Ra'anan Alexandrowicz is a director, screenwriter and editor. He is known for the documentary The Law in These Parts (2011), which received the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, a Peabody award, and numerous other prizes. His earlier documentaries, The Inner Tour (2001) and Martin (1999), were shown in the Berlin Film Festival's Forum section and MoMA's New Directors / New Films series. Alexandrowicz’s single fiction feature, James’ Journey to Jerusalem (2003), premiered in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and at the Toronto International Film Festival and received several international awards. Alexandrowicz’s films have been released theatrically in the United States and Europe, and broadcast by PBS, ARTE, the BBC, as well as other television channels. Ra’anan served several times as an editing advisor for the Sundance Documentary Fund and his film The Viewing Booth is supported by the Sundance Art of Nonfiction initiative
An award-winning Australian filmmaker, Kitty Green’s debut documentary, Ukraine is not a Brothel, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2013, screened at over 50 film festivals internationally and won the AATCA award for Best Australian Feature Documentary. Her follow-up documentary short, The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul won the jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival and her latest feature documentary, Casting JonBenet, was acquired as a Netflix Original, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and 2017 Berlinale before also receiving the AACTA Award for Best Feature Documentary. Kitty Green was a 2017 Sundance Institute Art of Non Fiction Fellow.
Kirsten Johnson works as a director and a cinematographer. Her first documentary she produced, “Cameraperson,” premiered at Sundance and won many awards. Her shooting appears in the Sundance 2012 Audience Award winner, “The Invisible War”. In the last year, as the supervising DP on Abby Disney and Gini Reticker’s series, “Women, War and Peace”, she traveled to Colombia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. She shared the 2010 Sundance Documentary Competition Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for “The Oath”. She shot the Tribeca Film Festival 2008 Documentary winner, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell’. Her cinematography is featured in “Farenheit 9/11”, Academy Award-nominated “Aslyum”, Emmy-winning “Ladies First”, and Sundance premiere documentaries, “Finding North”, “This Film is Not Yet Rated”, “American Standoff”, and “Derrida”. A chapter on her work as a cinematographer is featured in the book, “The Art of the Documentary”. She is currently editing a documentary on sight that she shot and directed in Afghanistan. Her previous documentary as a director, “Deadline”, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.
Marshalle Montgomery Favors
Marshalle Montgomery Favors is a film producer/director and expert facilitator in dialogues on racial equity, engagement and inclusion. For more than 20 years, Marshalle has been devoted to building cross-cultural relationships between diverse communities and developing collective strategies and solutions that affect social equity. Her specialties include Program Development & Management, Cross Cultural Collaborations & Partnerships, Multicultural Training, Implicit Bias Training, Cultural Competency Training and Leadership Development. As a filmmaker, Marshalle has produced six independent feature films and has written and directed 3 short films. Her passion for indie films inspired her to co-found the Trinity International Film Festival and Fearless Tribe of Fanatic Filmmaker in Detroit. Marshalle works in collaboration with other filmmakers to host film screenings, workshops, and networking events with industry professionals. Marshalle works purposefully to contribute to the growth of the film community in metro Detroit. Recently, she was the recipient of the 25 most Influential Women in Detroit Award.
Brad Prager is a Professor of German and an active member of the Program in Film Studies at the University of Missouri. Professor Prager has been a DAAD Guest Professor at the University of Paderborn, where he organized the conference "The Holocaust on Screen in the 21st Century." He has been a guest at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is the University of Missouri System Representative to the state's Holocaust Education and Awareness Commission. He is presently completing a book on Holocaust documentaries for Bloomsbury. Professor Prager is the author of The Cinema of Werner Herzog: Aesthetic Ecstasy and Truth (2007) and Aesthetic Vision and German Romanticism: Writing Images (2007).
