Meet the Filmmakers

Kier Atherton was born, raised, and returned to northwest Montana, where he makes a living as a seasonal trail worker and goes broke as a musician and documentary filmmaker. 

Amir Beardsley lives in Red Bluff, California and has been passionate about rodeo since the 6th grade. He is finishing up his first year at Shasta College in 2013, and continues to pursue his goals of becoming a professional bull rider; while also being successful in both school and life.

Madeleine Graham Blake lives on an inholding in the Lower Klamath Lake Wildlife Refuge with her husband Tupper and her dog Mighty Mick, the Diminutive Duck Dog. She taught film-based photography at Dominican University of California, and her work has been featured in three books and numerous publications, including Western Horseman and Range Magazine.

Robin Boies
and her husband Steve run the Boies Ranch 45 miles north of Wells, Nevada, where their goal is "to create the kind of ranch their kids will want to inherit.” There they've raised three children, Teema, Nathan, and Samuel. While tending to the needs of the ranch, Robin works to understand and tell the stories of contemporary ranching culture through writing and videography.

Visit the online journal Robyn wrote for us July 2006-May 2007.

Linda Bunch lives five miles from Tuscarora, Nevada in Independence Valley where she was the community’s only schoolteacher for 30 years. She says some of her students had to travel 40 miles on dirt roads just to get to school. Linda is now retired, breeds registered quarter horses with her husband Randy, and is manager and co-owner of the Van Norman & Friends Production Sale. Making films has taught her that there are stories all around her that need to be shared.

Andrew Church is a 5th generation rancher living in Elko county, Nevada. A journalism graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Andrew now works on the family ranch as a mechanic and cowhand.

Peter Church was born and raised in San Francisco; he was lured to Nevada “by the romance of the West only to be awakened by the realities of minus-20 degree winters and 3-foot snowdrifts.”  Peter, his wife Susan and their two boys Andrew and James, work the Keddie Ranch, which sits at the end of a 5-mile dirt road.  Peter says that he wants his Deep West Videos to be “more about ranch reality, than about ranch romance.”

Susan Church ranches with her husband Peter and their two sons Andrew and James on the Keddie Ranch 40 miles north of Elko. The Keddie is the most isolated part of the larger Glaser Land and Livestock outfit. As a teenager Susan helped her father repair machinery, and soon became an accomplished welder herself. She now channels that skill into artwork she produces from salvaged ranching implements. Susan says producing Deep West Videos has given her the opportunity to “observe her own life and mark the changes and progress that come with each passing year.”

Patty Clayton was named "Western Female Vocalist of the Year" by the Academy of Western Artists in 2007, and "Female Performer of the Year" by the Western Music Association in 2004. Her music is a blend of original ballads and borrowed songs about today and yesterday in the West.

Cherie Ann Cloudt grew up on ranches in Arizona in the 1950s and 60s, and began collecting her father's stories about cowboy life when she was about eight. Her interests led her as an adult to studying anthropology, fine art, southwest history and archaeology, and to writing about historic ranches. She lives in Carrizozo, New Mexico.

Tuda Libby Crews
is a seventh-generation rancher from Bueyeros, New Mexico, and a dynamic, life-long community leader. She and her husband Jack manage a cow/calf operation with an emphasis on best management practices. They have two children and three grandchildren. Tuda and Jack have presented at the Gathering in years past.

Whit Deschner stopped for a 10-cent cup of coffee in Baker City, Oregon, in 1982 and has never looked back, mainly because he is too busy fixing things on his small ranch. His book, Travels With a Kayak won the Benjamin Franklin Award for humor, and articles have appeared in various adventure anthologies. Whit squanders most of his time in eastern Oregon where he is run by a small ranch, writes, and runs the annual Great Salt Lick benefit/contest/auction with proceeds going to Parkinson's Disease research. In a recent story on NPR, he was referred to as the world's foremost expert on salt lick sculptures.

Carolyn Dufurrena is an award-winning author, filmmaker and educator who came west young and fell in love with the high desert. She and her husband Tim live on the Quinn River Ranch south of Denio, Nevada, where they raise cattle, alfalfa and way too many registered quarter horses.

Visit the online journal Carolyn wrote for us December 2005-March 2007.

Linda Dufurrena is a well-known photographer of ranch life and landscapes near the Dufurrena Ranch 75 miles northwest of Winnemuca, Nevada. Her photographs, along with words by Carolyn Dufurrena, are published in their book "Fifty Miles from Home: Riding the Long Circle on a Nevada Family Ranch." Linda's photography is also available online.

See more of Linda's photography in her the online journal she kept for us December 2005 - January 2010.

Julie Gallego Freitas is a Marriage and Family Therapist who lives near Blue Lake, California. Julie's maternal side of the family has picked and worked the land from West Texas to California. Julie has interests in social justice, migrant rights, and Chicano history.

John Hill traces his roots in the West to his grandparents who homesteaded in eastern Wyoming in the early 1900s. He's retired now and lives in Reno, Nevada, spending as much time as possible in the outdoors taking photographs of western scenery and historical sites.

Linda Hussa
ranches with her husband John in Surprise Valley near the small town of Cedarville, California, where the western edge of the Great Basin begins. Her poetic voice speaks about the region she lives in, the people whose lives are shaped by that environment, and her commitment to rural communities.

Teresa Jordan is a writer and visual artist who grew up on a ranch in the Iron Mountain country of southeast Wyoming. She now lives in Salt Lake City with her husband Hal Cannon. Her writings include Field Notes from Yosemite: Apprentice to Place, Riding the White Horse Home, and Cowgirls: Women of the American West

Frank Kanig grew up in a sheep ranching family in Utah, and was a herdsman for the College of Southern Utah. He later worked for the California Department of Fish and Game. Frank is an actor, and has been involved in the film business in both Utah and California. In his 2013 Deep West Video, he partnered with Dave "Chief" Anderson, a Native American of Navajo and Ute Mountain Ute descent who participates in numerous traditional ceremonies and is an actor, filmmaker and addiction counselor.

