BIO

olshefski2

Jonathan Olshefski is a documentary filmmaker and artist. He strives to tell intimate and nuanced stories that honor his subjects’ complexity by employing a production process that emphasizes collaboration, dialogue, and relationship to amplify their voices and reflect their points of view in an artful way.

He was selected as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 2017 “25 New Faces In Independent Film” – http://filmmakermagazine.com/people/jonathan-olshefski/

He has an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and is an Associate Professor at Rowan University where he teaches in the department of Radio, TV, and Film. He lives in Philadelphia with his partner Holly and two sons, Caleb and Zeke.

Contact: jonolshefski[at]gmail.com

QUEST

A Portrait of an American Family

quest-filmstill-qma-sd

Feature Length Documentary (10 years in the making)

World Premiere: Sundance Film Festival 2017: Documentary Feature Competition

http://www.sundance.org/blogs/news/competition-and-next-films-announced-for-2017-festival

Sundance Profile Page – http://www.sundance.org/projects/quest

website: http://quest-documentary.com/

Synopsis:

Filmed with vérité intimacy for almost a decade, QUEST is the moving portrait of an African-American family in North Philadelphia. Beginning at the dawn of the Obama presidency, Christopher “Quest” Rainey, and his wife Christine’a “Ma Quest” Rainey navigate the strife that sometimes grips their “North Philly” neighborhood as they raise a family and cultivate a creative sanctuary for the community in their home music studio. Epic in scope, QUEST is a vivid illumination of race and class in America, and a testament to love, healing and hope.

Awards:

Winner: Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award – Full Frame 2017

Winner: Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights – Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2017

Winner: Grand Jury Prize Documentary Feature – Dallas International Film Festival 2017

Winner: Grand Jury Prize Documentary Feature – RiverRun International Film Festival 2017

Winner: Grand Jury Prize Documentary Feature – Ashland Independent Film Festival 2017

Winner: People’s Voice Award – Fist Up Film Festival – 2017

Winner: Audience Award – Camden International Film Festival – 2017

Special Jury Mention: Grand Jury Prize Documentary Feature – Cleveland International 2017

Honorable Mention: Grand Jury Prize Documentary Feature – Nashville Film Festival 2017

Press: TV/Web Video/Radio/Podcast Spots:

• Park City TV, Park City UT, In the Can, January 21, 2017
http://www.parkcity.tv/sundance-film-festival/#sundance-programming

• Sundance TV, Park City UT, Panel: Getting Emotional with Documentary Filmmakers, January 23, 2017
http://www.sundance.tv/festival/blog/2017/01/sundancetv-talks-panels-to-focus-on-feature-documentary-and-short-indie-filmmaking

• X96 Radio From Hell, Salt Lake City UT, Hosts: Kerry Jackson, Bill Allred, and Gina Barberi, Film Festival Coverage 2017, January 23, 2017
https://x96.com/life/radio-from-hell-2017-film-festival-coverage-quest/

• KBIA 91.3FM Public Radio, Columbia MO, 2017 True/False Podcast, Time with Jon Olshefski, April 20, 2017
http://kbia.org/post/time-jon-olshefski

• ABC Radio 774 AM, Melbourne Australia, Breakfast with Red Symons, May 17, 2017
https://twitter.com/abcmelbourne/status/864593176815964160

• Triple R 102.7 FM, Melbourne Australia, Breakfasters, May 17, 2017
https://www.rrr.org.au/whats-going-on/news/quest/

• Interlochen Public Radio 94.7FM, Interlochen MI, 2017 TCFF Panel: The doc panel, July 29, 2017
http://interlochenpublicradio.org/post/2017-tcff-panel-doc-panel

Print Press: Articles/Reviews/Interviews:

• Indiewire, Paula Bernstein, IFP Sets 10 Docs for Its 10th Annual Indie Filmmaker Labs, May 12, 2014
http://www.indiewire.com/2014/05/ifp-sets-10-docs-for-its-10th-annual-indie-filmmaker-labs-26861/

