Previous JBFC Fellows
Maliyamungu Muhande is a Congolese artist and filmmaker based in New York City. Their documentary short ‘Nine Days a Week’, about NYC street photographer Louis Mendes, screened at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the 2020 Doc NYC festival and was selected by the National Board of Review. She is currently working on the feature length cut. Also in 2020, Muhande led a six-week summer program for underserved teenagers in Monticello, NY, where she worked with them to create a documentary about their economically depressed town within the current state of U.S. relations more broadly. Muhande is also a fellow and artist-in-residence at Adobe x Sundance Ignite (2021-2022) and International Studio and Curatorial Program (2022). She is pursuing an anti-colonial filmmaking and artistic practice rooted in inquisitiveness around Identity, Blackness, and their diasporic history.
Justice Jamal Jones
Justice Jamal Jones, is a filmmaker, actor, and writer from Omaha, Nebraska, graduate of NYU, and founder of Rainbow Farm Productions. As a Black Queer alchemist, they intergrate Black Feminist Queer theory into their art, alongside Black diasporic spirituality. Their debut film "How To Raise A Black Boy" premiered with NOWNESS, and since has been internationally recognized and awarded by festivals. Justice is also a Sundance Ignite Fellow, a commissioned MTV commercial director, Good Morning America Contributor, and is developing their first feature film “Crossroads Blues."
Grace Remington is a producer and director who hails from Seattle, Washington and who has worked in documentary film and television in the United States, Mexico, and Peru. Her work has screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, HotDocs, BAMcinemaFEST, and Camden International Film Festival, among others, and has broadcast on Netflix, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, Quibi (RIP), and POV. She was a UnionDocs Collaborative Studio Fellow in 2016-2017 and graduated from Princeton University with a BA in English literature.
Natalie Jasmine Harris
Natalie Jasmine Harris is a Black queer filmmaker from Maryland currently based in New York City. She received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in May 2020. Her work spans narrative, documentary, and experimental forms but is centered around a mission to tell stories that capture coming-of-age experiences, showcase Black joy, and reimagine liberation for marginalized communities. Natalie’s most recent short film “Pure,” received The 2020 Directors Guild of America’s Student Film Award and many commendations from film festivals, including NewFest, Outfest (Emerging Director Award), The British Film Institute, ABFF, The Pan African Film Festival, and many more. "Pure" was released on HBO/HBOMax in February 2022, along with four other short film finalists from The 2021 American Black Film Festival's HBO Short Competition.
Sophia Feuer is a New England filmmaker and multimedia artist based out of Brooklyn. Working primarily with 16mm film, she uses both documentary and narrative techniques, combining an anthropological lens with sci-fi and horror tropes. In this hybrid form, she attempts to pose new perceptions of truth, emanating from the dark corners of humanity. She is the former 2019 Aggregate Space Gallery Curatorial Fellow and the current Fall 2021 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow at the JBFC.
Rebecca Blandón is a Nicaraguan-American journalist and filmmaker from the Bronx. She has produced investigative documentaries for PBS Frontline and also directs short character-driven docs that tell the stories of outcasts in the modern age. She hopes to make the invisible visible through the practice of compassionate storytelling, accountability journalism, and documentary filmmaking. She is a former Bronx Documentary Center Film Fellow and a Fall 2021 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow in the Creative Culture Fellowship Program.
Marcie LaCerte is a Chinese-American experimental animator based in NYC, originally from Minnesota. She has created editorial animations for media outlets such as NPR, Vox/Netflix, and Quartz. Her personal work has been recognized by The New Yorker, Vimeo Staff Picks, GLAS Animation, OIAF, and more. She is interested in creating work that explores human psychology through a humorous, surreal lens. She is also interested in interactive fiction, sketch comedy, and the internet. Marcie is the Fall 2021 Silver Sun Diverse Voices Filmmaker Fellow.