Zia Anger works in moving images. In 2018 she began touring a new solo performance that traces the last ten-years of her lost and abandoned work, titled “My First Film”. Her most recent short MY LAST FILM premiered at the 53rd New York Film Festival. In 2015 her short I REMEMBER NOTHING had its world premiere at New Directors/New Films and its international premiere at Festival del film Locarno. She has made music videos for various artists including: Mitski, Beach House, Maggie Rogers, and Jenny Hval; the latter of whom she also toured with - as a performer and stage director. Her work has been written about in various publications including: The New Yorker, The New York Times, Mubi, and Filmmaker Magazine,
Robert Greene’s latest award winning film BISBEE ’17 premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. His previous film Kate Plays Christine won a Jury Award for Writing at Sundance 2016. Robert’s documentaries include the Gotham Awards-nominated Actress, Fake It So Real and the Gotham Awards-nominated Kati With An I. Robert was an inaugural Sundance Art of Nonfiction fellow in 2015 and is a three-time nominee for Best Director at the Cinema Eye Honors. The Independent named Robert one of their 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014 and he received the 2014 Vanguard Artist Award from the San Francisco DocFest. His first documentary, Owning the Weather, was screened at the COP15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Robert has edited over a dozen features, including Her Smell (2018), Golden Exits (2017), Queen of Earth (2015) and Listen Up Philip (2014) by Alex Ross Perry, Amanda Rose Wilder’s award winning Approaching the Elephant (2014), Charles Poekel’s Spirit Awards-nominated Christmas, Again (2015) and Douglas Tirola’s Hey Bartender (2013). He has been a Sundance Edit Lab Advisor and was on the U.S. Documentary Jury for Sundance 2017. Robert writes for outlets such as Sight & Sound and serves as the Filmmaker-in-Chief for the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri.
Robert Kolodny is an Emmy Award winning Director, Writer and Cinematographer based in New York City. He is the founder and Creative Director of House of Nod, a full service cinematic production company. He is the Director of the upcoming feature length non-fiction film SERAFIM (2019). His short film FLY ON OUT (2013) screened at the Court Métrage at the 67th Festival de Cannes, won first prize in the of the AbelCine/Vision Research Phantom High-Speed Challenge and the Audience Choice Award (short form) at the HBO/BET Urbanworld Film Festival. In 2013 he won a New York Emmy Award for his Direction on the series FRANKIE COOKS. His short film SHELTER (2010) was the recipient of a Human Spirit Award from the National Board of Review, a Golden Reel from the Tiburon International Film Festival and Best Director (Short form) from the First Glance Film Festival. Robert has contributed cinematography to Josh & Benny Safdie’s LENNY COOKE (2013) as well as Robert Greene’s BISBEE ‘17 (2018) and KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE (2016) – both of which had their premiers at the Sundance Film Festival. He has worked on over 100 commercials as director for clients including Vogue, Esquire, A&E, and Adult Swim.
Alexander Nanau is a German-Romanian filmmaker born in Romania who studied directing at The Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB). His documentary film, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO ION B was awarded an International Emmy Award in 2010. His feature documentary film TOTO AND HIS SISTERS was a European Academy Award nominee 2015. The film had a wide international distribution and played successfully in festivals worldwide. Alexander served as Director of Photography for the French/German documentary NOTHINGWOOD (Sonia Kronlund) that was shot in Afghanistan and premiered in Cannes as part of La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in 2017. His latest feature length documentary COLLECTIVE will premiere at the Venice IFF 2019- as part of the Official Selection - Out of Competition and is a co-production with Samsa Film (Luxembourg) and HBO Europe.
Katherine Reed joined the journalism faculty in 2004 after a five-year stint in Prague, Czech Republic, where she was the editor-in-chief of Prague Business Journal and an instructor at the Center for Independent Journalism. She taught news writing and reporting at Hollins University in Roanoke, Va., where she also worked as a copy editor and film/theater reviewer for the Roanoke Times. Reed has done work with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University and the Disaster and Community Crisis Center at MU. She now teaches a standalone trauma reporting class for undergraduate and graduate students. For nine years, Reed has also taught the cornerstone reporting class taken by undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing degrees in photojournalism, magazine and print and digital media. She is an editor at ColumbiaMissourian.com where she supervises students covering public safety (crime and the courts) and health care.
Kamau Bilal's father was born in St. Louis and he himself grew up in Columbia, Missouri. He attended TV and radio classes at Webster University nearby back in his father's hometown but did not make it into their film program. He used the editing skills he had learned at Webster toward video production and later making commercials. Kamau Bilal is now a filmmaker and educator at the University of Missouri. His short documentary Baby Brother had its premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Eric Hynes is a New York-based film critic and reporter, as well as Curator of Film at Museum of the Moving Image. He has written for the New York Times, Film Comment, Rolling Stone, IndieWire, Slate, the Village Voice, and Time Out New York. Since 2004 he has been a staff writer for the online film journal Reverse Shot, where he's also the host and co-producer of the Reverse Shot Talkies video series.
