Montana International Film Festival | Billings, MT Sept 19-23, 2018

2019 panel events


Friday, Sept 20 | 4 pm

Tickets $5 (Festival Pass-holders Receive Free Entry)

Join us at the Stapleton Gallery Venue for our Women In Film Panel, featuring Diane Cairns and Virginia Spragg. Moderated by Montana’s Film Commissioner, Allison Whitmer.


Diane is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Representing writers, directors, producers, actor production companies, and authors, Diane earned her reputation for having spearheaded such noteworthy motion pictures as FATAL ATTRACTION, DANGEROUS LIAISONS, LOCK UP, POISON IVY, THELMA AND LOUISE, INDECENT PROPOSAL, SUPER MARIO BROTHERS, HONEY I BLEW UP THE BABY, RUDY, BEYOND RANGOON, SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT, THE CRAFT, UNFAITHFUL and MEET THE ROBINSONS.

After a decade, Diane left ICM to become Senior Vice President of Production for Universal Pictures. There, she supervised the revitalization of Universal’s vast motion picture library and developed feature film projects with such distinguished filmmakers as Milos Forman and Brian Grazer.  Subsequently, Diane elected to broaden her hands-on production skills by completing her MFA degree in Production at the University of Southern California School of Cinematics, home to such distinguished alumni as Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis and George Lucas.

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Virginia Spragg

Virginia Spragg is a screenwriter with two produced credits: AN UNFINISHED LIFE (directed by Lasse Hallström, with Jennifer Lopez, Robert Redford, & Morgan Freeman), and AS COOL AS I AM (directed by Max Mayer, with Claire Danes, Sarah Bolger, & James Marsden).


Saturday, Sept 21 | 12:30 pm

Tickets $5 (Festival Pass-holders Receive Free Entry)

Join us at the Stapleton Gallery Venue for our Indigenous Film Panel, featuring Michael Spears, Jane Lind, Reno Charette and Eddie Spears. Moderated by Montana’s Film Commissioner, Allison Whitmer.


Michael Spears

Michael Spears role in Dances with Wolves as Otter, catapulted him into the world of Film, Music and Public Speaking. A few more of his recent projects include Z Nation (2018), The Ballad of Lefty Brown (2017), Longmire (2014), Jesus In Cowboy Boots (2012), The Activist (2012), Guns, Girls, & Gambling (2010),  Yellow Rock (2010).

He expanded on his own Lakota language by working with the Lakota language coach, Charlie White Buffalo. Michael also works in the film industry as a technical adviser for Native American Cultures When Michael is not filming or on the stage, he travels as a celebrity speaker covering topics that inspire and educate.


Jane Lind

Aleut actress, director, choreographer and playwright Jane Lind began her professional career at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Jane's film and television credits include Percy Adlon's "Salmonberries", the mini-series "Return to Lonesome Dove" and TNT's "Crazy Horse". Her theater credits include the Cherokee Historical Society's "Unto These Hills", Juneau, Alaska's Perseverance Theater's productions of "Raven's Odyssey" and "The Vagina Monologues", the Theater of Yugen's "Crazy Horse - Moon of the Scarlet Plums", and most recently Native Voices at the Autry's "The Frybread Queen" in Los Angeles and Saginaw, Michigan.


Eddie Spears

Eddie Spears has been in the spotlight since age 10 starting with his first role in the Turner production of Geronimo, The Witness, Through the Window, and Somebody said Pow Wow.

Eddie’s most recent credits include Paramount’s series Yellowstone role Marcus Bodaway, Z Nation, And The Abyss Gazes Back, Hell On Wheels, Yellow Rock, Guns, Girls, & Gambling, The Legend of Hells Gate, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, Into the West, DreamKeeper, Edge of America, The Slaughter Rule. Eddie received the FAITA Best Actor Award in 2004 for Hallmark entertainment’s mini-series DreamKeeper.


Reno Charette

Worked for Governor Brian Schweitzer as the Coordinator of Indian Affairs. The Coordinator serves as a liaison in government to government services between tribes and state government, provides service to Indian people on and off reservations, organizes collaborative efforts between tribal – state entities through compacts and other cooperative agreements, and serves as an advisor and intermediary in the field of Indian Affairs for the Montana congressional delegation.