A multidisciplinary group of makers, scholars, students and activists make up this dynamic group of presenters sharing their work during MDOCS Forum. Forum is free and open to the public. Register here! to join us June 6th-13th, 2021. More about Forum 2021.
Salim Abu Jabal, Re-using the Archives Panel, studied theatre and Arabic literature at the University of Haifa and then script writing at a later stage. He worked as a journalist and film critic, later producing and directing several films, series, and programs. He is best known for his award-winning documentary film ‘Roshmia’ which received 13 awards from renowned Arab and international festivals. In addition to his curation and programming works, he founded the traveling film festival “Films from Behind The Wall” in 2005 and the Ramallah Cinema Club in 2013. Abu Jabal was also the Head of Programming of Palestine Cinema Days (2016, 2017) and the Head of Programming of Haifa Independent Film Festival (2018) and was appointed jury member at Festival Ciné-Palestine (2017), and jury member again at for the Jordan Film Fund (2019) and (2020).
Khaldiya Amer Ali, Only the Ocean Between Us Talk Back, is Syrian filmmaker living in Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Her short film Another Kind of Girl (2015) premiered at Sundance, screened at Cannes, SXSW, won numerous awards including the emerging filmmaker production grant from Kassel Documentary Film Festival., and was featured on the New York Times’ Op-docs. Her first feature-length film, Only the Ocean Between Us, supported by the Sundance Institute and Creative Capital, will have its world premiere at Hot Docs 2021.
Raul Ayala, The Personal is Collaborative Panel, Raul Ayala is a visual artist and educator focused on community muralism, drawing, and public art. His work attempts to question normative historical parameters and coloniality through a juxtaposition of a broad spectrum of primary sources, usually aiming for a collaborative and co-creative process. Ayala is the recipient of the 2013 Create Change Fellowship of The Laundromat Project and the 2014 NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program. Ayala has been part and co-founded collectives in Ecuador and the US with whom has been the recipient of the 2015 Create Change Commissions Artist award of The Laundromat Project, the 2016 Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Grant and Residency, the 2020 MDOCS Storyteller Institute Residency and the 2021 FORGE Mentoring Program. Ayala had a full merit scholarship in the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where he was awarded a Master of Fine Art degree in 2020 and where he continues to teach.
Ronald Baez, Co-creation for Engagement Panel, is an Afro-Latinx filmmaker and award-winning immersive media artist based in Miami, FL. In 2016, Baez and his team won the Project Greenlight Digital Series Competition with the web series project #JOSH, which would be distributed by Complex Media as a digital series titled GROWN. Following this success, Baez went on to pen, produce, and direct several award-winning short and feature-length film projects which would ultimately premiere at film festivals worldwide. Several of these projects were consequently distributed on national television by PBS, as well as on multiple online platforms including PBS VOD and Seed&Spark SVOD. In 2017, Baez developed KING TIDE, a 360 video documentary, for which Baez was awarded the Fledgling Fund’s Rapid Development Grant. Baez would go on to develop multiple immersive media projects including PROJECT IDEA, for which Baez was awarded the National Association of Broadcaster’s 2019 Innovator’s Award. Baez is the Artistic Director of the After School Film Institute, a nonprofit organization mentoring at risk, inner-city students.
Tània Balló, 200km Talk Back, is a film producer and director. She studied at the Center d ‘Estudis Cinematogràfics de Catalunya (CECC) and did a postgraduate degree in Documentary, Research and Development at NYU. Her first projects were two collective works, 200 Km. (2003), presented at the San Sebastian Festival, and Entre el dictador y yo (2005), a film where several directors born after Franco’s death reflect on their lost memories. She also produced the Argentine film Infancia clandestina (2013), by Benjamín Ávila, a fiction feature film premiered at Cannes. She is the producer and co-director of Las Sinsombrero (2015), a transmedia impact project co-produced by TVE. Her next documentary as a producer is the multi-award winning Oleg y las raras artes, (2016) directed by Andrés Duque. In 2019, she directed and produced Milicianas y Ocultas e Impecables (Las Sinsombrero 2). She currently runs the production company Nina Produccions with Gonzalo Berger.
Heloiza Barbosa, Collective Making: Processes and Actions Panel, is academic researcher, writer, audio storyteller, and a former housecleaner. She was born in the Amazon region of Brazil and first migrated to the US in 1994. She created the Faxina Media which produces audio documentaries about the lives of brazilians and other citizens from the Portuguese diaspora who are house cleaners and domestic workers in the USA. She hosts, produces, edits, and writes for FAXINA Podcast – a portuguese language podcast of stories that got swept under the rug. She thinks that the future of podcasting sounds like women, people of color, queer individuals, and immigrants.
Joslyn Barnes, The Presence of African Expertise in the Global Industry Panel, the co-founder of Louverture with actor Danny Glover, has earned prominence for her social issue fiction and documentary films, which include the AcademyAward nominated Trouble the Water and the drama Bamako, nominated for a Ceasar Award, the French Oscar. Prior to going into films, Barnes served as a consultant and program officer for the United Nations, focusing on food security, gender equity and civil rights.
Mickey Baroody, Bodies in Collaboration Panel, is a former Skidmore Storytellers’ Institute Student Fellow, whose primary disciplines are drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. His work focuses on the figure, ranging from portraits of friends and family, to abstract representations of the body. Drawing from philosophy, history, and personal experience, his work aims to consider the complexities of recognition and the ways in which identity is revealed.
Karoli Bautista Pizarro, Only the Ocean Between Us Talk Back is a Shipibo filmmaker, cultural practitioner and activist living in Cantagallo, Lima, Peru. Her short film Escúchame Cantar (2016) screened at the North Carolina Latin American Film Festival and Alice Fest. Her photographs were featured in an article in the Peruvian investigative journal Ojo Público about human rights issues in her community during the 2020 lockdown. Her first feature-length film, Only the Ocean Between Us, supported by the Sundance Institute and Creative Capital, will have its world premiere at Hot Docs 2021.
