Tony Magaña

Tony Magaña (Western Shoshone, Chilula, and Mexican-American) is a Reno, Nevada-born filmmaker, writer, and every-once-in-awhile Stand-Up comedian currently residing in Las Vegas. His mother works as an elementary grade teacher and his father is a mail carrier. After a very brief stint in Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz, Tony’s attention turned to film studies where he found his passion for storytelling.

He enjoyed working on friends’ films as an actor, DP, and producer. Tony moved to Los Angeles in 2019 to work in the Film industry initially as an assistant, but is now focusing on writing and directing. Here, he graduated from Santa Monica College’s Film Production & Studies program where he gained invaluable onset experience set-dressing their upcoming film, Alive. Currently, Tony is in pre-production on his short film HOOP$, in post on the short-doc HOME, and outlining a feature about his family’s history. His writing gives insight into small-town life in Nevada, from reservation life to its surrounding border towns, which balances socially conscious stories with humor, painful truths, and tears.

His stories champion the outcasts, misfits, and contemporary Native characters navigating everyday life. Tony is proud to call himself Western Shoshone, as his family have survived countless wars, treaties, boarding schools, foster care, and the 90s. His family includes green berets, American Indian Movement members, medicine women, academics, golden glove boxers, and more. Tony is continuing a family tradition of good trouble and laughing it off with his writing. He is currently collecting family stories to help tell their story and hopes to visit family around the globe. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, guitar, photography, drawing comics, performing stand-up, cooking up family recipes, and logging into his Letterboxd as soon as a movie ends. In his past lives, he was a sushi chef, demolition man, and event photographer. Tony looks forward to honing his TV writing craft in NAMA’s 2024 episodic lab with other talented and funny Native writers.