2019 MDOCS Forum Schedule

Day 1 June 6 | Day 2 June 7 | Day 3 June 8 | Day 4 June 9

Day 1 Thursday, June 6

8pm Performance of “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller”
Sam Green, and Yo La Tengo


Location: Arthur Zankel Music Center

Photo courtesy of Sam Green

The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller is an hour-long “live documentary” from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green exploring Fuller’s utopian vision of radical social change through a design revolution. Originally commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Design and Architecture Department, the project is a collaboration between Green and the legendary indie band Yo La Tengo. At each screening, Green narrates the film in person and cues images while Yo La Tengo performs their original score.

Purchase your tickets for Sam Green / Yo La Tengo here.

This event is co-sponsored by MDOCS, Zankel Music Center, and the Office of the President.

SAM GREEN is a documentary filmmaker. He’s made many movies including most recently A Thousand Thoughts, a live cinematic collaboration with the Kronos Quartet. Previous “live documentaries” include The Measure of All Things and The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, featuring the indie rock band Yo La Tengo. Sam’s documentary The Weather Underground was nominated for an Academy Award and included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.



Day 2 Friday, June 7

10:00 am The Natural World and Climate Anxiety Panel
Greg Grano, Candace Thompson, Mackenzie Reid Rostad, Erin Espelie
Moderated by
Sarah Maacha

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum – Breakfast will be served.

Four documentarians working in diverse mediums use humor to address the natural world, its marvels and its impending doom.

Still by Mackenzie Reid Rostad

Mackenzie Reid Rostad is a Canadian documentary filmmaker with a practice exploring the politics of space/place with use of site-specific and nonlinear forms of documentary. Recent exhibitions include; DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada (2017); VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver, Canada (2019).

Gregory Grano is a filmmaker and educator based in Los Angeles. Greg divides his time between creative projects and serving as a teaching artist with the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, LA County High School for the Arts, and more. This year, Greg was an Artist In Residence at the Catskills Creative Residency, where he began work on I’m A Tree, an experimental documentary and the first in a series of short films investigating human relationships with nature.

Erin Espelie is a filmmaker, writer, researcher, and editor, whose science-based experimental and poetic documentaries have shown at the New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the British Film Institute’s Experimenta, CPH:DOX, the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and more. She currently serves as Editor in Chief of Natural History magazine, and works at the University of Colorado Boulder as an assistant professor in Film Studies & Critical Media Practices and co-director of NEST (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology) Studio for the Arts.

Candace Thompson is a performer and media maker. Her project The Collaborative Urban Resilience Banquet seeks to help urbanites reconnect to their fragile (and oft displaced) food web through social media storytelling, citizen science experiments and community meals that are foraged almost entirely from the city streets. Follow the project on instagram at @the_c_u_r_b.

Sarah Maacha is from Marrakech and is currently a junior at Skidmore College, majoring in International Affairs and minoring in Business Management. It was during her sophomore year, studying abroad in Paris, that she reconnected with her passion for storytelling through writing and her analog photography class. She is a graduate from the African Leadership Academy (ALA), a two-year Pan-African boarding school in Johannesburg. It was at ALA that she developed a passion for African culture and ways of communicating diversity through storytelling using various art mediums. She was the CEO and co-founder of CYCA (Connecting Youth Connecting Africa), which is a student-run enterprise that sought to use art literature to help Africans overcome their preconceptions about each other.


11:45am  Sitting in the Waiting Room Panel
Cassie Wagler and Shannon Finnegan
Moderated by
Jared Azud

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum

Two artists discuss humor as it relates to picturing illness, ability, and the body.

Photo courtesy of Cassie Wagler

Cassie Wagler is a multimedia artist and educator. She has contributed to the podcasts The Heart and Another Round, and performed original work at the Bell House, Littlefield, and Abrons Art Center. She has produced oral history radio shows, community storytelling events, and 3D printed boat races. She was selected to participate in the feminist art exhibit Eminent Domain, where she showed recent images and videos about her experiences with cancer and the medical establishment.

Shannon Finnegan is an artist making work about disability culture and access. She has done projects with The Invisible Dog and the Wassaic Project, and is working on a new project with Friends of the High Line. She has spoken at the Brooklyn Museum, School for Poetic Computation, and The 8th Floor. In 2018, she received a Wynn Newhouse Award and participated in Art Beyond Sight’s Art + Disability Residency. In 2019, she is a resident at Eyebeam.