Angela Beallor, The Personal Is Collaborative Panel, is a visual artist exploring memory, history, and politics. She was a 2015 BRIC Media Arts Fellow. A Jerome Foundation Travel Grant recipient (2013), she traveled to Lithuania, Belarus, and Russia in relation to her project Pink Lenins. Her video, I Want a Baby! REVisited (Lecture) won first place in the 2017 Sofia Queer Forum video competition. Most recently, she wrote, directed, and starred in M.G. (aka I Want a Baby! Reimagined), an experimental, queer adaptation of Tret’iakov’s play I Want a Baby!. She has been in residence at CCI Fabrika, Moscow; Vermont Studio Center; Habitable Spaces, Kingsbury, TX, and was once a resident-artist at Flux Factory (NY). Her work has been presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Cleveland, OH) (2017); Smack Mellon (2016); SPACES (2016); Here Art Space, NY (2014); and, in conjunction with Sharon Hayes, in the Whitney Museum of American Art (2012). She holds a BS in Photo-illustration from Kent State University, an MFA from Bard College-ICP, and is currently a HASS fellow and PhD student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Ann Bennett, Co-Creation for Engagement Panel, is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and multimedia producer. She produced the NAACP Image Award-winning documentary, Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, as well as the multi-platform community engagement initiative, Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR). Bennett’s film credits include; Citizen King and Fisk Jubilee Singers for the PBS series “American Experience,” Hymn for Alvin Ailey for “Dance in America,” and the award-winning PBS mini-series Africans in America and America’s War on Poverty. Bennett is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School and Harvard College and is a 2019 Laundromat Project Create Change Fellow.
Micaela Blei, PhD, Building Imagined Worlds Together Workshop Leader, is a storyteller, educator and editor based in Kingston, NY. She’s a former classroom teacher and the former founding Director of Education for storytelling nonprofit The Moth. She has spent the last 20 years creating spaces for people of all ages to share stories and make great work with one another. She is also a podcast story editor, story coach and narrative consultant for audio teams and filmmakers in public, education and nonprofit spaces. Micaela’s own stories can be heard on The Moth Radio Hour and podcast, the acclaimed podcast Family Ghosts, and many others.
Kathryn Brodie, Student Perspectives Panel, is a filmmaker with an interest in creative storytelling and explanatory journalism. She began her journey documenting dance and the arts in her rural community, creating dance films and promotional videos for nonprofits. While studying at Skidmore, she has worked for the Dance Department as a cinematographer and editor for various classes and professors. Her documentary work has increased in college and has led her to explore avenues in explanatory journalism and podcasts. She views documentary as a means for activism and sharing unique stories. Additionally, she enjoys experimenting with stop motion, using paper and clay to help bring her storytelling to life. She is currently a Skidmore Student Storytellers’ Institute Fellow.
Rachel Brown, Collective Making: Processes and Actions Panel, is an educator and interdisciplinary media artist. She has taught in a wide variety of contexts, ranging from informal learning environments with middle and high school students to graduate level courses at NYU. Rachel has screened, exhibited, and spoke about her creative work internationally. Since 2014, she has been a member of The Illuminator, a political projection collective based in NYC. Rachel has an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College (CUNY), and is an avid cyclist, yogi and wanderer. IG: @oikofugicrchl
Caitlin Mae Burke, The Personal is Collaborative Panel, is an Emmy-winning producer whose films have premiered and won awards at top tier festivals including Sundance, Berlinale, and Tribeca, and screened in movie theaters and on televisions internationally. She is an inaugural inductee to DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40” and alumna of Berlinale Talents. Caitlin is currently lead producer for Other Men Need Help and the Supervising Producer for IF/Then Shorts, a fund and mentorship program for short documentaries at Field of Vision.
Molly Murphy (pronoun: she), Working Films. In her twenty year tenure, Molly has served in many different roles. She has planned and directed national media engagement campaigns, facilitated partnerships and coordinated coalitions centered on the use of documentaries to enhance communication, reach beyond the choir, and make an impact on the issues of our time. Molly has designed and led dozens of trainings for filmmakers, grassroots organizations, and NGOs focused on using film and online media to effect change. At Working Films, she is responsible for overall organizational management, programmatic strategy, institutional partnerships, and fundraising.
Molly also serves on the board of Justice for My Sister (JFMS), a collective that trains women of color, non-binary youth, and foster youth with a culturally-relevant and trauma-informed approach to tell stories through a gender equity and racial justice lens.
Andrea Bussmann, Historias de dos Panel, was born in Toronto, Canada. She earned a MA in Social Anthropology and a MFA in Film Production. After completing her degrees, she directed He Whose Face Gives No Light. In 2016, she co-directed Tales of Two Who Dreamt, which premiered at the Berlinale Forum. The film was awarded the best documentary at the Festival International de Films de Femmes in 2017. Her latest film Fausto, premiered in 2018 at the Locarno International Film Festival, made its North American premiere at TIFF. The film won the Best Latin Feature at TheMar del Plata International Film Festival. She was awarded the Discovery Award by The Directors Guild of Canada in 2018.
Shalon Buskirk, Active Subjects Panel, is known as a community leader who has dedicated her life to protecting, helping, and saving young adults from violence within our community. She was born and raised in Allentown, PA. After the tragic death of her first-born son Parris, she decided to start to work towards a nonprofit for young adults that engages them with the resources they need for success. She was the driving force behind the first major funding in the city for youth violence prevention. She wanted to tell her son Parris’ story as a storyteller, a mother of eight children, and currently the CEO/Founder of the Parris J. Lane Memorial Foundation.
Natalia Cabral (Dominican Republic) and Oriol Estrada (Catalonia, Spain), Historias de dos Panel, are award-winning filmmakers whose work takes place on the border between fiction and non-fiction. Graduates of the prestigious International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV / Cuba), they debuted with the documentary film “Tú y Yo”, world premiere at Visions du Réel and winner of several awards at the Cartagena festivals ( FICCI), Trinidad and Tobago, Havana, Madrid (Margins), Austin and Santo Domingo. His second documentary, “El Sitio de los Sitio” (2016), celebrated its world premiere at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA), and in Spain, in the official competition of the documentary section at the Malaga Festival. The couple’s third film, the fictional feature film “Miriam Lies”, celebrated its world premiere in official competition at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival where it received a special mention from the jury. Currently, they are finishing their most recent film entitled “A Movie About Couples”.
Nuria Campabadal, 200km Talk Back, Filmmaker and Editor. I got trained to be a screenwriter at ESCAC film school and with my first Mini DV my passion for documentaries arose. After working in many audiovisual projects in different fields, I decided to get specialized in edition. Now it’s been a decade since I began working as an editor, specially in documentaries, reports and TV programs; although I’ve also edited fiction, advertising, video clips, corporate advertising, internet clips, etc. I’ve also directed different projects –for foundations and organizations mainly– focused on topics as historical memory, human rights, culture, and social and political movements.I’ve taken part in some experiences of collective and self-managed video (Latele.cat, 15mbcn.tv), artivist collectives (enmedio.info) and media centres. I’ve also taught storytelling and edition to young people and social movements. I like stories and I love working to tell them in the best possible way.
