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Melissa HenryMelissa Henry (Navajo)

Melissa Henry is developing a trilogy of short films in which animals from the Navajo Reservation describe their lives in their own words. In 2008 the first one, Horse You See, won an award for Best Children’s Film at the Talking Circle Film Festival in Hawai’i. The second film, Run Red Walk, is the story of a sheep dog, and the final film, A History of Navajo Wool: As Told by Baa Baa, is in production.

Henry is the recipient of two New Mexico/New Visions grants in 2008 and 2009, and an All Roads Seed Grant from the National Geographic Society in 2009. In 2007 she was a Sundance Institute /Ford Foundation Filmmakers Fellow and in 2005 she received a scholarship to attend the IAIA Television and Film Summer Workshop. She holds an MA from the University of Maryland and teaches video production at the University of New Mexico. She and her producer and husband, Alfredo Perez, co-direct their independent production company, Red Ant Films.

Henry grew up on the Navajo Reservation and spent her childhood herding sheep, 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.

Work featured: Run Red Walk