VMM Spotlight: Gary Robinson

"Participating in the filmmaking process by donating to Vision Maker Media gives me a continued sense of involvement in filmed Native stories."
Front Center: Gary Robinson
Back Row (L to R): Josh Lucas, Hanay Geiogamah, Jan Cyr, Phil Lucas

Supporting Filmakers' Vision

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Gary Robinson (Choctaw/Cherokee decent) first heard about Vision Maker Media 40 years ago in 1981, back then known as Native American Public Broadcasting Consortium.

“Frank Blythe was instrumental in those days in helping to round up and gather and empower a small little core of Native filmmakers that was around at the time.” 

Gary feels it’s important for Native storytellers to tell Native stories because that’s the only way audiences can learn of authentic Native perspectives. Not only is the content uniquely Native, but often so is the style. He believes the two go hand-in-hand, and it makes a big difference in the ability to understand an issue and communicate it to Natives and non‑Natives.

“As more or less a retired filmmaker, funding Native film projects is so key to me because I can remember many times in my career when funding was the missing ingredient in bringing an important story to audiences.”

(L to R): Gary Robinson, Phil Lucas, Jan Cyr, Gloria Cranmer
(Umista Cultural Center, Kwakiutl Nation, Alert Bay, BC)

“Without adequate funding, a project will suffer in production quality or distribution reach, both of which impede a film’s ability to achieve its goals. While I still tell Native stories through books, participating in the filmmaking process by donating to Vision Maker Media gives me a continued sense of involvement in filmed Native stories.”

Gary Robinson believes in Vision Maker Media’s mission and has worked most of his life to create Native American content in dozens of Native American educational, informational, and documentary television projects. He is the author of sixteen books, including eight PathFinders young adult novels. His latest book, “Native Actors and Filmmakers: Visual Storytellers,” explores the unique lives and career paths of twelve Native people who are actively working in the complex entertainment industry, either in front of or behind the camera.

Donors like Gary are so important to continue the mission Vision Maker Media has had for 45 years by empowering and engaging Native people to share stories, and we can’t do this without you.

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.


Project 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.