Meet the Past Fellows

  • Sara Barger

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 4:57 PM

    Sara has traveled the world making short films as a producer and editor, producing content for the U.S. State Department, USAID, Discovery Channel, and think tanks. Her work has taken her to Iraq, Congo, India, China, Tibet, El Salvador, and Honduras. She teaches filmmaking at Old Dominion University. Sara recently completed a short documentary The Southern Ladies about the struggles of being gay in Pittsburgh, and is currently in production on Madison, about a family that is battling their nine-year old daughter's brain cancer through medical cannabis treatment even though it is not legal in their state.

    Fellowship Project: Madison follows a family as they skirt the law and pay a stranger across the country $1,500/month to get the cannabis products needed to treat pain, seizures, and chemotherapy side effects of their nine-year-old daughter who is battling brain cancer. 

  • Renee Bullock

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 4:03 PM

    A former reporter whose work has appeared in the The New York Times, The New York Post and FOX News, in recent years, Renee has shifted her focus to documentary filmmaking, gaining hands on experience working with projects of Voice of America, Winter's Rock Entertainment, and Associated Producers. She is an alum of The Institute for Documentary Filmmaking, a program of The Documentary Center at George Washington University. While there, she co-produced Boys in the Boat, a short documentary which has won awards at film festivals across the country.

    Fellowship Project: Pipeline examines what happens in rural Buckingham County, Virginia as two unique groups come together to fight a natural gas pipeline planned for construction near their homes. It explores the interaction between an African-American Christian community that traces its roots to the slaves of a local plantation, and a spiritual temple complex founded and built in the 1980s by an Indian spiritual master. Wariness gives way to friendship as the two groups align to stop the pipeline. 

  • Robert Chapman-Smith

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 3:05 PM

    Robert is a director and producer who works for Freethink, a media company specializing in short-form documentary storytelling with a focus on making content for young people wanting to make a difference in the world. Robert has helped produce seven original documentaries and series for Freethink including Superhuman, Coded, Challengers, Crossing The Divide, DIY ScienceOn The Fringe, and most recently Holding Police Accountable. He also directed a short documentary about the accidental entrepreneurs of Don’t Flop (DFAFD), formerly the largest battle rap league in the UK.

    Fellowship Project: American Sundown is a feature length documentary that examines race relations through the lived experiences of the people, who in the face of insurmountable odds and wanton violence, strived to make real the seemingly impossible dream that is racial progress in America. Using the director's own family history as a springboard, American Sundown will cover American history from the end of Reconstruction through present day. 

  • Andrea Conte

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 1:09 PM

    Andrea is a writer and non-fiction filmmaker whose work illustrates intersections between politics, violence, and justice. His work has been broadcast on CBC Television, CBC Radio, and TV Ontario. He co-wrote and edited Rubber Stamped, a documentary short that examines the international extradition case of Hassan Diab, and the writer/director of The Echoes of Chloe Cooley, an award-winning short documenting the resistance of one woman that resulted in the first anti-slavery law in the British Empire. Andrea has been a fellow of the Union Docs Documentary Lab, the Hot Docs Accelerator Program, the RIDM Talent Lab, and the Next-Up Leadership Program for Social Justice.

    Fellowship Project: The Places You Won't Find Parole. To ensure the filmmaker continues to have access while in production, the synopsis is not currently being made public. The film is also an alum of the Docs In Progress Peer Pitch and Double Exposure Pitch.

  • Kris Higgins

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 11:30 AM

    Kris comes to filmmaking with a background in managing non-profit organizations that focused on children, education, and creative expression. In his current position as Director of Operations & Production for the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, he oversees the financial and logistical operations of PBS FRONTLINE documentaries.

    Fellowship Project: FOOTNOTES: A Sockumentary is an educational, non-fiction web series that takes a ridiculous look at history from an unlikely perspective – socks. Each episode explores one historical figure or event, and is told from the point-of-view of history’s lost socks (as played by sock puppets). Though the sock characters are fictional, the information they present is historically accurate and based on school curriculum. The goal is to encourage young minds to consider the world from new perspectives. The project has been supported in party by the Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship from the Television Academy Foundation.

  • Linnan Lin

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 11:00 AM

    Linnan is a filmmaker and a jazz vocalist.  Her experimental film How to Become Image Spam about the proliferation of imagery in modern day society has screened at festivals  in New York and New England. She especially loves working with 16mm film and a Bolex camera.

