Meet the New NYWIFT Member: Tanis Parenteau

By Katie Chambers

Welcome to NYWIFT, Tanis Parenteau! Tanis Parenteau is Métis/Cree from the Métis Nation of Alberta. She is an actor, producer, and casting director. Her work focuses on uplifting Native voices telling contemporary and futuristic Native stories.

As an actor, she has appeared on Billions, House of Cards, Designated Survivor, FBI: Most Wanted, Gossip Girl, and Tribal, and she has performed at The Public Theater, Signature Theater, 59E59, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Tanis has produced eight short films, has a short form digital series in post-production, and is developing multiple Native-led features and series. She is an associate casting director at tbd casting co in NYC.

Her latest project, the short film Glenburn 12 WP, is fiscally sponsored by NYWIFT.  

Tanis spoke to us about her dedication to uplifting Native voices, how working in casting has influenced her performing, and the best advice she’s ever received.


NYWIFT Member Tanis Parenteau


Tell us about yourself – give us your elevator pitch!

I am Native American (Metis/Cree), an actor, and an emerging producer. My work focuses on decolonizing the entertainment space by uplifting Native voices, who are telling contemporary and futuristic Native stories, and working with as many Native creatives above and below the line as possible.


Tanis Parenteau on the set of Glenburn 12 WP


What has been your favorite project to date and why?

The short film I’m producing right now, Glenburn 12 WP. It started out as a play that I did at 59E59 Theater in NYC 2015. I love the play so much and have always wanted to turn it into a film and now I am!


Tanis Parenteau on the set of Glenburn 12 WP


You have said that “uplifting contemporary Indigenous stories and smashing harmful Indigenous stereotypes” is very important to you. How do you aim to accomplish that in your creative work?

I chose to focus on work written by Native writers who are telling contemporary and futuristic stories in genres I feel like we don’t see enough of when we see Native content – genres like comedy, romance, sci-fi, horror, thriller.


Tanis Parenteau on the set of Glenburn 12 WP


In addition to acting, you also do freelance work in casting. How has your work as an actor informed your work on “the other side of the table” at auditions?

I feel it’s more the other way around, my work in casting has really informed my work as an actor. Mainly, to approach auditioning as if it is my first day on set and this is my first take.

I’ve also learned to not overthink technical things and things I can’t control when self-taping at home.

Also, timely communication is imperative!


Tanis Parenteau on the set of Glenburn 12 WP


What kinds of projects excite you?

Projects that are led by the people whose story is being told.



What is the best advice you ever received?

A “no” is a redirection. It just means you have a different path.



What inspired you to join NYWIFT and how do you hope to engage with the organization?

[NYWIFT Board Member] Yvonne Russo encouraged me to join. I hope to build my network of NYC filmmakers to find awesome people to work with on my projects and theirs.



And what is next for you?

Finishing Glenburn 12 WP, which is in post right now, and looking forward to a festival run; festival runs for two other shorts, Dating Indian and The Politics; an APTN lumi short form series launching January 2024; and I’m developing a feature and a series adapted from plays written by Vickie Ramirez (writer of Glenburn 12 WP).


Connect with Tanis Parenteau on Instagram at @TanisParenteau and on her website tanisparenteau.com. Donate to Glenburn 12 WP on its NYWIFT fiscal sponsorship donation page.


Katie Chambers

Katie Chambers Katie Chambers is the Senior Director of Community & Public Relations at New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT). She also serves as the Communications Chair of the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs and is a freelance writer, copyeditor, and digital marketing strategist. Follow her @KatieGChambers.

View all posts by Katie Chambers

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