Berra Joins Firelight Media

UnknownWe are delighted to share the news that Monica Berra (MFA ’16) has joined the staff of Firelight Media, the New York based production house co-founded by Stanley Nelson.

Firelight is known for producing powerful historical documentaries and strong community engagement campaigns. Its line-up of award-winning films includes The Murder of Emmett Till, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple and The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which was recently nominated for an Emmy in the Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking category.

Berra will serve as the Impact and Engagement Coordinator for Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a film Nelson is producing for PBS.  It is a project Berra first became familiar with as an intern at Firelight last summer.  We are ecstatic that Monica is joining such a creative and supportive filmmaking community.

Haq Joins Elon Faculty

3540104Congratulations to Sana Attiq Haq on her recent appointment as Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Elon University! She will join Elon in August and will teach courses in multimedia content and global communication.

Haq received her MFA from the Documentary Film Program in 2013.  In addition to working as an independent filmmaker, she has taught media production and mass communication courses at Elon, Greensboro College and Wake Forest University.

MFA Film at Independent Film Week

Happy to share the exciting news that Cameron Bargerstock’s (MFA ’14) film Exit Music is among the 140 projects selected for the esteemed Project Forum at IFP Independent Film Week.

The film, executive produced by DFP Professor of Practice Peter Gilbert, is one of 50 documentary features appearing in the Spotlight on Documentaries section. This section includes both emerging and established filmmakers in non-fiction.  IFP Independent Film Week runs September 20-25th at Lincoln Center in New York City.

LFP Grant Goes to DFP Alum

Camie_BargerstockCongratulations to DFP alum Cameron Bargerstock (MFA’ 14) on her LEF Foundation Moving Image Fund Grant!  LEF will provide $15,000 toward her film Exit Music. We are thrilled to see Cameron’s hard work and creativity recognized with such a generous contribution. LEF noted that the recipients of this award “bring a strong creative eye to their work and share a unique intimacy with their subjects.” An excellent summation of Cameron’s approach to filmmaking.

Alum Offers Advice on Non-Profit Storytelling

BougherAlum Jon Bougher (MFA ’11) returns to campus on Monday to speak to students about how skills learned in the DFP can be translated to marketable video storytelling for non-profits, both domestic and international. He will also offer advice for starting an international freelance career.

After graduation moved to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he taught documentary film and consulted on educational video programs with Haiti Reporters. In addition to producing the short documentaries and video journalism for Wired.com, PRI’s The World and The Global Post, he formed the film collaborative Artefact Haiti, where he produced advocacy and promotional videos for international organizations including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), International Red Cross, TechnoServe, Nobel Women’s Initiative, GIZ and many others. He recently located to Washington D.C. to form Emic Films, which has produced video content for non-profits and international organizations in Haiti, Colombia, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ethiopia.

Former Student Film is “Must-See” at Sundance

We are so excited for our former student Michael Beach Nichols. Rolling Stone magazine lists his documentary, Welcome to Leith, as one of the 25 “Must-See” films at Sundance.  The film, co-drected by Nichols and Christopher K. Walker, chronicles the attempted takeover of a small town in North Dakota by notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb.  You can learn more about the film from the directors by viewing Indiewire’s Meet the Sundance Filmmakers.

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A Busy New Year for DFP Alum

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Mindy Keeley (right) and  Lesley Pacey  (left).

Mindy Keeley  (MFA ’14)  is welcoming in 2015 with a new job and a new documentary project. Keeley recently began work as an editor for Discovering Alabama on a series called “Speaking Evolution.” Discovering Alabama is an Emmy award winning documentary program about the rich natural history and heritage of Alabama

Keeley’s return to her home state of Alabama also led to her latest film, The Cells of Baldwin County. The film will focus on three families in Baldwin County, Alabama coping with childhood cancer and on Lesley Pacey’s nearly decade long quest to understand why so many local children, including her daughter Sarah, who is now 14, have been diagnosed with rare cancers. Keeley hopes the film will not only show how families are dealing with this tragedy, but also bring attention to the potential environmental causes behind cancer clusters. The National Cancer Institute defense cancer clusters  as “the occurrence of a greater than expected number of cancer cases among a group of people in a defined geographic area over a specific time period.”  She recently raised $4,500 on Kickstarter to launch the project.

“Animating the Void” has its Festival Premiere

atv_1000Animating the Void: Erasing Michelle from “Full House”, a short film directed by Andrew Austin (MFA ‘14), will premiere this evening at the DC Shorts Film Festival.  Austin completed the film as part of his MFA Creative Project while at the DFP. The film chronicles his quest to digitally remove the character of Michelle Tanner from the sitcom, Full House–a video project that invited some unexpected attention. The film will also be screening at the Chagrin Falls Documentary Film Festival on October 9.

Dryden Lands Job at Udacity

KimPlease join us in congratulating Kim Dryden on her new post at Udacity.  Kim will be serving as a video production manager for the Silicon Valley online education company.

According to the posted job description, “employees at Udacity include adventurous foodies, nerf gun warriors, and free-spirited thinkers.”  We have no doubt Kim will fit right in.