Jared Azud is an Anthropology and Art History double major at Skidmore College who focuses on ritual: expanding upon ideas of domesticity, media and spirituality, technology, the diary and the archive. Jared’s Buzzwords are: Hello Kitty, lip gloss, gremlins, Criterion Collection, rom-coms, votive, pyroclastic flows, love letters, space, vegan banana bread, and transparency.


3:00pm KEYNOTE- Sam Green Artist Talk
Moderated by
Sarah Marlin

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum

Following his Thusday evening performance, documentarian Sam Green discusses his unique use of humor and performance in documentary.

Photo courtesy of Sam Green

Sam Green received his Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied documentary with acclaimed filmmaker Marlon Riggs. His most recent projects are “live documentaries” including  A Thousand Thoughts (2018) in collaboration with the Kronos Quartet, The Measure of All Things (2014), and The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller (2012), which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival. All three works are performed live, with Green narrating and musicians performing the soundtrack. A Thousand Thoughts will tour throughout 2018-19. Green’s 2004 feature-length film, the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Weather Underground, tells the story of a group of radical young women and men who tried to violently overthrow the United States government during the late 1960s and 70s. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was broadcast on PBS, included in the Whitney Biennial, and has screened widely around the world. Green’s previous long documentary, The Rainbow Man/John 3:16, follows the bizarre rise and fall of a man who became famous during the 1970s by appearing at thousands of televised sporting events wearing a rainbow wig. The film premiered at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and has screened at festivals worldwide. “More than an exploration of life, The Rainbow Man is a parable about alienation, the media, and the meaninglessness that often defines American life.” – Trevor Groth, Sundance Film Festival. Green’s short documentaries include Julius Caesar was Buried in a Pet Cemetery, lot 63, grave c, Pie Fight ’69 (directed with Christian Bruno), N-Judah 5:30, and The Fabulous Stains: Behind the Movie (directed with Sarah Jacobson).

Sarah Marlin is a junior at Skidmore College studying history, theater, and political science. Growing up in Saratoga Springs, both the arts community and her proximity to the Adirondacks have shaped her to be the gal she is today. Beyond classes, Sarah fills her time with participating in sketch and improv comedy groups, DJing at WSPN 91.1, or wandering around Northwoods. In Spring of 2018, she spent the semester studying comedy at The Second City in Chicago. Sarah is interested in comedy writing and performance as a means for healing personal traumas, community growth, and is excited to explore humor beyond the realm of entertainment.


4:30 pm Documentary, Mockumentary and Prank Panel
David Humphrey and Philip Scepanski
Moderated by
Chris Isaacson

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum


Two scholars present on examples from historical and present day media’s use of the documentary form towards satire and political/social mockery and the ethical questions implicit therein.

Still from Las Hurdes (Land Without Bread) by Luis Buñuel

Philip Scepanski is an Assistant Professor of Film and Television at Marist College. His book manuscript, titled Tragedy Plus Time: Television Comedy and National Trauma, focuses on the ways in which American television comedy responds to and manages national traumas like assassinations, terror attacks, and civil unrest. Recent publications include an article in Television and New Media as well as chapters in The Comedy Studies Reader and Taboo Comedy: Television and Controversial Humour.

David Humphrey is an assistant professor of Japanese Studies and Global Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Japanese with a designated emphasis in New Media from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the media, and culture of modern and contemporary Japan, and he has published articles in The Journal of Japanese Studies, Japanese Studies Association Journal, and Japan Forum. He currently is working on a book manuscript that examines laughter and comedy’s rise in late 20th and early 21st century Japanese media culture, titled Warai: Laughter’s Temporality and the Media Cultures of Japan.


6:00 pm KEYNOTE Kristina Wong Performance and Artist Talk
Moderated by
Liv Fidler

Location: Filene Auditorium

Photo courtesy of Kristina Wong

Performance artist and comedian Kristina Wong performs “Kristina Wong for Public Office” a simultaneous real run for Public Office and performance art piece. Kristina Wong has been running for real political offices and creating an evening long “Campaign Spectatular” performance/ rally that exploits the theatrics of campaigning and inspires participation in the Democratic process. We live in times where politicians and artists have switched jobs. They now create the spectacle that have us questioning reality and we reclaim the quiet space for social change and truth. As an artist who likes to blur the lines between art and reality, Kristina decided to bring her commentary, vision, and craft to the stage that people are watching more than ever– the political stage.

