EDSC A Conversation with Director Valerie Red-Horse Mohl

A Conversation with Director Valerie Red-Horse Mohl

October 18, 2021 An Eastern Diversity Steering Committee Discussion

In honor of Indigenous Peoples Day, the Eastern Diversity Steering Committee (EDSC) spoke with Native American Director Valerie Red-Horse Mohl during their virtual online meeting on October 18. In a conversation moderated UPM/EDSC Co-Chair Canella Williams-Larrabee (Raising Dion), Red-Horse Mohl shared her journey with the Committee.

The conversation covered topics such as the importance of highlighting on the screen stories that were left out of the traditional history books, the challenges of combatting audience and producer stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples, using film as a vehicle for change-making and movement building, diversifying the representation of the Native American experience on screen, having control over one’s own community’s representation in the media, and the importance of integrating authentic cultural elements like music, dance, and poetry into Indigenous storytelling.

During the conversation, Red-Horse Mohl also spoke about featuring modern day Native American characters in her feature, Naturally Native.

"History is important. Historical portrayals are fantastic, but we don't want people to think we don't exist anymore, that we are only these figures from the past that you saw on a John Wayne cowboy movie. If we're not thought of in contemporary ways, it can be detrimental to our communities."

In addition to Naturally Native, Red-Horse Mohl’s directorial credits include the documentaries, Mankiller, Choctaw Code Talkers and True Whispers; and the documentary short, Telephone Warriors: The Story of the Choctaw Codetalkers. She has been a DGA member since 2002.

See video from this event in the gallery below.

About the Committee:

Eastern Diversity Steering Committee

The Eastern Diversity Steering Committee represents the concerns of Guild members of African, Asian, Native American, Arab-Middle Eastern or Latino descent residing in the East. Committed to improving the employment opportunities, working conditions and the skills of ethnically diverse Guild members, the Committee sponsors workshops, seminars, round-table discussions and networking events to showcase the talents of its members, recognize their contributions and increase their visibility in the industry. The Committee’s current Co-Chairs are UPM Canella Williams-Larrabee, Second AD Sussan Cordero and Stage Manager April Smith.

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