Cristina Mislán is an assistant professor of journalism studies in the Missouri School of Journalism, where she teaches courses in cross-cultural journalism, gender and media, qualitative research methods, and critical theory. Mislán’s research focuses on areas of media history, critical/cultural studies, and transnational/globalization studies. She draws on critical/cultural studies to examine how various forms of alternative media have influenced national and transnational dialogues around race, class, and gender politics. Some of her current work also examines media representation, particularly as it relates to race and gender identities.
Mislán has published in several journals, including Social Movement Studies, International Journal of Communication, Feminist Media Studies and Communication, Culture, and Critique. Her research has won a number of awards from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA).
Sierra Pettengill is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker. Her most recent film, The Reagan Show, an all-archival documentary which she co-directed and produced, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Locarno Film Festival, and broadcast on CNN in 2017. Her short film Graven Image, produced for Field of Vision, premiered at the True/False Film Festival before airing on POV, and is in the permanent collection at the Equal Justice Institute’s Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama. She produced the Oscar-nominated documentary Cutie and the Boxer, which also won an Emmy. Her archivist credits include Jim Jarmusch's Gimme Danger and Mike Mills' 20th Century Women, among many others. She writes on film for frieze magazine and Film Comment and she was a 2017/2018 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow.
Bill Ross IV
The Ross Brothers are an American filmmaking team whose credits include the award-winning films 45365 (2009), Tchoupitoulas (2012), Western (2015), and Contemporary Color (2017)
The Ross Brothers are an American filmmaking team whose credits include the award-winning films 45365 (2009), Tchoupitoulas (2012), Western (2015), and Contemporary Color (2017)
PG Watkins (they/them) is a nonbinary organizer, facilitator and organizational strategist from Detroit. PG believes that organizing and storytelling are interconnected and is committed to using both mediums to shift dominant oppressive narratives and change the material conditions of Black people in Detroit and beyond. They are the Co-founder and Director of Black Bottom Archives, a community media platform dedicated to cultivating the development and preservation of media created by Black Detroiters for the sake of amplifying our voices, archiving our histories, documenting our present realities, and transforming narratives about our city. PG is an abolitionist who believes that a world is possible beyond jails, detention, and punitive punishment and advances these beliefs through organizing locally as a co-founder of the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) Detroit chapter and as a board member of The James & Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership.
Gunita Singh is the Jack Nelson/Dow Jones Foundation Legal Fellow for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press where she works on litigation, policy, and amicus work, primarily around state and federal freedom of information laws while also helping reporters and news organizations with records requests. Gunita received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Gunita was previously the staff attorney at the government transparency organization Property of the People where she used the Freedom of Information Act to acquire thousands of records on matters of public concern in an effort to foster transparency and accountability. She grew up in Palo Alto, California.
Alissa Wilkinson is Vox's film critic. She's been writing about film and culture since 2006, and her work has appeared at Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Vulture, RogerEbert.com, The Atlantic, Books & Culture, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Paste, Pacific Standard, and others. Alissa is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and a 2017-18 Art of Nonfiction writing fellow with the Sundance Institute. Before joining Vox, she was the chief film critic at Christianity Today. Alissa is also an associate professor of English and humanities at The King's College in New York City, where she teaches criticism and cultural theory. She is the co-author, with Robert Joustra, of How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World (Eerdmans, 2016). Alissa regularly gives lectures around the world on film, pop culture, postmodernity, religion, and criticism. She holds an MA in humanities and social thought from New York University and an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Seattle Pacific University.
Lisa Steele is a Canadian artist, a pioneer in video art, educator, curator and co-founder of Vtape in Toronto. Born in the United States, Steele moved to Canada in 1968 and is now a Canadian citizen. She has collaborated exclusively with her partner Kim Tomczak since the early 1980s.
Stacey Woelfel is a professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and the director of the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the school. He is the former news director for KOMU-TV, the University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate for central Missouri. The commercial station serves as the teaching laboratory for the Missouri School of Journalism. Woelfel was the national chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, the Radio Television Digital News Association, was a member of the association’s Executive Committee, and has served as the chair of the ethics committee, and a member of the convention planning and education committees. He also serves as the president of the board of the Carole Kneeland Project, an organization focused on responsible quality journalism, and as the president of the board of governors of the Mid-America chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Woelfel is a winner of the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism, the Emmy, the Edward R. Murrow, and numerous regional and local awards. He has received the University of Missouri’s highest teaching honor, the Kemper Fellowship. Woelfel is the author of Suspicious Signs: Effects of Newscaster Scripts, Symbols, and Actions on Audience Perceptions of News Organization Bias and penned a chapter in Silenced: International Journalists Expose Media Censorship. He holds a doctorate in political science.
