MDOCS Storytellers' Institute

2021 Visiting Fellows

Heloiza Barbosa 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.

Brett Ashley Robinson is a Barrymore Award winning devisor, theatre maker and educator based in Philadelphia. She is the 2021 winner of the PEN America/ Jean Stein Oral History Grant for her original work Re-Enactment. She was also a semi-finalist for the Otto F. Haas award for Emerging Artist  and  a two time nominee  for the Golden Tassel Jawn, Philadelphia ’s Drag and Burlesque awards, for best comedy act as Patricia!  She was a collaborator and performer in Lightning Rod Specials The Appointment at New York Theatre Workshop, which was a New York Times Critics Pick and voted best play of 2019 in The New York Times, Vulture Magazine, Time Out New York, and New York Magazine. As an actor and devisor she has worked at, The Public,  Ars Nova Ant Fest, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Wilma, Lightning Rod Special, Pig Iron Theater Company, The Arden Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, The Flea Theatre, Theatre Horizon, and Geva Theatre. As Patrica! She has worked with 1812 Productions, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Lightning Rod Special, and Agitated! She teaches acting at the University of the Arts, she is a company member of Applied Mechanics and a member of the HotHouse–the Wilma Theater’s resident acting company. She loves buck a shuck oysters and Vino Verde

Kristal Sotomayor 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. Kristal’s journalistic background includes having written for ITVS, AL DÍA, WHYY, and Documentary Magazine. They are a recipient of the Sundance Institute Press Inclusion Initiative, TIFF Media Inclusion Initiative, the inaugural International Documentary Association (IDA) Magazine Editorial Fellowship, AARP Freelance Fellowship at NLGJA | The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and the Lenfest Next Generation Fund.

Gabriel Torres 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  Recent Theater Directing Credits: “LoverSpy by Anna O’connell”, PEA Fest, NYC, 2021, “Men on The Verge of a Hispanic Breakdown”, Teatro Audaz, Associate Director,  San Antonio, 2021, “Village Stories, KrisP Productions”, Hong Kong (Virtual), “Leo and his friends by Amalia Oliva Rojas”, Theater Accident, NYC (Virtual), “Caught in The Act by Anna Parisi”, Biennal Immigrant Artist Festival, NYC (Virtual).   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.   https://gabrielgtorres.com/

Working as a collaborative pair:

Liz Miller 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.

Helen De Michiel 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. From 1996-2010 she served as the National Director of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC), and as a Board Member and Jurist for The George F. Peabody Awards for Electronic Media from 2002-2007. She is deeply involved in co-creative and participatory media, including new combinatory storytelling practices, which she terms “open space” new media. She writes frequently about her own creative experiences, knowledge, and mastery of these processes and possibilities. Her feature documentary, the episodic Lunch Love Community(2015) is a pioneering new media project, which has circulated internationally around a variety of media platforms. 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.  She is completing a new documentary feature, Between the Sun and the Sidewalk. Her latest article, The Private Lives of Documentary was published in a 2020 dossier on co-creation in the UC Press Journal of the Arts, AFTERIMAGE.  

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