• Rowan Today, Stephen Levine, Quest of a lifetime: Film prof nets $100K MacArthur grant, February 8, 2016
http://today.rowan.edu/home/news/2016/02/08/quest-lifetime-film-prof-nets-100k-macarthur-grant

• Philadelphia Inquirer, Mike Newall, A portrait of a family and a window into the city, February 14, 2016
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20160214_A_portrait_of_a_family_and_a_window_into_the_city.html

• Temple University Press, Angelo Fichera, Alumnus’ film follows North Philadelphia family, March 15, 2016
https://news.temple.edu/news/2016-03-14/alumnus-film-follows-north-philadelphia-family-through-happiness-and-hardship

• Indiewire, Graham Winfrey, How This Filmmaking Grant Fostered the Doc Scene for 10 Years — and Won’t Stop Anytime Soon, June 2, 2016
http://www.indiewire.com/2016/06/garrett-scott-filmmaking-grant-thom-powers-full-frame-host-winners-documentary-sneak-peek-1201683393/

• Sundance Institute, staff, 2017 Sundance Film Festival: Competition And Next Lineup Announced, November 29, 2016
https://www.sundance.org/blogs/news/competition-and-next-films-announced-for-2017-festival

• Indiewire, Steve Greene, Sundance 2017 IndieWire Critics Poll Results: Best Documentary, January 21, 2017 (QUEST ranked #2)
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/best-documentary-of-sundance-2017-critics-survey-1201774634/

• Daily Herald, Court Mann, Sundance doc ‘Quest’ reveals the true isolation at poverty’s core, January, 21, 2017
http://www.heraldextra.com/entertainment/movies/sundance/sundance-doc-quest-reveals-the-true-isolation-at-poverty-s/article_c207781f-a1b6-5ecb-9f72-3781b8dddfe5.html

• RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico, Sundance 2017: “The Force,” “Quest,” “Trophy” , January 22, 2017
http://www.rogerebert.com/sundance/sundance-2017-the-force-quest-trophy

• Filmmaker Magazine, Vadim Rizov, Sundance Dispatch 2: Dina, Quest, My Happy Family, January 22, 2017
http://filmmakermagazine.com/101169-sundance-dispatch-2-dina-quest-my-happy-family/

• The Playlist, Bradley Warren, Jonathan Olshefski’s ‘Quest’ Is A Deeply Satisfying & Timely Documentary Portrait [Sundance Review], January 22, 2017
http://theplaylist.net/jonathan-olshefskis-quest-deeply-satisfying-timely-documentary-portrait-sundance-review-20170122/

• Salt Lake Tribune, Sean P. Means, Sundance review: ‘Quest’, January 22, 2017
http://www.sltrib.com/blogs/sundance/4851615-155/sundance-review-quest

• Indiewire, Chris O’Falt, ‘Quest’: How a Photo Essay Turned into a Documentary About 8 Years in the Life of a North Philly Family, January 23, 2017
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/quest-photo-essay-turned-documentary-sundance-2017-1201771845/

• Indiewire, Jude Dry, ‘Quest’ Review: A North Philadelphia Family Perseveres in Slow-Burning Verité — Sundance 2017, January 23, 2017
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/quest-review-documentary-sundance-2017-1201771679/

• AV Club, A. A, Dowd, Woody Harrelson, Daniel Clowes, and our favorite films of Sundance 2017, January 25, 2017
https://film.avclub.com/woody-harrelson-daniel-clowes-and-our-favorite-films-1798256784

• Indiewire, Annakeara Stinson and Chris O’Falt, Sundance 2017: Here Are the Cameras Used to Shoot This Year’s Acclaimed Films, January 25, 2017
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/sundance-2017-cameras-arri-canon-red-sony-1201770071/

• Filmmaker Magazine, Staff, “I Became Like Furniture”: Director/DP Jonathan Olshefski on Quest, January 25, 2017
http://filmmakermagazine.com/101248-i-became-like-furniture-directordp-jonathan-olshefski-on-quest/#.WcRB9oprxE4

• Nonfics, Christopher Campbell, Quest Chronicles a Dramatic Coming of Age During the Obama Years, January 26, 2017
https://nonfics.com/quest-review-c1d20d6332aa

