Spring 2019 Silver Sun Diverse Voices 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.
Spring 2019 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow
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.
Spring 2019 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Spring 2019 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Fall 2018 Northwell Health and Wellness Fellow
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.
Fall 2018 Social Justice Filmmaker Fellow
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.
Fall 2018 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist 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.
Spring 2018 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Spring 2018 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Spring 2018 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow
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 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.
Spring 2018 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow
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.
Spring 2018 Silver Sun Diverse Voices Fellow
Matthew Puccini is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. His short film Lavender was recently 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.
Fall 2017 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow
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.
Fall 2017 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Fall 2017 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
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.
Spring 2017 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Ariel Noltimier Strauss
Spring 2016 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow
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.
Fall 2016 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow
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
Fall 2016 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Summer 2016 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Spring 2016 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Fall 2015 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Summer 2015 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
Spring 2015 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow
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.
WINTER 2020 - Filmmaker from VIRGINIA
Leola Calzolai-Stewart is the co-founder of the Virginia-based production company FLOWSTATE Films where she currently directs and co-produces the historical documentary Changing State - Black Diplomats, Civil Rights, and the Cold War. Leola previously edited the feature documentary Dear Walmart, an intimate look at a diverse group of Walmart employees who fought back and won better wages and respect inside America’s largest private retailer; she also co-produced and edited The Last Song Before the War which examines the role of Mali’s Festival au Desert in promoting peace and development in Timbuktu.
WINTER 2020 - Filmmaker from NEW YORK, NY
Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival Artist-in-Residence
A native of Boston, Margaret Metzger studied philosophy at Brown University and began working in documentary film in 2012, after several years spent living and working in Athens, Greece. Primarily a documentary editor, but with experience in archival research and producing, Margaret has worked on shorts, TV, and feature documentaries, and her credits include the 2017 Oscar winner O.J.: Made in America, the American Experience films 1964 and Edison, and profiles of director Jill Soloway and scientist Millie Dresselhaus for the series MAKERS. Her short documentary, Monty (2018), about an up-and-coming ceramic artist who struggles to balance his art and the demands of life in New York, received the Jacob Burns Creative Culture Award at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival in 2018. She lives in New York City.
FALL/WINTER 2019 - CHILEAN Filmmaker
Sundance International Narrative Filmmaker-in-Residence
Francisca Alegría is a Chilean writer/director, who received her bachelor’s degree in audiovisual directing from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 2010, and her MFA from Columbia University in 2016. Her short film And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye, a recipient of the National Board of Review Award, was selected at the Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Warsaw Film Festival, amongst others. It won Best International Fiction Award at Sundance and Best Latin American Short at the Miami Film Festival in 2017. She currently has two projects in development, her first feature set in Chile, The Cow that Sang a Song About the Future, selected at the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, Sundance Directors Lab and CineMart (Rotterdam Film Festival) and her second feature, which will be an American production, set in New Mexico.
FALL 2019 - Filmmaker from BOZEMAN, MT
Focus on Nature Filmmaker-in-Residence
Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Christi Cooper is an Emmy-award-winning cinematographer with a MS in Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience. Cooper creates compelling visual narratives to raise awareness and inspire action around socio-political issues. Her journey documenting the youth climate movement began in 2011, when she co-produced a 10-part series with WITNESS, a social justice and human rights organization focused on using film for social change. The series, Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery, was used in a grassroots campaign to reach decision-makers and judges ruling on climate litigation brought to the courts by young people. Cooper’s short films have screened at festivals around the world and won numerous awards, including a Wildscreen Panda Award for Best Campaign Film. In 2018, she was awarded the inaugural SFFILM/Vulcan Productions Environmental Film Fellowship for her work on YOUTH v. GOV.
Christi was joined by editors Tony Hale and Lyman Smith.
SUMMER/FALL 2019 - Filmmaker from EL PASO, TX
Social Justice Filmmaker-in-Residence
Iliana Sosa is a documentary and narrative filmmaker born and raised in El Paso, Texas by Mexican immigrant parents, and holds a MFA in film production and directing from UCLA. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Hollywood Foreign Press Award, the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts Scholarship, the Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellowship, and Firelight Media’s Impact Producer Fellowship, among others. Iliana has been selected for the Berlinale Talents and Sundance’s Latino Screenwriting Project. Her films have screened at various film festivals and took home Best Short Film and the Texas Award at the USA Film Festival, a Jury Award for Best Texas Short at SXSW, and a Youth Jury Award at Aspen ShortsFest. She is a 2018-2019 Sundance Development Fellow with her first feature documentary, What We Leave Behind.
Iliana was joined by editor Clementina Mantellini.
Shelby Zoe Coley
SUMMER 2019 - Filmmaker from NEW YORK, NY
Shelby Zoe Coley is a Black queer documentary filmmaker based in New York using rhythm, portraiture and the spoken word to explore intersections between queerness, race, and healing practices. Her work has been featured in publications such as Afropunk, Slay TV, and Curve Magazine and screened at festivals around the world; snagging an Audience Choice Award at Philadelphia Qflix and nominated for the Iris Prize.
SUMMER 2019 - CHINESE Filmmaker
Siyi Chen is a documentary filmmaker from China. Born and raised in Zhejiang and educated in New York, she currently splits her time between these two places. Chen received a B.A. in World History and Chinese Literature (dual degree) from Peking University (Beijing) and a M.A. in News and Documentary from NYU. She has produced, shot, and edited dozens of short web docs that have appeared on Quartz, CNN, and PBS. Among her works, Chen documented a pioneering artificial intelligence experiment in a Chinese nursing home, covered the thriving new industry of paid cuddling in the US, and profiled an amateur roboticist from Hong Kong who spent $50,000 and three years building a extremely life-like robotic “Scarlett Johansson.”
WINTER 2019 - CANADIAN-ISRAELI Filmmaker
Woman Filmmaker-in-Residence from Israel
Originally from Calgary, Canada, Aviva trained as an actor and produced several political theatre projects before moving to Israel in 2011. Based in Tel Aviv, Aviva has collaborated with Israeli and Palestinian artists on several documentary and fiction projects. Her short film The Story of How it Endedpremiered at the Jerusalem International Film Festival and her satirical web-series Avi Does the Holy Land has garnered hundreds of thousands of views and was nominated for Best Documentary Web-Series at the NYC Webfest. She recently completed an MFA in Film at Tel Aviv University.
WINTER 2019 - ISRAELI Filmmaker
Woman Filmmaker-in-Residence from Israel
Born in a small religious village in southern Israel, Bar left her ultra-orthodox community at 17 and went on to study art at the Städel Schule in Frankfurt, Germany and at the Art Academy (UDK) in Berlin. In 2012 she moved back to Israel where she graduated with a BFA in photography from The Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem. She has exhibited her photographic, video and installation work in Israel and abroad.
FALL 2018 - Filmmaker from UTAH
Named to Variety's “10 Documakers to Watch” list in 2015, Brad Barber is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. His feature debut, Peace Officer, won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival and the David Carr "Truth in Nonfiction Filmmaking" Award at the Montclair Film Festival. Peace Officer went on to a nationwide theatrical release (including a screening at the Jacob Burns Film Center), before airing on PBS's acclaimed documentary series Independent Lens. Previously, Barber was nominated for an Emmy as an editor on the HBO documentary Resolved. Recently, Barber released his newest project, States of America, which examines identity and connection to place through the lens of one person in each of the 50 United States.
SUMMER 2018 - Filmmaker from NEW YORK, NY
Hannah Jayanti is a documentary filmmaker. In her current work, she lives in a place for months, filming by herself and giving voice to the smaller stories that surround us but which we rarely celebrate. Recent support includes: New York State Council on the Arts, Tribeca New Media Fund, Jerome Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute & Points North Institute (Camden/TFI Retreat), True/False & Catapult Film (Rough Cut Retreat), Puffin Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. She’s a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Video/Film from The New York Foundation for the Arts. She’s a member of Women Make Movies and Brown Girls Doc Mafia.
SUMMER 2018 - Filmmaker from NEW YORK, NY
Antonio Campos is a writer, director, and producer. His most recent feature Christine, which stars Rebecca Hall and Michael C. Hall, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Campos’ debut feature, Afterschool premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best First Feature at the 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards. That same year, Campos was nominated for Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Independent Film Awards. His producing credits include Martha Marcy May Marlene, James White, and Two Gates of Sleep.
SUMMER 2018 - Filmmaker from OHIO
Martha is a filmmaker and editor who teaches at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH. Martha edited and co-directed a short documentary about Sea Level Rise called Facing the Surge, which toured the country with Citizens Climate Lobby and played at festivals on both coasts. Her most recent short doc, Three Red Sweaters, won Best Documentary at Aspen Shortsfest, the Critics Award at the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, and the Jacob Burns Creative Culture Award at the Middlebury New FIlmmaker's Festival. It has gone on to become a Vimeo staff pick and Short of the Week.
SPRING 2018 - SOMALI Filmmaker
Somali filmmaker Hana Mire was a 2016–17 Greenhouse Documentary Development lab participant. Her first feature-length documentary, Rajada Dalka (Nation's Hope),
is a character-driven portrait of the Somali Women’s National Basketball team struggling to survive in a country where strict gender roles and rigid Islamic tenets increasingly restrict women’s rights.
SPRING 2018 - PALESTINIAN ISRAELI Filmmaker
Woman Filmmaker-in-Residence from Israel
Rozeen BIsharat is a Palestinian Israeli who recently moved to Berlin, Germany. After graduating from the Tel Aviv University Film School, she worked as script supervisor on Shira Geffen’s Self Made and was personal assistant to director Eran Kolirin on Dancing Arabs. Rozeen was part of the Greenhouse Program for Jewish & Arab Women Filmmakers in Israel, and during her time at the JBFC, she worked on her directorial debut, the documentary Present/Absent.
SUMMER 2017 - Filmmaker from MIAMI, FL
Bernardo Britto was born in Rio de Janeiro, grew up in South Florida, and graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His animated short films, including Yearbook and Glove, have played numerous film festivals and won awards at Sundance, SXSW, AFI Fest, and others. In 2016 his debut feature film Jacqueline (Argentine) premiered at Sundance in the NEXT section. His work has been featured on Pitchfork, the New Yorker, and AdultSwim and he has received support from the Sundance Institute Labs as well as the Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund. During his residency at JBFC he worked on a new project and hosted a screening of Y Tu Mamá También at the JBFC Theater.
SPRING 2017 - ALGERIAN Filmmaker
Algerian filmmaker Sara Nacer is founder and president of the arts & films production company SN Productions, and a public relations specialist. She is co-director of the Greenhouse work-in-progress feature documentary La Rockeuse du Désert, and currently living and working in Montreal, Canada. She is living and working on the JBFC Campus in April 2017. During her residency she will host screenings at the JBFC Theater, work with Creative Culture Lab Makers, and participate in student screenings.
SPRING 2017 - MEXICAN Filmmaker
Mexican filmmaker Laura Bustillos is a documentary filmmaker and photographer from the Ciudad Juarez border sister city of El Paso, Texas, where she currently developing a film series Undocumented Freedom, and is co-director of the Greenhouse work-in-progress feature documentary La Rockeuse du Désert. She is living and working on the JBFC Campus in April 2017. During her residency she will host screenings at the JBFC Theater, work with Creative Culture Lab Makers, and participate in student screenings.
SPRING 2017 - TURKISH Filmmaker
Turkish filmmaker Ekin Çalışır has worked at Al Jazeera Turk as a journalist and producer of short documentaries, and has produced international news and current affairs for the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation. Çalışır is co-director of the Greenhouse work-in-progress feature documentary Mr. Gay Syria and is currently directing the Greenhouse documentary Babyland. She is living and working on the JBFC Campus in April 2017. During her residency she will host screenings at the JBFC Theater, work with Creative Culture Lab Makers, and participate in student screenings.
SPRING 2017 - TURKISH Filmmaker
Turkish filmmaker Ayse Toprak is based in Istanbul, working on social and political documentaries about her country. She has produced films for Channel Thirteen/PBS and Al Jazeera in London and Doha. Toprak is co-director of the Greenhouse work-in-progress feature documentary Mr. Gay Syria. She is living and working on the JBFC Campus in April 2017. During her residency she will host screenings at the JBFC Theater, work with Creative Culture Lab Makers, and participate in student screenings.
WINTER 2017 - Filmmaker from NEW YORK, USA
Ja'Tovia M. Gary is an artist and filmmaker currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She was REMIX Artist-in-Residence in January 2017. Gary’s work confronts traditional notions of representation, race, gender, sexuality, and power. Gary is concerned with charting the various ways raced and gendered bodies navigate popular media. The artist earned her MFA in Social Documentary Filmmaking from a private for-profit art school in New York City. While in residence, Ja’Tovia worked on the first cut of her documentary, The Evidence of Things Not Seen. She also worked with makers in JBFC’s Creative Culture program, an initiative that provides production space, equipment, industry-oriented programming, and networking opportunities to emerging filmmakers.
SPRING 2016 - IRANIAN Filmmaker
Maryam Ebrahimi lived and worked on the JBFC campus in March 2016, and participated in our series Greenhouse 2016: Emerging Documentary Voices from the Middle East and North Africa, from March 20–24, and in various education programs at the Media Arts Lab, including the new adult class Films in Focus: Greenhouse 2016.
Maryam studied at the Art University of Tehran and continued her education at the University of Konstfack in Stockholm, where she now lives and works. Maryam has produced and codirected several acclaimed documentaries highlighting contemporary political and social themes including Those Who Said No, the Greenhouse ’15 opening night film, and No Burqas Behind Bars, which focuses on how “moral crimes” are used to control women in post-Taliban Afghanistan, and was named Best Documentary at the International Emmy Awards in 2014. Her work-in-progress documentary feature Stronger than a Bullet explores the misuse of photographer Saied Sadeghi’s images from the first Persian Gulf War for Iran's war propaganda, helping to propel a generation to their deaths as martyrs.
Maryam was joined by Jesper Osmond, a feature film, documentary and commercial editor from Sweden.
SPRING 2016 - MOROCCAN Filmmaker
Hind Bensari lived and worked on the JBFC campus in March 2016, and participated in our series Greenhouse 2016: Emerging Documentary Voices from the Middle East and North Africa, from March 20–24, and in various education programs at the Media Arts Lab, including the new adult class Films in Focus: Greenhouse 2016.
A journalist and self-taught filmmaker, Hind developed an interest in filmmaking while working in London as a media development manager. Her award-winning first documentary 475: Break the Silence investigates the perception and misrepresentation of rape, family and relationships in her country, and helped to change to the laws which previously protected rapists who agreed to marry their victims. Her current work-in-progress feature documentary Weight Throwers highlights disabled athletes struggling for rights and recognition in Morocco.
Hind was joined by Cathrine Ambus, a feature and documentary editor from Denmark.
SPRING 2015 - TUNISIAN Filmmaker
Sarra Abidi is a Tunisian filmmaker. The Dead Cannot Vote, a documentary about a fledgling democracy facing the problem of chemical pollution in southern Tunisia, is her first feature. The Mother, which she cowrote, won the Francophone Prize at the Montpellier Film Festival. While in residence at the JBFC, Sarra Abidi presented a screening of The Dead Cannot Vote, followed by a Q&A.
SPRING 2015 - SOUTH KOREAN Filmmaker
Bong Joon-ho is one of the most successful South Korean filmmakers ever, with a wide international reputation. The LA Times says, “Bong Joon-ho is the rare filmmaker who seems to work both within and beyond the confines of genre. His brisk, funny, extremely well-made movies deliver the familiar pleasures of pop entertainment, though often in unfamiliar configurations.” He is the award-winning director/screenwriter of Barking Dogs Never Bite, Memories of Murder, The Host, Mother, and Snowpiercer. During his time at the JBFC, Director Bong was accompanied by producer and Hartsdale native Dooho Choi. Director Bong attended screenings of his four most recent films, participated in Q&As, and worked on preproduction for his upcoming project while he was in residence.
FALL 2014 - UK Filmmaker
Guy Reid is cofounder of the Planetary Collective. He is an emerging leader in sustainability and biocentric philosophy and holds an MA in Leadership in Sustainable Development from Forum for the Future in London. His award-winning short film Overview has been viewed 6.5 million times. At the JBFC, Reid screened and discussed Overview, completed postproduction on his first feature, Planetary, worked with JBFC Creators’ Co-op students, and visited high schools around Westchester County.
George Tarabay and Elias Khalil
SPRING 2014 - LEBANESE Filmmakers
George Tarabay is the award-winning director of Civil... But Not Civilized, a short film that participated in the Clermont-Ferrand official selection 2010, the Short Film Corner selection at the Cannes Film Festival, and represented Lebanon in ten other international film festivals. He is also the founder of Pellicule Productions, a production house of young talents. Elias Khalil has produced numerous short documentaries and short films, including Law, which won the Creative Director Award in a Lebanese film festival in 2011 as well as Tall Znoub, a short documentary created in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Environment and other ecological NGOs. Previously, Tarabay and Khalil worked together on the documentary Stateless. Tarabay and Khalil worked on their documentary The Changing Map of Lebanon during their residency.
SPRING 2014 - UK Filmmaker
Lindsey Dryden is a documentary filmmaker from the United Kingdom who worked on television documentaries for the BBC and the History Channel prior to beginning her filmmaking career. At the JBFC Dryden worked on filming, editing, and postproduction for her latest documentary, Plié. In addition, she presented a screening of Lost and Sound, her documentary about music, deafness, and the incredible human brain.
Mohamed Siam and Françoise Tourmen
FALL 2013 - EGYPTIAN Filmmakers
Mohamed Siam is an independent documentary and fiction filmmaker from Egypt who works to bring Egyptian themes to film audiences both inside and outside the country. He has directed four short narrative and documentary films, including For Women Only, a documentary depicting a veiled girl’s daily life. His shorts have been selected at many international festivals. Françoise Tourmen has been a documentary and fiction film editor since 1981. Recent projects include the feature Elles starring Juliette Binoche and the feature documentary The Referees by Yves Hinant. While in residency, Siam and Tourmen collaborated on editing Siam’s debut feature documentary, produced with support from the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and ITVS.