Orisel Castro, Historias de dos Panel, is a Cuban filmmaker, festival programmer and teacher. She studied Editing at the University of Arts and Documentary Film at the EICTV, Cuba. She earned a MSc in Visual Anthropology at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) and worked as professor and festival programmer for EDOC and FICQ in Ecuador. Her first film, The Man Who Always Did His Part (Ecuador, 2017) was co-directed with her partner York Neudel and shown in Transcinema, FICCI, Miradas Doc, Radical and Frontera Sur, among other festivals. She is currently coordinating the MA in Documentary Filmmaking at the EICTV.
Christy Cauper Silvano, Only the Ocean Between Us Talk Back, is Shipibo photographer, filmmaker and cultural practitioner living in Cantagallo, Lima, Peru. She co-directed the short film Un Pedacito de la Selva en la Ciudad (2015), which won an audience award at Mi Primer Festival, in Lima. Her photographs were also featured in the group exhibit “Fotos por el Cambio” at the Peruvian North American Cultural Institute. Her first feature-length film, Only the Ocean Between Us, supported by the Sundance Institute and Creative Capital, will have its world premiere at Hot Docs 2021.
Sarah Choi, Global Pitch Session, is the Development & Artist Support Associate at Field of Vision. She supports the development and production of short and feature-length Field of Vision films, and provides support to all artists we work with. Prior to joining FOV, Sarah was an Executive Assistant at HBO and an editorial intern at Indiewire and Tribeca Film.
Emily Collins, Bodies in Collaboration Panel, is an animation artist based in Brooklyn, NY, with a passion for non-fiction storytelling, comedy, and handmade art-making. She is a partner and head of talent at animation studio Mighty Oak, where she leads and curates teams of animation wizards. Her directing and producing credits include projects for Planned Parenthood, Vera Institute of Justice and Ted-Ed., among others. Emily’s projects have screened at festivals such as Sundance and DOC NYC.
Greta Yu Cong, Co-creating in China’s Countryside Panel, is a visual artist born and raised in Sichuan, China. She creates digital films, garmented performances and theater as vehicles to explore ideas of family, female labor, and queer temporality. Through long takes and acute gazes, her films are interested in duration, space as evidence and defiance of social, historical and cultural narratives, and the body, which is at times purely instrumental while at other times, of debility, un(dys)functionality and liminality. Her video works have been exhibited in Anthology Film Archives, Lightbox Film Center, CICA Museum in South Korea and so on.
Diana Coryat, In and Out of the Academy Panel, is an educator, researcher and activist-practitioner of community media. Diana teaches at University Andina Simón Bolívar and collaborates with a feminist media collective in Quito, Ecuador. Her work is focused on social movement media and artistic practice and feminist methodologies. A co-founder of Global Action Project, Diana has led media workshops with youth, women and communities across Latin America and the US. She holds an MA and PhD in Communication from UMass Amherst and BFA from NYU.
Tasha Darbes, In and Out of the Academy Panel, is currently an Assistant Professor of TESOL and Bilingual Education at Pace University. Her research examines issues of immigration, education and multilingual language development.
Helen De Michiel, In and Out of the Academy Panel, is a filmmaker, media artist, author and professor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her accomplishments in feature length narrative and documentary, installations, and new media projects have earned her a Rockefeller Intercultural Film/Video Fellowship and several NEA awards among many others. Her films are included in collections at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. She is deeply involved in co-creative and participatory media, including new combinatory storytelling practices, which she terms “open space” new media. She co-authored Open Space New Media Documentary: A Toolkit for Theory and Practice(Routledge 2018) with Patricia Zimmermann. She is on the faculty in the Film Program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Kadijatou Diallo, Bodies in Collaboration Panel, is a filmmaker born and raised in Harlem. She co directed the short documentary, Sanctuary, a film about about organizers creating safe spaces for queer folks in NY and LA. Kadi was a Fellow at the MDOCS Storytellers Institute in 2020 and is currently producing and directing a video series with the organization Color of Change.
Laura Doggett, Only the Ocean Between Us Talk Back, is filmmaker, community artist, and educator who works with teenaged girls and young women to create spaces where they can tell their stories in their own voices through video, audio, writing, performance, and the visual arts. For 25 years, she has worked with displaced and marginalized communities around the world in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky and West Virginia, immigrant and foster care communities of New York City and Washington, D.C., Syrian refugee camps and settlements in Jordan, and undocumented Central American communities in New Orleans. In 2014 she founded, with young Syrian women, Another Kind of Girl Collective. She has received Felsman and Hine Documentary Fellowships, and is a 2019 Creative Capital awardee.
Carolina Dorado, In and Out of the Academy Panel, is a popular educator and feminist filmmaker. Her main focus is on designing methodologies and pedagogies for building collective knowledge through popular education, feminism, and community filmmaking. She also conducts research on community media and feminist community media. She received an undergraduate degree in Social Science from the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional in Colombia, and is currently working on a Masters Degree in Cultural Studies with an emphasis on gender and culture at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar in Quito, Ecuador.
Jihan El-Tahri, The Presence of African Expertise in the Global Industry Panel, is a multi- award-winning film director, writer, visual artist and producer. She currently serves as the General Director of the Berlin based documentary support institution DOX BOX. El Tahri has been a member of The Academy (Oscars) since 2017 and is currently on the selection committee of the Locarno International Film Festival. She has directed more than 15 films and her visual art exhibitions have travelled to renowned museums and several Biennales around the world. Her writings include “Les Sept Vies de Yasser Arafat” (Grasset) and “Israel and the Arabs, The 50 Years war” (Penguin). She continues to mentor and direct various documentary and filmmaking labs. El Tahri has served on the boards of several African film organisations including the Federation of Pan African Cinema and The Guild of African Filmmakers in the Diaspora.
Fernanda Espinosa (she/her), The Personal is Collaborative Panel, is an oral history-based practitioner and cultural organizer based in the New York area and in Ecuador. She approaches storytelling as one of the many ways of transmitting knowledge and her analysis and practice are deeply embedded in interrogating colonial standards, including story forms. Since 2014 she has been generating, listening to, and interpreting oral histories to inform creative public interventions that aspire to act as platforms for resistance and dialogue. Fernanda holds a Masters in Oral History from Columbia University where her thesis was awarded the 2018 Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Award. She is the co-founder and coordinator of Cooperativa Cultural 19 de enero (CC 1/19), an ongoing oral transmissions and visual arts collaboration. Most recently she has worked leading community partnerships with StoryCorps. In addition to her cultural organizing and artistic collaborations, she currently works as an independent oral historian for projects at Columbia University and the Smithsonian Institution, including the Archives of American Art and the National Museum of American History.