• Flavorwire, Jason Bailey, Sundance Diary, Day 7: ‘Oklahoma City,’ ‘Quest,’ ‘Trophy,’ and Final Thoughts, January 26, 2017
http://flavorwire.com/598225/sundance-diary-day-7-oklahoma-city-quest-trophy-and-final-thoughts

• New York Times, Manohla Dargis, No Escaping Politics at the Progressive Sundance Film Festival, January 27, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/movies/no-escaping-politics-at-the-progressive-sundance-festival.html

• Moveable Fest, Stephen Saito, Sundance ’17 Review: “Quest” is an Extraordinary Portrait of an American Family’s Journey, January 27, 2017
http://moveablefest.com/moveable_fest/2017/01/jonathan-olshefski-quest.html

• Exclaim!, Josiah Hughes, Exclaim!’s Best (and Worst) Films from Sundance 2017, January 27, 2017
http://exclaim.ca/film/article/exclaim_s_best_and_worst_films_from_sundance_2017

• Indiewire, Chris O’Falt, Power Struggles: Sundance Documentarians Tell Us What It Means to Collaborate With Their Subjects, January 28, 2017
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/sundance-2017-documentary-subjects-1201774020/

• Indiewire, Eric Kohn, Sundance 2017 Awards Analysis: In a Troubled World, Jurors Chose the Personal Stories, January 29, 2017
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/01/sundance-2017-awards-analysis-i-dont-feel-at-home-in-this-world-anymore-dina-1201775192/

• Birth Death Movies, Jason Gorber, Sundance Interview: QUEST’s Jonathan Olshefski And Sabrina Schmidt Gordon. How a ten-year-journey become of of this Sundance’s best documentaries, January 30, 2017
http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2017/01/30/sundance-interview-quests-jonathan-olshefski-and-sabrina-schmidt-gordon

• Roger Ebert.com, Sasha Kohan, Sundance 2017 Interview: The Filmmakers of “Quest”, January, 30, 2017
http://www.rogerebert.com/sundance/sundance-2017-interview-the-filmmakers-of-quest

• Indiewire, Steve Greene, Sundance: The 12 Best Movies of the 2017 Festival, January 31, 2017
http://www.indiewire.com/gallery/sundance-2017-best-films-a-ghost-story-big-sick-mudbound/#!12/undefined/

• Hollywood Reporter, Duane Byrge, ‘Quest’: Film Review | Sundance 2017, January 31, 2017
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/a-stirring-portrait-an-city-black-family-968971

• The Film Stage, Michael Syndal, Quest: Sundance 2017 Review, January 31, 2017
https://thefilmstage.com/reviews/sundance-review-quest-is-an-ambitious-documentary-that-would-benefit-from-a-tighter-focus/

• Eye For Film, Amber Wilkinson, Quest, February 7, 2017
http://www.eyeforfilm.co.uk/review/quest-2016-film-review-by-amber-wilkinson

• Film Comment, Amy Taubin, Trails of Destruction: At Sundance, one film after another faced up to the world’s woes, March/April 2017
https://www.filmcomment.com/article/mudbound-beatriz-at-dinner-crown-heights-sundance-2017/

• Columbia Daily Tribune, Roger McKinney, True/False films take on race, March 5, 2017
http://www.columbiatribune.com/e87e263c-923d-595f-abb3-0bea25e9f817.html

• Slant Magazine, Chuck Bowen, Quest, March 7, 2017
http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/quest

• Move Magazine, Brooke Collier, In ‘Quest,’ music drives the story, March 9, 2017
http://move.themaneater.com/stories/2017/3/9/quest-music-drives-story/#.WcbKloprxE4

• New York Times, A.O. Scott, The 9 New Directors You Need to Watch, March 14, 2017
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/14/movies/the-9-new-directors-you-need-to-watch.html

• Screen Anarchy, Christopher Bourne, New Directors/New Films 2017: 6 Must-See Selections, March 15, 2017
http://screenanarchy.com/2017/03/new-directorsnew-films-2017-10-must-see-selections-gallery.html

