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12, Some Streeet, 12550 New York, USA
(+44) 871.075.0336



Representation matters. It matters because it impacts how we interact with our fellow Americans, the way that we educate our children, and it shapes our path forward as a democracy. Storytelling and filmmaking have suffered from a lack of representation of important groups that influenced American democracy, notably Native Americans. Native culture is rich, steeped in history and multifaceted, yet mainstream films do not often capture this nuance.


Board of Directors

George Aguilar

George Aguilar is a Native American actor. He held major roles in many American Western movies and French films. He notably played in: Ulzana’s Raid…

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( with Burt Lancaster) The Trial of Billy Jack, The Mystic Warrior, Out of Rosenheim (Bagdad café), The Scarlet Letter (with Demi Moore and Gary Oldman), Le mystère de la chambre jaune, Les bronzés 3: amis pour la vie, Cliente. For several years now, he has been acting in French productions. George Aguilar brings a unique perspective to the Pocahontas Reframed: Native American Storytellers Film Festival board through his inside experience and knowledge of the film industries on both sides of the Atlantic. His frankness and honesty have assisted the Festival in the continuity and advancement of its quality. As a board member, Aguilar will be vigilant about artistic and showmanship considerations to ensure that the Festival is the best possible experience both for the delegation of Native American and non-Native actors/directors and for the spectators who come to the Festival. George is married to actress Josiane Balasko.

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Brad Brown

Brad Brown had a 35-year career as a sales manager and sales executive in the consumer products industry, mostly on the West Coast.

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In 2007 he and his wife, Kathleen, moved from California to the Pamunkey Indian Reservation in Virginia. Brad is an enrolled member of the federally recognized Pamunkey Indian Tribe where he served on the Tribal Council for eight years and was the Assistant Chief for six years. Brad enjoys gardening, cooking, kayaking, and sitting by the river with a glass of wine. He has been designated by cinema professionals and leaders of the 11 Native American Tribes of Virginia to serve as director of the Pocahontas Reframed: Native American Storytellers Film Festival.

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Shelley Niro

Niro is a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan. She is a multi-media artist. Her work involves photography, painting, beadwork and film.

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Niro is conscious the impact post-colonial mediums have had on Indigenous people.  Like many artists from different Native communities, she works relentlessly presenting people in realistic and explorative portrayals.  Photo series such as MOHAWKS IN BEEHIVES, THIS LAND IS MIME LAND and M: STORIES OF WOMEN are a few of the genre of artwork.  Films include:  HONEY MOCCASIN, IT STARTS WITH A WHISPER, THE SHIRT, KISSED BY LIGHTNING and ROBERT’S PAINTINGS.  Recently she finished her film THE INCREDIBLE 25th YEAR OF MITZI BEARCLAW.

Shelley graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Honours and received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario.  

Niro was the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal Arts Award presented through the Ontario Arts Council in 2012. In 2017 Niro received the Governor General’s Award For The Arts from the Canada Council, The Scotiabank Photography Award and also received the Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL Award.  

Niro recently received an honorary doctorate from the Ontario College of Arts and Design University.  She also was the 2019 Laureate of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Photography.

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Andy Edmunds

Andy Edmunds, Director of the Virginia Film Office, is a Virginia native and an accomplished musician and

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songwriter. After studying music at VCU in the mid-80s, Edmunds produced a music video of one of his songs that was broadcast on MTV. This experience introduced him to the film production industry, where he ultimately settled in as a location scout until landing a job at the Virginia Film Office in 1997. “I found myself in a non-traditional area of economic development that seemed to be perfectly suited to my experience and interests. Every day I look forward to continuing to give back to the state I know and love through an enthusiastic approach to attracting clients and delivering creative solutions,” says Edmunds. During his time with the Film Office, Andy has worked with the most notable filmmakers of our time including, Terrence Malick, Ridley Scott, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg, to name a few.

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Margaret Finucane

Margaret Finucane is the Communications Manager of the Virginia Film Office,

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where she is responsible for communications, media and promotional initiatives. Originally from upstate NY, Margaret came to Virginia as an undergraduate at the University of Richmond. After receiving her degree from UR, she decided to remain in Richmond where she has had experience in public relations, writing, social media, project management, data analysis, and editing, with previous positions in research and writing.

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Françoise & Peter Kirkpatrick

Françoise and Peter Kirkpatrick are, respectively, professor of contemporary French literature

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and film studies at the University of Richmond, and professor of French civilization and film studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1992, they founded together the French Film Festival in Richmond, Virginia, which they continue to direct the Festival. Each edition of the Festival offers a selection of the most recent feature and short films representing the diversity of the French cinema. Films are presented by their directors or actors, and all have English subtitles. Since its creation, the Festival has welcomed more than 850 French directors, actors and producers in the Byrd Theatre, one of the last magnificent cinema palaces in the United States. Each year, during the four intensive days of the Festival weekend, the number of spectators rises to more than 21,000. Françoise and Peter are both Knights in the Order of Academic Excellence (Palmes Académiques) and Knights in the Order of Arts and Letters. On June 6, 2011, the Kirkpatricks were awarded the Médaille Beaumarchais by the French writers’ guild (SACD) for the creation and annual direction of the French Film Festival – Richmond, Virginia, which promotes and defends French cinematographic art in the United States.

