Birthplace: Warm Springs Indian Reserve, Oregon
Chris Eyre's determination to eliminate “humiliating” stereotypical representations of Native Americans in film and television stems from his childhood movie-going experiences. As a descendant of members of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, Chris Eyre attempts to display portraits of contemporary Native Americans as individuals who are plagued by problems common to all people, but who react within the confines of their own particular circumstances. After receiving accolades for his short films while obtaining his Master's degree at New York University, Eyre approached distinguished Native American writer Sherman Alexie with the desire to transform Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993) into a film. Determined to produce an honest portrayal of Native American life, the result was the highly acclaimed Smoke Signals (1998). Eyre's other productions have included a music video, Things We Do (1998), a documentary, Doe Boy (2001), and films, Skins (2002), Skinwalkers (TV) (2002), and A Thief of Time (TV) (2003). He also founded Riverhead Entertainment, a production company that for several years produced commercials, films, and documentaries.