Travis Holt Hamilton spent his childhood riding horses and mules, playing sports and being with family. An avid outdoorsman, Hamilton grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho, where he lettered in high school baseball and basketball and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Hamilton got his start in film when he was cast as an extra in a Disney movie. His first speaking role was the lead character in the 2002 adventure film The Shadow of Light. After that movie, he was "bit by the film bug" and has never recovered! An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hamilton served a two-year mission on the Hopi and the Navajo reservations - the setting for most of his films, which strive to share high quality entertainment to the underserved indigenous communities of the world. He is the owner of Holt Hamilton Films, whose focus is to find and share the great stories that need to be told. Hamilton, a combat veteran with the United States Army, holds a master's degree in applied cultural anthropology from Northern Arizona University. He wrote his first film, Turquoise Rose, in 2003, while deployed to the Middle East. He later produced the film and released it in 2007. As an independent filmmaker, Hamilton faced many challenges when it came to distribution of his films. He mostly self-funded Turquoise Rose with 11 credit cards. He bought a 12-foot screen, a projector and some speakers and began traveling the Navajo Nation to show the film to small audiences, an endeavor that prompted him to learn how film distribution really works. With his later films, Hamilton worked his way into mainstream theaters, growing from local showings in the Southwest to a much larger radius. His latest movie, Legends from the Sky, showed in over 30 theaters and spanned the United States from Alaska to North Carolina. Hamilton has produced five feature-length films and one documentary: Turquoise Rose (2007), Blue Gap Boy'z (2008), Pete & Cleo (2010), Oreland C. Joe (2011), More Than Frybread (2011) and Legends From The Sky (2015). Hamilton is one of very few filmmakers focusing on indigenous stories that hope to have a positive impact on the world family. Hamilton lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, with his wife, Rebekah, and their four children. His lifetime goal is to summit the highest point in all 50 states. As of 2015, he has summited 12 of them!
For four years, the Jicarilla Apache Nation's Johnson O'Malley program, led by Lynn Roanhorse, and Holt Hamilton Films have joined forces to encourage, motivate and empower Jicarilla Apache youth by providing hands on learning and mentorship in the filmmaking process. Follow this exciting journey as Native American youth show the world that they can do great things when EMPOWERED.