Even though she started college with a deep love of film, Cat Cannon opted to study evolutionary biology, which led her to spend time researching carnivores in South Africa. It wasn’t until she came across a short article about a Navajo sheep herder in the The New York Times in 2013 that she found herself inspired to return to the world of film. Cannon tracked down the sheep herder and made a short film with the help of a Mountainfilm Commitment Grant. That film, Irene (Mountainfilm 2016), is the story of Irene Bennalley, a Navajo woman who inherited her family’s grazing permit near Shiprock, New Mexico. It explores the dilemma of balancing cultural preservation with ecological health. Cannon has also worked with Michael Benanav, the founder of the Traditional Cultures Project, documenting the Kurds of Turkey’s Munzur Valley.