Cast & Crew




Victor Nunez (Director/Editor)

Victor nunezA founding member of the Independent Feature Project and the Sundance Institute, award-winning independent film director Victor Nunez is known for his low-budget regional dramas that resonate with a strong sense of place. His films can gestate for years as character and plot become increasingly grounded in reality, and they are frequently literary adaptations set in Florida, where he lives.

Serving as his own writer, editor, and cameraman, Nunez is also a filmmaker in residence at Florida State University Film School in Tallahassee, where he teaches directing and writing. In 2008, he was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame, only the second person in film to be so honored. Nunez's involvement with Spoken Word came together quickly: he joined the project as director in January 2008 and began principle photography in New Mexico two months later. The call from the producers at Luminaria was serendipitous, as Nunez had been researching a different New Mexico project for almost a year. Spoken Word is his first directing project outside of Florida, although it shares with his earlier films Nunez's underlying interest in stories of people finding their way in the world.Previously, Nunez was director, editor, writer, and producer on 2002's drama Coastlines, in which an ex-con returns to his Florida hometown after three years and becomes involved with the wife of his best friend, the local sheriff. Distributed by IFC Films, Coastlines starred Timothy Olyphant, Josh Brolin, and Sarah Wynter.With 1997's much-acclaimed Ulee's Gold, writer-director-editor Nunez cast Peter Fonda as a reclusive Florida beekeeper who brings his dysfunctional family back together. Nunez directed Fonda to a Best Actor Academy Award nomination as well as a Best Actor Golden Globe Award win, and Ulee's Gold was nominated for five Independent Spirit Awards.Nunez financed 1993's Ruby in Paradise himself, serving as writer, director, editor, and camera operator on the feature film, which helped to launch Ashley Judd's acting career in the lead role of a girl on a journey of self-discovery in Florida's Panhandle. It shared the grand jury prize in drama at the Sundance Film Festival.Before that, Nunez was writer, editor, director and cinematographer on 1984's A Flash of Green, which starred Ed Harris and Blair Brown in the adaptation of a James D. MacDonald novel about a reporter investigating a landfill development deal in a small Florida coastal town. Nunez made his feature film debut in 1979 with Gal Young 'Un, a low-budget drama set during the 1920s. IFC is currently completing a full restoration of both films.

Holding a BA in film and art from Antioch College and an MFA in film production from UCLA, Nunez has been a director-producer for Nunez-Gowan Productions for the last 20 years. He's served as a judge or panelist for the NEA, Sundance, New York, American Film Institute, and Miami Film Festivals, and three of his features were selected for the Director's Fortnight at Cannes and the New York Film Festival.

William T. Conway (Writer-Producer)

BillconwayAfter earning a B.A. in Communications from Stanford University and a M.A. in Radio, Television and Film from the University of Michigan, Conway worked as a sports cameraman, production assistant for an award-winning New York commercial director, and a producer/director of documentary and industrial films.
Moving to Los Angeles in 1979, he served as production manager and visual effects producer for low-budget film producer Roger Corman, working alongside many up-and-coming young talents including director James Cameron and producer Gale Anne Hurd.
In 1984, Conway became a full-time screenwriter. For 20 years, he worked primarily in television, serving on the writing staffs of prime-time series such as "Matt Houston," "Jake and the Fatman," and "Miami Vice," for which he co-wrote the final episode.
Since moving with his family to Santa Fe, NM, in 1992, he has written numerous freelance scripts for shows including "Matlock," "Walker Texas Ranger," "The Marshall," the Disney Channel's "So Weird," and "First Wave," a science fiction drama executive produced by Larry Sugar and Francis Ford Coppola. Also for Larry Sugar, Conway rewrote several family films for Showtime, including Robin of Locksley and Ronnie and Julie, a modern adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet". Another Showtime project Conway wrote scripts for was Dead Man's Gun, a period western drama created by the Speilman brothers, creators of Kung Fu. In 2002, Conway was the winner of the Santa Fe Performing Arts New Play Contest for the comic drama "Men's Room".

Karen Koch (Producer)

Koch (pronounced Cook) is a third generation New Mexican bringing with her all that such longevity in a small place entails - intimate knowledge of the land and communities of New Mexico as well as its political intricacies.  Her career in the film business began at the New Mexico Film Commission in 1978 but soon took her to Los Angeles.  With a degree in art history from the University of Colorado and a love of "art" films, she gravitated toward auteur filmmakers. 
Koch worked her way up the filmmaking food chain in her 20-plus years in the business, focusing on independent or independently minded films with budgets ranging from $200,000 to $30,000,000.  She is a producer who knows the nuts and bolts of the filmmaking process, serving as production manager and/or line producer on most of her projects.  She is known for her ability to create a budget and stick to it, as well as an ability to manage personnel and the endless details of the filmmaking process with calm grace.  Highlights of her career include Wim Wender's Paris, Texas, John Water's Crybaby, Jim Jarmusch's Deadman and Spike Jonze's Adaptation. 
Koch is in development on several other projects to be shot in New Mexico including the feature film adaptation of Max Evan’s XAVIER’S FOLLY, and a documentary GREASE IS THE WAY.
She is a longtime member of the Director's Guild of America, a founding member of the College of Santa Fe's Girl's Film School, and current treasurer of New Mexico chapter of Women In Film.