Kristina Wong was featured in the New York Times’ Off Color series “highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today.” She is a performance artist, comedian, writer and elected representative who has been presented internationally across North America, the UK, Hong Kong and Africa.  She’s been a guest on late night shows on Comedy Central and FX, and an actor on film and TV. She starred in her own pilot presentation with Lionsgate for truTV. Her commentaries have appeared on American Public Media’s Marketplace, PBS, VICE, Jezebel, Playgirl Magazine, Huffington Post and CNN. She’s been awarded artist residencies from the MacDowell Colony, New York Theater Workshop, the San Diego International Airport and Ojai Playwrights Festival. Her work has been awarded with grants from Creative Capital, The MAP Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, National Performance Network, a COLA Master Artist Fellowship from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as eight Los Angeles Artist-in-Residence awards.  Center Theatre Group honored her as the 2019 Sherwood Award recipient for her exceptional contribution to the Los Angeles theatre landscape and her work as an innovative and adventurous artist. Among the numerous immersive theater experiences she’s helped create, Kristina recently wrote the script for the Mad Hatter Gin and Tea Party.  She’s created viral web series like How Not to Pick Up Asian Chicks and is in post production on the second season of Radical Cram School.  Her rap career in post-conflict Northern Uganda is the subject of her last solo theater show The Wong Street Journal which toured the US, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria (presented by the US Consulate).  Her long running show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest looked at the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women and is now a concert film.  Her newest performance project is “Kristina Wong for Public Office”– a simultaneous real life campaign for Public Office and performance art piece.  In her most blurry performance piece yet, Kristina currently serves as the elected representative of Wilshire Center Koreatown Sub-district 5 Neighborhood Council.

Liv Fidler is an American Studies major and Media and Film Studies minor at Skidmore College from San Diego, California. Her passion for visual documenting started with darkroom photography at age 13 and has grown ever since. She worked at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust for several summers, helping lead their documentary filmmaking programs and–among several photographic, audio doc and film endeavors there–made short films about local Holocaust survivors. Last summer, she was a script coverage intern at Paul Feig’s (Bridesmaids, Freak and Geeks) production company. She is currently writing her senior thesis on body politics and comediennes.

Register for Kristina Wong performance and artist lecture on June 7th at 6pm.


Day 3 Saturday, June 8

10:00 am Docs in Progress Panel
Lagueria Davis, Erin Murphy, Julie Forrest Wyman, and Adam Finchler
Moderated by
Sanjna Selva

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum– Breakfast will be served.

Four documentary filmmakers present their work in progress documentaries that use humor as a storytelling device.

Still by Lagueria Davis

Adam Finchler is a songwriter, video-maker, and documentarist from New Jersey. Adam has performed his “laugh-out-loud and introspective” (Razorcake) anti-folk songs throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. In 2015 Adam compiled the zine “What’s Up, Grim?”: Haunted Hayriders in Their Own Words.” In 2016 Adam threw the conceptual video party THE CRAZIEST DOG EVER “10K in 10 Years” Anniversary Party with Bellinis. Adam currently lives in Brooklyn.

Erin Murphy is a documentary filmmaker, educator and freelance videographer based in Portland, Maine. She is in production on her first feature documentary, WAZO:IDEA, which documents the emergence of a diverse group of young activist-artists by exploring the ways that film and social media shape what we know and who we think we are. Her last short film, The Song of the Broad Axe (2016) follows the lives of people who have chosen to live a more purposeful life — one that involves using an axe on a daily basis. The film aired on Maine Public Television and screened at the Maine International Film Festival and the Monadnock International Film Festival. Erin was selected to be a Flaherty Fellow in 2018 by the LEF Foundation. She teaches documentary production as a visiting instructor at Colby. As a freelancer, Erin has shot and produced over 20 documentaries shorts for clients in Maine and Massachusetts.

