"I knew going into what I was trying to do that that would be a factor," he said. "If I was native, I would feel the same way."
But Hamilton armed himself with the Navajo cast and crew, cultural advisers, letters of support from tribal leaders and a resume that included at least 12 other productions filmed on the Navajo Nation.
Hamilton also had lived on the vast reservation for two years before he began writing the script for "Turquoise Rose." As a Mormon missionary, he butchered sheep, hauled wood from the mountains and made bread from scratch.