Set in important cultural heritage sites in New Mexico and Arizona, Canyon Del Muerto, portrays the true story of North America’s first female archaeologist, Ann Axtell Morris. Ann worked side by side with the Navajo in the 1920’s in Canyon De Chelly, Arizona to uncover North America’s earliest civilization, the Anasazi Basketmakers.
“The story’s central premise is that archaeology not only serves as a catalyst to the preservation of history, culture, and language of the Navajo people, but is the great unifier of humankind. Film, much like archaeology, has the incredible ability to bridge cultures and bring people together to be educated and enlightened by great stories.” – Coerte Voorhees, writer/director/producer of Canyon Del Muerto.
Canyon Del Muerto was produced by First Line Films and the Navajo Nation during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 with the support of multiple local Navajo chapters, businesses, and land users based in and around the two central locations of the film; Canyon De Chelly, Arizona and Red Rock National Monument, New Mexico. Most importantly the Navajo Nation provided exclusive and unprecedented access to the cultural heritage archaeological sites within Canyon De Chelly, many of which have never been filmed before.