A leading light in indigenous film-making, Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/ Mescalero Apache) grew up on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico.
Since 2001 he has led the Sundance Institute's investment in Native American and Indigenous filmmakers and tried to build a global Indigenous film community.
He is now the Director of Sundance's Indigenous Program, and one of four guest curators at this year's Whānau Mārama: New Zealand International Film Festival At Home - Online (from 24 July to 2 August).
He was listed as one of '12 Leaders Who Are Shaping the Next Generation of Artists' by Time Magazine in 2019. He's also recently been invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars.