Heather Rae and Russell Friedenberg are veteran filmmakers from both the documentary and narrative spaces. Their acclaimed documentary Trudell, tells the story of Native American movement leader and poet, John Trudell. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to play in more than 100 film festivals worldwide. It played theatrically and on Independent Lens before becoming part of the Smithsonian, UCLA, Sundance and National Archives.
Rae and Friedenberg also produced and directed feature documentary and Showtime Premiere First Circle, about the foster care system in the American west.
Rae produced Frozen River for which she won the Paiget Producer Award at the Spirit Awards. Frozen River won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for two Academy Awards, as well as nine Gotham and Spirit Awards. She also produced Netflix Original Tallulah starring Ellen Page and Allison Janney, The Dry Land starring American Ferrera and festival darling I Believe in Unicorns.
Friedenberg has written and directed three feature films including Among Ravens, a feature film starring Amy Smart, Will McCormack, Johnny Sequoyah and Joshua Leonard and Wind Walkers starring Zane Holtz, Glen Powell and Rudy Youngblood. Russell wrote and directed IBID, which debuted at South By Southwest Film Festival 08 and had its European premiere at Munich International Film Festival where it was nominated for the prestigious Cinevision Award.
Together their work as storytellers has focused on social issues, character from the margins, and deepening the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas.
Rae's photo was taken by Sara Terry.