bratt on the feature film Follow Me Home and wrote a screenplay based on her Alcatraz experience.

Jon Plutte
Producer, Co-Writer


Jon Plutte is an award-winning filmmaker, multimedia producer, exhibit designer and musician. A Bay Area native, his past work includes managing, designing and producing multimedia exhibits and permanent media displays at the Presidio of San Francisco, Alcatraz Island, and the Marin Headlands, among others. Jon produced and directed We Hold the Rock, the first documentary made about the Indian occupation of Alcatraz in 30 years. This early exhibit and multimedia project has now developed into ALCATRAZ IS NOT AN ISLAND. He is also working with the City of Richmond on a documentary about the Richmond, California shipyards during World War II entitled It's Our Fight, Too! and is collaborating with the City of Richmond, CA and the National Park Service to help develop the new Rosie the Riveter National Historical Park.

James M. Fortier
Director, Co-Writer and Director of Photography


James Fortier is an award-winning director and director of photography. Born in Ontario, Canada, he is Métis, (pronounced "May-Tee") of Ojibway and French Canadian descent. He was the director of photography for several Native American and First Nations productions, including the short drama Looks Into the Night, starring Tantoo Cardinal, and the CBC documentary Today Is a Good Day: Remembering Chief Dan George, among others. More recently he was the writer, producer and director of the Minnesota PBS environmental documentary Voices For the Land, and he was the writer and associate producer for Ojibway PBS documentary series Waasa-Inaabidaa: We Look In All Directions. Jim is developing a new PBS documentary tentatively titled I Is Not For Indian, about how Native histories, cultures, and issues are presented and "taught" in the public schools. Jim is the director of photography for the documentary American Lynching: Strange and Bitter Fruit.

Dr. Troy Johnson
Historian and Associate Producer


Dr. Troy Johnson is a professor in the Native American studies department at California State University, Long Beach. He received a Ph.D. in history from UCLA after completing his thesis on the Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island. He is the author of several books, including We Hold the Rock: The Indian Occupation of Alcatraz, 1969 to 1971. His book The Occupation of Alcatraz Island was based on his research. He also completed a revision of the seminal 1960s Native American book, Red Power.

Mike Yearling
Editor and Co-writer


Mike Yearling is an award-winning creative director, editor and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to his documentary work, Mike has worked as a producer, writer and editor for the Discovery Channel program Cyberlife. He also produces films and videos for Fortune 500 clients.



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