Juliana Fanjul, Historias de dos Panel, is a Mexican filmmaker. She majored in Audiovisual Communication in Mexico and later in documentary studies at EICTV, Cuba. She holds a master’s degree in filmmaking at the Haute École d’Art in Geneva, Switzerland. She has directed for Al Jazeera English and Swiss Television. Her films If Still Alive (2010), Muchachas (2015) and Radio Silence (2019) have been screened around the world in festivals such as IDFA and Visions du Réel. She is currently the head of the documentary studies department at the EICTV, Cuba.
Hanan Habashi, In and Out of the Academy Panel, identifies as a Muslim woman from Gaza who tries to defy layers of stereotypical images by writing and telling stories. I teach English literature to Female students at the Islamic University of Gaza where I try to create safe spaces for them to explore their infinite potential and voice their passions and fears. I find power in creating communities and establishing new senses of belonging. That’s why I always try to moderate book clubs that bring together people of different beliefs and levels of tolerance. I am interested in studying the complexity of my own identity and other women’s.
Jixing He, Co-creating in China’s Countryside Panel, is from Jixiang Village, a small village in Lashihai, Lijiang. He did not receive formal art education in school, but from living as a neighbor to Lijiang Studio, an artist residency in Jixiang Village, since he was 9 years old, he got interested in art. After he graduated from university in 2018, he came back to Jixiang Village and has been working in Lijiang Studio since then. On his own, he is learning to make film in the village and is also experimenting with sound recording, while also being a farmer and learning from his family and neighbors.
DeeDee Halleck, We Tell Talk Back, is a media activist and maker, one of the founders of Paper Tiger Television and the Deep Dish Satellite Network, and a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California-San Diego. She has led media workshops with elementary school children, reform school youth, and migrant farmers. In 1976 she was co-director of the Child-Made Film Symposium, which was a fifteen-year assessment of media by youth throughout the world. She served as a delegate to the International Symposium on New Technologies and the Democratization of Communications in New Delhi, and as a board member of Videazimut, the international community video association. A pioneer in video, Halleck’s contributions are of major importance to the field of independent media.
Hannah Hearn (pronoun: she), Working Films StoryShift Workshop Leader, is the Impact Coordinator for Working Films. She holds a B.A in Film Studies and a Minor in Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Previously, she was the Managing Director of Visions Film Festival & Conference and the Sound Mixer for the feature-length documentary Dead in the Water – a film that exposes the harmful practices of factory farms in eastern NC. In her current role, she is dedicated to coordinating impactful documentary film campaigns both locally and nationally in order to mobilize communities to create a healthy, fair, and equitable world. @workingfilms on FB, IG, and Twitter
Malchijah Hoskins, Student Perspectives Panel, is from Jersey City, New Jersey, and is a current Junior majoring in Sociology and minoring in Intergroup Relations & Media and Film Studies. Malchijah is the host of the student social justice collective and radio show Pass the Mic. He also is V.P for Inclusion and Outreach in Student Government and apart of the Tang Student Advisory Council. From a young age Malchijah was drawn to the power of language and truth-telling. He is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to research and interviewing, and sees both as vital tools for radical imagination. Topics that speak to him include Blackness, beauty, rituals, love and trauma. Intellectually he is influenced by black feminist thinkers bell hooks and Audre Lorde and filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Malchijah is interested in exploring how storytelling, embodied methods, and dialogue are fundamental in liberatory practices. He is currently a Skdmore Student Storytellers’ Institute Fellow.
Carlos Ibanez, Historias de dos Panel, is a Colombo-swiss sound engineer. He studied sound at the EICTV, Cuba and at Louis Lumière School in Paris. He also majored in filmmaking at the Haute Ecole d’Art in Geneva (HEAD), Switzerland, where he is actually based. He has worked in more than 40 long-feature films and about 100 short-films with directors as Isaki Lacuesta, Milagros Mumenthaler, Klaudia Reynicke or Elena López. He regularly teaches at the EICTV and HEAD.
Alessandro Jedlowski, The Presence of African Expertise in the Global Industry Panel, works in the areas of cultural anthropology, visual arts, communication and media. He is a Fond Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique FNRS postdoctoral fellow in anthropology at the Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale et culturelle,University of Liège, Belgium and a member of the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Africa, University of Naples “L’Orientale”. His main research interests include African cinema, media and migration, urban culture, contemporary African visual arts, the economy and politics of cultural production in Africa, piracy and informality in African media industries. He has as festival organizer and artistic director in Italy and Portugal, as consultant to the UNESCO and the UK-based Bertha Foundation, and as an independent documentary filmmaker and producer. He has authored numerous publications in international academic journals and has edited many collections of essays.
Saitabao Kaiyare, The Presence of African Expertise in the Global Industry Panel, is a filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. An Alumni at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany, he has engaged in creating Films, Documentaries & TV shows that have been critically acclaimed and won in various film festivals internationally. He is one of the directors of Baruu Collective, an arts organization that re-thinks and re-imagines the African narrative. Baruu goes beyond documentation to creating a conducive environment for sustainable audience participation in the conservation of cultural heritage through multi- media and new media such as virtual reality and augmented reality.
Toni Kamau, The Presence of African Expertise in the Global Industry Panel, is the youngest female African documentary producer to be invited as a member of the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences – Documentary Branch. As an awardwinning producer, writer and founder of We Are Not the Machine, a Nairobi-based production company, she tells stories of outsiders, rebels and change makers. Her past credits include half-hour documentaries for Al Jazeera, MTV Europe and BBC Africa. She co-produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning “Softie” with fellow panelist Sam Soko and is also produced “I am Samuel”, directed by 2019 Rory Peck winner Pete Murimi which recently had its world premiere at the 2020 edition of Hot Docs and its European premiere at BFI London Film Festival.
Tamrika Khvtisiashvili, In and Out of the Academy Panel, is a creator and an educator. I make films, zines, radio, photographs, words. Most work is conceptual; I am interested in structures as much as in their intended meaning. I have taught around the world, connecting with my students as co-creators of shared knowledge and creativity. I am Georgian/Russian/American, living in the Middle East. I believe our roots define us, but we reinvent ourselves daily. Stories I tell are my psychological and existential journey, but also they break barriers bringing social change. I create to undo something inside of me, so I can empty and refill.
