Photo by Robert Pflumm

Photo by Robert Pflumm

Filmmaker & Producer

Kristin Atwell Ford is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who draws on her theatre training and sensibilities as a wilderness guide to create films that focus on the synthesis of people and place. From arts and culture to environmental issues, Kristin blends real life experiences with artful storytelling.

After collaborating with Arizona Opera to produce their 2017 world premiere opera Riders of the Purple Sage, Kristin is currently exploring the artistic process behind the transformation of Zane Grey’s bestselling novel to the operatic stage in the documentary Riders of the Purple Sage: The Making of a Western Opera (2019 release). This film follows Zane Grey’s experiences writing his iconic novel and the collective of artists coming together a century later to build a multi-dimensional live performance though music, visual arts, and the human voice.

Atwell is no stranger to such synergy, having grown up with an uncommon immersion in both theatre and wilderness adventures. Between apprenticeships at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, teaching writing at Perry-Mansfield School of Performing Arts, and graduating from Stephens College with a dual degree in English and Women’s Studies, Kristin explored the canyons and rivers of the American Southwest.

In 2016, Kristin co-produced and wrote the Emmy Award-winning Environmental Special, Protecting the Source, which explores the relationship between fire, forests, and water. Kristin produced The Arizona Centennial Series hosted by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, which aired on PBS/KAET in 2012. Kristin co-directed and wrote 2011 the Emmy Award-winning Best Historical Documentary, Theodore Roosevelt Dam: Arizona’s Living Legacy, narrated by Peter Coyote.



Beth Stewart