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Charles Dye

Charles Dye, Associate Professor

A man wearing glasses, a larte straw hat, a plaid shirt, and yellow vest, stands in the desert.
Charles Dye, Associate Professor

School of Performing Arts
251C Henderson Hall
195 Alumni Mall 
Blacksburg, VA 24061 540-231-5335 |


Charles Dye is an associate professor in the School of Performing Arts. For more information, visit

  • Research: Flat and immersive nonfiction film production, screenwriting and fiction film production.
  • Teaching: Nonfiction and fiction film production, ethnographic filmmaking, story development, screenwriting, photography and visual communication.
  • MFA, Montana State University
  • Post Baccalaureate Certificate, University of Washington
  • BA, University of Arizona
  • New Faculty/Early Career Teaching Certificate, Virginia Tech
    Official Selection of:
    2019 (5th annual) Peak City International Film Festival (Sep 21~22, 2019)
    2019 Southeastern International Film Festival (Nov 8~10, 2019)
  • Recipient of:
    2019 Virginia Tech Presidential Principles of Community Award
    2017 Virginia Tech | School of Performing Arts Bruce Carver Multicultural Arts Grant
  • Emmy Award, Documentary - Topical, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter. 2016
    Best Mountain Sports Film, Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival. 2015
    Best Women in Adventure Film, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. 2015
    Best Running Film – Silver Award, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. 2015
    Television Non-Commercial Program of the Year, Montana Broadcasters Association. 2015
    Best Action Film, Danish Adventure Film Festival. 2014
    Finalist, Mountain Film Competition, Banff Mountain Film Festival. (fine cut) 2014
    Online distribution via Netflix, available for streaming in over 190 countries. 2016–present
    VOD on Amazon Prime, available for streaming in over 200 countries. 2015–present 
    VOD on Hulu and apps for Apple/Android devices. 2015–present 
    Cable broadcast in Europe and North Africa via AB Groupe and YLE. 2015
  • Emmy Award: Cultural Documentary. National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter, 2014
  • Emmy Award: Photography. National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter, 2014
    Best Documentary Script. Spur Award, Western Writers of America.
    Audience Award – Best Native American Film. Durango Film: An Independent Film Festival. 2015
    Best Action Film. 17th Annual Native American Indian Film and Video Festival of the Southeast, Columbia, SC 2015
    Selected for Independent Lens’ 2013-2014 season. 932 original broadcasts (+ repeats) in the U.S.A. (53:25 version).
  • Emmy Award: Historical/Cultural Documentary, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter. 2010
    Emmy Award: Cinematography (to Rick Smith), National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Chapter. 2010
    Primetime national PBS broadcast via PBS National Program Service.
  • Featured film on when it won the 2007 Webby Award for Student Online Film and Video.
  • National Geographic Channels global broadcast. 2002
    Photos: Wall Street Journal front page & Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo permanent exhibit. 2002/~date

What is your favorite place on campus? Why?

Riding alongside my son, atop our bicycles, as we pass Burruss Hall while the day breaks over the Drillfield on our way to his school. This is a daily tradition we have, and I love every moment of it.

What do you most enjoy about your work?

Going into the unknown, facing a fear of that in myself, meeting the invariably remarkable people and incredible beauty that I always find there, somehow gracefully navigating the inevitable challenges that arise — and eventually, after a lot of editing, sharing some of that.

What is the most satisfying or rewarding moment of your artistic process? 

For starters, when the “tech” drops away and I honestly connect with someone I never would’ve known, were I not a filmmaker. But even more importantly, when I share the rough draft of a project with a participant, and they confirm that I’ve accurately represented them.

When do you first remember making the decision to go into the arts?  What were the circumstances? 

I had the great fortune to see Michaelangelo’s David when I was 20 — and it overwhelmed me. Right there I understood why the making of art was among humanity’s highest callings — why it was my calling — celebrating the beautiful, life, story, gumption….I’ve been making art ever since. 

What is the most important quality for any student in the performing arts to cultivate?

Perserverence, listening, and broad-mindedness.

Who has most influenced you? Why? 

My mother, because she has always believed that I have the potential to do anything. And, in another way, my father, because his accidental death — when I was a baby — pushes me to not take any day, or even any moment, for granted. I don’t put off pursuing dreams. 

Share something about yourself that might surprise your students. 

I once won a math contest.