John Trudell


Filmmaker Bio

Heather Rae, a fair-skinned Cherokee woman with long light brown hair parted in the middle, sits outdoors with arms folded, smiling at the camera with her mouth closed.

Heather Rae

In her 15-year career in film, Cherokee filmmaker Heather Rae has worked in some producing capacity on more than a dozen documentaries and half a dozen features. TRUDELL is the culmination of 13 years of Rae’s work as a filmmaker and activist. It has played in more than 50 film festivals worldwide, garnering accolades such as Best Documentary Feature at the 30th Annual American Indian Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival.

From 1996 to 2001, Rae ran the Native Program at the Sundance Institute and was a programmer for the Sundance Film Festival. After leaving Sundance, Rae worked for one year as senior vice president of production for Winter Films. In 2003, Rae independently produced the feature film American Monster starring Adam Beach, Gary Farmer and Udo Kier. She is currently producing A Thousand Guns starring Michael Robinson (Trans, The Slaughter Rule) and directed by Julian Goldberger (Trans, The Hawk is Dying) and The Space Between All Things starring Yvonne Russo (Naturally Native, True Whispers) and directed by Randy Redroad (The Doe Boy). Rae also co-produced Backroads, directed by Shirley Cheechoo, which premiered at Sundance in 2000.

Prior to 1996, Rae worked on documentary films including CBS’s 500 Nations, Turner Broadcasting's The Native Americans, and PBS's Storytellers of the Pacific. She produced a documentary on the making of Smoke Signals for the Sundance Channel and was an associate producer on Silent Tears. Rae currently teaches film studies at Boise State University and sits on the board of directors for the True West Cinema Festival and TVTV, Boise’s community television outlet. Rae resides in Idaho with her husband and three children.

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