Lagueria Davis graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2007 with a BFA in Media Art. Since graduating, Davis has established herself as an award-winning filmmaker. MAID OF DISHONOR a feature she co-wrote was a 2016 Nicholls Fellowship Quarter-Finalist and was a quarter finalist in the 2015 WeScreenplay Competitions. In addition, in 2013 THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY, a feature script and in 2016 LIGHT IN DARK PLACES a short script placed in the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition. Her short LIGHT IN DARK PLACES is currently on the film festival circuit, having won best short film at the 2019 ClexaCon Film Festival. Recently, Davis was selected as a 2019 BAVC Media Maker Fellow with her current project in development, BLACK BARBIE: A DOCUMENTARY. In her spare time, Davis moonlights as a Line Producer for commercials, branded content, shorts, and feature films. Currently, Davis resides in LA where she’s on the board of the Alliance of Women Directors.

Julie Wyman is a filmmaker and performer whose work aims to challenge our culture’s narrow range of represented bodies. Her films engage issues of embodiment, body image, gender, and the politics, possibilities, and problematics of media spectatorship. Her work has been broadcast on PBS, Showtime, and exhibited at New York’s MoMA, London’s National Film Theater, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Wyman serves as an Associate Professor in the Cinema and Digital Media Program at UC Davis.

Sanjna Selva is an International Affairs major and Media and Film Studies minor at Skidmore College with a passion for documentary film-making, photography and social justice. In May, she presented at a public photography exhibition about a silent march for Martin Luther King Jr. in Saratoga Springs. Sanjna recently co-produced a film examining free speech at Skidmore, in partnership with the Office of the Dean of Students and is currently producing a short film for next spring’s Tang exhibition. A storyteller at heart, Sanjna is also in the process of filming her first independent documentary about child trafficking in orphanages across Nepal. She serves as the news section editor for Skidmore News and hopes to someday pursue a career as a foreign correspondent and to continue dabbling in the world of documentary film-making.


11:45am Documentary Film Industry and Humor Panel
Ruth Somalo (DocNYC, Documenta Madrid, Flaherty), Caitlin Mae Burke (Tribeca Film Institute), Nicole Tsien (POV)
Moderated by Cecilia Aldarondo

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum

Three documentary film programmers discuss the challenges and joys of programming humorous documentaries in the film industry.

Ruth Somalo is a Spanish filmmaker, curator and researcher based in New York. She is currently a Programmer at DOC NYC, DocumentaMadrid and The Architecture and Design Film Festival. As an independent curator she is interested in the Poetics of Fragility and reclaiming a non judgmental non anthropocentric space for emotions. Some of her latest programs are “Tell Me When You Die: Politics, Performance and Queer Love in the Time of Capitalism”, “Holy Fluids and Absent Wounds” and “Queer Utopias” (Union Docs) and 2017’s Flaherty NYC Winter/Spring Series “Broken Senses” (Anthology Film archives). Ruth’s latest films are constructed around taboos of the female body, gender specific illnesses and patriarcal structures in the medical establishment, narrative medicine and the economy of death, human remains and experiences of loss. Her work has been shown in theaters, festivals and museums internationally, including the Verdi Cinema Theatre and Contemporary Art Center Matadero de Madrid, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Cinema du Réel (Paris), ADFF (NY), L’Alternativa (CCCB Barcelona), Documentamadrid, MOMA PS1 (Expo1) and at the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam (Spanish Cinema Without Fear). She is also writing her PhD. dissertation and often works as a guest lecturer and mentor of non fiction projects. Her current academic research and film project “Mending Objects” investigates the experience of loss in first person documentary and experimental non fiction.

Nicole Tsien is the Co-Producer at POV. As a member of the programming and production team, she manages film submissions, oversees pre-screeners, and assists in the production of the series. Previously, she has worked as an intern and production assistant on Yance Ford’s Oscar-nominated documentary, Strong Island, and has worked as an assistant to Joshua Weinstein on his 2012 documentary, Drivers Wanted. Nicole has participated on panels and juries worldwide, including Doc NYC, Austin Film Festival, and DocAviv. She is a member of the Asian American Documentary Network (A-Doc) and serves as a board member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia.

