Skip to main content

Spring 2019

Coming April 11th, filmmaker Yance Ford and his film STRONG ISLAND will screen at Helmerich Auditorium.  Ford is he School of Communication’s 2019 Hoffman Visiting Artist for Documentary Media, funded by a generous gift from Jane Steiner Hoffman and Michael Hoffman.


On April 13th, MFA in Documentary Media welcomes back alumni Luther Clement (Class of 2017), Shuhan Fan (Class of 2016) and Nevo Shinaar (Class of 2017) for a screening of their film STAY CLOSE that premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.  Also taking part in an alumni panel is Iyabo Kwyana (Class of 2017) who will be screening her film PRACTICE that screened at the Vision du Reel Film Festival in Switzerland and Sebastian Pinzon Silva (Class of 2017) who will be screening his film PALENQUE that has screened at Locarno Film Festival.


Doc Media wrapped up a Winter quarter screening series at Block Cinema featuring the Academy Award nominated HALE COUNTY, THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING directed by Ramell Ross and the Academy Award short-listed documentary CRIME & PUNISHMENT directed by Stephen Maing.  Doc Media students had the opportunity to meet one on one with Stephen Maing getting feedback on their work and then were treated to a masterclass where Maing showed selected scenes from his own filmography.


In addition to New Docs at the Block, Doc Media also hosted filmmaker Heather Courtney and a screening of her documentary THE UNAFRAID.


In January, documentary director, producer, cinematographer Shengze Zhu (ANOTHER YEAR)) met with our MFA Doc students and showed clips from her films.  Zhu just won the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam – IFFR for her feature, PRESENT PERFECT.


Adjunct instructors Meredith Zielke and Yoni Goldstein began their Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities Documentary Artists-In-Residence with a wonderful talk about their new work-in-progress feature, A MACHINE TO LIVE IN.  This spring, the duo will be teaching Afterimages:  Lyrical Strategies For Hybrid Documentary. 


For the fifth consecutive year, the MFA in Documentary Media students traveled to Columbia, MO for the True False Film Festival.  T/F is one of the premiere documentary festivals in the country and includes a number of workshops and networking opportunities for our students.


We’re extremely excited to see that Sebastian Pinzon Silva (Class of 2017) and Milton Guillen (Class of 2020) have been announced as Diverse Voices in Documentary Fellows! Diverse Voices in Docs (DVID) is a mentorship and development program for documentary filmmakers of color, organized by Kartemquin Films and the Community Film Workshop of Chicago.…/announcing-the-2019-diverse-voices…


STAY CLOSE, a short documentary by Luther Clement (Class of 2017) and Shuhan Fan (Class of 2016) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.  The film, also produced by Nevo Shinaar (Class of 2017) and Ashley Brandon (Class of 2017), will be screening nationally part of PBS’s POV Documentary series and the film is scheduled to screen at Northwestern’s Day At Northwestern on Saturday, April 13th


The DOC CHICAGO Conference (March 8–9, 2019) , curated by Doc Media Associate Director Ines Sommer, brought filmmakers from the different corners of Chicago’s diverse documentary community together. From expert panels to a short docs program, community conversation, and networking, this free event offered an opportunity for local documentary filmmakers to learn, exchange ideas, and connect. A project of Percolator Films, presented in collaboration with Chicago Filmmakers.

CRAFTING AN ECHO, a documentary by Professor Marco Williams, will be screening at this year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC on April 6th.


Naeema Jamilah Torres (Class of 2019) participated in a panel, ‘The Art of Engagement: Creating Social Impact Through Film’ at Chicago Filmmakers.  Torres (Class of 2019) shared her experience working with Scrappers Film Group on the feature documentary, THE AREA.


Jessica Scott’s (Class of 2019) doc, SNEAKERS: IT’S COMPLICATED screened at Harper College as part of the Black History Month Short Film Festival.

Congratulations to director/producer Mina Fitzpatrick (Class of 2017) and co-producer Emily Strong for screening A LETTER FOR SANG-AH at DisOrient, the Asian American Film Festival of Oregon!


Heqiuzi Wang’s (Class of 2018) thesis film ROUGHLY DELICATED screened to a sold-out audience at the Slamdance Film Festival in Utah.  The film continued its festival run at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.



Jasmine Huff (Class of 2016) was featured in Northwestern University School of Communication‘s Dialogue Magazine’s Winter Issue in an article on “Design’s Next Stars”.

MINDING THE GAP, directed by recent Doc Media guest Bing Liu, was nominated for Best Documentary Academy Award.  The film was assistant edited by Carlos Cova (Class of 2016) and Sebastian Pinzon (Class of 2017).  This is the second consecutive year that an MFA in Documentary Media alum has worked on an Academy Award nominated feature, with Mina Fitzpatrick (Class of 2017) assistant editing on last year’s ABACUS:  SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL.