Claire Aguilar is Director of Programming and Policy at IDA (International Documentary Association. She oversees IDA’s professional development, education, mentorship and training initiatives. In addition, she sets strategy around IDA’s policy and advocacy work supporting filmmakers around a range of issues. Aguilar serves as the primary programmer for IDA’s biennial “Getting Real” conference, a convening for documentary filmmakers and professionals, which will take place next in September 2020. She is the former Director of Programming and Industry Engagement at Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the leading festivals for documentary and digital media where she curated and directed the film program for Doc/Fest 2015 and 2016, programming over 350 films and working with over 200 filmmakers and media creators. At the Independent Television Service (ITVS), she served as Vice President of Programming and Executive Content Advisor, working on program content and strategy for the organization, including commissioning programming from international and U.S. independent producers. She co-curated the Emmy and Peabody awarded series Independent Lens, PBS’s prominent showcase of independently produced films. A second-generation Filipina American, she has a BA in Communications Studies and MA in Film and Television Studies from UCLA. She serves on the Boards of Women Make Movies and Firelight Media and on the Advisory Board of the Why Foundation.
Assia Boundaoui an Algerian-American journalist and filmmaker based in Chicago. She has reported for the BBC, NPR, PRI, Al Jazeera, VICE, and CNN. Her debut short film about hijabi hair salons for the HBO Lenny documentary series premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Her feature length debut The Feeling of Being Watched, a documentary investigating a decade of FBI surveillance in Assia's Muslim-American community, had its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. She is currently a fellow with the Co-Creation Studio at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is iterating her most recent work, the Inverse Surveillance Project. Assia has a Masters degree in journalism from New York University and is fluent in Arabic.
A native of New York, Chloe Gbai is a filmmaker/producer whose work centers around issues of race, immigration, and gender. She has worked under directors such as Amir Bar-Lev and Academy Award Winner Roger Ross Williams. She received her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a degree concentrating in film production, African American Studies, and anthropology. While at NYU, she was awarded the Clyde Taylor Award for Distinguished Work in African-American and Africana Studies, and was the second undergraduate to participate in New York University’s graduate program in Culture and Media through the anthropology department. Her work has appeared on HBO, VH1, Logo TV, Teen Vogue and been chosen as a Vimeo staff pick.
Nels Bangerter is a documentary film editor and two-time winner of both the International Documentary Association's and Cinema Eye Honors' Best Editing awards. His work includes Cameraperson (2016), which premiered at Sundance and won the Freedom of Expression award from the National Board of Review, Very Semi-Serious (2015), which won Best Bay Area Documentary at SFIFF, and Let the Fire Burn (2013), which won the Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award. He has been an advisor to the Sundance Institute Lab Program and has been nominated for two News and Documentary Emmys.
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.
K Austin Collins
K Austin Collins is a film critic for Vanity Fair. His writing has appeared in The Ringer, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Reverse Shot, and the Brooklyn Rail. He writes crosswords for The New Yorker, The New York Times and the American Values Crossword Club. He lives in Brooklyn.
Charlotte Cook is a curator, writer and producer. Prior to Field of Vision, she was the Director of Programming at Hot Docs, North America’s largest documentary festival. In London, Charlotte was the Head of Film Programming at The Frontline Club. She has also worked with BBC Storyville, the Channel 4 BritDoc Foundation’s Puma Creative Catalyst Fund and the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where she curated the strand Conflict | Reportage. In addition to her work at Field of Vision, Charlotte is currently a programmer at CPH:DOX.
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.
Chuck Henson is an experienced trial lawyer with primary emphasis on employment litigation and commercial law matters. He worked in the Missouri Attorney General’s Office immediately prior to joining the law school in 2009. He previously worked as a Partner at Kutak Rock LLP in Denver and as Vice-President Law (Human Resources) at Adelphia Communications, where he was responsible for providing legal guidance and management of human resources issues, projects, and litigation for a corporation with 15,000 employees in 23 states. In November 2015, Professor Henson was named interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity for the University of Missouri.
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.
Dana Merwin is the Program Officer for the International Documentary Association handling the Enterprise and Pare Lorentz Doc Funds. Prior to IDA, Dana Merwin was the production manager for Al Jazeera America's documentary unit and the Peabody Award-winning series Fault Lines. She was the Director of Operations for Jupiter Entertainment in Los Angeles, where she oversaw delivery of docu-reality series to various cable networks. She has served as a production manager on numerous film and television productions.
Jeff Reichert’s first feature film, Gerrymandering, premiered at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival where it was named one of the best of the festival by New York Magazine. His second feature film, Remote Area Medical, had its world premiere at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and has won numerous awards and screened at festivals across the U.S. His short, Kombit, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and he premiered his third feature, This Time Next Year, at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. He is the co-editor of Reverse Shot.