Ramiel Petros is a first generation Iraqi-American writer/director based in NYC. Ramiel is a narrative director who fiercely believes in the power filmmaking has to depict universal narratives through diverse lenses. His work has been a semi-finalist for the Student Academy Awards, and shortlisted for the Student BAFTA Awards. He is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts majoring in Film & Television. Ramiel is the Fall 2021 Gary Winick Visionary Narrative Fellow.
Katelyn Rebelo is a Brooklyn based filmmaker. Her work sits at the intersection of documentary & experimental film, often exploring stories that reimagine concepts of femininity, politics, and personal freedom. Her previous films have been supported by Tribeca Film Institute, and have screened at SXSW, IDFA, and other festivals worldwide. She is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a major in Film & Television and minor in Social & Cultural Analysis. Katelyn is the Spring 2020 Womxn Filmmaker Fellow.
Karina Dandashi is a Syrian-American filmmaker born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from New York University and has worked in acquisitions, development, and production at companies such as A24, Viacom Media Networks, and Topic Studios (First Look Media). Karina is passionate about woman-driven stories that explore identity through the intersection of family, religion, and culture in Arab and Muslim communities. Karina is the Spring 2020 Silver Sun Diverse Voices Filmmaker Fellow.
Andrew J Rodriguez
Andrew J Rodriguez is an Afro-Dominican filmmaker from The Bronx and a graduate of SUNY Purchase College Film Conservatory. He is the recipient of the Tribeca's 2019 Sloan Award and has screened his films at festivals like Outfest Fusion Film Festival and Official Latino Film Festival. Andrew aims to tell stories of people of color that transcend beyond their identity while simultaneously embracing it. Andrew is the Spring 2020 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow.
Hannah Whisenant is a filmmaker born and raised in Texas, currently based in Brooklyn. Her films have premiered at festivals such as SXSW, Austin Film Festival, and Chain NYC Film Festival. She is interested in blending documentary and narrative elements, while her filmmaking aims to subvert stereotypes and largely focuses on how relationships and oppressive systems impact the ways in which we navigate the world. Hannah is the Spring 2020 Gary Winick Visionary Narrative fellow.
Abbesi Akhamie is a Nigerian-American writer/director and producer based in New York City. She received her MFA in Film from New York University and also holds a BA in Communications from George Mason University. She has been supported by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as well as the New York Foundation for Arts. At the JBFC, Abbesi created two narrative short films featuring the diverse experiences and cultures of Nigerian and African people.
Ash Goh Hua
Ash Goh Hua is a filmmaker from Singapore, based in Brooklyn, NY. She creates documentary and experimental-based work informed by the politics of abolition and autonomy; her filmmaking practice imagines future acts of collective liberation. Ash is currently working with Mike Africa Jr. and their community to co-create a film about resisting and subverting the dominant powers that fragment human relations through methods of incarceration, surveillance, and policing. Ash is the Fall 2019 Social Justice Filmmaker Fellow.
Lauren Minnerath was born in Minneapolis, MN, and was raised in rural Minnesota. Her work has screened at festivals around the world and has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine, Short of the Week, and as a Vimeo Staff Pick. She is an IFP Week alum, an artist resident of SPACE on Ryder Farm, and was featured on the 2018 Young and Hungry List and the 2018 Hit List. Lauren is the Fall 2019 Womxn Filmmaker Fellow.
Cameron Morton is an NYC-based director originally from Atlanta, GA. She has worked with Big Beach Films and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Cameron is an alumna of the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium, and a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Acting. Family, addiction, and isolation are recurring themes in her work, and she is drawn to narratives that highlight the natural world. Cameron is the Fall 2019 Northwell Health and Wellness Fellow
Mariales Diaz is a Dominican born and Brooklyn raised filmmaker. They are a recent graduate of SUNY Purchase’s Film Conservatory, a 2019 NeXt Doc Fellow and the JBFC Fall 2019 Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. Their work exists between narrative and documentary, exploring human relationships and generational traumas, deeply focusing on LGBTQ+ stories, specifically those of trans and gender non-conforming peoples.
