Class of 2013 Student Profiles
A native of Springfield, Missouri, I received my B.A. in Anthropology from Davidson College in 2006. Upon graduation I served in the Peace Corps, teaching English for two years at a secondary school in rural Mozambique. After Peace Corps I assisted in the completion of Icyizere: hope, a film on post-Genocide reconciliation in Rwanda. With my interest piqued in documentary film, I continued to work on film projects in and about Africa. In early 2010, I returned to Rwanda to work on film projects. A long-time believer in the power of film to educate and affect change, I hope to make films with an emphasis on social justice throughout the world.
I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I majored in Filmmaking with an emphasis on Cinematography. My most recent film Mike, about a young man living with Down syndrome was recently recognized in several film festivals throughout the country. My biggest inspirations in documentary filmmaking are Errol Morris, Louis Malle, and the Maysles Brothers. I love humanity, both the magnificent and atrocious side of it. Documentary filmmaking allows me to articulate to the audience the beauty and the ugliness of the society that we live in. In the future I would like to make documentaries with strong human and social elements.
I attended undergrad at SUNY Albany, where I received degrees in Anthropology and Documentary Studies. After graduation, I taught English as a second language in Bundang, South Korea. Upon return to the states, I have been working at a computer trading store and writing for the Messenger, the local newspaper in Baldwinsville, NY, covering the municipal boards. Documentary film has always fanned my passion for social justice. I feel there is no better medium for engaging viewers’ conscience and intellect, and hope to use it to shed light upon difficult topics. After I complete my MFA at Wake Forest, I would love to be involved in projects concerning environmental sustainability and women’s issues.
I just graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A. in Gender and Women's Studies. For the past few years I have been working in sexual violence prevention and social justice education as well as volunteering with a local rape crisis center as a male advocate. I find myself drawn to documentary film because it is a medium that has influenced me. I would like to be able to continue educating others through film, as this is a more sustainable and widespread way to reach people than workshops and classes. I hope to produce films that address human rights and social justice in general and women’s rights and sexual violence in particular. I can’t wait to get started.
I graduated in 2006 from the Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan, as an MBA, and studied Computer Engineering, Political Science and English in my undergrad. After graduating I worked as a marketing executive for a startup telecom company and a major news group in Pakistan. I took a break when I got married and moved to the United States to be with my husband. I have always been a bit of an activist, but it was really the years spent working for a news group and participating in protests with a new wave of politically aware and charged youth of Pakistan, that I started contemplating a career in journalism. I feel documentary is the perfect medium because it allows room for various media to tie in harmoniously in one all encompassing yet coherent piece that can penetrate social consciousness like nothing else. I want to help further the case for humanity by working on stories that help create tolerance, inspire courage, and effect positive change.
I am from Lexington, North Carolina. I earned degrees in Film Studies and Creative Writing during my undergraduate career at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. I am drawn to the mode of documentary storytelling because of how interesting the actual production process is. Typically, making a scripted “narrative” film is like watching paint dry on a wall. Everything is planned out weeks or even months before shooting starts. Documentary filmmaking is different. It’s an active challenge. You never know what your subjects will say to the questions you ask. The film is a constantly evolving thing. I hope to use documentary filmmaking as a way to explore ideas and people living on the fringe of our culture and their obsessions. I hope to show images that no one else has seen before.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications, with a focus in Telecommunications and Africana Studies. As an undergraduate student, I attended The Washington Center for a semester in Washington, D.C and interned for Close Up at the Newseum, a youth-centered public affairs television show. My interest in documentaries was sparked when I began to do research for my senior thesis. The final product was a documentary, entitled Through Her Eyes, which explored the professional career of Adele Tyre, the first African American female journalist in the Tampa-St. Petersburg television news market. I am drawn to documentaries because they give me an opportunity to learn and explore historical events from a fresh perspective. I aspire to produce documentaries that focus on the accomplishments and achievements of key African American figures and I hope to explore the Post-Slavery Reconstruction Era more in-depth through filmmaking.
I graduated with Honors from the College of William and Mary in 2007, with a BA in Public Policy and History. After graduation, I spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia, where I taught English as a second language in a rural community. After completing my service, I remained in Mongolia, dividing my time between teaching World History and English at a private school and volunteering as the director of a non-profit organization. As a very visual learner, I am drawn to documentary film because of its educational capability and the possibility that this education can lead to social change. I hope to produce films that educate the viewer and provide insight into parts of the world and society that are often neglected.
During my undergraduate career, I learned to combine my love of travel, exploring new cultures and desire to connect with people with my passion for the art of filmmaking by earning a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Film Studies and Spanish from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Upon graduating in 2007, I received the distinguished departmental award for Excellence in Film Studies and began working in the professional film industry on television shows and feature length films. Amidst many years of volunteer work at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC, I began to more greatly appreciate the documentary medium as one that is unique in its abilities not only to educate and inspire, but also to create awareness and incite change. To explore further the educational component of documentary film, I took a position as an English as a Second Language educator in the public school system in Wilmington, North Carolina. During this time I also began developing a documentary project in a Nicaraguan immigrant community in Costa Rica. This experience solidified my desire to pursue a more documentary-focused filmmaking career. Just prior to beginning graduate study in 2010, I completed an internship with legendary documentary filmmaker and pioneer of the Direct Cinema movement, Albert Maysles. I am hoping to develop film projects that are both artistic and innovative while bringing light to compelling subjects such as human rights, environmental issues and the arts.
I am an alumni of the University of Central Florida's Nicholson School of Communication, where I focused on Television Production and Cinema Studies. After graduating with a BA, I worked in the TV/video market in my hometown, Gainesville, FL. I designed graphics and directed live news broadcasts at the ABC affiliate and worked for a small production studio producing a monthly COPS-style reality show with the Gainesville Police Department and editing sports highlights, player profiles, and commercials for the University of Florida's athletic association. I've also been independently producing promotional videos and web content for businesses and non-profit organizations such as museums, academic institutions, and public health organizations.
I want to make films that profile bold characters and people who are passionate about what they do, especially other artists and people who believe deeply in a cause. I'm looking for stories to tell that allow me to experiment and be creative with the form. I enjoy what I do very much and it's important to me that my personal appreciation of the craft is expressed through my work.
I graduated with a BA in History from Wake Forest University in 2009. At Wake Forest I minored in Film Studies with an emphasis in film production, and began pursuing freelance projects during the spring of my senior year. After graduation, I began the yearlong process of editing a feature length documentary about a high school football team in eastern North Carolina, which had been shot by a local journalist. The film premiered at the Reynolda Film Festival at Wake Forest in March of 2010, and we are currently working on cutting a shorter version for festival competition. My wife and I were just married (May 30), and are spending the summer in her hometown of Marion, VA, repainting her uncle's house and running a snow cone business with her brother. I feel very fortunate to be a part of the first class at the Documentary Film Program at Wake Forest. I don't have specific ideas about films I want to make, but I love anything that helps people learn more about the world they live in, and about the other people that live in it with them.
I am entering the documentary film program from the world of digital media. Most recently, I worked for The Roanoke (Va.) Times as a multimedia producer where I shot and edited videos, designed web and interactive graphics and reported on local news. Before Roanoke, I spent short stints working at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla. I received undergraduate degrees in journalism and electronic media/broadcasting from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where I was first introduced to the world of documentary film. While working on a short-form documentary examining Western North Carolina's lack of wind energy for my senior project, I discovered the power and influence of documentary film. Ultimately, I hope to make feature-length films examining environmental issues. However, my main concern is telling powerful stories, and I am excited at the opportunity to study and grow in the field I am so passionate about.