Chicago-based documentary filmmaker

M.F.A. in Documentary Media, Northwestern University

B.A. in Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania

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In production

Hurtling through the streets of Chicago in a creaky old church van, a close-knit choir of East African refugees sing the future into being in four-part harmony.

In production

Directed by Sebastian Pinzon Silva

Nearly twenty years after fleeing for their lives, a community returns to the overgrown ruins of their home in the jungle for a celebration, resurrecting a village that exists only in their memory.

Supported by Sundance Institute Documentary Fund

labonga.film

115 minutes

Directed by Julia Reichert & Steven Bognar

Rust-belt Ohio. In the husk of a huge, abandoned GM plant, a Chinese billionaire entrepreneur opens a new factory, hiring two thousand blue-collar Americans. Early days of hope and optimism are truly tested by the enormity of the project, and by the cultural differences between high-tech China and post-industrial Midwest America.

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival

19 minutes

Directed by Luther Clement & Shuhan Fan

The underdog story of a fencer from Brooklyn who overcomes a gauntlet of hardships on the road to the Olympics.

Premiere: Sundance Film Festival

10 minutes

Directed by Iyabo Kwayana

Filmed near a Shaolin temple in Henan, China, Practice is a mesmerizing visual choreography in which hundreds of people dance as one, expressing the director’s love for collective practice.

Screenings: Visions du Reel, Camden International, AFI Docs, Chicago Underground Film Festival

104 minutes

Directed by Jonathan Olshefski

Filmed with vérité intimacy for nearly a decade, Quest is the moving portrait of the Rainey family living in North Philadelphia. Epic in scope, a vivid illumination of race and class in America, and a testament to love, healing and hope.

Screenings: Sundance, Sheffield, True/False, New Directors/New Films, Full Frame, Camden International, AFI Docs

quest-documentary.com

25 minutes

Directed by Sebastian Pinzon Silva

Guided by motifs of life and death, Palenque is an ode to a small town that has greatly contributed to the collective memory of Colombia: San Basilio de Palenque, the first town in the Americas to have broken free from European domination.

Festival de Curtas Belo Horizonte Best International Short Film, Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse Audience Award, DGA Student Jury Award Winner | Screenings: Locarno, New Directors/New Films, Camden International, Festival dei Popoli, FICValdivia, RIDM, True/False

sebastianpinzonsilva.com/palenque

19 minutes

Directed by Mina Fitzpatrick

A man is found dead when a Chicago film crew travels to chronicle his story. Interviews with the surrounding community slowly unveil the unnerving history of the man and his quest to create a retreat for children who had killed their parents.

Screenings: San Sebastian, Chicago International

14 minutes

Directed by Timothy Fryett

Inside a family-owned, community funeral home on the south side of Chicago, a series of workplace vignettes carefully reveal the peculiar, highly charged intersection of existential drama and banal routine.

Screenings: New Directors/New Films, AFI Docs, Chicago International, Ethnografilm

6 minutes

Directed by Mina Fitzpatrick

Documenting the process of newspaper printing at the largest printing facility in North America, Run of Press journeys alongside two-ton reams of paper as they glide and snake their way through the factory, eventually taking the form of printed stories. The result is an immersive exploration that both depicts and abstracts a space of labor redolent with implications for a troubled industry.

ASC Haskell Wexler Award Finalist

Screenings: Maryland International, Chicago Made Shorts, Chicagoland Shorts vol. 2, FilmBath

75 minutes

Directed by Vic Compher

How are professional caregivers and first responders affected emotionally and physically? Who helps the helpers? Taking a journey into a world the public rarely sees, Caregivers depicts the emotional costs experienced by professional care providers, probing the emotional consequences of professional public service.

Mid-Atlantic Emmy Documentary Award Nominee

Screenings: Spotlight Orlando Film Festival, APHA Global Public Health Film Festival, National Association of Social Workers Film Festival

caregiversfilm.com