Mat Hames


Mat Hames

Mat Hames is an award-winning director and producer whose films have appeared on PBS and the Sundance Channel. Hames's film When I Rise captured the spirit of the civil rights fight in Texas by following the story of a young black music student, Barbara Smith Conrad, after she was removed as the lead in an opera at the University of Texas by none other than the Texas Legislature, before going on to become a world-famous opera singer. When I Rise premiered at SXSW, was an official selection of 11 film festivals and appeared on PBS’ Emmy winning series, Independent Lens. His film Fighting Goliath, produced by Robert Redford, was selected by 12 film festivals, then aired on the Sundance Channel.

And Austin Revealed: Civil Rights Stories was selected for South by Southwest’s Faces of Austin showcase before airing on PBS. Recently, he was awarded the prestigious Vision Maker Media funding and an ITVS Open Call grant to finish his feature documentary that chronicles Native American attempts to trace thousands of artifacts that vanished from their reservation over a hundred years ago. 


  • (5) Lone Star Emmy Awards
  • Audience Choice Award, Barcelona International Environmental Film Festival
  • The Golden Sun Award, Barcelona International Environmental Film Festival
  • Silver Hugo Television Award, Chicago International Film Festival
  • Social Justice Award, Santa Barbara Film Festival
  • People’s Choice Award, Texas Independent Filmmakers Festival
  • (1) Lone Star Emmy Nomination
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Should tribes like the Shoshone and Arapaho attempt to bring back beautiful ancestral objects—drums, pipes, eagle wing fans, medicine bags, weapons, and ceremonial attire that ar