• Independent Magazine, Kurt Brokaw, New Directors/New Films 2017: “Quest”, March 17, 2017
http://independent-magazine.org/2017/03/ndnf-2017-quest/

• Criterion Cast, Joshua Brunsting, New Directors/New Films 2017 Runs March 15-26, And Here Are The Films You’ll Be Hearing About, March 14, 2017
http://criterioncast.com/reviews/theatrical/new-directorsnew-films-2017-runs-march-15-26-and-here-are-the-films-youll-be-hearing-about

• Bold As Love Magazine, Curtis Caesar John, REVIEW: ‘QUEST’ is an Intimate Philly Family Portrait – New Directors/New Films 2017, March 17, 2017
http://boldaslove.us/2017/03/17/review-quest-is-an-intimate-philly-family-portrait-new-directorsnew-films-2017/

• Hammer to Nail, Nelson Kim, Nelson Kim’s New Directors/New Films 2017 Highlights, March 17, 2017
http://www.hammertonail.com/film-festivals/nelson-kims-ndnf-2017-highlights/

• Paste Magazine, Tim Grierson, Take Care of Each Other: Paste at the 2017 True/False Film Fest, March 20, 2017
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/03/take-care-of-each-other-paste-at-the-2017-truefals.html

• Variety, Guy Lodge, Film Review: ‘QUEST’, March 23, 2017
http://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/quest-review-1202014622/

• Indiewire, Chris O’Falt, One-Person Crew: The Pros and Cons of Making a Documentary By Yourself, March 27, 2017
http://www.indiewire.com/2017/03/shooting-documentary-by-yourself-city-of-ghosts-quest-hooligan-sparrow-1201797506/

• Creative Loafing Charlotte, Matt Brunson, RiverRun Wrap 2017, April 10, 2017
https://clclt.com/charlotte/riverrun-wrap-2017/Content?oid=4301476

• The Duke Chronicle, Nina Wilder, Full Frame 2017: Interview with the cast and crew of ‘Quest’, April 12, 2017
http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2017/04/full-frame-quest

• Pro Bono Australia, Staff, Tenth Human Rights Arts & Film Festival Launches 2017 Program, April 12, 2017
https://probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2017/04/tenth-human-rights-arts-film-festival-launches-2017-program/

• Shadow And Act, Aramide A Tinubu, Sundance 2017 Review: ‘Quest’ Is a Sobering But Warm Welcome Into the Lives of a North Philly Family, April 20, 2017
https://shadowandact.com/sundance-2017-review-quest-gives-a-sobering-but-warm-welcome-into-the-lives-of-a-north-philly-family/

• The Toronto Star, Bruce Demara, What’s hot at the Hot Docs film festival this year, April 23, 2017
https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2017/04/23/whats-hot-at-the-hot-docs-film-festival-this-year.html

• Exclaim!, Josiah Hughes, Quest Directed by Jonathan Olshefski, April 25, 2017
http://exclaim.ca/film/article/quest-directed_by_jonathan_olshefski

• Hot Docs Jots, staff, Director Jonathan Olshefski and Producer Sabrina Schmidt Gordon discuss process in QUEST, April 25, 2017
http://www.hotdocs.ca/i/jots/director-jonathan-olshefski-and-producer-sabrina-schmidt-gordon-discuss-their-film-quest

• Film Forward, Phil Guie, Quest, April 28, 2017
http://film-forward.com/documentary/quest

• POV Magazine, Jason Gorber, Review: ‘Quest’, April 29, 2017
http://povmagazine.com/articles/view/review-quest

• The Georgia Straight, Mike Usinger, DOXA 2017 review: Quest, May 4, 2017
http://www.straight.com/movies/904171/doxa-2017-review-quest

• PDN Photo District News, Holly Stuart Hughes, An American Family/First-Time Director Jonathan Olshefski on Creating a Feature-Length Documentary, June 2017
https://www.pdnonline.com/gear/techniques/video-filmmaking/first-time-director-jonathan-olshefski-creating-feature-length-documentary/

