4th World Media Lab

4th World Media Lab

May 15 - 19, 2024

The 4th World Media Lab is a year-long traveling fellowship for emerging and mid-career Indigenous filmmakers, providing opportunities to develop filmmaking skills and networks through festival participation, hands-on training, master classes, workshopping projects in development, pitch activities, and meetings with funders and other industry decision-makers. Cohort 9 fellowship activities take place February 2024 through October 2024 at three film festivals: Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and Camden International Film Festival

Victoria Cheyenne

Victoria Cheyenne

Aymara, El Alto Bolivia / Tsétsêhéstâhese, Northern Cheyenne | Montana

Victoria Cheyenne (she/her/ella) is an Indigenous Bolivian-American (Aymara/Tsétsêhéstâhese) documentary filmmaker based in Bozeman, Montana. As a storyteller, Cheyenne navigates intimate familial storylines with a deep passion for themes centered on matriarchal lineage and cultural heritage. Her activism focuses on land sovereignty and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples. Her documentary short film, Learning I’m Home, was a Kendeda Fund grant recipient and premiered at the 2023 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, winning the bronze award in the Indigenous Documentary Film competition, judged by Lily Gladstone. Cheyenne is a 2022/2023 NeXt Doc Fellow and a member of the Chicana Directors Initiative. She has previously worked producing and directing for digital original productions at Paramount. She’s currently in development for her debut feature documentary How To Be A Daughter, which follows her mother’s journey to her birthplace in Bolivia to reconnect with the family who spent the last 50 years searching for her.

Keisha Erwin

Keisha Erwin

Woodland Cree, Lac La Ronge Indian Band | Saskatchewan

Keisha Erwin is a 2S nīhithaw (Woodland Cree) emerging artist, academic and a citizen of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band in Saskatchewan. Keisha holds a B.A. Honors in Indigenous Studies and is undertaking their Master’s of Educational Foundations at the University of Saskatchewan with a research focus on community-led Indigenous language revitalization. They are a second language learner of nihithawiwin (Woodland Cree-TH dialect) and has released a Cree Kids Book that they illustrated themselves and translated with help from their Cree mentor Christine McKenzie. With mentorship from 2S filmmakers Fallon Simard and TJ Cuthand, Keisha was able to produce their first film in 2019. Keisha’s film pî-kiwîk (2023), created through the NSI Indigidocs program premiered at imagineNATIVE and has and will be screened internationally. Keisha’s dreams are to get into filmmaking and animation and through which, to tell stories in their Indigenous language (Cree) to inspire and encourage youth to learn Cree. Keisha is the founder of nihithaw oskatisak (Cree youth), a grassroots initiative in their community, and has received grants from WeMatter Org, United Church Healing Fund, Indigenous Youth Roots and the Indigenous Resiliency Fund to organize initiatives around art as healing for youth and language revitalization.

Cass Gardiner

Cass Gardiner

Anishinaabe Algonquin, Kebaowek First Nation | New Jersey

Cass Gardiner is an Anishinaabe Algonquin filmmaker, curator, and writer from Kebaowek First Nation. She directed the short film Janelle Niles: Inconvenient, part of Citizen Minutes Season 2 Janelle Niles: Inconvenient premiered at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in 2023 and is streaming on CBC Gem and Crave in Canada. She produced the short documentary Jewels Hunt, which was supported by ITVS and TFI, and broadcast on PBS Independent Lens in 2020. Her documentary film The Edible Indian has met critical acclaim in classrooms and theaters internationally and was nominated for Best Documentary Short at the American Indian Film Festival. Her writing on Indigenous art, film, and food has been published in Inuit Art Quarterly, Cherry Bombe, and Compound Butter Magazine and her work was accepted to the Oxford Food Symposium in 2023. Cass has held a variety of positions within documentary film institutions, namely the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Tribeca Film Institute (TFI), where she worked in film education and supported the IF/Then Shorts program. She is an independent contractor and film curator for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, curating the annual Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She holds a BA from NYU Gallatin and an MFA in Documentary Film from Toronto Metropolitan University.

Nicolle L. Gonzales (Arthun)

Nicolle L. Gonzales (Arthun)

Diné, Navajo Nation | New Mexico

Nicolle L. Gonzales (Arthun) is a Dine’ Nurse-Midwife from the Navajo Nation who has over 12 years of Nurse-Midwifery experience practicing in rural hospitals and community birth settings in New Mexico. She founded the Changing Woman Initiative in 2015 with the mission to empower our diverse indigenous communities to protect cultural birth resiliency and the fundamental human right to reproductive health, dignity, and justice. Nicolle is the producer of Native Sisters, a series about Diné siblings Nicolle and Kansas, who embark on a journey to reclaim the narrative of Native and Indigenous women. Throughout their venture, they shatter antiquated myths and create a community of Indigenous trailblazers. Their ultimate aim is to build a sisterhood of Indigenous trailblazing women who will garner support for Native women in leadership spaces like the United Nations and the US Congress.