    Fellowship Project: Dancing In the Square is a documentary about Chinese granny dance culture. It explores a social phenomenon known as "Guangchang Wu" (square dance). The film addresses how a generation of people who were youths during the oppressive Cultural Revolution now dance together expressively and sometimes even flamboyantly in public squares across the nation to music that ranges from traditional ethnic songs to American hip hop.

  • Ryan Mayers

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 10:45 AM

    Ryan is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker with over 20 years of experience in both television and film. Through his career, Ryan’s work has been seen on CBS, MTV, A&E Biography, ESPN, BET, DIY, PBS, and The Disney Channel. While working at Harpo Studios in Chicago, he edited the documentary series Oprah’s Next Chapter, among other shows for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). As a documentary filmmaker, Ryan had both directed and edited several award winning films, including his first feature, Bounce Back: The Story of Ronnie Fields. His most recent short, Jmaxx and the Universal Language is currently on the film festival circuit.

    Fellowship Project: Hustle and Harmony: The Battle for Wilkes-Barre takes us to the coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania where life is defined by hard work, family and football. In the rust belt town of Wilkes-Barre, financial struggles have led to the decision to merge the neighborhood schools, and end a football rivalry which goes back almost a century. As the Mohawks and Grenadiers prepare for their final gridiron battle, the fight to save the schools has only begun, and the residents come to understand that these traditions run much deeper than football.

  • Sarah Nelson

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 10:15 AM

    Sarah is an award winning independent producer and director with her own production company Constant Movement Cinema. She is a Director and Producer at Constant Movement Cinema. Prior to starting her own company, she had worked for National Geographic Channel as an Associate Producer. She has a passion for telling authentic, raw stories in any format -- be it narrative, documentary, or commercial.

    Fellowship Project: Woman > Mother deconstructs, rebuilds and expands upon the traditional definition of what it means to be a “WOMAN” and how that is inextricably tied to being a “MOTHER”. The film examines the narrative that women in our world are defined by where they fall in the spectrum and timeline of motherhood; that we are tied to and classified by the answer to the question, “Do you have children?”. The stories of women are much broader than the picture that has been painted. WOMAN is more than MOTHER.

  • Malikkah Rollins

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 9:45 AM

    Malikkah comes to filmmaking as an extension of a career as a clinical social worker and educator. Her clinical social work background lends itself to documentary filmmaking as she is a trained listener and sees people as products of their environments. As an active member of Women in Film and Video, Malikkah has one short documentary under her belt, and is directing and producing a second.

    Fellowship Project: Safer in Lusaka opens in gritty, impoverished Washington DC Wards 7/8 where I will paint the everyday lives of three low-income DC teens (and their families) as the kids prepare for a summer 2019 service learning trip to South Africa. The teens' DC lives will be contrasted with the visually vibrant world of southern Africa where they are forced out of their geographic and emotional comfort zones as they volunteer for those less fortunate and grapple with the emotionally fraught re-entry process back to DC.

  • Tanya Upshur

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 9:30 AM

    When Tanya is not spending time with family, videoing her tortoises, taking pictures of food or karate chopping toilet paper, she is making movies. She produced/directed Birth! Place? about an expectant mother whose birth plan is repeatedly altered because she doesn't have her own housing. She has been as Associate Producer for Victorious, a film about the DC Divas, Washington DC's female football team and Assistant Producer for a short narrative Yin and Yang: Mandala of Life starring James Lew. As an actor, Tanya has performed at Studio Theater in Washington, DC and at the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts. She has also appeared in commercials and on NBC's The Blacklist.

    Fellowship Project: Momma Rising! is a historical documentary about Black midwives in Washington, DC. Told with archival documents and re-creations, this film shows the importance of Black midwives and exposes the agendas of White physicians who drove them into obscurity. Through the experiences of home birth mothers and birth workers, Momma Rising! also highlights the renewed interest in the traditional practices of Black midwives.

  • Wendell Williams

    Posted by · February 20, 2019 9:12 AM

    Wendell is transitioning into filmmaking from a career working for the U.S. government and as a licensed psychologist. He has participated in media arts training and professional development from the Smithsonian, George Mason University, the Producer's Guild of America, Montgomery College, Women in Film and Video, and Docs In Progress.