Aisha Amin is interested in the intersection of investigative journalism and cinematic storytelling and is passionate about redefining what it means to make a documentary. Her work focuses on criminal justice reform, women's rights, and identity politics. As the Spring 2019 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow, her film Friday explored the influence of New York's architectural aesthetic on the Mosque as a religious space, examining how religion is practiced within this culturally diverse urban landscape.
Casey Friedman is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and artist, and a graduate of Brown University with a degree in Sociology. Originally from Montclair, NJ, he is the spring 2019 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center. He has worked at Cinereach, Ghetto Film School, DCTV, and Meteor Films. While at the Burns, he directed an animated film inspired by humanity’s troubled relationship with nature.
Adam Meeks is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker and graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His previous short films have screened at the Seattle International Film Festival, DC Shorts, and numerous other festivals nationwide. Originally from Montana, his work frequently examines rural and marginalized communities and aims to exist within the intersection of documentary and narrative processes. He currently works as a video editor at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Brit Fryer was the Fall 2018 Northwell Health and Wellness Fellow. He is a Chicago-born and Brooklyn-based filmmaker working across narrative and nonfiction. He is a graduate of Carleton College’s Cinema and Media Studies program, where he focused on experimental nonfiction and installation art. His films, which focus on the intersections of queerness, gender, and race have screened at festivals like NewFest, Blackstar Film Festival, and MIX: New York's Queer Experimental Film Festival.
Matthew Puccini is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. His short film Lavender was acquired for distribution by Fox Searchlight, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and screened at SXSW. His previous short film The Mess He Made premiered at SXSW in 2017, screened at over 30 festivals, and was a finalist for the Iris Prize. Matthew is a 2018 Sundance Ignite Fellow and a member of the New York Film Festival Artist Academy.
Moira Fett is a New York filmmaker inspired by how challenging and unnatural environments push human nature to its boundaries. At Kenyon College, Moira directed a short documentary which asked death row inmates in Texas how they combat the psychological pressures of imminent execution. As a recipient of the Sally Burns Shenkman Fellowship, Moira directed Two Birds, a short film which newly considers themes of isolation and identity through the lens of a surreal domestic prison.
César Martínez is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker and the Fall 2018 Social Justice Filmmaker Fellow. He is a graduate of Occidental College, with an Honors B.A. in Media Arts and Culture. César is a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and was selected as a 2018 NeXt Doc Fellow.
Lydia Cornett is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker and the Fall 2018 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. Her films focus on artistic performance, personal histories, and multifaceted characters. A graduate of Princeton University, Lydia was a CoLab Fellow at UnionDocs and is a member of the Video Consortium. In 2019 her film Narmin's Birthday was a recipient of the NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, and her first Creative Culture film, Yves & Variation, premiered at BAMcinemaFest.
Sahar al-Sawaf (MFA, CalArts) is an Iraqi filmmaker and visual artist and the Spring 2018 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. She was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in Lebanon and Iraq, and escaped to California as a child days before the start of the Gulf War. She has traveled extensively in the Middle East with her sketchbook and camera in hand, chronicling the plight of refugees who have fled. Her works have screened at film festivals around the world. Sahar developed an animated short film with the support of the JBFC and Creative Culture.
Maya Cueva is a Fall 2018 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center. Originally from Berkeley, CA, she is a multimedia producer specializing in directing, producing, and audio recording. Maya was awarded an Emmy from the College Television Awards and her films have screened internationally and across the U.S. At the Jacob Burns Film Center, Maya produced a documentary about undocumented activist Alejandra Pablos who is fighting for political asylum.
Jalena Keane-Lee is a social justice filmmaker and the Spring 2018 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow. Her work has addressed issues such as indigenous land rights, destigmatizing menstruation, the importance of campus activism, and the meaning of consent. Jalena co-founded Breaktide Productions, a production company run by women of color, which has produced national advocacy campaigns and original narrative and documentary films.
Tyler Rabinowitz is a producer/director and was a Fall 2017 Creative Culture maker. He is an alumnus of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where he was named one of Variety Magazine's 2015 "Students to Watch.” With a background in music video production and directing, Tyler's work has screened both online and at film festivals; most recently, he co-produced The Mess He Made, a short film and Official Selection at SXSW, and co-directed Hell You Talmbout, a social-justice-oriented tap dance performance developed in response to the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Tyler is also a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow, a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a YoungArts Winner in Cinematic Arts, and a TED speaker.
