Dramatic Short | Lonnie Begaye

Robert Yazzie, a Navajo teen, confronts many challenges in order to make good on his commitment to bring his ailing grandmother to the Navajo Nation Fair, thus fulfilling her dream of closing the circle by spending her final days in the place where her life began. The film also touches on some coming-of-age moments experienced by Robert and the personal growth he realizes by virtue of the sacrifices he makes for others.



Lonnie Begaye

LONNIE R. BEGAYE (Diné) is an Actor and Filmmaker from the Navajo Nation. Born and raised in Chinle, Arizona, Lonnie began his film career in high school and elevated his career in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Producing short films as a Director of Photographer, Film Director and writing stories of his own. During his school at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he learned of many creative ways to make films and tell stories from his eyes. Today, his vision in storytelling speaks upon modern Diné lives, including that of his own.

Leya Hale

LEYA HALE (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and Diné) is a multiple regional Emmy award winning documentary producer for Twin Cities PBS. Her work brings visibility to Indigenous lifeways and issues impacting her community. She is best known for her feature films, The People’s Protectors and Bring Her Home, both distributed by PBS. In 2020, Leya was awarded the Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists and Bring Her Home was selected to represent the US at INPUT 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. When not producing features, Leya works on a variety of short form content in efforts to highlight underrepresented stories within the upper Midwest region.

Funding provided by:

Walt Pourier

Vice Chair

Walt is Oglala Lakota and created the logo for Urban Rez. He is Creative Director, owner of Nakota Designs Advertising Designs and Graphics. Executive Director of the Stronghold Society nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns.


Program Coordinator

(Hataža Mani Winga)​

"Cinema Aficionado"

Role: Jordana is excited to engage with different Native/Indigenous communities. Her passion for working with youth will help develop the Native Youth Media Project. She will also assist with the Creative Shorts Fellowship (CSF) to help organize deliverables for filmmakers.