Private Project

By Any Other Name: An Exploration of Afro-Amerindian Heritage

By Any Other Name: An Exploration of Afro-Amerindian Heritage is a documentary centered on how various historical events, past documentation methods and sociological perspectives have understated the existence of non-reservation, tribally unrecognized/culturally unaffiliated groups of people of mixed African and Native American ancestry.

The film has a genealogical component as filmmaker, Steven Gayle will also be documenting his own family history. Using his family background and process of discovery as a framework of contextual understanding, By Any Other Name hopes to shed new light on the complex racial history of the United States, broadening the historical conversations of African Americans and Native Americans alike.

Through this film we want to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to take a newfound interest in history and genealogical research, and that individuals will be motivated to define and explore their own identities and heritage.

  • Steven D. Gayle
    7 City Legacy (2011)
  • Steven D. Gayle
    7 City Legacy (2011)
  • Steven D. Gayle
    7 City Legacy (2011)
  • Mark Clarke
    Assistant Director
  • Dominique Brannon
    Music Consultant
  • Anjail M. Haqq, MSW
    Production Coordinator & Interview Consultant
  • Jesse Benjamin, Ph.D
    Production Consultant
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature, Television, Other
  • Genres:
    Documentary, History, Nonfiction
  • Runtime:
    1 hour
  • Completion Date:
    February 20, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 USD
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • FistUp Film Festival
    Berkeley, California
    United States
    May 9, 2017
  • Ocean City Film Festival
    Ocean City, Maryland
    United States
    June 9, 2017
  • Apex Museum Screening
    Atlanta, Georgia
    United States
    April 15, 2017
  • Native Spirit Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    October 21, 2017
  • Warsaw Ave. Film Festival
    Cinncinati, Ohio
    United States
    October 21, 2017
  • 20th Native American Film Festival of the Southeast
    Columbia, SC
    United States
    November 6, 2017
Director Biography - Steven D. Gayle

With a desire to push creative boundaries, Steven D. Gayle is the academic and technical lead behind By Any Other Name: An Exploration of Afro-Amerindian Heritage. Steven’s experience spans the fields of radio, television, film, and live productions. Following up on his 2011 music documentary, 7 City Legacy, Steven's latest endeavor is far more personal in nature.

Growing up, Steven would occasionally hear about his family’s mixed African and Native American ancestry. There were often few details, and no formal documentation confirming the ancestry, leaving Steven with a desire to find out more.

Steven earned a Bachelor’s in History & Education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications with a concentration on Media Production from Norfolk State University. Coupling the two fields, he decided to create a film that would open up a discussion that he felt was not unique to his family tree.

In addition to directing Steven teamed up with music consultant and producer Dominique “U’nique Music” Brannon to compile and compose music for By Any Other Name’s official soundtrack and score.

It is Steven’s intention that By Any Other Name: An Exploration of Afro-Amerindian Heritage stands as a meaningful contribution in the realm of historical documentary and both African American and Native American genealogy.

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Director Statement

"I want people to take control of their own identities and be able to define who they are, not relinquish that authority to someone else."