Charles Dye

Charles Dye

Assistant Professor - Cinema Production

Now in his third year at Virginia Tech, Charles 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. Charles's work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and on NBC's, and on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channels, and on other national and international cable networks. 

His fiction work includes adapting & directing his MFA thesis film, The Curtsy, along with shooting  Afterthought & Commercial for Michael Cross, as well as collaborating with his students on C17, The Necktie, Half, and several other projects now in development. 

Contact Me

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

Areas of Expertise

  • Research: multi-cultural non-fiction and fiction film production
  • Teaching: non-fiction and fiction film production, ethnographic film-making, story development, communication of science, and visual communication

Education & Training

  • M.F.A., Montana State University
  • Post Baccalaureate Certificate, University of Washington
  • B.A., University of Arizona

What is your favorite place on campus? Why?

In the seats of the Moss Arts Center--because it's one of the most magnificent performance halls in this solar system.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

Going into the unknown, facing the fear of that in myself, meeting the invariably amazing 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? 

Diligence, patience 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 doubt there’s much about me that would surprise my students. For better or worse, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t hold anything back.  

Honors & Awards

  • Awarded two regional Emmys for Before There Were Parks: Yellowstone and Glacier through Native Eyes  (2010)
  • Awarded two regional Emmys for Indian Relay  (2014)
  • Awarded a regional Emmy for Finding Traction  (2016)
  • Best Women in Adventure Film: Gold Award & Best Running Film: Silver Award, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (for Finding Traction)
  • Best Action Film, Danish Adventure Film Festival, Copenhagen, Denmark (for Finding Traction)
  • Best Mountain Sports Film, Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (for Finding Traction)
  • Best Documentary Script, Spur Award, Western Writers of America (for Indian Relay)
  • Audience Award – Best Native American Film, Durango Film: An Independent Film Festival (for Indian Relay)
  • Best Action Film: 17th Annual Native American Indian Film & Video Festival of the Southeast, Columbia, South Carolina (for Indian Relay)
  • Webby Award for Student Online Film and Video (for A Cat Called Elvis/ 

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