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Jeny Amaya (she/her) is a Los Angeles based artist and filmmaker. Her film and video work focuses on notions of family, memory, migration, and Central American histories. Jeny’s research interests include autobiographical, experimental, and hybrid documentary film practices, personal and community archives, Third Cinema, and practices that emerge from unsanctioned spaces. Jeny was a recipient of The Princess Grace Foundation’s Cary Grant Film Honor in 2016. She has a B.A. in Latin American and Latino Studies and a B.A. in Film, TV, and Digital Media Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. As an arts administrator, she has facilitated and produced cultural asset maps in Los Angeles County, which have led to community-led art exhibitions and cultural programs. Through filmmaking, education, writing, and curating, Jeny wants to deconstruct neoliberal mirages and create alternatives that promote personal, collective, and liberatory perspectives. In 2021, Jeny was a student of No Evil Eye’s inaugural Film Futura program.

Joshua Coverdale is an interdisciplinary artist and documentarian filmmaker from New York. He recently graduated with a BFA in film from the Rhode Island School of Design. His passion stems from the stories his grandfather would tell as a black man growing up during the time of segregation in Alabama. Joshua now explores the disparities of the Black experience through his docuseries called In conversation w/ five black artists, in which he aims to create change through his storytelling. An actor/filmmaker that inspires him is Sidney Poiter.

Obed Lamy is a journalist and documentary filmmaker from Haiti. As a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship in 2019, he completed a Master’s degree in journalism at the University of Arkansas. There, he was introduced to documentary filmmaking as an artistic medium, but storytelling has long been part of his life, with her mother, who used to recount stories of her childhood growing up motherless. That’s what shape Obed’s capacity for empathy and attunement to emotions in other people. His work spotlights marginalized communities and seeks to uncover beauty in chaotic places and dignity in broken lives – the end goal is to give power back to them and inspire change. As a student, Obed made two short documentaries that screened at dozens of U.S and Canadian festivals and won several awards, including an Emmy Mid-America Student Production Awards and the Best Emerging Filmmaker at the Fayetteville Film Festival. Obed believes filmmaking is a collaborative process and hopes to find his tribe of passionate storytellers and explore new cinematographic aesthetic approaches at Northwestern University.

Dalissa Montes de Oca is a filmmaker and cinematographer from the Dominican Republic. She graduated from Chavon The School of Design in Photography and Film Studies. Her work engages with the Dominican social and political context and its dualities with the periferia, in a space between nonfiction, ethnography, and collective memory. Through a sensorial approach to moving images, her works aim to investigate subjectivity in cinema and engage with the core of storytelling. In her last short film, Pacaman, she explored both cinema verité and experimental approaches for painting a striking portrait of Santo Domingo. Through this film, she explores the representational possibilities of a habitat by using digital, analog, and hybrid formats. Pacaman premiered at Doc Buenos Aires (2021) and took first prize in FICUNAM Competencia Aciertos (2022). The film had its US premiere at Metrograph NYC, along with the series Unraveling Paradise, curated by Dessane Lopez Cassell. In addition to her filmmaking career, she works as a cinematographer and camera assistant. She pursues her studies at Northwestern to connect with colleagues and to nurture her film studies alongside other fields that coexist on campus, such as Anthropology, Ethnography, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Erik Nuding is a filmmaker raised between London, England and a remote farm in Co. Sligo, Ireland. His work draws attention to the interdependence of life across different species and seeks to break down human-nature, subject-object dualism.  His most recent film, An Ornithologist’s Daughter (2021) had its World Premiere at Visions Du Réel and its Irish Premiere at Docs Ireland. Erik’s current work-in-progress explores the risk of disease spillover from bats to humans in the degraded forests of Madagascar, Africa. Aside from being an intermediate Spanish speaker, Erik is learning Malagasy and hopes to learn French at NU. At NU, Erik is thrilled to be a part of the wider research university where he can nourish his intellectual interest – the intersection of ecology, perennial philosophy and ethnography – that informs his creative practice. Erik received his BA from UC Berkeley with an interdisciplinary degree in Film, Anthropology and English Literature, writing a  research thesis on the slow cinema of Béla Tarr. Water is a recurring fascination in his work and life; as an avid open water swimmer he looks forward to acquainting himself with the cool waters of Lake Michigan!

Johnaé Strong is a commitment to healing Black girls, starting with herself. She is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and has been an active member of Chicago for the past 14 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Human Rights and a Masters in Education from the University of Chicago. An independent filmmaker, writer, and artist; Johnaé began her career as a K-12 teacher in Chicago Public Schools while at the same time organizing around racial justice as a founding member and leader of BYP100.  Johnaé is interested in developing stories of Black women and girls centered on love, healing, community, and magic. Her favorite films including Daughters of the Dust and Moonlight are her north star to create films sophisticated enough to hold both the deeply traumatic and deeply beautiful parts of human life. Johnaé has two amazing children, Akeim and Jari, who are way cooler than she is!

