A little bit about me (in third person)
A member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe—Willi White grew up on the rural plains and badlands of the Pine Ridge Reservation located in southwestern South Dakota. A creative and storyteller since he could remember, Willi is an avid fan of film, photography and the performing arts. Since the age of 12, he has aspired to be a director of film after watching the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring when it released in 2001. This aspiration lead to his love of photography and ultimately his love for visual storytelling.
Willi is a 2016 Native Filmmakers Lab Fellow of Sundance Institute’s Native and Indigenous program—through whose support is developing a short film, has worked on several high-profile film productions, and continues to develop original content.
This year, he joined the team at the nonprofit Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation as the director of communications, before that he spent 3 years working in nonprofit communications as the communications coordinator and then the digital media producer for Red Cloud Indian School.
Willi is moved to create opportunity where it does not exist. As a result, he co- founded a digital media production company, helped create a film festival on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and actively works to redefine & reclaim the Indigenous narrative.
Willi is also a theatre actor—with some musical & dance training, having majored in theatre and photojournalism at Creighton University. His work includes: film directing & producing, cinematography, portrait & commercial photography, still photography for film & the performing arts, creative & art direction, digital media design, social media marketing, fundraising & strategy, mentorship and advocacy, and nonprofit communication.
Awards & Fellowships