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Sierra Pettengill is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker who works primarily with archival material. Most recently, she directed the “Big Dan’s” episode of the Netflix documentary series Trial by Media. Her 2017 feature-length film, the all-archival documentary The Reagan Show, premiered at the Locarno Film Festival before airing on CNN. Her 2018 all-archival short film, Graven Image, aired on POV and is held at the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, and her 2020 short Business of Thought premiered at the Sheffield Documentary Festival. In 2013 she produced the Academy Award–nominated film Cutie & the Boxer, which also won an Emmy Award for Best Documentary, and codirected Town Hall for PBS. She has also worked as an archival researcher for many filmmakers including Jim Jarmusch, Mathieu Amalric, and Mike Mills. Pettengill was a Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow, and a fellow at the Yaddo and MacDowell colonies.
Watch our release of documentary short The Rifleman, which examines how NRA head Harlon Carter fused gun rights, immigration enforcement, and white supremacy. Then read an interview with filmmaker Sierra Pettengill and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.