Chris Eyre

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Chris Eyre
Born1968 (age 53–54)
Portland, Oregon, United States
OccupationFilm director, film producer

Chris Eyre (born 1968), an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, is an American film director and producer[1] who as of 2012 is chairman of the film department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.


In 1998, Chris Eyre worked on two film projects. His first release was Things We Do (1998).[2] His debut film, Smoke Signals (1998), won the Sundance Film Festival Filmmakers Trophy and the Audience Award.[3] It also won "Best Film" honors at the 1998 American Indian Film Festival.[4]

Eyre's second film, Skins, is the story of two brothers on the Pine Ridge Reservation, a tribal cop and a Vietnam vet battling alcohol and emotional problems. He said at a screening: "The only thing you get in making period pieces about Indians is guilt. I'm interested in doing what non-Indian filmmakers can't do, which is portray contemporary Indians."[5]

Eyre has also directed two episodes of the famed PBS series Mystery!; A Thief of Time and Skinwalkers starring Adam Beach as Jim Chee, and Wes Studi as Joe Leaphorn. Both were executive produced by Robert Redford and based on the best selling Tony Hillerman novels. Skinwalkers is a mystery involving skinwalkers or shape-shifters, and the murders of several medicine men. A Thief of Time is a who-dunnit that intertwines very competitive anthropologists, possible artifact thievery, a missing professor, and the legend of the Anasazi.

Eyre's Edge of America was the 2004 Sundance Film Festival "opening night" film. Edge of America is loosely based on the true story of a black English teacher who goes to the Three Nations Reservation to teach, but ends up coaching the very underachieving girls basketball team and takes them all the way to the state finals. In the process, he learns as much about their culture and race relations in America as they learn about winning and self-esteem. On January 29, 2006, Eyre won the Directors Guild of America's award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children's Programs for Edge of America, becoming the first Native American to win the award.

Eyre's short film, A Thousand Roads, the "signature film" for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, opened in Washington, D.C. on April 10, 2005, for an unlimited and exclusive engagement. It is a contemporary film, following four American Indians in different locations, as they each confront everyday events.

Chris Eyre was named a 2007 USA Rockefeller Foundation Fellow and awarded a $50,000 grant by United States Artists, a public charity that supports and promotes the work of American artists.

In 2008 Eyre directed the first three episodes of We Shall Remain, a mini-series that establishes Native history as an essential part of American history from PBS's acclaimed history series American Experience.

Eyre directed the film Hide Away, which was released in 2011. The film's cast includes Josh Lucas and Ayelet Zurer.[6]

Chris Eyre was appointed as chairman of the film department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design as of January 2012.

In 2017, Eyre is reported to be working on a documentary on "racism in New Mexico", with his starting point being the monument to Juan de Oñate in Alcalde, New Mexico, whose foot was cut off in 1997.[7]


Year Film Credited as
Director Producer
1998 Things We Do Yes
Smoke Signals Yes Yes
2001 The Doe Boy Yes
2002 Skins Yes Yes
Skinwalkers Yes
2003 Edge of America Yes Yes
2004 A Thief of Time Yes
2005 A Thousand Roads Yes
2007 Imprint Yes
2008 After the Mayflower Yes
Tecumseh's Vision Yes
2011 Hide Away Yes Yes
2015 The Seventh Fire Yes


  1. ^ Andrea LeVasseur (2013). "Chris-Eyre". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on December 9, 2007.
  2. ^ "Chriseyre". Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  3. ^[permanent dead link], Retrieved on December 21, 2006
  4. ^ "Awards". IMDb.
  5. ^ Brockman, Joshua (September 29, 2002). "Telling the Truth From Inside Indian Country". New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  6. ^ New Hollywood film for Israeli actress (December 24, 2009) in Israel 21c Innovation News Service Retrieved 2010-01-05
  7. ^ Romero, Simon (September 30, 2017). "Statue's Stolen Foot Reflects Divisions Over Symbols of Conquest". New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2017.

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