Caitlin Mae Burke is the Program Manager of IF/Then Shorts at the Tribeca Film Institute. She is an award-winning producer of long and short films about things that have happened, are happening, or haven’t exactly happened. She also produces non-fiction television, branded content, and podcasts. Caitlin’s work as a producer and director has been broadcast on ABC, CNBC, Discovery Networks, ESPN, Field of Vision, OWN, TLC and YouTube Red. Her films have screened and won awards at Sundance, Tribeca, the Museum of Modern Art, True/False, BAMcinemafest, AFI DOCS, CPH:DOX, The Museum of the Moving Image, and in movie theaters internationally. Caitlin’s projects have been honored with an Emmy Award, Grand Clio Award, and numerous “best of” designations at international film festivals. She is an alumna of Berlinale Talents and an inaugural inductee into DOC NYC’S 40 Under 40. Caitlin lives in Brooklyn with a slew of dead pets.

Cecilia Aldarondo is a documentary director-producer from the Puerto Rican diaspora whose work has been supported by ITVS, HBO, A&E, the Sundance Institute, Cinereach, Firelight Media, Field of Vision, IFP, the Jerome Foundation, and many others. Her feature documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart had its World Premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on POV in 2017. She is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2017 Women at Sundance Fellow, two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow, recipient of a 2019 Bogliasco Foundation Residency, and was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of 2015’s ’25 New Faces of Independent Film.’ She teaches at Skidmore College.


3:00pm Land Without Bread Redux Screening and Artist Talk
Rebecca Ora
Moderated by
Adam Simon

Location: Somers Room, Tang Museum


After a screening of “the first mockumentary”
Land Without Bread by Luis Buñuel, academic and artist Rebecca Ora presents her own work and process retracing and remaking Buñuel‘s seminal work.

Still by Rebecca Ora

Rebecca Ora is a mixed-media artist, performer and scholar based in California. She holds an MFA from California College of the Arts in Social Practice and is completing her PhD in Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz. Much of her work is darkly comedic, and contends with the limits of representation of trauma and their transgressions. Recent projects include Porn For The Blind, 9/11 Scarf, The Independent Sovereign Nation State of Pantasia, Anne Frank: The Revised Definitive Critical Media Edition, Killing Time in Battambang: A Film About The Holocaust, Porn For The Blind Pt.II and SnoGlobes of Traumatic Reinscription. Rora has exhibited at Steven Wolf Fine Arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), among others. She is the founder of the Rebecca Ora Award for Risk-Taking in the Arts.

Adam Simon, Skidmore College senior, has worked in the fields of film, philosophy, audio engineering, printmaking, and radio broadcasting. His work considers and engages with sonorous representation in various fields of experience — the political, the environmental, the personal. Over the course of several years he has worked to develop a network of youth radio workshops in the Capital Region of New York. He hosts his own show featuring experimental folk and electronic music on WSPN, Skidmore’s college radio.


4:30pm Humor, Memory, Trauma, Loss Panel
Luma Jasim, Mariam Bazeed, Cecilia Aldarondo, and EB Landesberg
Moderated by
Sam Garcia

Location: Payne, Tang Museum


Four documentarians and artists working in different mediums, present how their work uses humor to reflect experiences of memory, trauma and loss.


Still by Cecilia Aldarondo

Luma Jasim (2019 MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Fellow) is an interdisciplinary Iraqi-born artist. Jasim’s art deals with war, violence and her experience with immigration and the acculturation, which rose from that. In her artwork, she uses the personal to address the political and activate the viewer’s curiosity. Luma often reconstructs her memories, traumas, and thoughts on displacement, belonging, and strangeness in various mediums including writing, painting, performance, video, and animation to name a few. Since graduating with a Master’s degree from Parsons School of design in May 2017, Jasim has completed different artist residencies and fellowships, including The Corporation of Yaddo Residency, 2018, MASS MoCA Residency, 2017, Surel’s Place Residency 2018, and The AAF/American Austrian Foundation/ Seebacher Prize for Fine Arts, 2017. Her work has been shown and exhibited nationally and internationally. Currently, Luma lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Cecilia Aldarondo is a documentary director-producer from the Puerto Rican diaspora whose work has been supported by ITVS, HBO, A&E, the Sundance Institute, Cinereach, Firelight Media, Field of Vision, IFP, the Jerome Foundation, and many others. Her feature documentary Memories of a Penitent Heart had its World Premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on POV in 2017. She is a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2017 Women at Sundance Fellow, two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow, recipient of a 2019 Bogliasco Foundation Residency, and was named by Filmmaker Magazine as one of 2015’s ’25 New Faces of Independent Film.’ She teaches at Skidmore College.

