Announcement of the eight finalists for the 2022 Indigenous Screenwriters List

IllumiNative, The black list and the Sundance Institute announced Tuesday morning the eight finalists for the 2022 Indigenous Screenwriters List. Launched two years ago, the Indigenous List features some of the most promising film and television screenplays written by Indigenous artists, giving them a platform to showcase scenarios and connect with other storytellers in the industry.

“The Indigenous List offers an intimate look at the depth of talent and power of Indigenous creatives in the entertainment industry,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, Founder and Executive Director of IllumiNative, in a Sundance Institute press release. “These Indigenous writers are leading the way and showing the power of Indigenous authored stories.

2022 writers will have the opportunity to meet four Indigenous creators, including producer and former director of the Sundance Indigenous program Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache), critically acclaimed actor and director Michael Greyeyes (Nêhiyaw-Plains Cree ), showrunner and co-creator of Rutherford Falls Sierra Teller Ornelas (Navajo), and showrunner and co-creator of Reservation Dogs Sterlin Harjo (Seminole Creek/Muscogee Creek).

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The Indigenous List 2022 scriptwriters and their screenplays include:

Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire (Kanien’kehá:ka) with HHow to deal with systemic racism in the afterlife

Logline: Lyle Westman is dead and above. When he discovers he must spend 1400 years haunting Redface, he decides to fight back against the systemic problems plaguing the afterlife.

Alex Nystrom (Ojibway) with Between

Logline: On a mysterious sinking island off the coast of Louisiana, home to a close-knit Native community, a compulsive man finds himself confronted with untold tribal secrets, missing children, and the discovery of a repressed traumatic past.

Bryson Chun (Kanaka Maoli) and Tara Aquino (Kanaka Maoli) with Do not panic

Logline: What do you do when your ex writes a song about you and becomes the biggest popstar in the world? If kidnapping your best friend, stealing a horse and running over Good Morning America to face it were on your breaking bingo card, then you win!

Maya Rose Dittoff (Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA Nation) vs. Amskapi Pijkuni) with blood sweetness

Logline: Rose Home Gun returns to her childhood home on the Blackfeet reservation when ghosts from the past rise to threaten her reality – and her sanity.

WAW-Parker (North Cheyenne) with the baron

Logline: Love is a battlefield when a hot-headed, flamboyant, gay Prussian military commander meets his ex in Valley Forge after being hired by George Washington to get the fledgling US military back into shape during the darkest days of the independance War.

Brian Bahe (Tohono O’odham) with Decolonize

Logline: When the United States is returned to Indigenous peoples, two empowered millennials are forced into a leadership role they didn’t sign up for.

Neil Tinkham (Chamorro) with Taotaomona

Logline: A divorced child goes on a hunt to capture a mythical creature that lives in the jungle, accidentally bringing his family closer in the process.

Catherine Machi (Cherokee) with june rose

Logline: In San Francisco in the late 1960s, a homemaker and mother of three teenagers belatedly discovers her Cherokee heritage and challenges her conservative husband – and Cherokee father – to join the Red Power and feminist movements.

Learn more about the Indigenous List at

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