The following 12 filmmakers have been selected to attend the February 2018 workshop:
Mirra Bank is a longtime member of the independent documentary community. Her work often explores experiences of women and minorities. She is also drawn to “hidden” history and to local struggles in remote communities. Her genre-bending “Nobody’s Girls” (PBS) illuminated the lives of five remarkable minority women in the Old West. Bank’s Academy Award shortlisted “Last Dance” (Sundance Channel) followed a fang and claw collaboration between Pilobolus Dance Company and Maurice Sendak on a haunting work drawn from holocaust events. Filming over six years in the strife-torn Indian border state of Manipur. Bank created “The Only Real Game,” an unlikely human rights/baseball documentary. She is now finishing “No Fear No Favor,” (working title), set in Zambia’s vast and vulnerable Kafue Wilderness. This film goes to the front lines of Africa’s poaching and habitat crisis with women and men determined to preserve their living heritage for future generations.
Victoria Bouloubasis is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker based in the southern United States. She is an editor at INDY Week in Durham, North Carolina, where she has worked as a chief contributor since 2008. She recently completed a reporting trip as a 2017 IWMF Adelante fellow to El Salvador and Guatemala. Her work explores the intersections of food, immigration, labor rights, identity, and culture and she has reported from the United States, Mexico, Central America and Greece. Victoria has written for The American Prospect, The Guardian, Guernica and Bon Appetit. Her short films have been featured in documentary festivals and on PBS.org and local PBS stations. She is currently directing “The Last Partera,” a feature-length documentary film about midwifery and feminism in rural Costa Rica. Victoria graduated from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Spanish and an M.A. in American Studies.
Yi Chen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Washington D.C. and adjunct faculty at George Mason University. She was named “Filmmaker of the Month” by the DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment in 2013. Yi produced and directed a half-hour documentary “Chinatown: A Changing Neighborhood,” which aired on PBS station
WHUT and is distributed by Tugg Educational. Her projects have received grants from the
Southern Documentary Fund, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Women in Film and Video. She has participated in the Tribeca IF/Then pitch at the St. Louis International Film Festival and Docs In Progress Fellowship. Yi has more than 10 years of experience producing, shooting and editing digital media projects for the Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic Society, United Nations Foundation, Financial Times, Hillwood Museum, and Investigating Reporting Workshop. She is a graduate of American University’s MFA program in Film and Electronic Media.
Bridgette Cyr is a Roy H. Park Fellow and master’s candidate in visual communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bridgette’s filmmaking has taken her to the improbably named Dismal Swamp of North Carolina to home studios of hip-hop artists in Havana, Cuba. Her work has been recognized by the 72nd College Photographer of the Year competition, the Online Journalism Awards and the 37th Frame photojournalism showcase. Before returning to school, she worked as the Artist Services Coordinator at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
Christine Delp is a documentary producer and director based in Durham, North Carolina. She is currently co-directing the documentary short “Santuario,” which won Tribeca’s IF/Then pitch. She is also currently producing the documentary feature “Burden of Proof,” directed by Emmy- and Peabody-winning filmmaker Cynthia Hill. Christine began working with Hill as an outreach coordinator for “Private Violence” (HBO) and has since worked as associate producer for Seasons 3-5 of Hill’s “A Chef’s Life” (PBS) and “Road to Race Day” (Verizon Go90/Complex Networks). Christine is also co-producing the documentary feature “The Last Partera.” Christine’s work has been supported by HBO, Sundance Documentary Film Program, Tribeca Film Institute, IFP, Big Sky Pitch, and the Southern Documentary Fund. Christine is a Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she studied at the Center for Documentary Studies.
Jen Gilomen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and cinematographer who has directed and produced nationally and internationally distributed films, including “Life on the Line” (PBS, 2014) and “Deep Down” and its associated Virtual Mine interactive project (Independent Lens, 2010), which were funded by ITVS and MacArthur Foundation. She has also participated in the U.S. State Department’s American Documentary Showcase, and received an Emmy nomination in the category of New Approaches to News & Documentary. In 2015 to 2016, Jen was a Supervising Producer and programmer at ITVS, where she oversaw a portfolio of feature documentaries for public television. Prior to ITVS, Gilomen was Director of Independent Media at Bay Area Video Coalition, where she ran national initiatives for public media and education, programs for documentary filmmakers, and the public access television station for the City of San Francisco. She has acted as a strategic, technical, and creative advisor for more than 100 companies, independent producers, and organizations.