• Art Forum, Amy Taubin, Everyday People: Jonathan Olshefski’s Documentary Portrait of an American Family in Philadelphia, Summer 2017
https://www.artforum.com/inprint/issue=201706&id=68690

• Cinevue, Zoe Margolis, Film Review: QUEST, August, 2017
http://www.cine-vue.com/2017/08/film-review-quest.html

• Little White Lies, David Jenkins, Quest, August 11, 2017
http://lwlies.com/reviews/quest/

• The Arts Desk, Markie Robson-Scott, Quest review – intimate documentary about a north Philly community, August 15, 2017
http://www.theartsdesk.com/film/quest-review-intimate-documentary-about-north-philly-community

• Time Out Magazine, Helen O’Hara, Quest, August 15, 2017
https://www.timeout.com/london/film/quest

• Dirty Movies, Victor Fraga, Quest, August 15, 2017
http://www.dmovies.org/2017/08/15/quest/

• The Digital Fix, Steven Sheehan, QUEST, August 17, 2017
https://www.thedigitalfix.com/film/content/81866/quest/

• The London Economic, Michael McNulty, Quest: Documentary Review, August 17, 2017
https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/film/quest-documentary-review/17/08/

• Hey U Guys, Linda Marric, Quest Review, August 17, 2017
https://www.heyuguys.com/quest-review/

• The Times, Kevin Maher, Film review: Quest, August 18, 2017
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/film-review-quest-rrbv3nsjs

• The Irish Times, Donald Clarke, Quest review: a portrait of real black lives in the Obama years, August 18, 2017
https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/film/quest-review-a-portrait-of-real-black-lives-in-the-obama-years-1.3187401

• The Guardian, Simran Hans, Quest review – black lives in the age of Obama, August 20, 2017
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/20/quest-review-documentary-black-lives-in-age-of-obama

• The Times, Edward Porter, Film reviews: The Hitman’s Bodyguard; The Dark Tower; Quest; Final Portrait; The Untamed; An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power; The Odyssey, August 20, 2017
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/film-reviews-the-hitmans-bodyguard-the-dark-tower-quest-final-portrait-the-untamed-an-inconvenient-sequel-truth-to-power-the-odyssey-vf9v70gvj

• Full Frame, staff, Director Jonathan Olshefski on QUEST, August 31, 2017
https://www.fullframefest.org/2017/08/director-jonathan-olshefski-quest/

• Alice Bishop.com, Alice Bishop, “Quest” Review, September 1, 2017
https://www.alicebishop.net/2017/09/01/quest/

• Sight & Sound Magazine, Hannah McGill, Film of the week: Quest’s loving, humane family portrait, September 2017
http://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/sight-sound-magazine/reviews-recommendations/quest-review-jonathan-olshefski-philadelphia

• Filmmaker Magazine, Vadim Rizov, 25 New Faces of Independent Film, Fall 2017
http://filmmakermagazine.com/people/jonathan-olshefski/

Festivals:

Film Festivals:

