9th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab Announces Eight Selected Fellows

EXCLUSIVE: The Native American Media Alliance has announced the seven selected fellows for the 9th Annual Native American TV Writers Lab. This year’s TV Lab is in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, Golden Globes Foundation, Netflix, National Endowment for the Arts, and Snowpants Productions.

“The Native American TV Writers Lab has an extraordinary record of supporting Native Americans establish their television writing careers,” announced Ian Skorodin, Director of Strategy for the Native American Media Alliance. “Dozens of Native American writers have blazed incredible new paths following their participation in this lab.”

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Founded in 2016, the Native American TV Writers Lab is an intensive TV scriptwriters workshop that has developed dozens of writers for current television series. Selected fellows take part in an eight-week curriculum curated by seasoned writing professionals. The lab consists of daily workshops, seminars, and one-on-one mentoring to help each writer develop and complete a pilot in eight weeks and hone skills to prepare the writers to move into staff writing positions.

The Native American TV Writers Lab was created to expand the number of Native Americans working behind the camera as a way to increase fair and accurate portrayals of Native Americans on television. According to every industry report from the WGA West, Nielsen, and others, the Native American and indigenous population represent a dismal number within the industry. This lab is part of the Native American Media Alliance’s overall mission to provide genuine solutions to systemic challenges in the entertainment industry.


Rory Crittenden (Cherokee) ᎤᎵᏍᎦᏂ is a screenwriter, filmmaker, and documentarian from the Peavine community of the Cherokee Nation. He has won six Heartland Regional Emmys for his past work directing and producing nonfiction content for the Cherokee Nation. In 2022, Rory became one of the recipients of Firelight Media’s SPARK Fund. His western television pilot Going snake was a quarter-finalist in the 2022 Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest, and he was a finalist in the Almanack Screenwriters 2023 October Colony with his horror screenplay Blood Red and Goin’ Down.

He has participated in multiple filmmaking labs by the Native American Media Alliance, including the Native American Writers Seminar, Native American Feature Film Writers Lab, and the Native American Unscripted Workshop. Rory is a Cherokee history nerd and a pro-wrasslin’ enthusiast. He makes his living as a freelance filmmaker, helping to craft media for various Indigenous governments, television programs, and community organizations. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Christy, and their two children.

Marcie Price Jackson (Cherokee) is a writer, artist, and root beer float enthusiast from Oklahoma City. She is of Cherokee, Scottish, and English descent, and is proud to be an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. Marcie was a 2023 Native America Media Alliance Writers Seminar Fellow. Her screenplays Number Two Pencils and Plus One were named Best Feature Screenplay at the Austin Revolution Film Festival, and Plus One, co-written with Kathy Hoyt Lee, was a “Second Rounder” at the Austin Film Festival. Marcie was selected as one of twelve screenwriters statewide to participate in the 2016 dead CENTER Film Festival Screenwriting Intensive, and she’s been named to the Austin Revolution Film Fest Hall of Fame.

She has been involved in the independent film communities in Oklahoma and Texas for 15 years in roles ranging from featured actress to assistant director. Her role as Omaha in Outsiders Productions’ web series Rough Cut earned her a Best Female Supporting Actor award at the 2017 Red Dirt Film Festival. In addition to screenwriting, Marcie also writes novels for teens and adults, and she writes and illustrates comics. As a neurodivergent and chronically ill writer, she wants to focus on funny, moving, female-driven stories with indigenous, neurodivergent and complex characters in a modern way.

Noah Rose Keeling (Choctaw) is an LA-based actress-turned-screenwriter, a proud trans woman, and a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. In 2022, she graduated with her MFA in Acting from UC San Diego and sold a family drama pilot to Lionsgate Television with Bob Greenblatt producing.

Tony Magaña (Western Shoshone, Chilula, and Mexican-American) is a Reno, Nevada-born filmmaker, writer, and every-once-in-awhile Stand-Up comedian currently residing in Las Vegas. After a very brief stint in computer science at UC Santa Cruz, Tony’s attention turned to Film Studies where he found his passion for storytelling. He enjoyed working on friends’ films as an actor, DP, and producer. Tony moved to Los Angeles in 2019 to work in the Film industry initially as an assistant but is now focusing on writing and directing.