Eb Landesberg, Only the Ocean Between Us Talk Back, is filmmaker, producer, educator and translator. She has collaborated with young people through educational programs, media workshops and community organizations throughout the Americas. As a 2014-15 Felsman Documentary Fellow, she facilitated documentary workshops with teens in Lima, Perú, who investigated and created projects about their own communities, families and cultures. It is with two of these teenagers that the Syrian members of Another Kind of Girl Collective began their first cross-border collaboration. She is also co-director of the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellows Program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, and was a 2019 Skidmore Storytellers Institute Visiting Fellow. Her most recent short film premiered at the 2020 Cosmic Rays Film Festival.
Luis Luna, Co-Creation for Engagement Panel, is the Senior Organizer at the Connecticut Working Families Party, a photographer, artist, interpreter and longtime immigrant rights activist. For over eight years Luis has hosted his own monthly program Módulo Lunar on WPKN-FM Community Radio in Bridgeport, CT, where he mixes alternative and politically charged Latinx music with discussions of social justice issues, to amplify collective voices in his community. He is the host and co-producer of Melting the ICE.
Amanda Madden, Active Subjects Panel, is a nonbinary, queer, feminist filmmaker, artist and educator and has worked in media as an editor, director, and creator of commercial, web, documentary, narrative, and experimental projects for 12 years. Their work has been exhibited internationally and includes award-winning projects such as the TV pilot, Mercy Mistress, and the experimental non-fiction film, Home Abyss. They hold an MFA in socially engaged non-fiction media from Hunter College. Current projects include editing the feature documentary, Roleplay, and supporting non-fiction programming and youth media production at Spy Hop Productions. They focus on stories about identity and body, relationship and connection, and creative processes that value care, embodiment, collaboration, and experimentation.
Lali Madueño Medina, Only the Ocean Between Us Talk Back, is a producer and filmmaker, graduated in Audiovisual Communication with experience designing participatory audiovisual workshops and communication strategies in the environment, citizenship, interculturality. She was co-founder and general producer of DOCUPERU for more than a decade (2015-2017). In 2017 she co-founded Travesía Films, and in 2019 she created her own production company Perpetua Cinema. Her purpose is to develop audiovisual projects, cinematographic works, and film training programs that lay the foundations for the local film industry’s growth, exploring new languages and ways of storytelling.
Claire Maske, Co-Creation: A Student Perspective, is an aspiring documentarian and a 2021 Skidmore Graduate who completed a self-determined major in Documentary Studies and a minor in Studio Art. She has experience with documentary filmmaking and audio, and is currently learning and exploring animation as a documentary medium. She is interested in the intersections between fine arts, storytelling, and social issues and is excited to keep investigating these connections over the summer and beyond.
Louis Massiah, We Tell Talk Back, worked on the team that produced The Taking of One Liberty Place (Scribe Video Center, 1987) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is the FOUNDER of Scribe Video Center. He is a documentary filmmaker and the founder/director of Scribe Video Center in Philadelphia. His innovative approach to documentary filmmaking and community media have earned him numerous honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship (1996-2001), two Rockefeller/Tribeca fellowships, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His award-winning documentaries, The Bombing of Osage Avenue (1986), W.E.B. Du Bois – A Biography in in Four Voices (1996), two films for the Eyes on the Prize II series (1987), and A is for Anarchist, B is for Brown (2002), have been broadcast on PBS and screened at festivals and museums throughout the US, Europe, and Africa. In 2011, he was commissioned to create a five-channel permanent video installation for the National Park Service’s President’s House historic site.
Monica Mauer, Re-using the Archives Panel, lives in Rome, Italy, where she is member of the Board of AAMOD (Archivio Audiovisivo del Movimento Operaio e Democratico), the Archive of the Working Class and Democratic Movement in Rome. For the last 10 years she worked on partially restoring and digitizing not only a number of films, including her own, but also dozens of hours of unedited 16mm footage on Palestine filmed between 1977 and 1987 in order to make them publicly accessible. Monica completed her studies in Sociology and Communication Sciences in Munich and Berlin University. From 1970-72 she was assistant director to the avantguarde theatre and film director Carmelo Bene (“Salome”) and since 1972 she has been an independent filmmaker and producer. Her films films won several awards and participated in a number of International Film Festivals such as Bilbao, Cairo, Carthage, Cannes Fifa, Cracow, Karlovy Vary, Leipzig, Lille, Moscow, Oberhausen, San Francisco, Tampere, Tashkent, Toronto. Most films were distributed internationally.
Jonna McKone, Bodies in Collaboration Panel, is a filmmaker, producer and photographer based in Baltimore, MD. Spanning video, photography and time-based media, her work seeks to unravel and meditate on the interconnectedness of land, power, labor and memory. Her work has shown at film festivals, museums and galleries around the US. She was a 2018 Lewis Hine Fellow at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University where she developed a collaborative photography project which will be published as a photobook in the fall of 2021. Her first feature film as a producer, All Light, Everywhere (directed by Theo Anthony), premiered in Sundance’s U.S. Documentary Competition in 2021 where it won a Special Jury Award for Experimentation in Nonfiction. In addition to working in film, she is an award-winning radio producer and reporter whose work has appeared on NPR, WNYC, The New Yorker Radio Hour and the BBC. She holds an MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts from Duke University.
Dana Merwin, Global Pitch Session, is the Program Officer for the International Documentary Association where she administers the Pare Lorentz Doc Fund and Enterprise Doc Fund. Prior to joining IDA, Dana was the production manager for Al Jazeera America’s documentary unit and the Peabody Award winning series Fault Lines. She was the Director of Operations for Jupiter Entertainment in Los Angeles, where she oversaw delivery of docu-reality series to various cable channels. She has served as a production manager on numerous film and television productions.
Liz Miller, In and Out of the Academy Panel, is a documentary maker and professor interested in new approaches to community collaborations and documentary as a way to connect personal stories to larger social concerns. Years of experience in community media and a background in political economics, and electronic media art fuel her ongoing explorations of new media as art, advocacy, and as a powerful educational tool. Liz is a Full Professor in Communications Studies at Concordia University in Montreal and her films/educational campaigns on timely issues such as climate change, water privatization, immigration, refugee rights and the environment have won international awards, been integrated into educational curricula and influenced decision makers. She is the co-author of Going Public: The Art of Participatory Practice, a resource for students and artists in theatre, communications and history.
Marah Mohammad Alkhateeb, Only the Ocean Between Us Talk Back, is Syrian filmmaker living in Za’atari Refugee Camp, Jordan. Her short film Children (2015) won numerous awards at film festivals. She also won top award at Punto De Vista International Documentary Film Festival More recently, she created a short film for the Thomson Reuters Association and completed a 360 film. Her first feature-length film, Only the Ocean Between Us, supported by the Sundance Institute and Creative Capital, will have its world premiere at Hot Docs 2021.
