2023 Filmmakers


Film: Wild Honey

Farhad Akhmetov is an interdisciplinary digital media artist who works primarily in film, video, design, and interactive media. Akhmetov and Porter have been collaborating since 2012 and formed Fifth Corner Collective in 2018. They have exhibited work nationally and internationally, and have been the recipients of the Fulbright Documentary Fellowship, the MFJC Fellowship, the Bruce Gellar Memorial WORD Artist Prize, and the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant. ‘Wild Honey’ is their feature film debut.


Film: Maasai Remix

The award-winning team of filmmaker Ron Mulvihill and anthropologist Kelly Askew has produced several films on Tanzania, exploring topics from Zanzibari orchestral music to contemporary Maasai lifeways: Poetry in Motion: 100 Years of Zanzibar’s Nadi Ikhwan Safaa (Buda Musique, 2012); and Orkiteng Loorbaak: Rite of Elders (2017). Kelly Askew, an anthropologist with over 30 years of experience in Tanzania and Kenya, has worked on several documentary films, including The Chairman and the Lions (Documentary Educational Resources, 2012), and a Hollywood feature, The Ghost and the Darkness (Paramount Pictures, 1996).


Film: Love in the Time of Fentanyl

Colin Askey is a filmmaker who has spent the last decade documenting the transformative impact of humane policy on the lives of people who use drugs. Recent work includes HAVEN (2019), an award-winning short documentary about North America’s first prescription heroin therapy program in Vancouver.


Film: Molecular Chirality: A Scientific Documentary

Dr. Robert P Cameron MInstP is a Royal Society University Research Fellow working at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. As part of his public outreach activities he enjoys making short scientific documentaries aimed at a general audience.


Film: Front Line

Gino Canella is a documentary filmmaker and assistant professor of journalism at Emerson College. His research focuses on media activism, documentary, and labor. He produces films in partnership with grassroots organizers and researches how movements use media to reframe justice and foster networks of support. His book Activist Media: Documenting Movements and Networked Solidarity was published in 2022 by Rutgers University Press.


Film: Building Bridges: Bill Youren’s Vision of Peace

Chrisstoffels is a Senior Lecturer above the bar at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts and has recently completed a DocFA at Elam (Auckland School of Fine Arts) researching contemporary issues around film and transient architecture. He has over 35 years experience in the New Zealand Film industry and been involved with a number of critically acclaimed Short Films, Documentaries, Music Videos and Art Works. Chrisstoffels is especially known for his cinematography, most recently in the award-winning New Zealand thriller Human Traces (2017)for which he receiveda New Zealand Cinematographers Society award. 


Film: Down River

My work in film making began as a film editor. Then through dogged persistence I was contacted by Swedish film director Torgny Anderberg and hired as his cameraman..that was in 1972. Torgny and I worked almost exclusively together for 30 years. During that time we traveled the world documenting jungle tribes and war torn people.


Films: Student Hunger: A Silent Crisis & Home: A Himalayan Portrait

Jane Dyson is a human geographer and ethnographer who began working in the village in the Indian Himalayas in 2003. Jane has written academic books and articles, produced radio documentaries and directed two prior award-winning films about the village. She teaches at the University of Melbourne, Australia.


Film: Letters to prison: windows inside walls

Photography Director and co-scriptwriter for the short documentary “De Función” Awarded as 2nd Best National Documentary at the 4th annual DOCUMENTA Festival of Madrid. He directed the documentary “Casa da Bôxa”, which portrays the creative process of singer Magda Mendes for her album “Casa da Bôxa”. And the documentary “Agua Carioca Diarios”, a short documentary describing the problem of water in Rio de Janeiro. The outcome of his last journey to Cuba is “La Revolú”, a short video on the cuban’s perception on the Cuban Revolution nowadays.


Film: Calle K

Titus Fossgard-Moser is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Oslo, Norway. He has lived and traveled extensively internationally and is passionate about the use of films to document issues related to change and social transformation. Calle K is his second full length documentary. The first, Ignacio’s Legacy, explored the changes within a Colombian indigenous group and their integration into modern society


Film: Trees die standing tall/Los árboles mueren de pie

Fany Fulchiron holds a master’s degree in economics. Passionate about Latin American languages and cultures, she lived in Mexico City for three years where she continued her career in audiovisual distribution. She is co-directing her first film Trees die standing tall (2021).


