Indigenous actors needed for new Calogero Carucci film

Calogero Carucci is seeking Indigenous actors for an upcoming movie. (Photo/Calogero Carucci)

Calogero Carucci is seeking Indigenous actors for an upcoming movie. (Photo/Calogero Carucci)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation TV and Film is pleased to share information regarding an open casting call for Indigenous talent for an upcoming feature film titled “Sue Thunder, Johnny Lightning.”

“Sue Thunder, Johnny Lightning” follows the story of Native social worker, Sue Thunder, who heads a task force to investigate missing and murdered Indigenous women on the Salt Sun reservation in Arizona. As she forms a relationship with Italian-American real estate agent, Johnny, Sue uncovers a web of corruption and exploitation orchestrated by a tobacco tycoon and his business partner who are trafficking Indigenous women and girls while also acquiring Native land through embezzlement and bribery of tribal leaders.

Most roles are supporting or background roles in the film with a requirement of 1-2 days of shooting, but larger roles are available. No acting experience is necessary. All submissions are welcome. Most of the shooting will take place in the Phoenix, Arizona-area from December 2024 through January 2025. Applicants must have their own mode of transportation and lodging.

Calogero Carucci is the writer/director/producer of “Sue Thunder, Johnny Lightning.” Carucci is an award-winning filmmaker whose films have played at festivals internationally. His first two feature films, “Moving In 2008” and “Long Island Gus,” can be seen on Amazon Prime. This will be his third feature film.

Tyesha Wood, a Producer for the project, is a member of the Navajo Nation from Window Rock. Wood is Totsohnii (Big Water), born for Dibe Lizhini (Black Sheep) and she is a human trafficking expert with decades of experience as a detective/officer working with tribal nations.

Alex Cherney, a producer for the project, is an award-winning filmmaker known for his films “Santa Maria,” “The Have Not” and countless others, which can be found on Amazon Prime. Cherney is the owner of Riverspirit Studios, an NYC-based production company for narrative filmmaking and commercial content.

The project is looking to cast at least 20 Indigenous roles. Submit at least one photo of yourself and an optional video introducing yourself on camera to Feel free to include whether you have any acting experience, special talents, or interests. Anyone interested in working behind the camera as part of the crew, email

The deadline to submit is Dec. 17.

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