Lulu Tian is a filmmaker from Winchester, MA, a suburb of Boston, and recently got her bachelors from MIT in cognitive science and computer science. Her interest in documentary filmmaking is tied to her interest in communication and mental health– through volunteering for Samaritans and conducting clinical research at McLean Hospital, she learned how to navigate uncomfortable conversations. Lulu also has a large interest in immigrants and migrant populations, as a first-gen Chinese American. At MIT, Lulu founded a program for MIT students to provide individualized tutoring to immigrants in English and to practice for the US citizenship exam. As for filmmaking, Lulu has worked with various communities, such as a design center for refugees in Athens, Greece, an elderly center in Boston’s Chinatown, and her own home during the pandemic. Most recently, she has been working with the New Bedford Art Museum in MA to document their community art programs, and has enjoyed especially how the staff and kids goof off in front of the camera. She also is working with the MIT Asian American Initiative to share interviews with students reflecting on their cultures in the context of dating and romance. In her free time, she loves to run (soon along the lake!), listen to podcasts, and scroll through restaurants on Yelp. At NU, Lulu hopes to continue to use documentary film as a way to talk to and understand people and diversify her range of artistic practice.

Shawn Antoine II is a filmmaker hailing from Harlem, NY, with an innate passion for storytelling. As a child, he began editing videos of his youth football games, demonstrating his early talent for the craft. After playing football and studying public relations at the University of Rhode Island, Shawn produced and directed his first short documentary, The Movement, which affirmed his calling in filmmaking. He is committed to creating content that informs and inspires audiences, and has since directed and produced several short films. His film Showtime received notable acclaim and was selected for 58 film festivals, including a Best New Director award from the Hip Hop Film Festival.

Shawn’s career extends beyond the film industry. In 2020, he was appointed Director of Admissions at Cardinal Hayes High School, his alma mater, making him one of the youngest directors of admissions in the country. Currently, he works as an assistant to Bill Carraro, a producer, on the highly anticipated HBO series The Penguin. As he begins his studies at NU, Shawn looks forward to collaborating with his peers and the greater Chicago community to produce inspiring stories.

Blair Barnes is a creative from South Central Los Angeles. He was formerly ¼ of the Staff Picks team at Vimeo, where he served as Curator. Prior to Vimeo, he contributed to the production and creative teams at Wieden+Kennedy and VIRTUE, the creative agency by VICE. He’s currently working on SHADOW BAN, an experimental verité regarding occupied Palestine, censorship, and the fidelity to capitalism in relation to the subject.


Seunghee Chang is a filmmaker and photographer from Seoul, South Korea. He recently graduated with a B.A. in film and English literature from Northwestern University. His work examines stories of grief, faith, and obsession, and his films have been screened in festivals worldwide. An admirer of rivers and bridges, his latest film “The Beauty of Other Things” examines the Han river in Korea as a site of mourning through the perspective of a suicide survivor. At Northwestern, Seunghee aspires to create ethnographic films about those who deserve sympathy in our world. Seunghee is the 2019 recipient of the Kwanjeong Scholarship and the 2022 Burton and Karol Lefkowitz prize. He is also a violinist and an avid lover of Bach’s music.

Gríma Irmudóttir is a creative documentary director and producer from Iceland. She holds a BA from the University of Arts in London, where she wrote her thesis on the personal connection that individuals have with nature in Iceland and the various representations of grief and melancholia associated with the loss of natural phenomena to climate change and hydropower plants. For the past three years, Gríma has been working on various aspects of production for documentary features and series in Iceland. In November 2022, she premiered a series for Icelandic TV about home and belonging. Currently, Gríma is in post-production of two documentary features that she produced in collaboration with US directors. Gríma firmly believes in showing personal and intimate aspects of the issues she engages with. At Northwestern, she will be building a portfolio of work that aims to convey how individuals make sense of their world through reflections, identity-making, and contestation. Gríma looks forward to exploring diverse storytelling possibilities, adopting an approach that crosses and bridges various disciplines and methods.  

Blake Knecht is a filmmaker and photographer from Las Vegas, NV, specializing in analog and experimental processes. She recently graduated with a B.A. in Media Arts Studies and a minor in Environmental Science from Brigham Young University. Blake’s work notably engages with the female experience; her latest film as a cinematographer, “Our Mother,” is a nonfiction short regarding women’s relationships with the divine feminine, and has showcased at several international festivals. Her current project explores ethnographic and experimental techniques, using physiological data and documentary conventions to follow female Hmong shamans in the northeastern corner of Thailand. During her time at Northwestern, Blake seeks to use filmmaking to explore the intersection between climate change, environmental justice and women’s reproductive health.

Xiaolu Wang (b. 1991, Yinchuan) documents, curates, translates, maps interiority, mixes video, poetry, memory, and translations through a decolonial lens. They seek, feel, get lost, and fly kites. Suspended in between places and metaphorical landscapes, they search for a way of being that embodies vagueness and precision simultaneously.