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Fall 2019 News

A big congratulations to Sebastian Pinzon Silva (class of 2017) and Milton Guillén B (class of 2020) for receiving funding for their new documentary projects from Kartemquin Films’ grants programs!…/announcing-the-diverse-voices-acce…

STAY CLOSE, a short film co-directed by Luther Clement (Class of 2017) and Shuhan Fan (Class of 2016), produced by Nevo Shinaar (Class of 2017) and co-produced by Ashley Brandon (Class of 2017)  played in NYC at the IFC Center in July with filmmakers in appearance at some screenings.  The screenings were a co-presentation by Tribeca Film Institute, POV shorts, and The New York Times Op-Docs.  In October, STAY CLOSE continued it’s festival run at the Chicago International Film Festival,  made its broadcast television premiere on PBS’s POV in October along with premiering online as part of the New York Times Op Doc Series.

The Block Museum screened two MFA in Documentary Media program alumni’s works as part of the Chicagoland Cinema Showcase: Hall of Fishes by Jennifer Boles (Class of 2019) and Palenque by Sebastián Pinzón Silva (Class of 2017).


Tremendous news for Pam Austin(Class of 2018). Her thesis film WHIMPER had its broadcast premiere on WTTW – Chicago PBS on Friday, September 13th, 10:30pm CST. The broadcast screening was part of Chicago International Film Festival Selects, in celebration of this year’s Chicago International Film Festival. Austin’s film screened at last year’s CIFF.


A well deserved Best Short Documentary win for Naeema Jamilah Torres’s (Class of 2019) REDACTED at the Columbus Black International Film Festival. Redacted also screened at Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival and Lecture Series.


Three documentary shorts by alumni screened at the 2019 New Orleans Film Festival. HALL OF FISHES by Jennifer Boles (Class of 2019), PRACTICE by Iyabo Kwayana (Class of 2017), and ROUGHLY DELICATE by Heqiuzi Wang (Class of 2018) all screened at this year’s festival.


Natasha Nair’s (Class of 2019) IN THE WAKE made its world premiere at the 2019 Camden International Film Festival in September. Cheers to Natasha and what promises to be a long, successful festival run for her film.


In August, Jessica Scott’s (Class of 2019) THE COLOR OF SKIN screened at the Hip Hop Film Festival NYC.  The short doc “explores and highlights the hatred, bigotry, discrimination and injustices against African-Americans committed by white men.”


Congrats to Resita Cox (Class of 2021) for winning a 2019 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund grant for her project, REGROWTH. This documentary short film follows the reopening of a once thriving catfish restaurant as a vehicle to examine the intertwining of food and resilience. It shows community members taking on rebuilding despite looming gentrification and five decades of disinvestment in a predominantly Black neighborhood on the West Side.


The Doc Media program was well represented at this summer’s UFVA conference in Minneapolis, with professors Kyle Henry and Danielle Beverly, and alumni Ashley Brandon and Jesseca Simmons, presenting works and participating in panel discussions.  Milton Guillen (Class of 2020) was named a 2018 Carol Fielding grantee for his thesis ON THE MOVE; alum Jesseca Ynez Simmons (Class of 2016) won the Short Doc Silver Award for 2016 thesis EMERALD ICE and Associate Professor Kyle Henry won the Feature Fiction Gold Award for his film ROGERS PARK at the annual conference.

Milton Guillen’s (Class of 2020) ON THE MOVE was also named to the Dok Leipzig Co-Pro Market to connect with financiers and network with filmmakers in the European market.  And Guillen was named a Programming Associate for the Camden International Film Festival

Elodie Edjang’s (Class of 2018) thesis film, BOOK OF DANIEL, screened at Black Harvest Film Festival at Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on Sunday, August 18 – 3PM.…


A big congrats to Heqiuzi Wang (class of 2018) for winning the Made in Chicago award at this year’s Chicago Underground Film Festival (CUFF) with her thesis documentary “Roughly Delicate”! CUFF is the longest running underground film festival in the world and is dedicated to the work of filmmakers who present defiantly independent visions.