Bruce Thomas Miller

Bruce Thomas Miller

Anishinaabe, Matachewan First Nation | Alberta 

Bruce Thomas Miller is a multi-dispensary artist. He writes, directs, and produces various film and television projects. He is Anishinaabe, raised off reserve in various Northern Ontario communities, but now is based out of Mohkintstis (also known as Calgary.) He strives to produce compelling stories that will highlight indigenous stories. He also has 15 years of frontline social work, which has affected his storytelling. He searches for truth in his stories, be it scripted or non-scripted. However, he would like to produce non-scripted stories that will challenge himself and the viewer into a new frontier of documentary filmmaking. Bruce participated in the imagineNATIVE Originals commission program in which he created his short film "Conviction” which had its world premiere at imagineNATIVE in October 2022. The film has since screened at Red Nation Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Garifuna Film Festival and Whistler Film Festival. The film has garnered awards and accolades. The short “Conviction” is a proof of concept for a feature and has since received a development grant for the first draft. Bruce has just finished his second fiction short SKYLAR'S COMET which will be premiering in the year 2024. He also has many unscripted and scripted projects in development. He also is in the infancy stages of his game development company. Bruce also would like to reconnect with his roots in theatre and stage. Many great things are on the horizon for him.

Sisa Quispe

Sisa Quispe

Quechua Aymara | New York

Sisa Quispe is a Quechua Aymara award-winning director, writer, producer, speaker, and host in New York City. As an indigenous woman, her work largely seeks to inspire the preservation of native ways while sharing a decolonizing message. Quispe performed, wrote, produced, and directed Urpi: Her Last Wish, which won the 2023 Annual Student Short Film Showcase by The Gotham. The film explores the complexity of Indigenous identity. Her popular TEDx talk, “Re-thinking Who We Are Through A Decolonizing Lens,” shares her decolonization journey. As host of the Instagram series “Native Voices,” Quispe interviewed Indigenous people throughout Abya Yala/Turtle Island. She also produced “Vive el Quechua” (“Living Quechua”), an episodic YouTube series preserving and sharing her Indigenous language and culture. Sisa hopes to bring more representation of indigenous women’s perspectives to the screen and to continue cultivating a path for indigenous youth to develop their voices.


Past Indigenous Filmmaker Fellows:

2023: PAIGE BETHMANN (Haudenosaunee (Mohawk / Oneida)) | FRITZ BITSOIE (Diné) | JONATHAN LUNA (Tama Descent / Mestizo) | RITCHIE HEMPHILL (Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw) | ADRIANNA RODRIGUEZ (Standing Rock Sioux) | LOREN WATERS (Cheroke Nation / Kiowa Tribe)

2021–22: AJUAWAK KAPASHESIT (White Earth Ojibwe descendant Waskaganish Cree Enrolled member) | BRIT HENSEL (Cherokee Nation) | ERIN LAU (Native Hawaiian) | JARED LANK (Mi’kmaq Acadia First Nation) | LUCÍA ORTEGA TOLEDO (Zapotec [from Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico]) | MORNINGSTAR ANGELINE (Navajo, Chippewa Cree, Blackfeet, Shoshone, Latinx) | THEOLA ROSS (Cree Treaty 5, Pimicikamak Cree Nation-Cross Lake)

2020: JUSTIN AH CHONG (Kanaka Maoli, Native Hawaiian) | CHAD CHARLIE (Ahousaht First Nation) | EMILY COHEN IBAÑEZ (LatinX, Columbian-American) | GEORGIANNA LEPPING (Solomon Islander) | REGINA LEPPING (Solomon Islander) | ALEX SALLEE (Iñupiaq) | ASHLEY SOLIS (Nahua and Chicana) | ASIA YOUNGMAN (Cree, Métis and Haudenosaunee)

2019: TAYLOR HENSEL (Cherokee Nation) | CLEO KEAHNA (White Earth Anishinaabe and Meskawaki) | IVAN MACDONALD (Blackfeet) | IVY MACDONALD (Blackfeet) | COURTNEY MONTOUR (Mohawk, Kahnawake) | JJ NEEPIN (Cree) | EVELYN PAKINEWATIK (Nipissing First Nation, Ojibwe) | RAVEN TWO FEATHERS (Cherokee, Seneca, Cayuga, and Comanche)

2018: RAZELLE BENALLY (Oglala/Diné) | RAMONA EMERSON (Diné) | LEYA HALE (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota/Diné) | ALEX LAZAROWICH (Cree) | IVY MACDONALD (Blackfeet) | CHRISTEN MARQUEZ (Native Hawaiian) | COURTNEY MONTOUR (Mohawk) | ALYCIA ORTIZ (Miwok) | DEIDRA PEACHES (Diné) | COLLEEN THURSTON (Choctaw) | SHAANDIIN TOME (Diné)

2017: JUSTIN DEEGAN | RENA PRIEST | KYLE BELL | RAZELLE BENALLY | DANIEL HYDE | LELA CHILDS | RACHEL PLENTY WOLF | SAVANNA THUNDER

2015: STEVEN PAUL JUDD | KHALIL HUDSON | MELISSA WOODROW | SUSAN BALBAS | DALLAS PINKHAM | PESHAWN BREAD | PAUL COLLINS | LULU DEBOER | GISELLA BUSTILLOS