* = attended in person for opening remarks/Q&A

• Sundance Film Festival*, January 19 – 29, 2017
Category: U.S. Documentary Competition
(Competition Selection Rate: 1.4%: 4,068 submissions, 56 selected)
• True/False Film Festival*, March 2 – 5, 2017
• Wisconsin Film Festival, March 30 – April 6, 2017
• New Directors/New Films*, March 16 – 27, 2017
• Full Frame Documentary Film Festival*, April 6 – 9, 2017
(Selection Rate: 4%: 1,700 submissions, 70 selected)
Winner: Reva and David Logan Grand Jury Award (top prize)
Winner: Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights
• Cleveland International Film Festival, March 29 – April 9, 2017
Special Jury Mention: Feature Documentary
• Ashland Independent Film Festival, April 6 – 10, 2017
Winner: Les Blank Award: Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary
• Dallas International Film Festival, March 30 – April 9, 2017
Winner: Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary
• RiverRun International Film Festival, March 30 – April 9, 2017
Winner: Grand Jury Award for Best Feature Documentary
• Wicked Queer LGBT Film Festival at Museum of Fine Arts Boston,
March 30 – April 9, 2017
• Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, April 13 – 29, 2017
• Nashville Film Festival April 24 – 25, 2017
Honorable Mention: Best Feature Documentary
• BAM: New Voices in Black Cinema Festival*, April 26 – 30, 2017
• Hot Docs*, Toronto Canada, April 27 – May 7, 2017
• Doxa Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver Canada, May 4 – 14, 2017
• Melbourne Human Rights Arts and Film Festival* (Closing Night Film),
Melbourne Australia, May 4 – 18, 2017
• Fist Up Film Festival, Oakland California, May 11, 2017
Winner: People’s Voice Award
• Docaviv Film Festival, Tel Aviv Israel, May 11 – May 20, 2017
• Seattle International Film Festival, May 18 – June 11, 2017
• One Take Film Festival (Opening Night Film), Rochester NY, May 18 – 21, 2017
• Cinetopia* (Opening Night Film), Detroit MI, June 1 – June 11, 2017
• Lighthouse International Film Festival (Documentary Centerpiece), Beach Haven NJ, June 8 – 11, 2017
• Sheffield Doc/Fest*, Sheffield England, June 9 – 14, 2017
• AFI Docs*, Washington DC, June 14 – 18, 2017
• Frameline: San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, San Francisco CA,
June 18, 2017
• Nantucket Film Festival, June 21 – 26, 2017
• Rooftop Films*, New York NY, July 1, 2017
• Outfest: LGBT Film Festival, Los Angeles CA, July 11, 2017
• Yerbe Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco CA, July 13 – 17, 2017
• Gimli Film Festival, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada, July 23 – 28, 2017
• Guanajuato International Film Festival, San Miguel, Mexico, July 21 – 30, 2017
• Traverse City Film Festival*, Traverse City MI, July 26 – 27, 2017
• New Zealand International Film Festival, July 20 – August 13, 2017
• Guth Gafa International Documentary Film Festival*, Kells, County Meath, Ireland,
August 4 – 7, 2017
• Black Harvest Film Festival*, Chicago IL, August 12 – 14, 2017
• Sound Track Cologne, Cologne Germany, August 23 – 27, 2017
• Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, Middlebury VT, August 24 – 27, 2017
• Sidewalk Film Festival, Birmingham AL, August 25 – 27, 2017
• Camden International Film Festival*, Camden Maine, September 14 – 17, 2017
Winner: Audience Award
• Hayti Heritage Center, Durham NC, September 21, 2017
• DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, Goyang and Paju City, South Korea, September 21 – 28, 2017
• Zurich Film Festival*, Zurich Switzerland, September 28 – October 8, 2017
• Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Hot Springs AR, October 6 – 15, 2017
• Milwaukee Film Festival, Milwaukee WI, September 28 – October 12, 2017
• New Orleans Film Festival, New Orleans LA, October 11 – 19, 2017
• Globedocs Film Festival, Boston MA, October 11 – 15, 2017
• Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival*, Mumbai India, October 12 – 18, 2017
• Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis IN, October 12 -22, 2017
• Alexander Valley Film Festival, Cloverdale CA, October 19 – 22, 2017
• Unorthodox at Wexner Center for the Arts*, Columbus OH, October 19 – 22, 2017
• Vermont International Film Festival, Burlington VT, October 20 – 29, 2017

Video Links:

• Gallery Show / Screening Event – pilot for engagement campaign 10/7/2016 – Circle of Hope Gallery – Philadelphia

Quest: The Fury and the Sound – Philly Event – 10-7-2016 from Jonathan Olshefski on Vimeo.

Distinctions:

• Co-production in American Documentary | POV, January 2017

• Kartemquin Rough Cut Lab, November 2016

• Good Pitch New York, November 2016 – https://goodpitch.org/events/gpny2016

• Pare Lorentz / IDA Grant, October 2016

• True/False | Catapult Film Fund Rough Cut Retreat, August 2016

• Co-production with ITVS, April 2016

• Garrett Scott Documentary Development Grant 2016

• Grant from the MacArthur Foundation, January 2016

• Grant from Cinereach Foundation, December 2015

• IFP Documentary Lab – 2015

 

Punk Rock Mommy

prm_poster

Photo/Transmedia Exhibit, Interactive Website, Animation Installation

Book is forthcoming – seeking publishing partner

Overview:
Punk Rock Mommy is the story of Andrea Collins-Smith, mother of six, and a good friend. I documented her experience as she fought terminal cancer while she reflected on her life by writing a blog that eventually went viral and culminated in over 600,000 views.

