red ant films

Bios

Melissa Henry

Short Bio

Melissa Henry is an artist and filmmaker, and the 2013 Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Artist Fellow at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. Her latest film, “Run Red Walk,” premiered April 2011 at the Smithsonian National Museum American Indian Film + Video Festival and was awarded Best Short Subject at the 2011 Les Prix Présence Autochtone in Montreal. Her previous film, “Horse You See,” won People's Choice at the first PBS Online Film Festival, was voted Best Children's Film at the 2009 Talking Circle Film Festival, and has been shown at the Smithsonian Institution, Autry National Center and UCLA Film and Television Archive, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, All Roads Film Project Santa Fe, and ImagineNative Film Festival, among others. Melissa's trilogy of Navajo animals will be completed with “A History of Navajo Wool: As Told by Baa Baa,” currently in pre-production.

Long Bio

Melissa Henry is an artist and filmmaker. She is the 2013 Eric and Barbara Dobkin Native Artist Fellow at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe. Her latest film, “Run Red Walk,” premiered April 2011 at the Smithsonian National Museum American Indian Film + Video Festival and was awarded Best Short Subject at the 2011 Les Prix Présence Autochtone in Montreal. Her previous film, “Horse You See,” won the first PBS Onnline Film Festival, was voted Best Children's Film at the 2009 Talking Circle Film Festival, and has been shown at the Smithsonian Institution, Autry National Center and UCLA Film and Television Archive, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, All Roads Film Project Santa Fe, and ImagineNative Film Festival. Melissa's trilogy of Navajo animals will be completed with “A History of Navajo Wool: As Told by Baa Baa,” currently in pre-production.

Melissa was a winner of a National Geographic All Roads Seed Grant in 2009, and received two New Visions/New Mexico Contracts Awards in 2007 and 2008. In 2006 she was chosen as a Sundance Institute Ford Foundation fellow. In 2005 she received a scholarship to attend the IAIA Television and Film Summer Workshop.

Since 2003 Melissa works independently through her own production company, Red Ant Films. She holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland and teaches video production at the University of New Mexico.

Melissa grew up on the Navajo reservation and spent her childhood sheepherding, caring for livestock and playing in the forest. Her father comes from a long line of Navajo medicine people, and she is immersed in traditional Navajo knowledge. She became interested in filmmaking at the age of 14 when she watched George Méliès A Trip to the Moon at school, and has been making films since then. Her work draws on her cultural background and her love of silent and experimental film.

"I see myself primarily as an experimental filmmaker, in the sense that I do not follow conventional narratives or production practices, and I work on developing a visual vocabulary of my own. I use the Navajo language in my work, both for cultural and political reasons, but I think that silence is more powerful than words, so I always try to let the images speak for themselves."

{Last updated April 2012]

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