The Weinstein Company on YouTube: Wind River Trailer
Arts & Entertainment | National

Film set on Wind River Reservation boasts Native cast and tribal financing

CORRECTION: The film is set on the Wind River Reservation but it was not shot there. Production occurred in neighboring Utah.

Wind River, a film set on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, is opening in theaters this week.

The film features a largely Native cast, though not in the two primary roles. Still, director and writer Taylor Sheridan told professor Kevin Noble Maillard, a citizen of the Seminole Nation, that he made a conscious decision to hire as many Native actors as possible.

“I wasn’t going to sit here and tell a story about very real issues and cast people to portray characters in that world suffering those burdens and not have some connection,” Sheridan said in The New York Times.

Sheridan also invited leaders of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe to read the script and visit the set, The Times reported. The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe, through a joint venture known as Acacia Entertainment, financed 90 percent of the film's budget, the paper added.

Native audiences will see familiar faces with Gil Birmingham, Graham Greene, Julia Jones, Martin Sensmeier, Kelsey Asbille, Tantoo Cardinal and Apesanahkwat in prominent roles. The subject matter is also timely -- it's about the murder of a young Native woman and it explores how limited tribal and federal resources can hinder investigations.

Read More on the Story:
Kevin Noble Maillard: What’s So Hard About Casting Indian Actors in Indian Roles? (The New York Times 8/1)
Q&A: Taylor Sheridan finds another frontier in ‘Wind River’ (AP 8/2)
Review: Wind River is an intense and painful thriller set on a Native American reservation (Vox 8/2)
Review: Wind River sends Jeremy Renner to a colder stretch of the Sicario frontier (AV Club 8/3)