I miss Andrea dearly. Her persistence in compellingly sharing her story through good days and bad days as a means of connecting to others demonstrates the power of narrative to create community. Her choice to collaborate with me throughout her journey was an incredible honor and is what gave me the confidence to pursue everything that I have done since.

These media artifacts include: four different interactive websites, a collection of still photographs hand-printed in a darkroom, three videos, an interactive installation, a booklet/zine, a solo gallery show, and a book that is currently in progress.

• Blog – http://punkrockmommy.org/blog/

• Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/punkrockmommy

• Video from gallery show: https://vimeo.com/78958331

• Gallery show website: http://punkrockmommy.org/fn/prm1.html

• Punk Rock Mommy article 5/8/2014 : Philadelphia City Paper

• Punk Rock Mommy article 6/18/2014 – Main Course Philly

Depaul USA: We Believe in You

depaulusa

Short Documentary
5 minutes
Completed: February 2014

Synopsis:
A recovering heroin addict comes to Depaul House after being released from prison in order to seek a better life. Depaul USA is a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and job training for homeless men in Philadelphia.

I was an artist in residence at Depaul when this film was made. I have served on Depaul USA’s Local Advisory Council since 2014.

• Won an Award of Excellence in promotional video category at the Broadcast Education Association Conference, Festival of Media Arts: Faculty Competition in February 2015.

https://us.depaulcharity.org/depaul-home/our-work/programs/depaul-house-philadelphia

The Closer Project

closerproject

Overview:

Closer: A Journey with Charles is a multi-format, multi-year (2008 – 2013) transmedia documentary project. It seeks to provoke introspection about one’s proximity to marginalized individuals and to question assumptions about people from these communities while creating a complex portrait of a man named Charles as he transitions out of homelessness.

Closer: A Moment with Charles
Completed 2012
Interactive installation: a metaphor for daily erasures that renders certain members of our society invisible.

Documentation website: http://whispersinthestorm.com/installation/

• Won “Best in Show” at the International Digital Media Arts Association national conference in November 2012.

reclose

reClose: A Journey with Charles
Completed 2013
This chapter conveys Charles’ transition from the streets to housing.

• Received “Honorable Mention” at the International Digital Media Arts Association national conference in November 2013.

Website – http://whispersinthestorm.com/reclose/

The Scrapper

thescrapper

Documentary – 32 minutes / Photo Essay
Completed 2008

Synopsis:
The Scrapper follows the nightly routine of Joe, one of Philadelphia’s scrappers. Scrapping is a way of life in many urban areas where a tremendous amount of wealth is simply thrown into the trash.

After the sun sets Joe traverses the urban landscape in search of treasure. The film sheds light on a hidden, yet pervasive, activity through a man who desires to be respected for doing the activity that he loves. As the secrets of his shadowy activities become revealed so do the details of his surprising past.

• Premiered at the 2008 Chicago Underground Film Festival
• Broadcast run on MiND TV in 2011 – 2016

Website: http://thescrapper.org

Whispers in the Storm

whispersinthestorm

A series of photo essays captured in North Philadelphia between 2005 and 2007.

Overview:
Whispers in the Storm pairs photos essays with audio interviews to tell of stories hope and hardship in North Philadelphia.

Complete series: https://vimeo.com/album/4259669

Memoir: The Oral History

screen-shot-2016-10-28-at-7-46-49-pm

Interactive Narrative – Flash

Synopsis:

As a non-linear, interactive experience Memoir: The Oral History provides fragments of narrative that the participant must piece together in order to reveal a treatise on memory, violence, and who gets labelled “the bad guy” in our society.

Completed 2004
Website: http://whispersinthestorm.com/memoir/