At the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Billy Luther made his directorial debut with Miss Navajo, an intimate look into a Navajo pageant that not only honors beauty, but the language and culture of the Navajo Nation. Four years later he returns with Grab, a rarely documented tradition in the villages of the Laguna Pueblo tribe in which they annually throw water and food items from the rooftop of a home to people standing below.
Grab made its New York premiere on June 16th at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian in NY with filmmaker Billy Luther and potter Josie Seymour in attendance. The film was received to a packed audience and a cocktail reception honoring the film as well as Grab: The Exhibition, a collection of striking images of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe, photographed by Idris Rheubottom, Tony Craig and Cybelle Codish, currently on display in the museum. You can visit the exhibition’s website Grab: The Exhibition.
I had the privilege of working filmmaker Billy Luther, who is Navajo, Hopi and Laguna Pueblo, and photographer Tony Craig and other partnering organizations in coordinating the NY premiere of Grab. Billy, a former NMAI intern, was excited to return to New York City to screen his film at the museum. FLABmag asked if I would interview Billy for their summer edition, of course I said yes as I was looking forward to the opportunity to get to know the award- winning filmmaker. He is honestly the nicest and funniest guy you will ever meet.
Below as he gives a witty and honest insight into what his film Grab entailed, his future projects and what SPF and one inch heels have to do with his experience as a filmmaker: