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Creative Culture Alumni

A full list of current and past JBFC fellows, makers, and residents.

Fellows and Makers

An image of Crystal Kayiza

Crystal Kayiza

Fellow and Maker
Crystal 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 will produce a short documentary portrait of a rural community in North Carolina.
An image of Kerry LeVielle

Kerry LeVielle

Fellow and Maker
Kerry is a fall 2017 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. A Schenectady native, Kerry found herself exploring the whimsical realm of Westchester during her time as an undergraduate at SUNY Purchase College, stumbling upon the Burns in her Sophomore year. Since graduating in May 2017, her senior thesis film Her Natural Crown has received accolades from The IndieFEST 2017 as well as a feature on the JBFC Education Blog. Eager to continue her development as a filmmaker in the Creative Culture community, Kerry is excited to create inspiring work and support her fellow filmmakers.
An image of Rahessa Vitorio

Rahessa Vitorio

Fellow and Maker
Rahessa is a fall 2017 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. She grew up in Sao 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.
An image of Nick LeDonne

Nick LeDonne

Maker
Nick LeDonne is an independent animator who makes films to make a difference. Nick is a fall 2017 Creative Culture Maker and the honored recipient of the JBFC’s inaugural Silver Sun Diversity Scholarship. His debut film Hanging screened internationally, winning awards such as “Best Animated Short” at the Catalina Film Festival. The personal film was named a "remarkable transformation" by Animation Magazine and was distributed throughout the scientific community at the 26th European Congress of Psychiatry in France. His upcoming short Silent Night is a heartfelt letter to his late father, whereas his forthcoming Creative Culture film Reaching OUT is a supportive message to the LGBT community.
An image of Tyler Rabinowitz

Tyler Rabinowitz

Maker
Tyler Rabinowitz is a producer/director and 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.
An image of Reggie Altidor

Reggie Altidor

Fellow and Maker
Reggie is the spring 2017 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. He is a Westchester Community College alum and recent 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.

Artists-in-Residence

An image of United States: Bernardo Britto

United States: Bernardo Britto

Artist-in-Residence
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.
An image of Algeria: Sara Nacer

Algeria: Sara Nacer

GREENHOUSE Artist-in-Residence
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.
An image of Mexico: Laura Bustillos

Mexico: Laura Bustillos

GREENHOUSE Artist-in-Residence
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.
An image of Turkey: Ekin Çalışır

Turkey: Ekin Çalışır

GREENHOUSE Artist-in-Residence
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.
An image of Turkey: Ayse Toprak

Turkey: Ayse Toprak

GREENHOUSE Artist-in-Residence
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.
An image of UNITED STATES: Ja`Tovia Gary

UNITED STATES: Ja`Tovia Gary

REMIX Artist-in-Residence
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.

Creative Culture receives generous support from:

Jacob Burns Foundation

Jodi and Dan Glucksman

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