Film: People Like Us

Tina Gharavi is a filmmaker whose work focuses on ‘untold stories, unheard voices’ and storytelling from the margins. She initially trained as a painter and studied cinema in France. She is noted for innovative cross-platform work. She has made endearing, inimitably voiced films from unique perspectives on subjects as diverse as Muhammad Ali, teenage sexuality, Yemeni-British sailors, The Lackawanna 6, death row exonerees, refugees and lighthouses. She completed her debut feature, I Am Nasrine, a coming of age story of teenage Iranian refugees in England that was nominated for a BAFTA in 2013.


Film: Equestrian Mid-South

David lives in Memphis, Tennessee and works as an assistant professor at The University of Memphis. In recent years, David has primarily worked in documentary production with a focus on communities driven by shared passions and beliefs.


Film: Ruffed Grouse

Tracy Graziano is one of two filmmakers at the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Previous to working with the PGC, Tracy owned Moonfire Film Productions in Erie, PA for over ten years. Tracy produced science, wildlife and natural history documentary films and also operated the Big Green Screen large format theatre at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. Tracy holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University. She was the first woman to graduate from this intensive 60-credit program. She also holds dual degrees from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in Environmental Science-Biology and Applied Media Arts-Cinematography.


Film: The Terrible

Director Jack Guler grew up in Turkey and at the age of 19 attended journalism school. Jack directed the short documentary film ”The Orient Express” for the final graduation project. Jack returned to Istanbul, to work as a 2nd AD on the studios’ several feature films and produced the documentary “100th Year of Turkish Cinema”. In 2016, Jack was forced to migrate to Canada, where he founded Silvermoon Pictures and produced and directed the 50-minute documentary “Terrible,” which tells the story of champion wrestler Youssouf Ismail who migrated to America from the Ottoman Empire in 1898. Jack also graduated from the UX design program from Humber College. Currently, he is working on a documentary film about climate change with Adrian Harewood, the host of CBC Ottawa.


Film: Journey to Our Homeland

Growing up in a family of filmmakers, I have been on film sets my whole life. I am a professional music producer, composer, and filmmaker. I am a bilingual (English, French) artist who creates music and film with a focus on documentary, sound design and composition.


Film: Home: A Himalayan Portrait

Ross Harrison is a filmmaker whose work includes events coverage, documentaries and campaign films. He travels for projects and has worked in Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tanzania on subjects from rainforest conservation to education inequality, tribal land rights to urban community gardening.


Film: The Last Refuge: Food Stories from Myanmar to Coffs Harbour

Mandy Hughes is senior lecturer in sociology at Southern Cross University in regional Australia. She makes films in collaboration with refugee communities to share lived experiences of settlement challenges and triumphs. Prior to working in academia, Mandy worked in public broadcasting and community development. Mandy’s films have been selected in international ethnographic and community film festivals in France, Germany, Czech Republic, Mexico, Finland, Australia and Canada. 


Film: Trees die standing tall/Los árboles mueren de pie

Ronan Kerneur teaches social science. He directed and edited his first two feature documentaries which explore the themes of alternative political systems. After The Cecosesola Experience (2014) shot in Venezuela, he presents his new film Trees die standing tall (2021) made within a Purepecha community in Mexico.


Film: Ruffed Grouse

Hal S. Korber has been a staff photographer, filmmaker, photo and video editor for the past 29 years for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. He is part of a two person unit that covers statewide photo and video assignments on many of the 478 birds and mammal species as well as covering habitat improvement projects and wildlife law enforcement. Prior to working for the commission, Hal worked for The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for seven years as a land manager, photographer and wildlife educator. He also worked on projects for The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and on photo and video projects for Powdermill Nature Preserve with Dr. Joseph Merritt to create for his book entitled Mammals of Pennsylvania. Hals still images and videos have been used worldwide in television programs and publications.


