News & Updates

Original Body of Pain Lands Outreach Grant

Wake Forest University’s Center for Bioethics, Health and Society has awarded SJ Wright and Dominic Silva an outreach and impact grant for their thesis film Original Body of Pain.  The film profiles the lived experiences of women and children struggling with the ripples of opioid addiction.  The grant will provide the filmmakers with $5,000 to use toward project outreach and educational support materials

“We are thrilled that CBHS is supporting our efforts to bring the stories of these resilient women into the community and to educate the public about the stigma around opioid addiction,” said Wright and Silva.

We congratulate the Silva and Wright on securing this grant and extend our appreciation to the CBHS for its continued support of DFP student films.

Berra Co-Directs New York Times Op-Doc

DFP alumna Monica Berra (MFA ’16) co-directed, produced, and edited, Black Colleges in the Age of Trump, released this week by The New York Times Op-Docs. Berra co-directed the Op-Doc with critically acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson. Nelson is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning director and producer, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, and a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association.

“I’m thrilled to share this short documentary which takes a look at the treatment of our nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by the Trump administration. It was a true honor to make this film with director Stanley Nelson.”

                                                                                 — Monica Berra

The Op-Doc is adapted from Nelson’s latest feature documentary Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, will premiere on the PBS series Independent Lens on Feb. 19th 2018 at 9pm ET. Berra is the Impact and Engagement Coordinator for the film. You can learn more about the film and its outreach events at Tell Them We Are Rising #HBCUrising.

Daddy Premieres in DC

Congratulations to John Gallen (MFA ’17) and Alex Faoro (MFA’17)!  We are delighted to share the news that their film Daddy will make its world premiere as an official selection of the DC Independent Film Festival on February 19th.

Daddy tells the story of beloved youth basketball coach and duplicitous drug trafficker Curtis Malone. In examining Curtis’s life from his childhood to his arrest, it challenges audiences to decide if he is a calculating criminal or caring mentor. In addition to Curtis, the film includes interviews with the NBA players he raised, the DEA agents who investigated him, and the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted him.

Emmy-Nominated Producer and Editor Visits DFP

Emmy-nominated producer and editor Inbal Lessner stopped by the DFP this week to share her producing and editing expertise with the students. Lessner, who is serving as a visiting instructor at UNCSA this fall, has worked in non-scripted television, documentary series, documentary feature and narrative films. She produced and edited Brave Miss World, which premiered at AFI Docs and was launched as a Netflix exclusive in 2014. The film received an Emmy nomination for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. Lessner spoke to the students about her career path and offered a workshop on archival editing.

Gilbert Leads BendFilm Festival Panel

DPF Professor of Practice and producer/cinematographer Peter Gilbert recently moderated the second annual First Features panel at the BendFilm Festival in Bend, Oregon. The First Features panel brings in established independent filmmakers to share their experience to help mentor emerging filmmakers breaking into the industry. Gilbert discussed his filmmaking journey from the Sundance premiere of the documentary Hoop Dreams to the experience of making his first narrative feature, Prefontaine.  Gilbert and the panelists also discussed the industry-wide issues emerging filmmakers face today.  The panelists included: Jamie Brooks (Bomb City), Kate Brooks (The Last Animals), Josh Crockett (Dr. Brink & Dr. Brinks), and Jen Heck (The Promised Band)

BendFilm Festival also hosted a 20th anniversary screening and post film discussion of Prefontaine. The film, produced by Gilbert and directed by Steve James, chronicles the life of long distance runner Steve Prefontiane.

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