    Fellowship Project: Why? uses interviews, records and news reports about a tragedy involving a Navy veteran with a long history of mental illness to shed light on why 12 people were murdered at a secure military facility in 2013. The film explores both how the tragedy was able to occur and how one individual's actions prevented a higher deathtoll.  

  • Aldo Bello

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 11:59 AM

    Aldo is a media producer/communications consultant through his company Mind & Media. He has produced several independent documentaries including What Happened about the tech bubble. DREAM: An Immigration Story about immigration reform is his latest filmIt has won a regional Emmy and awards at film festivals. 

  • Alyscia Cunningham

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 11:45 AM

    Alyscia is an entrepreneur, photographer and author who specializes in social change photography projects around  natural beauty, and has contributed  to the Smithsonian, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Huffington Post, and AOL. She is in production on I Am More Than My Hair which focuses on girls and women who have lost their hair due to medical conditions or in solidarity with loved ones.

  • Amy Oden

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 11:35 AM

    amyoden.jpg Amy has almost a decade of experience in media, community education, and gender studies. Her work has appeared on television, in film festivals, and even at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her latest project Exotic looks at Guam's commercial sex industry from the perspectives of the women who work in it.  




  • Amy Wilson

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 11:25 AM

    amywilson.jpg Amy works at the intersection of communications and technology, currently at Booz Allen Hamilton where she works on strategic communications and crowdsourcing efforts for various federal clients. Her documentary is about her grandmother's experiences as a survivor of Holocaust concentration camps.


  • Angela Pinaglia

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 11:20 AM

    Angela.jpgAngela Pinaglia is an educator, cinematographer and producer. She produces films for small businesses and nonprofits and teaches at Kutztown University in the Cinema, Television, and Media Production Department. In addition to her fellowship project, she is co-producing/co-writing Riding Wild, a documentary about a BMX-lifer who dares to dream big and concocts an illegal bike park on a patch of forgotten woods in Baltimore city  whose work has screened at film festivals. Before diving into the world of film, she worked in education in her hometown of Miami.

    Fellowship Project: Synchro explores the little known sport of synchronized skating that has big dreams of Olympic inclusion. Since its creation in the 1950s by a father who saw the need for team sports for his daughters, synchronized skating has grown steadily yet remains mostly on the fringe. Still there is a dedicated following of determined girls and women who carry the banner.

  • Anthony Cohen

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 11:15 AM

    anthonycohen.jpg Tony is an author, historian, and runs a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Underground Railroad. He has served as consultant to the National Parks Conservation, and Maryland Public Television, and trained Oprah Winfrey for her role in the motion picture Beloved. His film Patrick & Me chronicles the journey of his ancestor, a slave who fled from bondage.

  • Bonnie Rich

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 11:05 AM

    bonnierich.jpg A producer and writer for more than 15 years, Bonnie has produced videos for nonprofits, events, fundraising galas, and college courses. She is in production on Searching for My Jewish Soul, a humorous personal documentary about how one Jewish family navigates the challenges of carrying on a religious practice in an increasingly secular society.  



  • Bryan Benenati

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:50 AM

    bryan.jpg Bryan is a media services technician with the Wilmer Hale Law Firm and is directing on Life is Funny, about Washington DC’s amateur comedy scene. He also coaches women’s collegiate ice hockey and is an avid traveler.  




  • Carla Brown

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:45 AM

    Carla_Brown_Sq.jpgCarla is an interdisciplinary artist who uses photography, printmaking and film to visually examine themes about gender, race and family. She currently works in the Department of Exhibitions at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her recent work focuses on both her maternal and paternal grandparents – both as individuals and in terms of their direct influence on her life.

    Fellowship Project: Everyone But Two: The Life, Love & Travel of Benjamin and Frances Graham, a project where the filmmaker retraces the steps of her grandparents who spent 35 years traveling by trailer to every state in a racially divided United States.

  • Cheryle Franceschi

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:40 AM

    cheryll.jpg Cheryle is a digital content producer, specializing in environmental education through her company Por Eco Productions. She is also involved in local and state-level education and conservation initiatives. Her documentary Mr. Besley’s Forest was inspired by the legacy of Maryland’s Fred W. Besley, the first state forester.




