LOS ANGELES — Amazon Studios and Native-led racial social justice organization IllumiNative announced yesterday they are partnering to launch the first IllumiNative Episodic Directors Program. 

The yearlong program will provide resources and experience for emerging and “mid-career” Indigenous film and television directors to shadow directors on Season Two of Outer Range. The series includes an Indigenous character among its main cast. The inaugural IllumiNative Episodic Directors Program includes directors Razelle Benally, Daniel Hyde, Christopher Cegielski, and Peshawn Bread.  

“Over the past few years, we have seen the huge success of Native content on streaming platforms—the demand for the nuance and complexity that Native-led shows bring to the screen is undeniable,” said IllumiNative’s founder and executive director Crystal Echo Hawk in a statement. “In order to meet this demand, we have to ensure Native creatives are provided with the resources and opportunities to succeed in an industry that has historically forgotten or dismissed Native peoples.”

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The program is an expansion of the current relationship IllumiNative has established with Amazon Studios, where it has provided consultation for three Amazon series, including Outer RangeThe English, and Three Pines.

Amazon Studios’ Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Latasha Gillespie said in a statement said in a statement that it is committed to developing stories and characters by and about Native Indigenous people.  

“Amazon Studios is intentional in developing accurate stories and characters by and about Native peoples, and IllumiNative has been an invaluable resource in this work," Gellespie said. "We are proud to grow our relationship with them and provide a pathway for Indigenous directors to build their careers.” 

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