Elizabeth (EB) Landesberg (2019 MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Fellow) is a filmmaker, multimedia artist and educator.  She is currently co-director of the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program, as well as a producer and facilitator for Another Kind of Girl Collective, an expanding global media collective for young women living in displaced communities.   EB’s documentary practice seeks to put different lives and communities in conversation—with one another, and with herself—and to make different forms of power more visible. Over the past ten years, it has centered on themes of labor, memory, loss, humor, culture and the sacred. She has also collaborated with young people through educational programs, media workshops and community organizations throughout the Americas.    In all of her work, she is committed to including marginalized voices in processes of illuminating inequality and initiating social change; to media-making as a tool of cultural affirmation and self-determination; and to redistributing resources and access to dispossessed communities. 

Mariam Bazeed is an Egyptian immigrant, writer, and performance artist living in a rent-stabilized apartment in Brooklyn. They have an MFA in Fiction from Hunter College. An alliteration-leaning writer of prose, poetry, plays, and personal essays, Mariam is a current fellow at the Center for Fiction, and a past fellow at the Asian American Writers Workshop and the Lambda Literary Foundation. As a performance artist, Mariam has been a fellow of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU, and Needing It! by the Helix Performance Network. Mariam’s work has been supported by residencies from Hedgebrook, Marble House Project, the Millay Colony, the Kimmel Nelson Harding Center for the Arts, and Art Omi. Mariam’s first play, Peace Camp Org, was staged at La Mama Theater, NYC (2017) in the Squirts Festival of Queer Performance Art; the Arcola Theatre, London (2018), in its inaugural festival of International Queer Playwrights; and The Wild Project, NYC (2018), in the Fresh Fruit Festival, and is available in anthology from Oberon Books, UK.
To procrastinate from facing the blank page, Mariam curates and runs a monthly world-music salon and open mic in Brooklyn, and is a slow student of Arabic music.

Samantha Marie Garcia is a Sociology major with a passion for writing. She focuses on how to interweave personal narrative and sociological perspectives throughout her work. She has found the vivid intersections between works of non-fiction and sociology compelling. Through analyzing the works of one of her favorite authors Joan Didion, she continues to find the beautiful ways stories unravel the societies we live in. She happily works at the Scribner Library as a Circulation Assistant. She loves curating the monthly display and finding books older than 100 years old quietly sleeping on the shelves. She is a member of the Tang Student Advisory Council and has worked with several other amazing women to curate The Hyde Gallery’s first exhibit “Eye Candy” and continues to look forward to all the new adventures she has left to embark on!


6:15pm Radio Atlas’s Eleanor MacDowall in Conversation with Alex Lewis – Listening and Discussion

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum


Enjoy a program of humorous, short, audio documentary from around the world voiced in non-Egnglish languages and accompanied by artfully designed subtitles curated by Eleanor MacDowall from Radio Atlas. Following the program, Eleanor MacDowell will be in conversation with radio producer Alex Lewis.

Photo courtesy of Eleanor McDowall

Eleanor McDowall is a Director at Falling Tree Productions. She is the series producer of BBC Radio 4’s Short Cuts, which won the Gold Award for Best Radio Podcast at the British Podcast Awards in both 2017 and 2018. Her documentary work has received a Special Commendation at the Prix Europa, the Whicker’s World Foundation ‘Audio Recognition Award’ and the Gold Award for Best Factual Storytelling at the Radio Academy’s ARIAs. In her spare time she runs the Radio Atlas podcast – an English-language home for subtitled audio from around the world.

Alex Lewis -b. 1988, Daejeon, South Korea- (2019 MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Fellow) is a Philadelphia-based independent radio producer and musician. He produces radio stories, audio documentaries, podcasts, & public radio programs. He’s written and produced longform audio documentaries including Saturday Night & Sunday Morning: The Gospel Roots of Rock & Soul – with WXPN and NPR Music – and Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio (winner of a 2015 National Edward R. Murrow Award). He also produces The Dig, a podcast from Jacobin Magazine. Other work includes lead producing Every ZIP Philadelphia, a Localore: Finding America project, and numerous Philadelphia-area audio projects with organizations such as Mural Arts, Bartram’s Garden, Reading Terminal Market, and the Association for Public Art. Alex graduated with a Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University, where he studied music theory and musicology. He studied radio documentary at the Transom Story Workshop on Cape Cod. He’s given talks on audio storytelling at the University of Pennsylvania, Skidmore College, Temple University, WHYY, PhillyCAM, and elsewhere.