  • Chithra Jeyaram

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:30 AM

    chithra.jpg Chithra is an award-winning documentary filmmaker through her company Real Talkies. She has taught documentary production at the George Washington University and Arlington Independent Media. She workshopped Foreign Puzzle through the Fellowship Program, a film about a modern dancer attempt to make sense of her own breast cancer through art.   




  • Christa Forman

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:25 AM

    Christa is a lawyer, screenwriter and  filmmaker. Her background practicing law in the areas of white-collar criminal defense, environmental litigation, and immigration has been a source of inspiration for several of her screenplays. She is in production on a personal documentary Shades: The Gray which asks whether it is truly possible for bi-racial individuals to be both black and white in a polarized racial climate or must they choose a side?

  • Corbin Long

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:20 AM

    corbin.jpg An economic research analyst by training, Corbin makes documentary films related to issues of poverty and economic inequality. He has spent more than a year working on film and photography projects in Haiti, including his first feature-length documentary Titanik 9 about the challenges of the Haitian justice system for those without access to legal resources.  



  • Cucillo Consad

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:17 AM

    Cucillo_Consad.jpgCucillo is an award-winning cinematographer and editor whose work includes independent documentaries, television programs, and music videos. His credits include: the A&E original documentary series Random 1, the award winning documentary film, Lost in Woonsocket and the "rock doc" Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey.

    Fellowship Project: Notown examines the water crisis in Flint and its connection to Detroit's bankruptcy through the eyes of residents, community leaders, and a UN special envoy sent to investigate allegations of human rights violations.

  • Dan Manatt

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:15 AM

    Dan has been a waiter, a congressional staffer, an Internet political consultant, a lawyer, and a self-described "presidential advance punk." Now he is a full-time documentary filmmaker. His previous films include The Republic of Baseball: The Dominican Giants of the American Game and Whiskey Cookers: The Amazing True Story of theTempleton, Iowa Bootleggers. He is now in development on a new film The United States of Food about how food and farming have shaped  American history, society, and culture from Columbus to today. 

  • Day Al-Mohamed

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:10 AM

    day.jpg Day balances her time between being a published author of speculative fiction and comics and serving as a Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Department of Labor where she works to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. She is producing Invalid Corps about a group of Civil War disabled soldiers who helped defend against a confederate army of 15,000 men at the Battle of Fort Stevens.




  • Donna Fair

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 10:00 AM

    donna.jpg Donna spent a number of years as a tech writer for various IT firms while writing fiction as a hobby. Her collection of short stories Urban Fairytales reached the Essence Magazine Top 10 Book Bestseller List in 2007 and one of the stories was optioned for a feature film. Her film Don't Hate Me focuses on self esteem and empowerment for girls.




  • Emma Mankey Hidem

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 9:50 AM

    emma.jpg A graduate of the prestigious Tisch School for the Arts at NYU, Emma has worked as an Associate Producer for some of the best documentary filmmakers in the country, as well as editing and/or producing for the PBS program Religion & Ethics and for production companies like Cortina Productions and LAI Video. She is in post-production on Blue Ridge Barnum, a portrait of a zany entertainer and sculptor of roadside attractions in Virginia.




  • Emre Ozdemir

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 9:45 AM

    Emre.jpgEmre is a director, videographer, and content developer who currently works in the multimedia department in an international finance institution. Originally from Turkey, Emre received a BFA in Film/Digital Video from the Universityof the Arts in Philadelphia. His thesis film Urvawon a Director's Choice Award at the Black Maria Film Festival and was screened at Anthology Film Archives in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. He is a founding member of the artist collective Pupils of the Universe.

    Fellowship Project: Alternative History of War on Terror puts the United States and her allies under the scope in an examination of global stability, security and the vicious cycles that breed terrorism where the lines between words like freedom fighter, terrorist, army, and rebel are lifted for a naked look at the profit of killing and its human cost.

  • Farran Nowlen Burrell

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 9:40 AM

    farran.jpg With a background in business and contract management, Farran also has a passion for people, travel, history, photography, food, and art. She is working on her first documentary Any One Child which focuses on the story of two teenage girls who shared eerily similar lives and fates decades apart, and the mothers left to deal with the grief of losing a child too soon.

  • Felicia Barr

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 9:30 AM

    felicia.jpg A freelance video journalist with a background in religious studies, Felicia has produced inventive and intelligent short-form video on arts and culture for several organizations, including the BBC. Her film 100 Faces of War Experience chronicles a project by an artist to create portraits of 100 people who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.


