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‘Dark Winds’ seeks Diné extras, crew support

WINDOW ROCK

The Navajo Film Office announced on Tuesday that the “Dark Winds” mystery thriller that will be filming on Navajo is hiring local talent to work as background actors.

The six-episode television series, produced by AMC Networks and Dark Winds Productions, is based on Tony Hillerman’s first two novels, “The Blessing Way” (1970) and “Dance Hall of the Dead” (1973).

Dark Winds’ Extras Casting is seeking to hire Native Americans, over the age of 18, for paid non-speaking roles for the television series, including:

  • A traditional medicine man.
  • Young males and females to portray family members.
  • Women and men to portray elders and community leaders.

All participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Directed by Chris Eyre of “Smoke Signals” fame, the series will feature lead characters Joe Leaphorn, played by actor Zahn McClarnon, and Jim Chee, played by Kiowa Gordon, who will portray Navajo Police officers on the trail to solve a grisly double murder.

“We look forward to seeing Navajo talent of all ages in this series!” the Navajo Film Office posted on Facebook Monday.

According to film liaison Raquel Bahe, the Navajo Film Office is comprised of three sections – film, television, and production – and believes that media plays a crucial role in creating an environment of “active citizenship that encourages social responsibility and public spirit.”

“This is made possible through collaboration with a network of invested partners on Navajo that will equally benefit from economic opportunities and media opportunities…,” Bahe said in a statement.

A good example of that is the NFO’s work with “Dark Winds” to permit filming locations on Navajo and to hire Diné talent.

“Dark Winds” location manager Stacey McGillis-Evans confirmed on Wednesday that the television series will be filming in Mexican Hat, Monument Valley and Kayenta for five days between Monday, Oct. 18, and Friday, Oct. 22.

“We are very excited to be able to film out on the Navajo Nation,” McGillis-Evans told Navajo Times. “Everyone has just been so amazingly helpful and welcoming to us.”

Other filming locations will include Santa Fe, Española, Pueblo of Cochiti, and Pueblo of Tesuque.

McGillins-Evans indicated that the “Dark Winds” season in production now will be the first of many.

“The idea is to film all of Hillerman’s novels in a large TV series,” she said.

The “Dark Winds” production is also potentially looking to hire additional Diné workers on to the show, including film crew, said McGillis-Evans.

“We’re definitely going to need some help and support,” she said. “We would love to have as many locals as we can.”

Information: To submit headshots, billmarinellaabq@gmail.com. For film crew and other production support, darkwinds.prod@gmail.com.


About The Author

Rima Krisst

Reporter and photojournalist Rima Krisst has been with the Navajo Times since July of 2018, and covers our Arts and Culture and Government Affairs beats. Prior to joining the editorial team at the Times, Krisst worked in various capacities in the areas of communications, public relations, marketing and Indian Affairs policy on behalf of the Tribes, Nations and Pueblos of New Mexico. Among her posts, she served as Director of PR and Communications for the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department under Governor Bill Richardson, Healthcare Outreach and Education Manager for the Eight Northern Pueblos, Tribal Tourism Liaison for the City of Santa Fe, and Marketing Projects Coordinator for Santa Fe Indian Market. As a writer and photographer, she has also worked independently as a contractor on many special projects, and her work has been published in magazines. Krisst earned her B.S. in Business Administration/Finance from the University of Connecticut.

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