Lacey Maddalena runs Lacey Livestock, Incorporated, in California's Sierra Valley. She inherited her love of ranching from her father, and as a girl competed in roping and barrel racing. She likes to hunt and fish, and is training for her first marathon later in 2010.

Gia Martynn grew up in Bakersfield, California, and now lives in the northern Sierra Nevada in Quincy, California, where she works as the Watershed Coordinator for the Feather River Coordinated Resource Management Group of Plumas Corporation. She enjoys hiking, exploring, and learning the intricacies of riparian and meadow systems in the Sierra Nevada with her best (dog) friend, Zoe.

Joe McCormack has worked for the Nez Perce tribe in resource management for over a dozen years. Active in an array of community building projects, he has been involved over the past four years with a project in Mongolia, dealing with the Kuhlaon (Wild Ass) to study pastoral and herder interactions. He is also helping develop fisheries in northeastern Oregon, and is a strong advocate for his people and their rights.

Tracy Mori and her family run the Mori Ranch in Independence Valley where they raise Angus cattle. Tracy’s two sons are successful team ropers who’ve won more than two dozen saddles in competition. Tracy’s been attending the Elko County Fair since she was nine years old, and says she always looks forward to visiting with old friends she only sees this one time each year.

Jane Ambrose Morton's family began ranching near Fort Morgan, Colorado in 1915. After she married, Jane taught school and worked the ranch with her husband. She has published several children's books and writes poems about ranch life. her most recent book is titled Cowboy Poetry, Turning to Face the Wind.

Cindi Nash lives in Spring Creek, Nevada with her husband David and one child who is still at home. Cindi is originally from Idaho but after college moved to Texas where she mostly cowboy'd for a living with her husband. She has been a teacher's assistant at Mound Valley School for the past 4 years.

In 2012, ten students of Panoche Valley in the San Benito County of California, produced a Deep West video under the direction of Spencer Wilkinson of the Community Media Access Partnership (CMAP). Their parents are ranchers and organic farmers whose products include milk, produce and eggs.

Sabrina Reed
is a 4th generation rancher who attended Great Basin College in Elko, Nevada and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Resource Management and Conservation. She ranches with her husband John and their three boys: George, Julian and Hugh.

Ali Riordan lives on her husband's family ranch near Jiggs, Nevada, where they are raising the sixth generation of the Riordan family on the same land. Ali grew up in Florida where she was involved in ranching, raising Santa Gertrudis and Brangus cattle. After falling in love with the West, she took up photography so she could share the beauty of her new home with family in Florida. She says she began to look at the world differently after having her two sons, and through their curiosity discovered a new passion for teaching.

Shammy Rodriguez likes to quote a friend who says “you get your love for ranching in your mom’s milk when you’re a baby.” The Rhoads Ranch where she lives and works was started by her great great grandfather, making Shammy a fifth generation rancher. She says making videos makes her appreciate the life she has, and realize that not many people get to see what she sees on a daily basis.

Leslie David Schwabacher is a journalist and media producer. She and her husband life on the Santa Anita Ranch in Tres Pinos, California. Before ranching, Linda worke din television news and helped create a foundation that provides fine arts and life science classes to rural schools in her area.

As a child, Ginger Teig Voelker dreamed of being a large animal veterinarian, but as an adult she moved to Los Angeles, pursuing a career in theater and film. Now she and her husband find themselves in the country, caring for horses on a historic ranch in Genoa, Nevada, and raising the family's first generation rancher, a young daughter.

Gwendolyn Trice
, a native of La Grande Oregon, moved back to the country after a career with Boeing in Seattle. Besides collaborating with Joe McCormack on the Old West, New West Videos film "Homeland," she has dedicated the past several years to uncovering and documenting her family's migration to the West -- African American loggers in search of promise in the early 1900s. Gwendolyn is the founder of the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center and her efforts have rekindled an interest in eastern Oregon's rural history.

Cheryl Turner has been the teacher at the Mound Valley School in Jiggs, Nevada for 20 years. She and her husband, Bob, have raised two children there. Cheryl dedicates her films to her family and hopes that her films film will help people appreciate rural life and rural communities. 

Ronda Van Norman lives on the Quarter Circle S ranch in Independence Valley, Nevada where she and her husband are raising two children.  The Van Norman family has been ranching in this valley for four generations, and in addition to raising beef cattle, they specialize in breeding working cow horse quarterhorses. Ronda says that making Deep West Videos has made her more aware of how important it is to preserve this way of life.

Kristin Windbigler lives in Humboldt County, California, where her family has been involved in ranching and  logging for nearly 150 years. Her great-grandfather used to say he saw the logging industry go from oxen to helicopters in his lifetime. She wishes he could see how technology has allowed her to move back home to the country and keep a job in New York City. 

Glynis Wright is a native Nevadan, born and raised in Elko. she married her husband Jay 20 years ago, and together they have worked the family ranch in Independence Valley. For the next few years, Glynis is living in Elko with their kids so they can attend high school, while Jay continues to work the ranch with his father, Jim.

Merrily Wright lives on the Mary's River Ranch with her husband John and their five children. They raise beef cattle and run a grass-fed beef business. Though Merrily has been singing for as long as she can remember, the experience of moving out to a ranch inspired her to begin writing as well. She began with poetry and then found that her poems lent themselves to songs. She says it’s been fun to look for visual images to complement her music in making Deep West Videos.

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