VALERIE RED-HORSE Mohl
Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, Director and Producer of MANKILLER, is of Cherokee ancestry and the owner/founder of Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc. Red-Horse Mohl and her company have become the preeminent collaborator with American Indian tribal nations to bring important Native stories accurately and respectfully to the screen.
Valerie’s body of work spans over two decades of film and television content creation and production; always providing insightful, sensitive and unique perspectives for both the historical and contemporary indigenous story. The Company’s premiere feature film, NATURALLY NATIVE, was an official Sundance Festival selection, which Red-Horse wrote, produced, co-directed, starred in and distributed. Red-Horse Mohl followed this with the WWII PBS/ITVS award winning documentary, TRUE WHISPERS: THE STORY OF THE NAVAJO CODE TALKERS, co-produced with Gale Anne Hurd of Valhalla Entertainment.
Red-Horse Mohl also produced/directed a follow-up program, again with Hurd, CHOCTAW CODE TALKERS (Vision Maker Media/PBS), in 2010.
MANKILLER is the powerful story of Wilma Mankiller, who found her voice in San Francisco's civil rights movement and returned to lead the Cherokee Nation as the first woman to be elected Principal Chief. As a Native American woman, I am honored and humbled to be directing and producing this documentary in collaboration with my tremendous production team, especially Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd (THE TERMINATOR trilogy, ALIENS, ARMAGEDDON, THE ABYSS, THE WATERDANCE). I have been very fortunate to be reunited with Gale. Despite her incredibly busy production schedule (she currently Executive Produces AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD and USA’s FALLING WATER), her creative drive has enabled us to produce our third Native American themed documentary together. Through crowdfunding, we were able to raise more than half our budget for MANKILLER from supporters around the world! We have fostered trust within Native communities as filmmakers who are true to our subjects, fair and honest in our portrayals and accurate in our storytelling. Interviewing Wilma’s good friend and one of my personal heroines, Gloria Steinem, as part of this documentary was definitely a career highlight for me. As we complete this film with news of world events unfolding around us, we realize how Wilma Mankiller’s leadership style, her focus on consensus building and her ability to organize a community with quiet influence and humility, are all qualities that are extremely topical. We can learn rich and valuable lessons from her story and her legacy. I see this film as so much more than a biography; I believe it actually is a wakeup call. Wilma lived her life with the philosophy of “Ga-Dugi” which translated means “in a good way” – and our goal is that we embody “Ga-Dugi” on this project to honor her.