Wednesday, March 4 @ Ragtag Cinema
(free tickets available through Ragtag box office on the day of the event)
6:15-8:00 pm: A Neither/Nor Double Feature, Part 1: The Gloria Tapes with director Lisa Steele
Starting in 1974, Lisa Steele spent more than a decade working at Interval House, a women’s and children’s shelter. Drawing from her experiences there, she created composite characters for a series of films that explore their relationship with government systems. The Gloria Tapes (1980, 53 min.), draws from soap opera convention as it offers a penetrating look at a woman (played by Steele) navigating the welfare system. Also screening from Steele, "A Very Personal Story" (1974, 20 min.), in which she recounts a startling incident from her teenage years, and "Talking Tongues" (1982, 11 min.), in which she delivers a monologue as Beatrice Small, a woman who was abused by her husband.
8:30-10:30 pm: A Neither/Nor Double Feature, Part 2: The Assistant with director Kitty Green in conversation with Eric Hynes
Celebrated documentary filmmaker Kitty Green (Casting JonBenet, Ukraine is Not a Brothel) ventures into the narrative fiction world with a story constructed from the true accounts of women working for powerful male executives. Green will discuss the documentary roots of the project and how the film uses its fictional character to tell the real story of what many women face.
Thursday, March 5 @ Smith Forum in RJI
9:00-10:30 am: Documentary Filmmaking with a Racial Equity Lens, with Marshalle Montgomery Favors and PG Watkins
In order to foster environments that are equitable and inclusive, we must have authentic conversations about race that help us as a society to recognize our common humanity. It is crucial for society to have opportunities to discuss social issues, culture, implicit bias and personal experiences related to race. This workshop is intended as an experience that helps individuals develop greater awareness of their own racial perspectives as well as those of others. Through the power of storytelling we will engage each other in open and candid dialogue about race and documentary filmmaking with a racial equity lens.
10:45 am-noon: The Journalist as Film Hero, a conversation with Collective director Alexander Nanau, moderated by Katherine Reed
The much-anticipated True/False feature Collective focuses on the aftermath of a deadly fire and the journalists who fought a corrupt government to find out why this tragedy happened. The film allows us to observe journalists at their finest, depicting them as heroes with the mission to look out for the people when the government is too corrupt to do so. Romanian director Alexander Nanau discusses his decision to feature the reporters at the center of this story and his own work uncovering the truth.
Noon-1:15 pm: Working lunch: FOIA Workshop for Journalists and Documentary Filmmakers, with Gunita Singh
Stick around for pizza and an informative workshop from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on how filmmakers and journalists can use the Freedom of Information Act to add depth to their filmmaking and reporting. This hands-on session will culminate with the filing of a request for a current project now under investigation.
1:30-2:45 pm: Step inside The Viewing Booth, with director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz in conversation with Cristina Mislán and Brad Prager
How does one turn a long-standing political and religious struggle into a psychological examination of how we consume—and are consumed by—media? Can we apply what we learn from viewing footage of one conflict to viewing others? Director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz takes on this task with his latest film, in which the longstanding human rights conflict between Israel and Palestine takes on new meaning when seen through our contemporary digital lenses.
3:00-5:00 pm: Our First Films with Zia Anger, featuring Kirsten Johnson, Sierra Pettengill, Robert Kolodny and Kamau Bilal
Inspired by Zia Anger’s radical and inventive documentary performance My First Film, this session features four filmmakers as they dive into their first forays into putting their creative ideas on the screen. With Anger leading the way, the filmmakers will bare all and discuss just what they were thinking when they made their first films, including taboo concepts such as failing upwards, inspiration and the roots of future creative successes. Featuring the films themselves as the center point of this conversation, this will be a raw and powerfully unique look at the creative process.
Friday, March 6 @ Smith Forum in RJI
9:00-10:30 am: Daydrinking and Filmmaking: The Ross Bros. on Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, moderated by Alissa Wilkinson
True/False True Vision Award honorees Bill and Turner Ross bring their actively observational eyes to Smith Forum to stage an interactive making-of from their Sundance hit Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, dissecting the angles and showing how they created their controversial film. Live cameras will deliver what Bill and Turner are seeing through their viewfinders as they cast, direct and live edit scenes on our stand-in bar just like they did at the “Roaring ’20s,” the bar depicted in the film.