  • Gabriella Garcia-Pardo

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 9:25 AM

    Gabriella_Garcia_Pardo_Sq.jpgGabriella is a documentary filmmaker and visual journalist who specializes in work on conservation, innovation, and overlooked stories. She produces, shoots, and edits short form documentaries for National Geographic's various digital platforms. Prior to this work, she has taught high school students about filmmaking, led trail rides on horseback in Chile, and worked on NPR’s Music team shooting live shows, Tiny Desk Concerts, and Field Recordings.

    Fellowship Project: Gunpowder Girls introduces us to a group of Moroccan women who are challenging stereotypes by competing in a traditionally male display of horsemanship and riflery called tbourida. 

  • GT Keplinger

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 9:20 AM

    gt.jpg G.T. is a full-time assistant professor at Stevenson University where he teaches narrative and documentary production and editing. He is working on Scene 35, a documentary about the Seldom Scene, Washington DC's own nationally-known bluegrass band. 


  • Hanna Stawicki

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 9:10 AM

    peggy.jpg Hanna is a filmmaker, photographer, artist, and traveler who currently works as Production Manager at Meridian Hill Pictures and as a freelance documentary film editor. While in Nepal, she produced a short film about the effects of the caste system on the Dalit community. She is currently working on developing this into a transmedia project called Caste Out.  


  • Heather Taylor

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 9:00 AM

    heather.jpg After working for Discovery Communications, ABC/Kane Productions, and Devillier Donegan Enterprises, Heather produced her first independent documentary Breaking Through the Clouds about early women aviators. She is now at work on a companion book.




  • Hilary Linder

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:50 AM

    hilary.jpg Hilary has a background working in international development, including for the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Her first documentary Indivisible is a personal look into how deportations of undocumented immigrants affect the children they leave behind in the U.S.  




  • Jaclyn O'Laughlin

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:45 AM

    Jaclyn.jpgJaclyn O'Laughlin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has a passion for writing, photography, and filmmaking, and has used those skills at a variety of newspapers and organizations in Virginia and Washington DC. Jaclyn currently works as a multimedia manager and head video producer for a national association and has previously worked as a photojournalist and reporter for an international news organization. Jaclyn was also honored with Virginia Press Association Awards during her time as a reporter with a community newspaper in Virginia. 

    Fellowship Project: Breaking Barriers is a web series about women who have pursued careers traditionally held by men in both white-collar and blue-collar professions, as well as those who are advocating for and advancing women’s rights.

  • Jason Green

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:40 AM

    An attorney, political strategist, and entrepreneur, Jason served as Associate Counsel in the White House and started a technology venture to match job seekers to jobs based on skills. His film The Quince Orchard Project resurrects the history of a predominantly black community in upper Montgomery County, Maryland which developed after the Civil War, thrived or many years, and has since disappeared from the map.




  • Jeanette Biles

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:35 AM

    Jeanette_Biles_Sq.jpgJeanette has a dual background in media and education, with a career span which includes working as a director and producer in live sports with NFL, NBA, and WNBA; building a broadcasting magnet program in Tulsa’s public school system; and teaching arts and advocacy for DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative and DC Achievers. Her passion is telling the stories of Black Americana.

    Fellowship Project: Black Mardi Gras introduces us to the intense and iconic personalities who produce the annual social balls and parades in New Orleans. 

  • Jennifer Goldsmith

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:30 AM

    jennifer.jpg Jenn has a background in telecommunications, French, and teaching, but has worked for the past eight years as a postpartum doula who helps mothers as they adjust to life with a newborn. Her first independent documentary has grown out of the experience. Mother's Milk, Mother's Wisdom focuses on the obstacles facing breastfeeding mothers and how they overcome them.



  • Joel Gershon

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:25 AM

    Joel.jpgJoel Gershon got his start in journalism, working as a producer for the groundbreaking Air America Radio network. He recently returned to the U.S. after 12 years in Thailand, where he worked as a TV reporter and producer, magazine and newspaper writer, communications consultant for NGOs and private companies, and was a lecturer at three of Thailand’s leading universities. His work has aired on CNN and Current TV, and been screened at various film festivals. Joel is committed to making films and telling stories with a social justice angle using his vast experience as a foreign correspondent.

