C. E. Dye

C. E. Dye

Assistant Professor - Cinema Production

C.E. Dye's research is focused on disrupting unconscious oppression, on centering in non-marginalizing ways, stories of those previously ‘othered’ through the processes of conquest, love and fear. The multi-modal audial/visual and written stories he creates often pivot around self-understanding and an awareness of life’s interdependence.  

He was the co-director of the 2016 regional Emmy award-winning Finding Traction. In 2014, he was the producer and director of Indian Relay, which was selected for the national PBS series Independent Lens; and won two regional Emmy awards. In 2009, he was the producer, director, and editor of Before There Were Parks:  Yellowstone and Glacier through Native Eyes, which appeared on primetime PBS nationally and won two regional Emmys. His films, A Cat Called Elvis, and Last of the Gum Men were repeatedly broadcast regionally and nationally, respectively, on PBS. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and on NBC's Scholastic.com, as well as on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channels, and on other national and international cable networks. 

His fiction work includes writing The Snow Leopard, a feature screenplay, and the short films, The Drive-In Gal (writer, director, editor), The Curtsy (writer, director), C17 (director), The Necktie (writer, producer) and Half (writer, producer), along with shooting Afterthought & Commercial for Michael Cross.

He is currently in post-production on Virginia Dares, an experimental web series created to confront the Anglo-centric mythology of Virginia Dare, and the Lentil 360, a multi-part, educational VR project created in partnership with MontanaPBS and the Montana Institute on Ecosystems (funded in part by a 2017 Film and Digital Media Grant from Humanities Montana, and by the Friends of MontanaPBS). 

Contact Me

(540) 231-3991
251C Henderson Hall
195 Alumni Mall (0141)
Blacksburg, VA  24061

Areas of Expertise

  • Research: 'flat' and immersive non-fiction film production, screenwriting and fiction film production
  • Teaching: non-fiction and fiction film production, ethnographic film-making, story development, screenwriting, photography and visual communication

Education & Training

  • M.F.A., Montana State University
  • Post Baccalaureate Certificate, University of Washington
  • B.A., University of Arizona
  • New Faculty/Early Career Teaching Certificate, Virginia Tech

What is your favorite place on campus? Why?

Riding alongside my son, atop our bicycles, as we pass Burruss Hall while the day breaks over the Drillfield on our way to his school. This is a daily tradition we have, and I love every moment of it.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

Going into the unknown, facing a fear of that in myself, meeting the invariably remarkable people and incredible beauty that I always find there, somehow gracefully navigating the inevitable challenges that arise—and eventually, after a lot of editing, sharing some of that.

What is the most satisfying or rewarding moment of your artistic process? 

When the ‘tech’ drops away and I honestly connect with someone I never would have known, were I not a filmmaker.

When do you first remember making the decision to go into the arts?  What were the circumstances? 

I had the great fortune to see Michaelangelo's David when I was 20--and it overwhelmed me. Right there I understood why the making of art was among humanity's highest callings--why it was my calling--celebrating the beautiful, life, story, gumption…. I’ve been making art ever since. 

What is the most important quality for any student in the performing arts to cultivate?

Actually, it's 3 qualities:  perserverance, diligence and listening. 

Who has most influenced you? Why? 

My mother, because she has always believed that I have the potential to do anything. And, in another way, my father, because his accidental death—when I was a baby—pushes me to not take any day, or even any moment, for granted. I don’t put off pursuing dreams. 

Share something about yourself that might surprise your students. 

I once won a math contest. 

Honors & Awards


Emmy Award, Documentary - Topical, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter. 2016
Best Mountain Sports Film, Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. 2015
Best Women in Adventure Film, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. 2015
Best Running Film – Silver Award, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. 2015
Television Non-Commercial Program of the Year, Montana Broadcasters Association. 2015
Best Action Film, Danish Adventure Film Festival. 2014
Finalist, Mountain Film Competition, Banff Mountain Film Festival. (fine cut) 2014
Online distribution via Netflix, available for streaming in over 190 countries. 2016–present
VOD on Amazon Prime, available for streaming in over 200 countries. 2015–present 
VOD on Hulu and apps for Apple/Android devices. 2015–present 
Cable broadcast in Europe and North Africa via AB Groupe and YLE. 2015


Emmy Award: Cultural Documentary. National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter, 2014
Emmy Award: Photography. National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter, 2014
Best Documentary Script. Spur Award, Western Writers of America.
Audience Award – Best Native American Film. Durango Film: An Independent Film Festival. 2015
Best Action Film. 17th Annual Native American Indian Film and Video Festival of the Southeast, Columbia, SC 2015
Selected for Independent Lens’ 2013-2014 season. 932 original broadcasts (+ repeats) in the U.S.A. (53:25 version).


Emmy Award: Historical/Cultural Documentary, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter. 2010
Emmy Award: Cinematography (to Rick Smith), National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter. 2010
Primetime national PBS broadcast via PBS National Program Service.


Featured film on www.lifeonterra.com when it won the 2007 Webby Award for Student Online Film and Video.


National Geographic Channels global broadcast. 2002
Photos: Wall Street Journal front page & Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo permanent exhibit. 2002/~date

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