Reggie Altidor was the Spring 2017 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. He is a Westchester Community College alum and a Brooklyn College graduate. He's thrilled to join a community like Creative Culture where he can be surrounded and inspired by others working on professional work that tackles important issues. In his fellowship project, Reggie will tell the story of a young teen in Mount Vernon who follows in his fallen brother's footsteps as a stickup kid only to encounter a neighborhood vigilante seeking to set him straight.
Rahessa Vitorio was a Fall 2017 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. She grew up in São Paulo, Brazil and graduated from Anhembi Morumbi University with a major in Film and Television. She feels honored to participate in this fellowship and be surrounded by talented people. Rahessa will write, direct and edit a short film about a girl living in a new place, lost in her own emotions, thrown in her own sea of doubts, and completely discouraged. The script of her forthcoming short, I Am The Wind, utilizes poetry in the search for self-knowledge.
Kerry LeVielle is a Hudson Valley based filmmaker. Her storytelling examines the experiences that incite a woman’s “growing up,” and the melancholic nostalgia that shrouds it. Nurtured through intimate docu-narrative portraits, Kerry’s films explore the poignant trials of what it means to come-of-age. Recently, Kerry was one of fifteen filmmakers from around the world to be awarded a 2019 Sundance Ignite Fellowship with her short film Playhouse. She is also a graduate of SUNY Purchase College where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema Studies with a Minor in Screenwriting. In the Fall of 2017 she was a recipient of the Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellowship in the Creative Culture Fellowship Program at the Jacob Burns Film Center, where she wrote and directed two short films: Niskyland and Playhouse.
Crystal Kayiza is a Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker and the Fall 2017 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow. After graduating from Ithaca College in 2015 with a degree in Documentary Studies and Production, Crystal spent two years at the American Civil Liberties Union working on criminalization of poverty issues. She is passionate about nonfiction storytelling with a particular focus on narratives within the African Diaspora. While at the Jacob Burns Film Center, Crystal produced a short documentary portrait of a rural community in North Carolina.
Ariel Noltimier Strauss
Ariel Noltimier Strauss was the Spring 2016 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow. She recently graduated from RISD and, like her creative collaborator Emily Ann Hoffman, works with stop motion puppet animation. Her film The Emily & Ariel Show was recently made a Staff Pick on Vimeo and she has spent the past year following the project to festivals like the New Orleans Film Festival and the Mallorca International Film Festival (where it won Best Experimental Short). During her fellowship, Ariel will wrote, directed, and animated a stop motion ballet that follows figures as they push through the grind of a day subverting stress, work, and regimentation with wellness, meditation, and curiosity.
Kervin Marseille is a Rockland County-based director, DP, and video editor whose expertise ranges from music videos and short films to art installations. After receiving his degree in Digital Filmmaking, Kervin has gone on to work with directors, such as Jonathan Demme, Guy Reid, and Shaka King. His directorial debut, the short film Peace the Policy, premiered at the 2016 Urban World Film Festival. Considering himself a novice to the film world, his goal is to constantly stay up-to-date with technology and sharpen his skills in order to keep creating.
Alex Gonzalez is a Sleepy Hollow-born writer, director, editor, and educator. After receiving his BFA in New Media Film and Journalism at Fairfield University, Alex founded Young, Broke and Awesome!, a brand that showcased the lives of starving and obscure artists. After YBA, Alex went on to create Kiwikah¬¬¬a––company that specialized in website, app, and brand development. Using a combination of programming knowledge, editing skills, and filmmaking experience, Alex is now exclusively fixated on creating stories and experiences via Virtual Reality, an infatuation he has had since childhood. Currently, Alex is a lead professor at Coding Kidz, a NYC based afterschool program that teaches students grades K–8 how to program their own video games and make animated films.