SPRING 2013 - ITALIAN Filmmaker
Lucio Gregoretti has written the music for approximately 100 plays and film scores, working with directors including Carlo Lizzani, Margarethe von Trotta, and Lina Wertmüller. He also has composed many operas and symphonic and chamber music pieces, receiving commissions from numerous organizations and international festivals. His music has been performed around the world. During his time at the JBFC, he attended screenings, presented public programs, and worked with students.
Zhu Rikun and Wang Wo
FALL 2012 - CHINESE Filmmakers
Zhu Rikun is one of the best known figures in Chinese independent cinema, an unwavering proponent of independence from the censorship and commerce of China’s mainstream movie business. In 2001 he founded Fanhall Studio, a production and distribution company whose goal was to stimulate the development of independent Chinese cinema. He’s produced many of the hardest-hitting Chinese films in recent years, including Xu Xin’s Karamay and Li Hongqi’s Winter Vacation. Zhu organized the Beijing Independent Film Festival and the Songzhuang Documentary Film Festival during a decade that saw Chinese independent film flourish. Zhu joined us as a film programmer and educator and also worked on postproduction with the filmmaker/artist Wang Wo, a close associate, who designed the Fanhall complex. Wang Wo has been teaching at the Li Xianting Film School, the first independent film school in China, since 2008. Zhu Rikun curated the series “Hidden China.”
SPRING 2012 - THAI Filmmaker
Apichatpong Weerasethakul is an internationally acclaimed Thai filmmaker and visual artist. A native of Bangkok, Weerasethakul was trained in architecture before turning to filmmaking in the 1990s. His award-winning work has been shown to great acclaim around the world. During his residency, Weerasethakul worked on postproduction on a pair of short films—Mekong Hotel and Ashes—both of which were screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
FALL 2011 - ROMANIAN Filmmaker
Mihai Chirilov is a film critic and has been Artistic Director of the Romanian Film Festival in New York City since 2006. He is also Artistic Director of the Transilvania International Film Festival, which he cofounded in 2002 and guided to prominence While at the JBFC, Chirilov curated “Tales from the Golden Age: New Romanian Cinema” and has curated the annual series “Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema” series since then.
SUMMER 2011 - SPANISH Filmmaker
Yolanda Pividal is an independent documentary filmmaker, journalist, and TV producer from Spain. She has won three Emmy Awards and produced and edited short documentaries for the CUNY TV television series “Nueva York.” She is a member of the JBFC faculty. She edited her first feature documentary film, Fighting Kites, while at the Burns. She also taught “Unscripted: Adventures in Nonfiction,” a three-week documentary-making course for 16–18-year-olds.
SPRING 2010 - IRANIAN Filmmaker
Born in Tehran, Bahman Farmanara is one of the founding figures of the Iranian New Wave of the 1970s. As well as being an acclaimed director, he is an influential screenwriter, producer, and distributor who is responsible for bringing many key international films to our shores. During his stay as the JBFC, he presented six of his own works and a selection of documentaries about his homeland.
FALL/WINTER 2009 - ISRAELI Filmmaker
Documentary filmmaker Ido Haar is a graduate of Jerusalem’s famous Sam Spiegel Film and Television School. His films follow a vérité, observational style. He was drawn to filmmaking after a stint in the Israeli army. During Haar’s stay, we screened two of his films, 9 Star Hotel and Melting Siberia.
SUMMER 2009 - BOSNIAN Filmmaker
Namik Kabil was born in Trebinje, in southern Bosnia. When war broke out in 1992, he escaped, eventually spending a decade in the US as a refugee. He returned to his homeland because, he says, “I wanted to hear the unspoken truth about the war and make movies about it.” While Kabil was on the JBFC campus, he was a guest lecturer in the “World Crew” course for college students and he worked with students making documentary films about immigrants in Queens. In addition, Kabil hosted screenings of two of his films, Nightguards and Interrogation.
Fanta Régina Nacro
SPRING 2009 - BURKINESE Filmmaker
Fanta Régina Nacro is from Burkina Faso. One of only a handful of female African filmmakers, Nacro has depicted African traditions and harsh realities, but she often turns her lens with comic joy on issues of sexuality, gender relations, and modernity. In 1993, she founded her own production company, Les Films du Défi, to create, produce, and distribute films, support new filmmakers, and raise awareness of African films. While at the JBFC, Nacro taught classes and presented her films The Night of Truth, Bintou, and Konaté’s Gift.