Brett Story is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has screened at festivals internationally, including the Viennale, True/False, and Oberhausen. Her 2016 feature documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and was a nominee for Best Feature Documentary at the Canadian Screen Awards. Brett holds a PhD in geography from the University of Toronto and is currently an assistant professor in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. She is the author of the book, Prison Land, and co-editor of the forthcoming volume, Infrastructures of Citizenship. Brett was a 2016 Sundance Institute Art of Nonfiction Fellow and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow in film and video.
Danielle Varga is a nonfiction producer based in Brooklyn. She co-produced Kirsten Johnson's award-winning film Cameraperson which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and was released by Janus Films and The Criterion Collection. She produced the short documentary Watched (Tribeca 2017), was consulting producer on This is Home (Sundance 2018) and Charm City (Tribeca 2018) and archival producer on Matt Wolf’s Teenage. Danielle was recently listed on Doc NYC’s inaugural 2018 list of “40 Under 40” filmmakers to watch, and was a 2016-2017 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow.
Tom Jennings is a journalist-filmmaker and is currently directing The Right To Fail,about a man with schizophrenia whose life parallels the deinstitutionalization of mental health care in the US, his sixth film for PBS Frontline. As a documentary director he’s received the George Polk Award, the Emmy Award, the duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, the Overseas Press Club Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Online News Association Award, and the Writers Guild of America Award. He teaches filmmaking and investigative reporting at NYU, and from 2016-2018 he was director of the Logan Nonfiction Program, a residency for journalists and documentary filmmakers at the Carey Institute for Global Good in upstate New York.
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).
Since joining ProPublica in May 2008, reporter Joaquin Sapien has delved into criminal justice, military healthcare, and environmental issues. In 2010 he partnered with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune to produce an award-winning series of stories about contaminated drywall. In 2009 he was part of a team whose work on natural gas drilling won the Society of Professional Journalists award for online non-deadline investigative reporting. From 2005 until 2008 he was a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, where he led a year-long investigative project, “Superfund’s Toxic Legacy,” which received the 2007 Society of Professional Journalists award for non-deadline online reporting. Before joining CPI, Sapien wrote for Environmental Media Services.
Zach Toombs leads the Newsy Documentaries unit and serves as a reporter and producer in the field. Previously at Newsy, he reported on three continents, two presidential elections and a wide variety of policy issues. Toomb’s unitcreates innovative and immersive news docs for a wide array of platforms, including Hulu, Amazon, Apple TV, Roku, cable, and more. He specializes in telling unique stories about Middle America, from covering new solutions to the nation's heroin epidemic to profiling the blue-collar clean energy boom and climate change's impact on rural America.
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.
May Jeong is an award-winning magazine writer and investigative reporter. She is best known for her months-long investigation in to the MSF hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan for The Intercept. This won her the 2017 South Asian Journalists Association’s Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Report on South Asia, as well as the Prix Bayeux Calvados Award for War Correspondents in the Young Reporter category.
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.
Damon Smith is a film producer, story consultant, and co-founding partner at Cinelan, the award-winning digital-first media company. He is the producer of doc features such as MAINELAND (Special Jury Award, SXSW 2017) and BETTY: THEY SAY I’M DIFFERENT (IDFA 2017) and the supervising producer of two short-film series, the IDA-nominated WE THE ECONOMY and FOCUS FORWARD: SHORT FILMS, BIG IDEAS, which screened at more than 90 film festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Tribeca, IDFA, Melbourne, and Busan. Most recently, he directed and produced ROOM H.264 (First Look 2018) with Jeff Reichert and Eric Hynes and is a consulting producer on ANBESSA (Berlinale 2019). Currently, he is working on LORD OF OBSTACLES, a Sundance-supported audio documentary commissioned for BBC World Service.
Katie Townsend is the Reporters Committee's Legal Director. She oversees the Reporters Committee’s legal services portfolio, including its direct litigation and amicus practices. She leads litigation efforts in public records, court access, and legal defense cases, and supervises the team of staff attorneys and legal fellows in both areas. She also manages partnerships where the Reporters Committee offers legal support and pre-publication review, particularly to documentary filmmakers and nonprofit newsrooms. Townsend has served as the first litigation director of the Reporters Committee since 2014, securing several key victories for journalists and the First Amendment overall. Under her leadership, in 2018 alone, Reporters Committee attorneys secured the dismissal of defamation claims against a journalist under the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act, obtained a first-of-its-kind ruling from an Oklahoma state court making clear that delayed access to public records violates Oklahoma’s Open Records Act, and defeated an agency’s attempt to charge a reporter more than $174,000 to obtain records he had requested under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
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.