Resources for Filmmakers

The JBFC helps emerging and established filmmakers, college students, and adult learners develop, produce, and present media projects, acquire new skills, connect with a professional network, and actively participate in a lively creative community.

Fellowship for International Understanding Through Film

Inspired by Kathryn W. Davis’ lifelong efforts to create a more harmonious world, the Fellowship for International Understanding Through Film makes it possible for filmmakers, educators, and programmers from around the world to live, work, and teach on the JBFC campus. Thanks to a generous grant from Kathryn W. Davis in 2007, the Jacob Burns Film Center purchased 5 Grant St., a home  adjacent to the Media Arts Lab, for our visiting fellows.

Fellows have opportunities to screen their films, lead seminars on the cinema of their region, teach courses, provide professional development, and use the Media Arts Lab’s production facilities to work on personal projects. Fellowships, which range from two to eight weeks in length, are competitive and awarded through an application and interview process.

Established and emerging international artists working in all film genres (animation, documentary, video art, narrative, etc.) and disciplines (screenwriting, sound design, cinematography, etc.) are encouraged to apply. We also encourage film curators and media educators engaged in groundbreaking work to apply.

For more information, please contact Managing Director Dominick Balletta at

Past fellows include:

An image of IRAN: Maryam Ebrahimi

IRAN: Maryam Ebrahimi

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.
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An image of MOROCCO: Hind Bensari

MOROCCO: Hind Bensari

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.
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An image of TUNISIA: Sarra Abidi

TUNISIA: Sarra Abidi

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. Read More
An image of SOUTH KOREA: Bong Joon-ho

SOUTH KOREA: Bong Joon-ho

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. Read More
An image of UNITED KINGDOM: Guy Reid


FALL 2014
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. Read More
An image of LEBANON: George Tarabay and Elias Khalil

LEBANON: George Tarabay and Elias Khalil

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. Read More

Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellows

The Jacob Burns Film Center is committed to supporting the development of new filmmakers through our Emerging Artist Fellowship program. The Fellowship, which encourages community engagement, aims to foster thoughtful media creation and provides the necessary time and resources for fellows to fully realize and share a creative project with mentors, peers, and students.

The fellowship is open to applicants under the age of 30 who have graduated college and demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a career in the film/media arts. Artists working in all film genres (animation, documentary, video art, narrative, etc.) and disciplines (screenwriting, sound design, cinematography, etc.) are encouraged to apply. There’s more information and an application.

Learn more and apply for upcoming seasons.

The Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellowship is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Westchester Community Foundation, a nonprofit community endowment for the benefit of Westchester County.

Current and past fellows include:

An image of Emily Ann Hoffman

Emily Ann Hoffman

FALL 2016
Emily graduated from RISD recently in illustration with a focus in stop motion puppetry and animation. She will spend her time as a fellow writing, animating, and editing a dark comedic narrative short about a young couple's pregnancy scare during a weekend away at an Airbnb. The entire film will be performed through her handmade puppets as they occupy miniature sets built in our workshop by Hoffman herself. We look forward to sharing her process and techniques with our student body. Read More
An image of Lucy Adams

Lucy Adams

Lucy Adams is a documentary filmmaker from Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. 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. Read More
An image of Stefaniya Vey

Stefaniya Vey

Stefaniya Vey is a Russian-born filmmaker, producer, and editor. 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. Read More
An image of Reweina Tessema

Reweina Tessema

FALL 2015
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. 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 will write and produce a short stylized coming-of-age narrative. She will also be a Teaching Assistant for several courses including Documentary Filmmaking and Image, Sound, and Story, among others. Read More
An image of Champ Ensminger

Champ Ensminger

Champ Ensminger is a Thai-American filmmaker born in Chiang Mai and raised in Spokane, WA. 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. Read More
An image of Tara Clune

Tara Clune

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 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 teaches Motion Graphics: 3D Modeling at the JBFC. Read More

Local Element


Local Element showcases new work, fosters emerging talent, and helps build a stronger film community in the lower Hudson Valley. The series runs throughout the year and highlights the best short and feature-length films made by local residents.

Previous programs include:

  • Actress with film subject Brandy Burre (Beacon)
  • Sidewalk Stories with filmmaker Charles Lane (Dobbs Ferry)
  • This is Long Beach with filmmaker Brian Darwas (New Rochelle)
  • A program of short films with Sean Dunne (Peekskill), who graduated from Purchase College and was named Best New Documentary Director at Tribeca for his first feature, Oxyana