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Todd Schall-Vess

Todd Schall-Vess has spent his entire life working in entertainment. Before becoming the General Manager…

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of the Byrd Theatre, Todd was a seasoned professional theatre exhibitor. He previously worked at Fulton Theatre in Pittsburg, Ashland Theatre, West Tower Cinemas, The Ridge, Westhampton, Willow Lawn, Spotsylvania Mall Theatres, United Artists Theatres, Chesterfield Towne Center, and Visual Aids Electronics. October 2017 marks Todd’s 20th year at the Byrd, where he has been instrumental in bringing about a number of important changes in operations and vision. He has overseen several updates, such as the implementation of xenon lamp houses, cyan soundtrack readers, a new Dolby Digital sound system, upgrades to full digital cinema technology and then to a 4K projector. Todd owns his own consulting company, Smoke & Mirrors LLC, through which he designs lighting, special effects, and AV specialties. Todd is one of only 5 ATF licensed pyrotechnicians in the Richmond area.

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Lynette Allston portrait

Lynette Allston

In her role as Chief of the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia, Lynette Lewis Allston encourages and mentors

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the citizens of the Tribe to embrace traditional creative art forms, while incorporating their contemporary interpretations. As the past President of the Rawls Museum Arts in Courtland Virginia, she strives to promote a broader appreciation of all art expressions in smaller communities, where resources are scarce.

Following a career as a small business owner, Lynette returned to her childhood home in Drewryville, Virginia. In the decades preceding her retirement, Lynette was a committed advocate for an array of community activities, commissions and boards in Columbia, South Carolina. These included serving on the Board of the Columbia Museum of Art (CMA), and a term as the Chairman of the CMA Commission.

In the spring of 2017, Lynette opened the intimate Gallery 1606 in Capron as an inclusive showplace for local art. Concurrently, Lynette organized the” 1st Saturday’s Artisan Market in Capron “as a free venue for the numerous local area artists and craftsmen.

As a result of wider outreach, Tribal artists have shown their work at various museums, art and cultural shows, demonstrated at cultural events, and enhanced the economic viability of their artistry. Lynette hopes her encouraging artists to step outside their comfort zone, to constantly refine their techniques, and to creatively market their talents, has had a meaningful impact in her rural community. Artists in her Tribe, and in her broader Southeastern Virginia community, have an enriched vitality to expand, develop and grow as artists.

She currently serves on the Board of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Southampton County Planning Commission and the Chairman of the Virginia Indian Advisory Committee. She is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in history.

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Monika Siebert portrait

Monika Siebert

Monika Siebert is an associate professor of English and American Studies at

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the University of Richmond, Virginia, where she teaches courses in contemporary American literature and North American indigenous literature and film. She is the author of Indians Playing Indian: Multiculturalism and Contemporary Indigenous Art in North America (2015) and essays on indigenous literature and cinema in American Literature, Public Culture, ab-Original: Journal of Indigenous Studies and First Nations and First Peoples’ Cultures, and Mississippi Quarterly.

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Sam Proctor portrait

Sam Proctor

Before his family returned to Virginia, Sam Proctor was born and spent his formative years in Oregon.

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He is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribe of Poplar, Montana. Sam is the third generation in the family business, F&R, which provides engineering, environmental and construction engineering testing. Sam and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons. Their family activities include School, Scouts, Sports – Track and Soccer, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

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Cristina Stanciu

Cristina Stanciu is an associate professor of English and the Director of the Humanities Research Center at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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There, she teaches courses in Indigenous and multiethnic literatures, visual culture, and critical race theory. She is the recipient of recent awards such as a Fulbright Scholar Award, an Obama Institute fellowship, an NEH summer stipend, and an AAUW fellowship. She is the coeditor (with Kristina Ackley) of Laura Cornelius Kellogg: Our Democracy and the American Indian”and Other Writings (2015, 2021) and (with Anastasia Lin) of the MELUS journal special issue, “Pedagogy in Anxious Times” (2017). Her work has appeared and is forthcoming in journals such as NAIS: Native American and Indigenous Studies, AIQ: American Indian Quarterly, JAS: Journal of American Studies, MELUS: Multiethnic Literatures of the United States, SAIL: Studies in American Indian Literatures, JGAPE: Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, The Italian American Review, Intertexts, College English, and in edited collectionsHer first monograph, The Makings and Unmakings of Americans: Indians and Immigrants in American Literature and Culture, 1879-1924, is forthcoming from Yale University Press. She is at work on a new book project on representations of residential/boarding school experience in Indigenous literature and film.

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Film & Guest Programming Advisors

  • Robert Gray (Pamunkey)
  • Stephen Adkins (Chickahominy)
  • Walt Brown (Cheroenhaka Nottoway)
  • Lynette Allston (Nottoway)
  • John Lightner (Patawomek)
  • Mark Custalow (Mattaponi)
  • Reggie Tupponce (Upper Mattaponi)
  • Dr. Karenne Wood (Monacan, UVA)
  • Anne Richardson (Rappahannock)

Marketing & Development Committee

  • Dana Elmquist (Style Weekly)
  • Amy Ritchie (2019 Commemoration, American Evolution)
  • Yuri Milligan (2019 Commemoration, American Evolution)

Logistics & Finances Committee

  • Allyn Cook-Swarts (Pamunkey)
  • Sid Turner (Nottoway)

Academic Outreach Committee

  • Dr. Monica Siebert (UR)
  • Dr. Cristina Stanciu (VCU)
  • Dr. Gregory Smithers (VCU)
  • Dr. Karenne Wood (Monacan, UVA)

Sponsors & Funding

  • Amy Ritchie (2019 Commemoration, American Evolution)
  • Sam Proctor (Assiniboine)