Joanelle Romero is an award-winning director and producer of film, television, and other media — being the only American Indian director, producer, writer, shortlisted for an OSCAR by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science Documentary Branch in 2000 for her award-winning film ‘American Holocaust: When Its All Over I’ll Still be Indian. To date this is the only documentary that addresses the American Indian and the Jewish Holocausts.

June 2016, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science invited Romero to be a lifetime member #Class2016. Romero that same month was invited to Washington D.C. by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Oprah Winfrey to share her vision and initiatives of her Native Women in FILM, inclusion in bringing national attention to the multi- cultural diversity issues we face as a nation.

Romero has worked in directing and producing original content for online streaming television and commercial advertising through her company Red Nation Television Network – The World is Watching Native is Here, since 2006 and others including ITVS.

Romero being the first American Indian to receive an Humanitarian Award, the Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award given to projects that have “the vision to see the truth and the courage to speak it.” Romero’s expertise and passion in producing and directing media content centers around her love of storytelling and humanity. Romero’s commitment in the film industry has been consisted in having established a career of 40+ years and still going strong. In 2007, Romero was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Acknowledgements Joanelle Romero was further acknowledged by Ellen Snortland, former President of United Nations Association, Pasadena Chapter in the Pasadena Weekly, 2006: “American Indians have every right to despise white folks and curse us, rather than bless us. And yet, there are leaders like Romero who boggle the typical pedestrian mind. Like Nelson Mandela, she is a prime example of forgiveness in action. Mandela had every right to call for a bloodbath when he was finally released from prison in South Africa. Mandela-like, Romero stands on his mighty global shoulders and calls for oneness, love and what she describes as female energy.” –partial quote.

Romero is a Media Proprietor, her companies include Red Nation Television Network (2006 – reaching 10 million viewers in 37 countries), Red Nation Film Festival – the Authentic Voice of American Indian & Indigenous Cinema (2003), Native Women in FILM (2003), Native Youth Matter – If I Can See It I Can Be It and the longest standing Native Arts & Culture nonprofit organization in Los Angeles Red Nation Celebration Institute (1995). Joanelle Romero’s, production company Red Nation Films is an award-winning company in producing American Indian documentaries and independent films.

Romero has a long and impressive career as an actor, starring in the first Contemporary American Indian Women’s Story ever producer in 1977 “A Girl Called Hatter Fox”, this film marked the first time a Native actress carried a leading role in a contemporary movie. To starring in 1989 Handmade Films Cult Classic “Pow Wow Highway,” the film that paved the way for contemporary native filmmaking. Sundance award winning feature film. Roger Ebert’s review ‘Thumb’s Up”

Romero has been a SAG-AFTRA member since 1977 and is the longest standing American Indian member in the union. She sat on the SAG-EEOC committee from 1998 to 2001 and for many years was the only American Indian representing the native voice to the union. At SAG-AFTRA she produced numerous events including the panels “Where Are We (Native Americans) in Film, Television and Radio” (2000) and “Native Women in Film & Television”(2012).

Romero has worked such notable directors as: George Schaefer, Oliver Stone, Fred Schepisi, Gregory Hoblit, Charles Band, Mel Damski, Ricky Schroder, and Aaron Lipstadt.

The Legendary Leonard Cohen discovered singer/songwriter Joanelle Romero. Romero was the first female artist that Mr. Leonard Cohen produced. Leonard Cohen produced her first recordings at A&M Records; Joanelle was the only American Indian recording artist on the world’s famous Sarah McLaughlin “Lilith Fair Tour” with Sara McLaughlin, Sinead O’Connor, the Indigo Girls and Natalie Merchant; first all female tour; before being asked to join the “Lilith Fair” Joanelle launched Native Women in Music concert series.

In 1991, Michael Jackson helped launch Ms. Romero’s production company. Jackson became the leading force in making Romero’s company known to the world. Due to Jackson’s insight, he added her newly founded production company (1991) in his press interviews in Entertainment Weekly.

Joanelle Romero was instrumental in bringing American Indian dancers to Jackson’s music video, “Black or White” this music video. Romero was able to negotiate for the American Indian dancers to be paid over and above any dancers on any music video ever, due to the fact they were traditionally dressed (the wardrobe did not come from western costume). To date, they are the highest paid dancers in the music video industry. Also, this segment was the first clip of American Indian dancers in a music video without being a Native American music group/artist.

Romero’s most current performances have included, 2016 asked by Ed Begley Jr to sing traditional water song at Enviromental Media Awards in honoring Shailene Woodley along with Frances Fisher and Josh Fox. 2015 Dalai Lama’s 80th Birthday Celebration in the United States @ The Honda Center. Romero spoke on Native Women and Sacred Water, was asked to sing by Holiness Dalai Lama.

Romero has been invited to sing Traditional Blessing Spiritual songs by such notables as Jane Goodall, Cesar Chavez National Holidays, Gandhi’s Grandson for Peace Day, Earth Day Celebrations.

Romero with her Indian Country blues band has opened for notable artists as Rick Danko of The Band, Kris Kristofferson, Stevie Wonder, Eric Anderson, John Trudell, Paul Butterfield, Tin Machine, Freddie Fender, Ritchie Havens and Roseanne Cash.

Romero’s produced work in social justice forums include: “Native Women in Film & Television Initiative”; “Native Youth Matter – If I Can See It I Can Be It”; “Warriors Against Aids”; “”The Power of Film”; “Native Fashion with Social Action” to name a few.

Born 1957 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the first child of Rita Rogers Mescalero Apache/Sephardic Jew an actress and father Robert Romero Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache/Cheyenne. Joanelle was born in to this industry. At age 3, she acted with her mother and grandma in plays in New Mexico. In the 60’s, Joanelle’s mother was signed to Universal Studios, her mother was in nine Elvis Presley films. At age 9, Joanelle used to go to the set on MGM Lot with her mother and hang out with Elvis and Nancy Sinatra, where she learned her love for filmmaking. As a young girl at age 12, Dennis Hopper became her legal guardian. At age 18, Joanelle was cast in her first leading role “A Girl Called Hatter Fox” and went on to study at Lee Strasberg Actors Studio in Hollywood.



Second Sunrise (Television Series) Director / Producer

Home, Home on the REZ (Television Series) Actor / Director / Producer

The Man of the People The Legacy of Edward R Roybal  (Documentary Feature) Director / Producer


Indigenous Women RISE (Documentary Feature) Director / Producer

Trinity A Story of a Mescalero Girl (Documentary Short) Director / Producer

The Adventures Of Thomasina Sawyer (James Franco Film) – Associate Producer

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Let’s Hear Your Funny (Comedy Special)

A Native Comedy Special filmed at the Famous Laugh Factory for Red Nation Film Festival to be broadcast on Red Nation Television Channel 2016.

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Hollywood & Indian Country’s Biggest Night for American Indian & Indigenous Voices™ Cementing American Indian at the forefront of the Entertainment Industry™”

RNCI Red Nation Awards. Ground-breaking first time a Live televised broadcast of an American Indian Awards Show. Each year, RNCI Red Nation Awards Show is broadcast LIVE, since 2013.

A LIVE Televised Broadcast on Red Nation Television Network – The World is Watching Native is Here. A-List Celebrities. Native Celebrities, On the Red is Green Carpet.

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National Hispanic Media Coalition February 20, 2018



MARCH – Happy International Women’s Day!






* Radio: http://kalw.org/post/raising-awareness-about-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-us#stream/0


 USC Story May 10, 2018 



Women Media Center June 13, 2018



Santa Fe New Mexican – August 16, 2018


Santa Fe New Mexican – August 14, 2018