    Fellowship Project: Cirque du Cambodia follows two teenage boys over six years from the rice fields of rural Cambodia to the big city of Montreal as they both pursue the dream of becoming the first Cambodian performers with Cirque du Soleil. 

  • John Filson

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:20 AM

    john.jpg John brings more than a decade of peacebuilding and development experience, including hands-on work in the Middle East and Latin America. He is now at work on Here With Me about sisters who are coming of age as American teenagers and also as Iraqi refugees.

  • Kaitlin Lange

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:17 AM

    Kaitlin_Lange_Sq.jpgKaitlin is a business development and communications specialist at Cortina Productions where she is responsible for telling the company’s story through their website, business proposals, and social media. Prior to that, she worked as a cultural coordinator for the Sons of Norway and lived for a time in Australia where she wrote travel pieces. She is graduate of The Institute for Documentary Filmmaking, a program of the Documentary Center at George Washington University.

    Fellowship Project: Nasty Women starts with a phrase uttered during a 2016 presidential debate by then-candidate Donald Trump. As Trump starts his first year in the White House, has a new wave of feminism arrived or will the women’s movement be set back decades? 

  • Karen Ruckman

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:15 AM

    Karen is a documentary photographer who has captured images of politicians, celebrities, and decision-makers for a variety of clients from Congressional Quarterly to Hello magazine. Her independent projects have taken her from a nature preserve on Assateague Island off the coast of Virginia to Northern Ireland where she documented the transition from The Troubles. Her work teaching photography workshops with marginalized populations lead her to a long-term observational film about  two Washington DC men adjusting to life after prison in The Missing Men.

  • Katie Lannigan

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:14 AM

    Katie.jpgKatie Lannigan is a producer who specializes in organizing and executing long-form projects for television and other visual media. Most recently she’s worked crafting, researching and licensing archival-based experiences. Previously, she produced and reported investigative documentaries for international audiences out of the DC Bureau of Al Jazeera and worked for PBS’ premiere public affairs series FRONTLINE.

    Fellowship ProjectThe Last Days of Brookland Manor (working title) examines the impact of redevelopment and gentrification on the lives of families in Washington, DC through the lens of the a group of residents fighting to protect affordable housing for families in the Brookland Manor community in Northeast Washington DC. 

  • Kelley Slagle

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:13 AM

    Kelley is a producer and editor with RHED Pixel and also worked with National Geographic and National Public Radio. She is a producer, director, editor and SAG-AFTRA actor whose independent fiction films including The Broken Continent and Of Dice and Men have done well at festivals and online. She is currently in production on Eye of the Beholder about the artists whose work is integral to the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.

  • Khiné Bonner

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:12 AM

    Khine.jpgKhiné Bonner is an editor, screenwriter, producer, consultant, and media literacy educator. He's designed and developed youth media and filmmaking curriculum for a myriad of non-profit organizations in the Washington metropolitan area. He's also the lead editor at TEK Creative, a small production agency in Washington, D.C

    Fellowship Project: The Least of These chronicles organizations and youth affected directly and indirectly by the inadequacies of the juvenile justice system in Baltimore, Washington, DC and Detroit.

  • Kimberly McFarland

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:12 AM

    Kimberly_McFarland_Sq.jpgKimberly is a documentary filmmaker and educator with a passion for character driven, authentic storytelling. Her career in media began as an editorial writer in Singapore at ContentAsia, reporting on broadcast media across the Asia-Pacific region. She has also worked with Meridian Hill Pictures and Sitar Arts Center on youth media projects, Stone Soup Films in operations and development, and now is a producer with 522 Productions.

    Fellowship Project: Meeting Mom is a deeply personal narrative which explores what it means to lose one’s mother early in life.

  • Koorosh Farchadi

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:10 AM

    Koorosh has worked in video journalism, documentary, or media production in English, Spanish, and Farsi for the Associated Press,
    the World Bank Institute, the E-Collaborative for Civic Education, and George Mason University. He is in post-production on Harvests of Hope about the innovative farmers, communities, and leaders planting
    the seeds of resilience for the future of food and the environment
    in the face of climate change. 

  • Krystal Tingle

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:05 AM

    Krystal_Tingle_Sq.jpgKrystal has a background in news writing and reporting, public relations, and international aid work whose experiences reflect the intersection of filmmaking, faith and culture through a global lens. Her work has taken her to Jamaica, Kenya, Spain, and, most recently to South Sudan where she produced short docs about women micro entrepreneurs.

