Twelve applicants were selected to participate in the workshop.
A Londoner at heart, Ataman graduated in 2014 with a first class degree in geography from the University of Cambridge. After a few months on the news desk of a local paper covering two of London’s poorest boroughs, he moved to Beirut. As a freelance journalist, Ataman has covered social issues around marginalized groups in Lebanon and the fallout from the Syrian civil war, as well as reported from Iraq and Kurdistan on the war against ISIS. Eager to pursue a career as a foreign correspondent and filmmaker, as a Fulbright journalism scholar at Harvard University, Ataman is researching the history of Jihadi foreign fighters. One of Ataman’s most recent projects – an investigation into missing child refugees in Europe – appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and won him a fellowship with the Overseas Press Club.
Joor Baruah is an award-winning audiovisual artist interested in using documentary, digital story-telling, journalism, photography and music for social change. Baruah’s creative work include: “Glimpses of the Misty East,” a documentary series for a national channel in India (assistant director to Dr. Bhupen Hazarika); “Vanastree: Women of The Forest“ (documentary, co-editor and music designer), “Resilience” (idoc, interactive designer) and “Brothers“ (musical album; music designer and vocals). He is working on the feature-length version of “Adi | At The Confluence” and is a part of the crew for “American Justice On Trial,” a documentary about the sensational trial of the Black Panther Party leader Huey Newton, contributing to its new media version as an interactive designer. Baruah has an MA in social documentation (documentary filmmaking) from the Film & Digital Media Department, University of Santa Cruz, California.
Sam Eaton is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker based in New York. His reporting on complex global issues has brought him from the front lines of the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle to more than 20 countries around the world. He was the founding senior reporter for sustainability coverage at Marketplace. More recently, Eaton’s independent work, as well as his collaborations with the Center for Investigative Reporting, Homelands Productions and Documist, can be seen and heard at PRI’s The World, PBS NewsHour and the United Nations Capital Development Fund, where he is producing and directing a series of short documentaries. In 2016, he was awarded a Ford Foundation JustFilms fellowship at the IFP Media Center in Brooklyn. Eaton is also a two-time winner of the Society of Environmental Journalists award for outstanding beat reporting (large market).
Lucas Guilkey is an independent documentary filmmaker and video journalist based in Oakland, California. His work focuses on the social, economic and racial justice movements that are on the frontlines fighting and envisioning alternatives to interlocking systems of oppression — from climate change to mass incarceration, public school budget cuts to attacks on reproductive health. He has produced for Fusion, AJ+, KPFA, and wide variety of short, online advocacy documentaries. He is working on a feature documentary about California Families Against Solitary Confinement and the historic and unprecedented 2013 California prisoner hunger strikes against indefinite solitary confinement. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University, the International Honors Program’s “Rethinking Globalization: Nature, Culture, Justice” and the Academy of Integrated Humanities and New Media.
Annie Kaempfer began her film career in her hometown, Washington DC, as executive director of The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. After moving to New York, she continues to split her focus between the non-profit world and the arts, consulting for Ford Foundation’s JustFilms team, and directing and producing both narrative and documentary shorts, which have screened at festivals across the US. Kaempfer received an MFA from Tisch School of the Arts, where her thesis film, “Sanctuary,” was selected for NYU’s Spike Lee Fellowship. Kaempfer graduated with a BA in visual arts from Bowdoin College in 2004. She has since received a post-baccalaureate certificate in painting and sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a graduate certificate in documentary filmmaking from the George Washington University’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
Karin Hayes is an award-winning documentary director/producer. Her feature documentary credits include “We’re Not Broke” (Sundance Film Festival), “The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt” (HBO/CNN Presents), “Held Hostage in Colombia” (History/CBS/SundanceTV), “Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship” (PBS/MPT), and most recently as producer of “Magnificent Burden” (Woodstock Film Festival, DOC NYC, Napa Valley Film Festival). She filmed for the Emmy-winning PBS POV documentary “When I Walk,” among others, and is a member of the International Documentary Association and Producer’s Guild of America.
Malkia K. Lydia is a filmmaker who seeks to connect people, stories and authentic power. Most recently, she freelanced as a producer/writer of short documentaries for the newly unveiled Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. She is currently directing and producing her first long-form documentary, “What’s in a Name?” with development support from ITVS. Lydia has also worked on the advocacy and engagement end of media, including with a community television station, the AFI Silverdocs Documentary Festival and the Center for Media and Social Impact. In 2014, she was awarded a CPB Fellowship to attend the International Public Television Summit in Helsinki. Her work has been recognized by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council, The Leeway Foundation and Humanities DC.
Yoav Potash produced and directed the documentary “Crime After Crime,” which tracked the legal battle to free a survivor of abuse from a California prison. A Sundance Film Festival premiere and New York Times Critics’ Pick, the film earned over two dozen honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the National Board of Review’s Freedom of Expression Award, the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award for Investigative Documentary Feature and six audience awards. The film sparked new legislation in multiple US states, and Potash has since adapted the story of the documentary into a dramatic screenplay, which has received six screenwriting honors. Yoav also produced and directed the documentary “Food Stamped,” winner of San Francisco IndieFest’s Jury Prize.
Mikaela Shwer is an award-winning filmmaker and editor with a passion for bringing important stories to life. Her feature directorial debut, “Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie),” about undocumented activist Angy Rivera was broadcast on PBS/POV and was honored with the George Foster Peabody Award. In 2016, she worked with PBS SoCal and KCPT to direct, produce and edit eight short documentaries about the pursuit of the American dream for the national online series, Re:Dream. Shwer has worked in post-production on numerous projects that include: the award-winning documentary series Brick City; FX Series Louie, “The Pilgrims,” “Call Me Kuchu,” “Debt of honor: Disabled Veterans in American History” and “American Ballet Theatre: A History.”
Vishal Solanki received his BFA in applied art and photography from Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai and later moved to the US, where he studied cinematography and directing at the Los Angeles Film School. Recent credits include co-directing the documentary, “Caffeinated,” which was acquired by Amazon Prime after theatrical release; cinematography supervisor for “Cora,” a short film selected at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival 2016. Currently, he is directing “Cries In Whispers,” a documentary exposing stories of life and death in women’s prisons in California.
Melina Tupa is an award-winning Argentinean and Brazilian journalist and documentary filmmaker, specializing in human rights and Latino issues across the world. Tupa holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina and a masters degree in journalism from UC Berkeley, focusing on documentary filmmaking and photojournalism. At the Berkeley J-School, Tupa was awarded a TV/Documentary Merit Fellowship and the Carlos M. Castañeda Journalism Scholarship. Her documentary thesis, “The Search,” is a Student Academy Award finalist, a recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Excellence in Journalism Award for Student Special Project, in addition to several other awards, and has been featured in film festivals around the world.
Nigel Walker is a filmmaker and writer. His documentary work focuses on conflict, environmental abuse and international development. Walker began his career in the Middle East working for the BBC. His work has appeared on networks around the world, including CNN, ARTE, Al Jazeera and Canal Plus. He has contributed multimedia articles to Evotis, a quarterly digital magazine published by the UC Davis Wildlife Center. In 2008, he was nominated for the Olivier Quémener Award in Journalism by Reporters Without Borders for his work in West Africa. Walker produced and directed “Shadow Work” a documentary film on conflict in Ivory Coast. His work is currently being used as evidence in a war crimes tribunal at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Nigel testified in May 2016 for the prosecution. Recently, he has produced short-form documentary content for TIME Inc., WILDAID and USAID.