Nadia Mohamed, Collective Making: Processes and Actions Panel, is a media maker who tends to make work about people, place, power, and possibility. She often serves a development, event production, and communications specialist for racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice, human rights, and storytelling organizations and networks. Some of her current affiliations include The Illuminator, the Center for Story-based Strategy network, and the Cancer Free Economy Network. She listens, dreams, and creates from a city that sleeps on the Hudson River.
Ikuno Naka, Active Subjects Panel, is a doctoral student at the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development, I study the & ‘speculative urbanism’ driving the growth of an emerging South Indian city, Cochin. Engaging in ethnographic methods in my own dissertation work drew me to the visual medium, and its capacity to draw out sensoral and tactile registers in ways difficult in the structural, linearity of academic writing. The non-fiction film & ‘Monday Tuesday Thursday’ made with Garima was a product of these explorations. Set in the reception room of an important bureaucratic body, the film is about the space of waiting, literally and more figuratively speaking.
Mahasen Nasser-Eldin, Re-using the Archives, Jerusalem-born filmmaker Mahasen Nasser-Eldin tells stories of resistance and resilience, crafting carefully researched and scripted narratives that restore new life to forgotten figures and celebrate those on the margins of society. A meticulous researcher, Mahasen specializes in reconstructing historical narratives using audio and visual archives. Her research interest focuses on the use of film in the writing of history. Her films have screened locally and internationally. Mahasen holds an MA degree in filmmaking from Goldsmiths College in London and another MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She is currently heading the film production department at Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem, Palestine.
Dorree Ndooki, Student Perspectives Panel, is a rising junior and political science major. She is passionate about social justice and empowering young women through community activism. Her work is focused on representing the intersectionality between race and gender. Inspired by her love for storytelling, she aims to use film as a tool to uplift the voices and experiences of minority communities. She is currently a Skidmore Student Storytellers’ Institute Fellow.
York Neudel, Historias de dos Panel, Born in Wittenberg, Germany. DoP, filmmaker, teacher and programmer. Works for documentaries in Cuba and Ecuador together with Orisel Castro. Holds a Master degree in Visual Anthropology and Anthropological Documentaries (FLACSO). Studied Cinematography in Germany and Cuba. Codirected The Man Who Always Did His Part (Ecuador, 2017). Member of the Selection Committee of the EDOC Festival in Ecuador. Coordinates the Camera Department at the International Film School of San Antonio de los Baños (EICTV).
Jose Nunez, Student Perspectives Panel, is a double major in International Affairs and Economics. For the past semester, I have been interning in the Tang Museum as a Tang Guide, where I’ve had the opportunity to learn many of the behind-the-scenes processes that go into making a museum successful. With this experience, I’ve had a growing appreciation for museums and have really enjoyed the process of learning about different forms of art not only present in the Tangs Collection, but in collections around the world. A goal of mine is to always return home (Yonkers) to share my experiences with my fellow youth who may be thinking of pursuing higher education and motivating them to take that big leap. If I had to leave a quote here I would say, “Lend a hand out to those who will come after you, as those who came before you did for you, even if you never met them.” He is currently a Skidmore Student Storytellers’ Institute Fellow.
Autumn Oberkehris, Bodies in Collaboration Panel, a Rutgers University 2018 journalism graduate who currently works in digital marketing. She contributed research to the nonfiction book, The Douglass Century (2018) and photographs and writing to the forthcoming photobook, Notes from Home.
Femi Odugbemi, The Presence of African Expertise in the Global Industry Panel, is an accomplished writer, filmmaker and the Co Founder/Executive Director of the iRepresent International Documentary Film Festival Lagos. A voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Femi’s documentary credits includes the award-winning titles ‘BARIGA BOY’ ‘OUI VOODOO,’ ‘MAKOKO’ and many others. His latest documentary series ‘UNMASKED: Leadership, Trust and the Covid-19 Pandemic in Nigeria’ premiered this month on national television to critical acclaim. Femi is also a renowned content producer credited with Nigeria’s longest running daily soap ‘TINSEL,’ (3000 episodes), the drama series ‘BATTLEGROUND’ (420 episodes) and the crime thriller ‘BRETHREN’ (260 episodes), all broadcast across 40+ African countries. Femi has produced and directed feature films including MAROKO (2006), and GIDI BLUES (2016). He is the Founder/CEO of Zuri24 Media Lagos and the Academy Director of the Multichoice Talent Factory (West Africa).
Anna Ozbek, Collective Making: Processes and Actions Panel, is a multimedia producer, filmmaker, and educator with a decade of experience in broadcast journalism. Her video work has appeared on CNN, Global Post, NY1, National Geographic, and Democracy Now!. Anna was formerly based in Istanbul where she covered regional political issues. She is now a member of the media arts collectives Chinatown Art Brigade and The Illuminator, where she explores new media approaches to social issue storytelling. She is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at SUNY Purchase.
Aliya Pabani, Collaborative Audio Storytelling Workshop, is a Toronto-based artist and audio producer. She was host/producer of Canadaland’s arts and culture podcast, The Imposter, and her audio work has appeared on BBC’s Short Cuts, In the Dark, and NTS Radio. She co-created POC in Audio, a searchable online directory of people of colour working in audio from around the world, and she’s a member of the 2019 Third Coast International Audio Festival’s advisory group. Her predominantly installation and performance-based art has been shown at Images Festival, Summerworks, and and most recently in Resonant Bodies, an exhibition of sound-based works presented by Constellations.
MARK PAGÁN, The Personal is Collaborative Panel, is an award-winning filmmaker, audio producer, writer, educator, and graying b-boy. His audio work has appeared on Code Switch, WNYC, Latino USA, Futuro Studios, TED, On Something, On the Media, Family Ghosts, Radiotopia, and the CBC. His films and performances have been shown at dozens of festivals and shows worldwide including Slamdance Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, Arizona International Film Festival, Podcast Movement, RISK!, The Moth, and Story Collider. Mark is the host and creator of the award-winning podcast, Other Men Need Help, a playful docu-essay podcast looking at how men present themselves to the world, and what’s underneath.
