Jeff Barehand is a citizen of the Gila River Indian Community, his father’s people, but retains rich memories of years spent growing up on the Navajo reservation, his mother’s tribe. Opportunity was the driving force behind his parents’ decision to relocate to Phoenix and the eventual gift that allowed him to find the arts. In high school he unexpectedly found himself in the audience of a touring Broadway musical. He was mesmerized by the theatrics and drama of the spectacle and was immediately captivated. Since, he has continued to pursue that palpable emotional sensation that acting and singing allows; the feeling of being alive. Acting classes ensued and a resume began to grow in small parts in television, film, and stage. He had a lead role in MSNBC?s docudrama “Conviction,” was a featured extra in Warner Brothers? film “The Visiting,” and originated on stage the musical role of “Stormheart,” in Roger Penycate’s premiere production of “Laughing Daughter,” in Washington DC, and has been seen in several musicals since, including “Hair,” “The Fully Monty,” ”Buddy! The Buddy Holly Musical,” “Les Miserables,” “Evita,” and “Man of La Mancha.” Most recently he was on SyFy channel’s “Z Nation.” But disillusioned by the lack of and types of roles offered Native Americans, he wanted more. Thus, writing, producing, and directing his own short films became paramount. With acting and photography experience, working behind the camera was second nature. He found guidance at a summer film workshop sponsored by ABC/Disney held at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe , NM where he crewed four short film projects and produced and directed his own film which played at the Native Cinema Showcase in Sante Fe and the Albuquerque Film Festival. After moving to Washington, Jeff studied screenwriting at Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum and was awarded a film fellowship by the prestigious Sundance Institute to develop a short film about the dangers lone Navajo cops face while patrolling their vast and remote reservation. To prepare him for a future in film, he founded the Olympia Film Collective (www.olyfilm.com) to provide a resource for local filmmakers to find likeminded individuals dedicated to developing the craft of filmmaking in the South Sound. The Olympia Film Collective (OFC) is now an award-winning organization and is in collaboration on its ninth film project. The OFC is blossoming with media attention, expanded membership, and developing partnerships with local businesses, arthouses, and organizations. Jeff continues to serve as a Board President for Red Eagle Soaring, Seattle’s 20 year-old Native American youth theatre program. Jeff resides in Olympia, WA with his wife, Shana, and their five children.
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