    Fellowship Project: Oh Happy Day! takes us on a song’s unlikely journey from a humble church basement to an international Billboard hit during the height of the civil rights era. 

  • Michael Blain

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 8:00 AM

    michael.jpg Michael has served as a communications specialist for the Service Employees International Union and a reporter for the Investigative Reporting Workshop, producing long-form documentaries for the PBS series Frontline. His latest film is Dear Walmart about how the store’s employees are attempting to organize.  




  • MIchelle Aguilar

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 7:57 AM

    Michelle_Aguilar_Sq.jpgMichelle received her Masters in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz. She has produced numerous non-fiction multi-media projects in cultures and communities across the world. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in a rural indigenous community in Panama, she later returned to produce El Cacao which played at the Margaret Mead, Big Sky, the Environmental Film Festival, and was nominated for an IDA Award. She is the Director of Production for Meridian Hill Pictures.

    Fellowship Project: No Place To Grow about what happens when migrated farming traditions and livelihoods intersect with urban gentrification.

  • Natasha Spence

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 7:55 AM

    Natasha has always been a creative at heart even with a professional background in intellectual property management, secondary and higher education. She enjoys dance, music and the spaces of the creative and performing arts.  In her free time, she is an avid traveler and a strong advocate for holistic health, natural child-birth, and patient’s rights. 
    Her first documentary Cecelia examines the intersection of culture, religion, and gender dynamics of a Jamaican expatriate community.

  • Natosha Morris

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 7:53 AM

    Natosha.jpgNatosha Morris has experience in television production, technical writing and currently works as a corporate trainer in public service. She has written and produced Hip Hop jingles for TV commercials, marketing on hold messages, and currently freelances as a voice actor. Natosha has also taught English in South Korea where she created an online resource for women with afro-textured hair living and working in the country. 

    Fellowship ProjectAfro: The Struggle, The Controversy, and the Magic explores the rebirth of the natural hair movement which, despite encouraging more women with afro-textured hair to wear their tresses freely in public, has come with the price of unwanted attention, personal space violations, and challenges in education and employment.

  • Nitesh Batra

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 7:50 AM

    nitesh.jpg Nitesh has mostly been involved in the business side of filmmaking and has become more interested in producing his own historical documentaries, as well as fiction projects.  He is currently at work on a project about one of the Indian film industry's pioneering cinematographers.

  • Peggy Fleming

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 7:00 AM

    peggy.jpg Peggy has been a park ranger, a cultural anthropologist, a teacher, and worked for President Kennedy in the area of civil rights. Since retiring, she has developed herself as a visual artist – first in photography and now in video. SHAW: A City Symphony is a visual and sound poem about Washington DC’s Shaw neighborhood.

  • Ray Whitehouse

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:55 AM

    Ray.jpgRay is a filmmaker and photographer with an interest in American history, politics and sports. His most recent short film, Believers, was recognized by the IDA, NPPA Best of Multimedia and screened at festivals in Iowa. He has worked with The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and others.

    Fellowship Project: For Choco is a story of love and loss during the 2016 presidential election. After her madrina, mentor and Hilary Clinton campaign organizer dies unexpectedly, Frankie redoubles her volunteer efforts for the Clinton campaign to honor her godmother while encountering challenges in her own transition from male to female.

  • Rebecca Carroll

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:50 AM

    Rebecca has reported and edited print news locally, nationally and internationally. She currently balances her time between writing for NASA as a subcontractor, freelancing, and producing videos. Through  
    the Fellowship, she will be developing Mason Dixon Meteorite, about an amateur photographer who accidentally captures an image of a meteorite tearing through the sky and then devotes his life to searching for the
    space rock on the ground.

  • Rouane Itani

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:40 AM

    rouane.jpg Rouane has more than a decade of international experience in media production and promotion, with a focus on corporate and government videos as well as independent documentaries. Her documentary Madame Parliamentarian focused on the role of women politicians and activists in Lebanon. 




  • Saaret Yoseph

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:30 AM

    saaret.jpg Saaret is a multi-media storyteller whose first documentary looked at public access and aesthetics as seen through Washington DC’s Metro Red Line. She has also taught digital storytelling for the Smithsonian. A first- generation Ethiopian-American, her project iEthiopia: The Round Trip looks at the Ethiopian diaspora’s complex relationship with “home.”  