Film: Perfect Strangers

Jan Krawitz is Professor Emerita at Stanford where she taught documentary film. Her documentaries have screened at Sundance, New York Film Festival, Visions du Réel, Edinburgh, AFI Docs, Full Frame, and SXSW. Big Enough reveals the emotional and physical challenges faced by dwarfs as they navigate an average-sized world. Her films, Mirror Mirror, In Harm’s Way and Drive-in Blues were broadcast on the national PBS series, P.O.V. and Independent Lens. Styx is in the permanent collection of MOMA. She is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. In 2022, Jan was a Fulbright Scholar in Austria.


Film: On my own two feet: destination 3000m

Olivier Lambert is a French journalist, filmmaker and producer as the co-founder of the creative narrative lab Lumento. Interested in what is unseen, untold or unexpected, Olivier has been elaborating new ways of writing, producing and distributing stories since July 2009. With his linear and non-linear documentaries – Brèves de trottoirs ; La Nuit oubliée – 17 octobre 1961 ; Chasing Bonnie & Clyde ; Grinding the country ; Générations guerre d’Algérie ; On my own two feet – he explores the human soul and questions the so-called marginal populations. In 2012, he co-founded the production company Lumento to produce his own projects and accompany young authors: Le Mystère de Grimouville ; Derwisha ; Insignificant.

Sandrine LONCKE

Film: What if Babel was just a Myth?

Sandrine Loncke is a French ethnomusicologist and filmmaker (Paris 8 University and Centre for Research in Ethnomusicology, LESC-CNRS). She favours working in immersion within small voiceless societies to explore with her camera the question of cultural difference and the way we look at the Others. She is the author of several books on West African societies (Burkina Faso and Niger) and of the award-winning feature documentary “Dance with the Wodaabes” (Nanook-Jean Rouch Grand Prize, Researcher Film Festival Award, France 2010). Since 2012, she has been participating in a multidisciplinary research project documenting languages and musical practices in small societies of southern-Chad. This research field inspired the subject of her second film “What if Babel was just a Myth ?“, released in 2019 during the International Year of Indigenous Languages declared by the UN.


Film: Rebel Angel

Chris Lowry is an award-winning film maker. He has worked in international development and environmental non-profits. He co-founded Green Enterprise Toronto (2005-2009), Street Kids International (1988-1998), Razorback Press (1983-86), The Brewers Plate (2008-13), and The Journal of Wild Culture (Ecology and Imagination). He also sings with a band, doing fresh interpretations of the work of great songwriters. The production of Rebel Angel marks Lowry’s return to filmmaking, his first love.


Film: Manatee Rescue: The Last Stand of a Florida Treasure

Shannon Malone-deBenedictis is a creative storyteller and a leading figure in film development and production spanning several genres, from nonfiction to lifestyle. With an extensive career as an editor, producer, and in-house development executive, she excels in taking a “10,000 foot” approach to a project — with a passion for problem-solving. Malone-deBenedictis built her career in non-fiction film production at companies such as Red Rock Films, Wag TV, National Geographic, and Discovery Communications, with notable films such as Discovery Atlas and Planet Earth. Her current projects include Secrets of the Whales on Disney+ and Penguin Town on Netflix.


Film: The Land Beneath Our Feet

Gregg Mitman is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and teacher, whose interests span the history of science, medicine, and the environment in the United States and the world and include a commitment to environmental and social justice.  Over the last decade, Mitman has focused on a multimedia project—films, a book, and public history website—exploring the history and legacy of the Firestone Plantations Company in Liberia. He coproduced and codirected In the Shadow of Ebola, an intimate portrait of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, and The Land Beneath Our Feet, a documentary on history, memory, and land rights in Liberia.


Film: Maasai Remix

The award-winning team of filmmaker Ron Mulvihill and anthropologist Kelly Askew has produced several films on Tanzania, exploring topics from Zanzibari orchestral music to contemporary Maasai lifeways: Poetry in Motion: 100 Years of Zanzibar’s Nadi Ikhwan Safaa (Buda Musique, 2012); and Orkiteng Loorbaak: Rite of Elders (2017). Ron Mulvihill’s feature film Maangamizi: The Ancient One won the 2004 Paul Robeson Award for Best Feature Film and was Tanzania’s official selection at the 74th Academy Awards. His film The Marriage of Mariamu won Best Short Film, the OAU Award, and the Journalists and Critics Award at FESPACO, Africa’s leading film festival (1985).


