Please join Laura Waterman Wittstock on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 as she talks with N. Bird Runningwater, Director of Sundance Institute's Native American and Indigenous Program. He oversees the Native Lab Fellowship which selects four projects annually in a national competition. Born of the Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache peoples, Runningwater was reared on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico. He has overseen the Native Lab of the Institute which has launched projects such as Four Sheets to the Wind, Sikumi, Miss Navajo, Shímásání, and Drunktown's Finest. Runningwater has also established filmmaker Labs in New Zealand and Australia, which have spawned such projects as The Strength Of Water (New Zealand), Samson And Delilah (Australia), and Bran Nue Dae (Australia).
Before joining Sundance Institute, Runningwater served as executive director of the Fund of the Four Directions, the private philanthropy organization of a Rockefeller family member. He served as program associate in the Ford Foundation's Media, Arts, and Culture Program, where he built and managed domestic and global funding initiatives. Runningwater currently serves as a patron to the imagineNative Indigenous Film Festival in Toronto.
Currently based in Los Angeles, he is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with degrees in Journalism and Native American Studies, and he received his Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas at Austin's Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.