Filmmaker and eco-activist Shalini Kantayya recently directed the season finale for the National Geographic series “Breakthrough,” broadcast in June 2017 with Executive Producer Ron Howard. Her debut feature film, “Catching the Sun,” about the race for a clean energy future, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was named a 2016 New York Times Critics’ Pick. The film released globally in 35 languages on Netflix on Earth Day with Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio, and was nominated for Best Documentary by the Environmental Media Association. Kantayya finished in the top 10 out of 12,000 filmmakers on Fox network’s On the Lot, a show by Steven Spielberg in search of Hollywood’s next great director. Kantayya is a Sundance Documentary Film Fellow, a TED Fellow, and a Firelight Media Lab Fellow. A William J. Fulbright Scholar, she has received recognition from IFP Spotlight on Documentary, the New York Women in Film and Television, and the Jerome Hill Centennial.
Ashley Mills is a freelance director of photography and documentarian based in Chicago. She has worked with a variety of brands, including Blavity, Ford Motor Company, Boost Mobile, and STATE Bags. She also recently served as the director of photography for “Pangea,” a short independent film depicting the life of a young girl eight days after Hurricane Katrina, shot on location in New Orleans. As a projectionist at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Mills continues to grow her knowledge around filmmaking. Although she has crafted many short films, “Unapologetic” is her first venture into the feature world, and she could not be more excited to portray this powerful narrative.
Sarah Moshman is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and TEDx speaker whose work has been featured on Upworthy, Marie Claire, CNN, and “Good Morning America.” After directing two short documentaries about female empowerment in young women, “Girls Rock! Chicago” (2010) and “Growing up Strong: Girls on the Run” (2012), she set out to direct her first feature documentary, “The Empowerment Project: Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things” (2014). The film has screened more than 700 times nationally and internationally, starting conversations about gender equality. Sarah’s second feature documentary, “Losing Sight of Shore,” follows the incredible journey of four women who rowed across the Pacific Ocean and was released globally on Netflix in May 2017. Next up, she’s directing a documentary examining sexual harassment in the workplace. Moshman is dedicated to telling stories that uplift, inform and inspire as well as showcase strong female role models on screen.
Heidi Rataj is a director and producer who began her career in television and film working with David Letterman, Bonnie Hunt, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, Steven Bochco and Edward Allen Bernero. She produced the acclaimed documentary “Scratch,” which premiered at Sundance Film Festival and Cannes International Festival. Her focus shifted to healthcare when, after she realized the tremendous gap between provider and patient, integrated storytelling in traditional and new media into the healthcare ecosystem. Rataj has produced health-related content for major agencies, television, radio, academia and non-profits, including a production slate of 150 short documentaries on the nation’s top academic researchers. Rataj documented the aging population in the series “Re’flect,” which aired nationally for KPBS in 2018. She continues to develop her understanding of aging with a master’s degree in Gerontology from USC.
A Florida native turned San Francisco resident, Erin Persley is a passionate storyteller and avid traveler. She has made several short documentaries examining prison reentry for women in California, an HIV peer education program in Oklahoma, student protests at the University of Florida and heightened airport security measures since 9/11. She is interested in pushing the limits of the documentary form and telling stories of compelling personal journeys. Persley is currently working on a documentary on clinic escorts at abortion clinics, people who put themselves between hostile pro-life crowds and vulnerable patients to serve as a human shield. When she’s not behind the camera, she is either teaching at a Bay Area university or creating content for tech companies, educational brands and non-profit organizations. Regardless of the project, she likes to think she imprints every project with her own brand of creative curiosity.
Monica Wise is a Colombian-American documentary filmmaker and video journalist. Wise focuses on sharing intimate stories of resistance that span borders and highlights the feminist, LGBTI and indigenous narratives. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, TeleSUR, OZQ, AJ+, MSNBC, PBS, History Now and NBC Latino. She worked on Pamela Yates’ “500 Years,” a feature documentary following indigenous resistance in Guatemala, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Wise was a producer and cinematographer on “The New Deciders,” a PBS special with Maria Hinojosa. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and has produced work from Haiti, Cuba, Costa Rica, Chile and Colombia. She also recently completed a reporting trip as a IWMF Adelante fellow to El Salvador and Guatemala. She is currently working on a documentary series about female leaders in resistance, a well as two documentaries investigating unresolved human rights cases in Guatemala and Mexico.