Film: Keelepäästja (To Save a Language/Sauver une langue)

Liivo Niglas (1970) is an Estonian documentary filmmaker and anthropologist. He runs an independent production company, MP DOC, for anthropological documentary films. He studied documentary film making at Ateliers Varan, Paris, France. He has made films in Siberia, Africa, Central Asia and North America. Selected films: The Brigade (2000), Yuri Vella’s World (2003), Adventure High (2004), Making Rain (2007), Itelmen Stories (2010), Journey to the Maggot Feeder (2015), The Land of Love (2016).


Film: Awakening – as told by Roman Toi

Genie award-winning filmmaker, writer, educator, new media and theatre artist, Kalli Paakspuu began a film career after studying film at the University of British Columbia. Her graduate studies at the University of Toronto led to a Master of Arts thesis, “Direct Cinema and the Documentary Narrative”, and a doctoral dissertation on Indigenous uses of colonial photography in international relations. Her award winning hour long documentary, “When East Meets East” is distributed by Films for the Humanities and Sciences and is in over 300 collections worldwide.

Anjali PATIL

Film: Neither a Girl Nor a Woman

Anjali started her acting career in films in 2011, in which most of her films have been screened at the various National and International film festivals. She is known for choosing the projects which have strong female centric roles and stories which are socially relevant. Fascinated with life in its subtlest forms, she wishes to explore marginal ways of living, seeing and sensing through her writing and direction. She has completed her Post Graduation in Design and Direction, from National School of Drama, after her Graduation in Dramatics from Pune University.


Film: Wrought

Joel Penner is a National Geographic-featured filmmaker and photography teacher who uses timelapses of plants and fungi growing and decaying to inspire people to see the beauty of everyday life. His next project after Wrought will be an art/science film on insects. He will soon start doing research work for it with grants he has received from Canada Council for the Arts and Manitoba Arts Council. He has had showings of his work at presentations and film festivals in North America and Europe.


Film: Wild Honey

Ava Porter is a multi-disciplinary filmmaker, photographer, and installation artist. Akhmetov and Porter have been collaborating since 2012 and formed Fifth Corner Collective in 2018. They have exhibited work nationally and internationally, and have been the recipients of the Fulbright Documentary Fellowship, the MFJC Fellowship, the Bruce Gellar Memorial WORD Artist Prize, and the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Grant. ‘Wild Honey’ is their feature film debut.


Film: Ethnic Kitchen

Aiste Ptakauske is an award-winning content creator and educator who successfully works across media and continents. She authored a collection of short stories and two best-selling novels for young adults, made two documentaries, produced two series of podcasts, and worked on almost 300 episodes of TV and web series in the capacity of a screenwriter, supervising producer, head writer or creator. For her web series Little Incidents, she received the Best Creator award at Seoul Webfest 2019. Since 2022, she is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


Film: Letters to prison: windows inside walls

Director and screenwriter of creative documentaries and journalistic reports. Among them “Montserrat Roig: The violet hour”, a documentary for Spanish television. “The neighborhood must be defended”, released at the 22nd Exhibition of Women’s Films in Barcelona. And co-directed the documentary “The Morelian Children: the forgotten return.”

Wesley SHRUM

Film: Bayou Cirque

Wesley Shrum is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Video Ethnography Laboratory at Louisiana State University. His research on social networks and communication technology has taken him to Ghana, Kenya, and India every year since 1994. In the early 2000s his interest in movies began as a more accessible means of documentation for academic work. He established and directs of the Ethnografilm Festival in 2014, which takes place each April in Paris and is associate director of the Journal of Visual Ethnography.


Film: Wrought

Anna Sigrithur is a writer and artist whose work explores ecologies, language, olfaction and food/ fermentation/rot. She ran an experimental research supper club in Winnipeg from 2013-2015, exploring invasive species and feral foods. In 2015 she spent time as an intern of Noma’s Nordic Food Lab in Copenhagen where she produced a series of audio documentaries about a summer spent living in a nomadic reindeer herding community in Sámiland. From 2016-2018 she produced two seasons of Ox Tales, a food history podcast for the Oxford Food Symposium in England. Until recently she worked as coordinator Fireweed Food Hub, a nonprofit community food distribution project in Winnipeg. Anna is now based out of Montreal where she is pursuing an MA in Media Studies at Concordia University.