  • Sarah Daggett

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:25 AM

    Sarah.jpgSarah Daggett is a media strategist, documentary filmmaker, community organizer, educator, and civic engagement specialist. She has worked in supporting roles on a number of social issue documentaries including Emmy-nominated The State of Arizona and Camp Victory: Afghanistan. In the past five years, Sarah has worked with the Teach for America and Leadership for Educational Equity movements to close the opportunity gap in America. 

    Fellowship Project: Carbon Trade explores the State of California's pioneering carbon market policy and how this policy effects indigenous communities at the frontlines of the effects of climate change. The story follows indigenous leaders from the Mayan and Embera tribes as they advocate for their communities' interests in the formation of international climate policy.

  • Scott Lunt

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:20 AM

    scott.jpg Scott is a freelance producer/cameraman/editor whose clients have included National Geographic and the World Bank. He is at work on a personal documentary about how he and four siblings pick up the pieces from a decaying mountain cabin to reflect on how this place has connected them to their history and to each other.

  • Susanne Unger

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:15 AM

    Susanne_Unger_Sq.jpgSusanne grew up in Germany and studied anthropology and film studies in Canada and the United States. She holds a PhD in linguistic anthropology, has taught at Duke, Kenyon, and William and Mary, and is currently a linguistic anthropologist in residence at American University. Her research has explored the intersection between film education and civic education programs for youth in Germany. Susanne also has a passion for radio and belongs to the radio collective DC Listening Lounge.

    Fellowship Project: Shepherds at the Crossroads explores the lives of those who hold on to the ancient tradition of pastoralism while struggling to maintain their mode of making a living in the 21st century.

  • Tala Hadavi

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:10 AM

    tala.jpg Tala Hadavi is a multi-lingual video journalist and documentary filmmaker who has shot, produced, and hosted more than 300 TV stories for Voice of America, as well as making long-format documentaries independently. Her current project A Player's Diary follows three Swedish women who go through the trials and triumphs of reaching the highest levels of professional basketball.  



  • Tien Pasco

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:05 AM

    Tien.jpgTien Pasco is president and executive producer of Storylab Films where she has produced, directed, and written award-winning corporate and marketing videos, educational documentaries, television promos, and everything in between. She has produced documentary films such as Generation Zero, The Gift of Life, Fire from the Heartland, and Nine Days that Changed the World: Pope John Paul II. Her work has aired on PBS, the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and Discovery. Storylab Films provides full service production, postproduction, and creative services for organizations of all sizes.

    Fellowship ProjectGive Yourself Grace tells the firsthand stories of mothers who suffer from postpartum depression, anxiety, or psychosis as they seek ways to deal with, heal, and recover from this mental illness that affects nearly 20% of all recent mothers.

  • Walter Jacob

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 6:00 AM

    walter.jpg For more than a decade, Walter has produced and written video and interactive programs for museums, government agencies, nonprofits, and associations. His current independent project Sousa takes viewers inside a public middle school in one of Washington DC’s poorest neighborhoods to see what the school system's city's controversial, accountability-based education reform efforts are achieving.

  • Yi Chen

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 5:55 AM

    Yi_Chen_Sq.jpgYi has been producing stories for television, print, web and radio since 1999 and is an Adjunct Faculty at George Mason University’s Film and Video Studies Department. Her first independent documentary Chinatown looked at the strength and struggles of the contemporary Chinese American community in Washington DC’s Chinatown and won awards at festivals throughout the U.S., Canada, and China.

    Fellowship Project: Chinese-Americans For Trump follows several Chinese-American immigrants who have supported the candidacy and now presidency of Donald Trump, reflecting another dimension of how demographic shifts in the U.S. are exposing surprising nuances in the electorate.

  • Yisrael Welcher

    Posted by · January 15, 2016 5:50 AM

    Yisrael brings his interest in supporting the power of community to his work as a social entrepreneur, consultant and advocacy filmmaker in the U.S., Central America and Kenya. He has PA credits for his work on HBO's Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags and is producing his first

    documentary, Kol Hanashim (Voices of Women) which uses the lens of Orthodox Jewish women to explore how cultural and religious minorities find balance between maintaining their heritage and embracing modern culture.