Day 4 Sunday, June 9

10:00am Storytelling Workshop with Micaela Blei and facilitated by Haja Isatu Bah

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum – breakfast will be served

Micaela Blei, storyteller and former Director of Education for The Moth, will lead an interactive storytelling workshop.

Photo courtesy of Micaela Blei

Micaela Blei, PhD (2019 MDOCS Storytellers’ Institute Fellow) has been studying and performing true, personal storytelling nationwide for seven years, teaching and facilitating for 15 years, and performing comedy for 25 years. A two-time Moth GrandSLAM winner and former Director of Education at The Moth, she has designed curriculum, facilitated storytelling workshops and directed performance programs in schools across New York City and nationwide. She has given invited keynotes and professional development workshops at SXSWEDU, Lincoln Center Institute, School of Visual Arts and many others. Ms. Blei has regularly appeared on The Moth’s Mainstage across the country and on The Moth Radio Hour, and her solo storytelling show, The Secret Life of Your Third Grade Teacher, was a sold-out FringeFAVE at the 2016 NYC Fringe. She earned her doctorate in education at New York University in 2018, focusing on personal narrative performance, and her research talks feature a high jokes-per-insight ratio.

Haja Isatu Bah is an international student from Sierra Leone. She is an Environmental Studies major and is currently the public relation officer for African Heritage Awareness club and Muslim Students Organization. Her interest in documentary storytelling developed alongside her passion for environmental justice issues. She enjoys being involved in discussions that are facilitated towards creating solutions for justice problems; social and environmental.


11:45am Teachings and Takeaways Workshop withSarah Friedland and Adam Tinkle


Storytellers’ Institute and Forum Director, Sarah Friedland, and MDOCS Director, Adam Tinkle, will lead and interactive workshop to help participants think through the major takeaways for Forum weekend and how we can integrate them in our practices as makers and educators.

Location: Payne Room, Tang Museum – breakfast will be served

Teachings and Takeaways Workshop Forum 2018

Sarah Friedland’s documentary films and installations are concerned with personal stories that reveal larger histories and intricacies about place and society. Friedland’s works with longtime collaborator Esy Casey have screened widely in the US and abroad and have been supported by grants Jerome, the Paul Newman Foundation, Princess Grace, Ford, and the Center for Asian American Media. She was named one of the “Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch” by the Independent Magazine, is a recipient of the 2014 Paul Robeson award and was nominated for a New York EmmyShe is currently working on a feature documentary titled Lyd In Exile, which she is co-directing with Rami Younis, and which was selected to pitch at the DocCorner Market at the Cannes Film Festival and Days of Cinema in Ramallah in 2018. She has received residencies and fellowships from the Center of Contemporary Art in Pont- Aven France, the LABA House of Study, and the MacDowell Colony. She is an active member of the Meerkat Media Collective and is the Director of the MDOCS Storyteller’s Institute at Skidmore College where she teaches documentary practice.

Adam Tinkle is an artist/scholar working at the interface of sound art, music, documentary, experimental performance, and socially engaged art. Some representative projects: “A Mess of Things” (an award-winning solo performance and artist’s book dealing with family archives as inheritance and burden), the Universal Language Orchestra (a children’s ensemble that improvised on and composed for invented instruments), “The Hard Problem” (a sci-fi radio play with Marina Abramović and novelist Kim Stanley Robinson ), “They Shoot Lasers, Don’t They?: Electronic Music Theatre with Instruments of Interferometry” (with inventor Joe Mariglio, workshopped at Stanford and NYU), and, as a member of the collaborative music-installation-radio group Seven Count, a series of broadcasts, gallery exhibitions, recordings, and a zine-catalog ongoing since 2016. Trained in music at Wesleyan and UC San Diego, he has taught at Skidmore College since 2014, where he currently serves as director of the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) and has guided the development of its summer Institute since its inception.