Joe Ray Sandoval (Co-Writer)

Joe Ray SandovalJoe Ray Sandoval is a multimedia artist, performance poet, and youth advocate from Santa Fe, NM. He received his MFA in poetry, film, and media studies from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He has taught creative writing workshops in both the public and private sectors as a member of WritersCorps in Washington DC as well as independently in New Mexico. His most recent reading series, Poetry Allowed, culminated in a feature length documentary of the same name which he produced and co-directed, and which has been selected for several film festivals. His work has been published, seen, and performed from New York to Los Angeles and in Caracas, Venezuela.

Michael Brook (Composer)
Michael Brook is a Canadian guitarist, inventor, producer, and film music composer familiar with many disciplines including rock, electronica, world music, minimalism and film scores.

He is most famous perhaps for his sonic contribution to U2's multimillion-selling 1987 album The Joshua Tree in the form of his invention, the Infinite guitar. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1996 for his production work and as a co-artist on Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's album Night Song. Another notable collaboration was Sleeps with the Fishes with Clan Of Xymox member Pieter Nooten (4AD, 1987).

Brook breaks many of the 'rules' of electric guitar. He does not use voiced guitar amplifiers, but instead plugs directly into a preamp to broadcast the sound using a variety of effects and processors, many of which he has pioneered. Among his inventions are the Infinite Guitar, played by The Edge of U2, a guitar outfitted with a feedback transducer to produce non-decaying sustain of any note.

He has produced albums for Mary Margaret O'Hara, Julia Fordham, Jane Siberry, U. Srinivas, Youssou N'Dour, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, The Edge, Balloon, The Pogues, Jorane, Hukwe Zawose, and others. Brook has also written for a number of film soundtracks including the music for Albino Alligator, Americanese, Mission: Impossible II and the eco-documentarys, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and Who Killed the Electric Car? and Sean Penn's critically acclaimed Into the Wild, for which Brook was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Rick Pagano (Casting Director)
Los Angeles-based Rick Pagano has been the casting director on dozens of high-profile films and TV series including the feature films X-Men: The Last Stand, 88 Minutes, Hotel Rwanda, Alien: Resurrection, One True Thing, Without Limits, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Say Anything, and Drugstore Cowboy, and the TV series "24" and "Picket Fences."

Kent Kirkpatrick (Associate Producer)
A director and writer, Kent Kirkpatrick worked in TV, films, and theater before launching an academic career teaching in the graduate theater programs of the University of California-San Diego and Oxford University, among others. Before tenure set in, he migrated into the world of film writing, production, and directing.Credits include "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," an original play which he developed and directed; "The Odyssey," which he wrote and directed as a multi-lingual adaptation; and researching, co-writing, and directing for the New Mexico State Historian's Office "The Legacy of Letters," a reading of important letters from New Mexico history. Most recently, he co-wrote and directed "Speaking with Friends and Lovers: A Reading of Georgia O'Keeffe's Letters," to celebrate the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum's Tenth Anniversary, starring Joan Allen, Sam Waterston, and Marsha Mason.He wrote and directed the short film "Ride," which was awarded the best film award in the DigiFest Southwest Film Festival. He has written, produced, and directed social marketing advertising for the State of New Mexico. He recently co-produced the award-winning short film "The Lark Snare."

Jimmy Santiago Baca (Poetry Consultant)
Jimmy Santiago Baca has devoted his life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love, and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country.In 2005 he created Cedar Tree Inc., a nonprofit foundation that works to give people of all walks of life the opportunity to become educated and improve their lives. Cedar Tree provides free instruction, books, writing material, and scholarships. Cedar Tree has an ongoing writing workshop in the Albuquerque Women's Prison and at the South Valley Community Center. Cedar Tree also has an internship program that provides live-in writing scholarships at Wind River Ranch, and in the south valley of Albuquerque. The program allows students, writers, and poets the opportunity to write, attend poetry readings, conduct writing workshops, and work on documentary film production.Baca is currently finishing a novel, a play, and three poetry manuscripts. He is also producing a two-hour documentary about the power of literature and how it can change lives.Baca holds a BA in English from the University of New Mexico and an honorary PhD in literature from UNM. He has published 12 books of poetry, including Immigrants in Our Own Land, Working in the Dark: Reflections of a Poet in the Barrio, Healing Earthquakes, C-Train and 13 Mexicans, Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande, and Spring Poems Along the Rio Grande. He has also published three novels, among them his memoir A Place to Stand and The Importance of a Piece of Paper. He wrote the screenplay for 1992's Bound by Honor, released by Hollywood Pictures (distributed on video as Blood In, Blood Out). Among his many awards and honors are the Pushcart Prize; American Book Award for Poetry; Wallace Stevens Endowed Chair, Yale; Berkeley Regents Chair, University of California-Berkeley; and Cornelius P. Turner GED Award.