Howard spent seven months shooting and editing his first film, Chief, a short movie about a Native American who keeps his grandfather's promise by saving the tribe's dam.
The Pima-Maricopa creator will feature his film at the American Indian Film Institute's annual film tour June 13, 15 and 16 at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
The three-day tour features films from across the nation, including award-winning Native American films, promoted by San Francisco-based institute, a non-profit media arts center founded in 1979 to foster understanding of the culture, traditions and issues of contemporary Native Americans.
"I wanted to portray a very atypical Native American character that one may not be used to seeing in a movie. He's very angry. Basically, I kind of got tired of how Native Americans are portrayed in movies. Usually it's someone to be sympathized, or somebody to be passive or a stereotypical savage type," Howard said.
In comics, the angry Indian (usually a military vet) is commonplace. The angry Indian grandson who takes up his grandfather's cause is common enough to be a cliché.