Film: The Eyes of My Love/Os Olhos do meu Amor

Born in 1983 in Campo Maior (Portugal), Rui Silveira is an artist and filmmaker based in Montréal (Canada). He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon, at Maumaus – School of Visual Arts (Lisbon) and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Quebec in Montreal. His work is concerned with the poetic outcomes of either observational or participatory documentary practices. He is interested in the exchanges between communities and their environment and on how they influence the cultural representations that define those communities. His films have been presented in exhibitions and cinema festivals around the world.

Kimberly SMITH

Film: Severe Brain Injury Recovery; Shooting for the Stars

Kimberly Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, Toronto in 1981. He officially started making videos for people in 1997. All private commissions. His knowledge of dramatic art and his keen understanding of visual storytelling has helped a large number of people communicate beyond words.


Film: Jumping-Off Place

Svetlana Stasenko was born in Izhevsk, Russia. Graduated from Lomonosov Moscow State University as a journalist and Higher Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors (VKSR) as a film director. Works in both fiction and documentary films. Collaborated with companies such as “Rock”, “Good production”, “Risk”, “Tskaro”, “Forward”, “Gamma”, “RWS”, “Etnoland”, “Passenger” and others. Member of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia and Directors Guild of Russia, Member of the International Academy of Television and Radio, winner of Russian and International Film Festivals.


Film: La Oreja (The Ear)

Dr. Nelson Varas-Díaz is a professor of social-community psychology at Florida International University’s Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies. He directed the award winning documentaries “Collapse,” “Particular Friendships,” and “Songs of Injustice: Heavy Metal Music in Latin America.” Together, his films have garnered 89 sets of laurels in international film festivals


Film: Hands of Ours

Aida Vidan is a scholar and filmmaker born in Croatia and residing in Boston. Her areas of interest include South Slavic literatures and cultures and world film. She is the author/editor of several books and numerous articles which have appeared in American and European scholarly publications as well as four short films and a feature documentary. Currently she is a faculty member at Tufts University and Boston University.

Sarita WEST

Film: The Land Beneath Our Feet

Sarita West (Siegel) established Alchemy Films in San Francisco in 1994. Sarita worked on music videos, documentaries and fiction films before she wrote, directed and produced ‘The Disenchanted Forest’. This natural history documentary was licensed to National Geographic Channels, ARTE France and Discovery Canada. Sarita wrote, produced, directed and edited ‘Fire Burn Babylon’ (2010). ‘Exiles and Outlaws'(2014), ‘In The Shadow of Ebola’ (2015) for ITVS and PBS, and ‘The Land Beneath Our Feet’ (2017) for the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Sarita is in post- production on ‘Outspoken’, ‘Power As Pathology’ and a documentary about the waste commons in Dakar.


Film: What We’re Hungry For: How Food Pantries Fed Rural Wisconsin During the Pandemic

Jim Winship, MSW., Ph.D., is a social worker and social work educator whose work with individuals experiencing poverty spans more than four decades. He directed and produced his first documentary, “Difficult Dreams: Coming of Age in El Salvador,” while a Fulbright Scholar in that country. A digital story practitioner since 2009 (beechwoodtrue.com/blog), he has facilitated over 100 individuals in constructing their own personal digital stories.


Film: A More Radiant Sphere

Sara Wylie is a non-fiction filmmaker, producer and researcher currently residing on the unceded traditional territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations, also known as Vancouver, Canada. Her directing credits include “News from Home” (2021), “The Garden Collective” (2020), “A Radiant Sphere” (2019), and “Yu Su: Walking on Grass” (2018). Her films have screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival, DOXA Documentary Film Festival (Vancouver), RIDM Documentary Festival (Montreal), the Canadian Labour International Film Festival, and more. Sara graduated with distinction from X (formerly Ryerson) University’s Documentary Media MFA Program in 2019, and is the recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and SSHRC.