Leah Galant is a documentary studies graduate from Ithaca College and grew up in Cortlandt Manor, NY. She was the Fall 2016 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow and a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow. She was named one of Variety magazine's "110 Students to Watch in Film and Media" for their April 2015 issue. Her films focus on social justice themes through the powerful stories of individuals. Past projects have included a documentary film about a traveling abortion provider, The Provider, that won a College Emmy Award and screened at SXSW, and Beyond the Wall, a documentary film about prison re-entry that was screened nationally and on PBS.
Emily Ann Hoffman
Emily Ann Hoffman graduated from RISD recently in illustration with a focus in stop motion puppetry and animation. She is the Fall 2016 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. She spent her time as a fellow writing, animating, and editing a dark comedic narrative short, "Nevada," about a young couple's pregnancy scare during a weekend away at an Airbnb. The entire film was performed through her handmade puppets, who occupy miniature sets built in our workshop by Hoffman herself.
Lucy Adams is a documentary filmmaker from Hastings-on-Hudson, New York and the Summer 2016 Emerging Artist Fellow. A recent graduate of Kenyon College, Lucy majored Film and minored in English. She curated films for Kenyon’s Gund Gallery, and produced short form videos for Kenyon’s Office of Public Affairs. Her senior thesis is a documentary featuring three women on a roller derby team in central Ohio. Her work has shown at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, and the AMLit Film Festival. She spent her fellowship editing a documentary about a road trip she took with her grandfather to the Grand Canyon, and was a teacher’s assistant for the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program.
Stefaniya Vey is a Russian-born filmmaker, producer, and editor and the Spring 2016 Emerging Artist Fellow. After receiving HBO’s Digital Fiilmmaking Scholarship, she went on to earn her degree from Westchester Community College. She has worked on many productions in various capacities; most recently, Stefaniya was an associate producer at Leopard Films for the show House Hunters International. In 2015 her original film, Closer, won Best Short Film at WCC’s Film Festival. As the Spring 2016 Emerging Artist Fellow, Stefaniya spent four months in production on her latest film, a short inspired by Alice In Wonderland.
A recent graduate of SUNY Purchase College, Reweina Tessema is a filmmaker who has spent the last few years of her life exploring and creating a range of projects from comedic to dramatic storytelling. She was the Fall 2015 Emerging Artist Fellow. Her ultimate creative goal is to honestly capture the intimate moments of the human experience. These projects exposed Reweina to the world of editing. It was while on this road of discovery that she became certain that, although filmmaking was a strong interest, video editing is where her true passions lay. During her fellowship Reweina wrote and produced a short stylized coming-of-age narrative. She was also be a Teaching Assistant for several courses including Documentary Filmmaking and Image, Sound, and Story, among others.
Champ Ensminger is a Thai-American filmmaker born in Chiang Mai and raised in Spokane, WA. He was the summer 2015 Emerging Artist Fellow. After graduating from the University of Washington in Seattle with a degree in comparative literature and anthropology, he moved to New York City, where he worked at Vimeo and then as a freelancer and production assistant at the web agency m ss ng p eces. Back in Chiang Mai, he volunteered as a workshop instructor at Documentary Arts Asia, a nonprofit aimed at bringing agency and exposure to Asia-based media artists. During his fellowship at the JBFC, Champ created an experimental short film called “US/Caterpillar Secrets”, scored with original music by Croton-on-Hudson-born musician Zach Cooper and performed by dancer and SUNY Purchase graduate Lindsey Jones. He is currently traveling and researching future projects with the creative organization Planetary Collective.
Tara Clune received a BA in computer science from Columbia University, and studied digital filmmaking at New York University’s School of Continuing Professional Studies. She was the spring 2015 Emerging Artist Fellow. She currently works as a freelance motion graphic designer and animator, and her work has appeared in music videos, TV shows, and commercials. During her fellowship, Tara, a Mt. Kisco resident and Westchester native, wrote, directed, and animated “Hourglass,” a stop-motion styled short about a young girl who struggles making friends, and decides to build one from found objects in her home. She taught Motion Graphics: 3D Modeling at the JBFC.
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