Cristina Pérez, 200km Talk Back, has been developing her photographic creativity since, at the age of 15, she took her first course in analog photography. After studying artistic baccalaureate specialized in image, the focus of her path has always gone hand in hand with the moving image. She moved to Barcelona to study Photography Direction at the Center for Film Studies of Catalonia and quickly began her professional career doing cinematography work and specializing in both photochemical and digital color grading at Technicolor Entertainment. For the last 13 years she has worked as a Freelance Colorist in advertising, film and television, which gives her the freedom to combine her time with project photography direction. Especially sensitive to the documentary world, she seeks to bring understanding, symbiosis, beauty and aesthetics to projects from the soul.
Nicolás Pereda, Historias de dos Panel, has directed 10 feature films and several short films. He usually works with the theater group “Lagartijas tiradas al sol” and with the actress Teresita Sánchez. He is a professor at the University of Berkeley, in California.
Elizabeth Press (who goes by EP), The Personal is Collaborative Panel, is a queer media maker who has been working in socially engaged art, experimental documentary, stop-animation and journalism since 2003. Professionally, Press dove into journalism as a producer for the TV/Radio program, Democracy Now!. Press also spent much of their professional life working on issues of climate change (making videos covering the UN climate negotiations) and covering best practices in transportation policy (Director and Producer, StreetFilms). Elizabeth Press has a BA from Ithaca College (1999), a MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2003) and is a Fulbright scholar. Today, Press’ work in community radio and journalism continues on the hyper-local level. They are part of a collective producing a daily one-hour radio program, the Hudson Mohawk Magazine. Press sits on the Board of the Sanctuary for Independent Media.
Jess Shane, Collaborative Audio Storytelling Workshop, is a Canadian audio producer, artist, and educator whose work has aired on BBC’s Short Cuts, WBEZ’s Re:Sound, and across the CBC network. She has presented work at On Air Fest, Audiocraft, Hearsay Audio Festival, the International Features Conference, DOCNYC, and Open City Documentary Festival. Her independent podcast, Constellations, a home for sound art from makers internationally, has been spotlighted in The New York Times, Indiewire, the Outline, and beyond. She is currently an MFA candidate in Hunter College’s Integrated Media Arts program, researching and making work about documentary ethics and collaborative storytelling. https://twitter.com/iamjessshane
Anula Shetty, We Tell Talk Back, was part of the collaborative team that made Books Through Bars (Scribe Video Center, 1997), in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Anula is a filmmaker drawn to stories of migration, ethnic heritage, and what it means to be ‘native’ and ‘alien’ in a foreign land. She is committed to documenting the immigrant experience on film and issues related to fear and race. Anula has been a producer and member of the Termite TV Collective for over thirteen years. She has co-created videos with community groups as a teaching artist including the Asian Arts Initiative, the Community Leadership Institute, Grupo Motivos, and Scribe Video Center.
Alex Ramírez-Mallis, Collective Making: Processes and Actions Panel, is a filmmaker in Brooklyn, NY. His films have been selected for multiple festivals internationally. Online, his work has been featured by The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Vimeo Staff Picks, Pitchfork, The Huffington Post, and Vimeo Staff Picks. His 2017 documentary series AMERICAN BOYBAND was broadcast on ViceTV. His short documentary CRESCENDO! premiered at Tribeca 2020. Alex received an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College (CUNY) and is an active member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and the Meerkat Media Collective.
Sandra Ruesga , 200km Talk Back, is a filmmaker, producer and programmer, Sandra has been linked to the world of documentary for more than 20 years. After studying Political Science in Toulouse and Journalism in Madrid, she studies film and began to work in film and television (assistant director, director and screenwriter). In 2004 he co-directed and co-produced the documentary feature film “200 KM”, and later directed several documentary short films, exhibited at numerous festivals around the world. She has been part of the programming committee of DocumentaMadrid Film festival for 9 editions, as well as of Another Way Film Festival, and is a member of the programming committee of DOCMA association. She has worked in the production of many international film festivals (Almería en Corto, Animadrid and Festival 4+1), and in 11 editions of Documenta Madrid, of which she has been production coordinator from 2017 to 2020. Sandra is a founding member of CINES ZOCO MAJADAHONDA and she collaborates in their programming.
Sylvia Ryerson, Co-Creation for Engagement Panel, is a documentary radio producer, sound artist, and current PhD student in American Studies at Yale University. For over a decade she has been using public airwaves to collaboratively and creatively connect through prison walls. Prior to graduate school, Sylvia co-directed Appalshop’s Calls from Home radio show, a nationally recognized program sending toll-free phone messages from family members to their incarcerated loved ones, and she co-founded the participatory audio documentary project Restorative Radio. Her work has appeared on NPR, the BBC, Transom.org, the Boston Review, The Third Coast International Audio Festival, and the Marshall Project.
Kaija Siirala, Bodies in Collaboration Panel, works in documentary media as a picture editor, sound designer and educator. A keen collaborator, Kaija has also explored live video mixing in a number of performance contexts including dance, theatre, and music and is always interested in exploring varied forms of storytelling. In May 2018, she completed her MFA in Integrated Media Arts at Hunter College (CUNY) and I’m now based in Hamilton, ON.
Chloe Smolarski, In and Out of the Academy Panel, is an interdisciplinary artist, media maker, and educator whose practice finds itself at the confluence of education research, oral history and creative nonfiction. Smolarski teaches at Pratt Institute, and is the project and collections manager at the CUNY Digital History Archive at the Graduate Center, City College of New York.
Sam Soko, The Presence of African Expertise in the Global Industry Panel, is a documentary director and producer based in Nairobi, Kenya. With his captivating approach to socio-political storytelling, he has developed content and collaborated with firebrand artists worldwide. His first feature documentary project, Softie, premiered at the 2020 Sundance film festival, winning a special jury prize for editing. He is an outspoken believer in freedom of expression and is involved in global conversations on making media matter now more than ever.
Ruth Somalo, 200km Talk Back, is a Spanish filmmaker, programmer and researcher based in New York. Her three independent feature docs and several short films have been shown in theaters, festivals and museums internationally; among them the Verdi Cinemas, Zumzeig Cinema, Anthology Film Archives, Cineteca de Madrid/Contemporary Art Center Matadero, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Cinema du Réel, L’Alternativa (CCCB Barcelona), Rural Life Museum, Documentamadrid, MOMA PS1 (Expo1) and at the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam, amongst others. She works as a Features Programmer at DOC NYC and has been a part of the programming team since 2010. She is a programming advisor at The Architecture and Design Film Festival, and was co-director of Impugning Impunity Human Rights Film Festival and a programmer for DocumentaMadrid for several years. As an independent curator she has presented radical non fiction programs like “The Limit of our gaze”, “Holy Fluids and Absent Wounds”, “Queer Utopias”; and Flaherty NYC 2017’s Winter/Spring Series “Broken Senses” at Anthology Film archives.