He has also graduated from Santa Monica College’s Film Production & Studies program where he gained invaluable onset experience set-dressing their upcoming film, Alive. Currently, Tony is in pre-production on his short film HOOP$, in post on the short-doc HOME, and outlining a feature about his family’s history. His writing gives insight into small-town life in Nevada, from reservation life to its surrounding border towns, balancing the socially conscious with humor, painful truths, and tears. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, guitar, drawing comics, performing stand-up, and cooking up family recipes. Tony looks forward to honing his TV writing craft in NAMA’s 9th Annual TV Writer’s Lab alongside other funny and talented Native writers.

Faith Phillips (Cherokee) is a novelist, screenwriter, and producer living in the Ozark foothills. After trying her hand at waitressing, tele-marketing, bingo ball pulling, and lawyering, Phillips left active law practice to author four books and multiple feature screenplays. She created the sub-genre known as Okie Noir, a scion of southern goth and magical realism. Faith’s third book, Now I Lay Me Down, was selected by HULU and Stanley Nelson’s Firelight Films for limited series development through the Kindling Fund initiative. Phillips is the creator, writer, and executive producer of the national docu-series The Girl Scout Murders, set in the Cherokee Nation.

Current projects include Missing & Murdered, an unscripted series designed to help solve #MMIR cold cases, and the scripted crime noir thriller, Mankiller Shell. The author lives with her family on the Cherokee reservation, where Okie Noir stories spark her fiery passion for the written word. When she’s not writing screenplays, Phillips travels the national speaking circuit telling stories about teaching, writing, and producing in Indian Country. In addition to writing for the screen, Faith launched the non-profit initiative, Beyond the Trail, where she and fellow activists are building a vibrant arts and cultural district in their community.

Tamara Stratton (Osage) is fairly new to television writing; although, she has been a storyteller and educator most of her life. She received a BA and MA in Drama and has experience producing, acting, writing, and teaching. As an actress, she has performance experiences that range from Shakespeare to Modern Japanese Theater to Neil Simon to performance art and film. Tamara’s first pilot, Retirement Plan, had a staged reading in November at Robot Eating Robot: Friday Reader’s Club in Chicago.

She has been a member of The Engine Writer’s Workshop, a Los Angeles based writing group, for over a year. In that time, Tamara has developed and written four episodes of an original limited run series concept entitled Retirement Plan and continues to develop other writing projects in various stages of completion. Tamara is a proud member of the Osage Nation (Gray Horse Clan) and grew up in Oklahoma. She has lived on both sides of the country and currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two kids and a saucy dog she rescued off a ramp to the I-5.

Steven Hatathlie Tallas (Navajo) is an Award-Winning Filmmaker known for his debut feature film, 2020’s Rez Dogs. Which was shown around the world and won several awards, including best feature film. Growing up on the Navajo Nation, Steven wanted nothing more than to see someone like himself starring in the movies he enjoyed most. He began creating films as a teenager on the Rez, learning from youtube. Paired with his passion for sharing his heritage, Steven uses filmmaking to create opportunities for fair representation of the Navajo Nation in art and media.

His goal is to share the stories and the humanity of Native Americans that Hollywood has often overlooked. He was the proud recipient of the Senator John Pinto Grant. He also partnered with Jon Proudstar of Reservation Dogs to create a short film called Second Sunrise using the Vision Maker Short Film Grant. He was also a part of several Native American Media Alliance’s fellowships including the Feature Filmmakers Lab and the Workshop Lab. He is now in the post-production of Second Sunrise and in preproduction for a documentary called Surviving the Heat looking at the engineering of Navajo traditional Hogan which will be premiered on PBS NOVA.

The Native American Media Alliance (NAMA) advocates for Native American representation in the entertainment industry. This initiative functions as a resource for industry personnel to work with Native Americans who have an authentic voice for film television and new media. The Native American Media Alliances is a project of the Barcid Foundation; a non-profit organization that focuses on multimedia programming in indigenous communities.

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