Kristal Sotomayor, Active Subjects Panel, is a bilingual Latinx documentary filmmaker, festival programmer, and freelance journalist based in Philadelphia. Currently, they are in post-production on Expanding Sanctuary, an independent short documentary about the historic end to police surveillance organized by nonprofit Juntos and the Latinx immigrant community in South Philadelphia. Kristal is a 2020 IF/Then North Shorts Resident and Grantee, 2020 DCTV Docu Work-In-Progress Lab, 2020 Justice For My Sister Sci-Fi Screenwriting Lab Fellow, 2019 Good Pitch Local: Philadelphia grantee, 2018 Leeway Foundation Art & Change grantee, and 2017 NeXtDoc Fellow. They serve as the Programming Director of the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival and are a Co-Founder of ¡Presente! Media. Formerly, Kristal was the Communications and Outreach Coordinator at Scribe Video Center. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ksotomayor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristalasotomayor/ Instagram: @kristalsotomayor Twitter: @kristalsotomayr
Courtney Surmanek (they/them/”C”), Co-Creation for Engagement Panel, is an Ashkenazi Jewish artist, educator, worldbuilder, and New Yawker. C’s work spans theater-making, cultural organizing, oral history, healing arts, and creative ritual. The participatory art projects they create are rooted in radical imagination, storytelling, and community care. C is an M.F.A/M.S. Candidate in Theatre: Directing & Public Dialogue and Urban Planning at Virginia Tech; co-founder of Streaks of Lavender, a queer artist collective building ourstory; and collaborating artist with Ping Chong + Company and The Clinic Performance. They’re a former SU-CASA Artists-in-Residence and Resident Artist with ProjectArt; Fellow at The Performance Project at University Settlement and EmergeNYC Fellow at the Hemispheric Institute; and alum of The Art & Law Program and the C4AA’s Art Action Academy.
Drew Swedberg, Active Subjects Panel, Drew Swedberg is a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, educator, and basketball coach. Through a collaborative process and poetic approach, his filmmaking orbits around the everyday dreams, relationships, and forces that shape his home in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. As an artist-in-residence and teaching artist, he produces youth films through his workshops across the Lehigh Valley. He is the founder of Collaborative Media Expressions, a digital storytelling initiative focused on engaging, supporting, and cultivating emerging artists in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He currently teaches an array of media and film classes, including middle school after-school workshops with PBS39 and Casa Guadalupe, high school programs with Community Bike Works, and college courses with LVAIC Documentary Storymaking. Drew is a visiting professor in Lafayette College’s Film and Media Studies Program and is moving through his feature directorial debut with co-director Shalon Buskirk. www.inloveinmemory.com
Tasneem Taghoj, Only the Ocean Between Us Talk Back, is an animated documentary filmmaker and educator. Previously working as an Assistant Professor for Design and Digital Media at the Applied Science Private University in Amman. Assisted in curating the new major Design and Digital Media at the university. She began a community-based arts education project in Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan in 2014 with young Syrian refugees and co-founded Another Kind of Girl Collective (AKGC) where she is also a producer and editor. She is currently teaching and facilitating multi-media projects with AKGC in their cross-border collaborations in New Orleans, LA.
Gabriel Torres, Co-Creation for Engagement Panel, is a multidisciplinary artist from Colombia and New York. Current Projects: “Haus of Dust” – Loisaida Inc, The Laundromat Project, ”Mañanaland” The Tank NYC – Ass. Dir and Community Coordinator Recent Projects: “Distant Bodies” – 2020 – The LGBT Center & Cyber Tank – NYC . “Still – Performance for Inner Peace” 2019 – Chashama – NYC Film Directing & Documentary: “OSS #DK Testimony Series”, Documentary Series, 2020, Distant Bodies, The LGBT Center & The Tank NYC, 2020. Blue Clouds, 2020. In The Darkness We May Find Each Other, 2019. All Girls Got a Dream, 2018. It’s A Match, 2018. Residencies: Create Change, Laundromat Project, 2021; AIR, Loisaida INC, 2020. Fellowships: MDOCS, Skidmore College, 2021, EMERGENYC, Hemisphere Institute, 2020. Teaching Artist: Arts Connections 2021, Cue Drama, Hong Kong, 2018 Jamaica Center for The Arts – 2018. Education: MA in Media Studies, The New School, BA in Media Studies, The New School. Taller Profesional de Artistas, Creative Capital. The Neighborhood Playhouse Theater. Riggio’s Honors Democracy Writing.
Claudia Zamora Valencia, Collective Making: Processes and Actions Panel, makes visual work that investigates inequality, consumption, and labor. Trained as a cultural anthropologist and filmmaker, she uses methods and techniques from both fields to explore how social processes, power structures, and the act of documentation intertwine in daily life. She is an educator and organizer that works with immigrant workers, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology. Her research has been published in academic journals, and her personal and collaborative films have screened at Ambulante Film Festival, American Anthropologist Association (AAA), Camden International Film Festival, DOC NYC, Latin American Studies Association Film Festival (LASA), Original Thinkers, Other Cinema, Single Frame, UnionDocs, and Workers Unite Film Festival. Claudia is a member of Meerkat Media Collective. She was born and raised in Oaxaca, Mex, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Jiayu Yang, Co-creating in China’s Countryside Panel, is a nonfiction filmmaker based in China. Born and raised in Guilin, China, she is a member of the Miao ethnic minority group. Driven by her cross-cultural experience, her work ponders subjective methods of cultural representation, taking a personal and poetic approach to telling stories from rural China that are unknown in most of the world. She celebrates universal sensitivity and finds “spectacle” in the mundane, while challenging the stereotypical notions about both cultures and people. Jiayu earned her MFA in Documentary Media at Northwestern University. Her film, I Dream of Vietnam, is part of the Chicagoland Shorts Vol. 6 touring program and won the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival. Her work-in-progress, A User’s Manual for Worms, is a visual representation of her father’s vision of reconnecting human and nature through insects.
Patricia R. Zimmermann, We Tell Talk Back, is co-programmer of the national touring exhibition We Tell: Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media. Her most recent books include Flash Flaherty: Tales from a Film Seminar (2021); Documentary Across Platforms: Reverse Engineering Media, Place, and Politics (2019); Open Space New Media Documentary: A Toolkit for Theory and Practice (2018); The Flaherty: Decades in the Cause of Independent Cinema (2017); and Thinking Through Digital Media: Transnational Environments and Locative Places (2015). She is Professor of Screen Studies and Co-Director of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival at Ithaca College.