The work here spans disciplines and genres.  Most of these projects are hybrids:  community-oriented filmmaking, blended with teaching, blended with artmaking for social change.  I hope that through this work I am building an ever more rigorous, thoughtful, and heartfelt approach to mediamaking.

Multiplatform & Collaborative

During 2015-2016, I was part of the team that developed a new five-year summer program at Haverford College, the DocuLabs Program.  DocuLabs is a joint initiative of VCAM (Visual Culture, Arts and Media) and the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities.  The program grew out of earlier pilot models I co-designed and implemented: the Interdisciplinary Documentary Media Fellowship (IDMF), the Troubled Waters Project, and the Pool Movie Project Summer Arts Lab (more below on those programs).

DocuLab continues, with new interdisciplinary documentary projects each summer through 2022.

From 2016-2018, I was a producer on the inaugural edition of DocuLab, planned by linguist Brook Lillehaugen and myself and carried out in Summer 2018.  This project, Dizhsa Nabani – Lengua Viva – Living Language, centered on language and identity in a Zapotec community in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Dizhsa Nabani brought together a collaborative producing team of students, filmmakers, linguist Brook Lillehaugen, and Zapotec language activist Moisés García Guzmán.  The directing team included student Fellows Sabea K. Evans, Kathryn Goldberg, Marcelo Jauregui-Volpe, Edward Ogborn, and Katie Rodgers, along with filmmakers Lucia Palmarini, Laura Deutch, and Hilary Brashear.

The result of their summer work is a 10-episode web series.  Dizhsa Nabani has screened at film festivals and conferences around the world, including the Oaxaca FilmFest, Mexico; Muestra Cine+Video Indigena, Chile; Quetzalcoatl Indigenouse International Film Festival, Mexico; 2019 WCU Latina/o Communities Conference: Construyendo Puentes / Building Bridges, USA; Latin American Studies Association Film Festival (LASA), USA; Global India International Film Festival, India; Sjón International Anthropological Festival, Denmark; Smithsonian Mother Tongue Film Festival, USA, among others.  The project received the Social Impact Award and the Web Series Bronze Award at the DC WebFest.

Trinidad & Tobago Student Documentary Project

This 2017-2018 interdisciplinary Haverford College project was a collaboration between Jonathan Wilson, Associate Professor of Biology, Stephanie Zukerman, International Programs Manager at the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC), and myself.  With the support of the CPGC and the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities (HCAH), filmmaking students applied for the opportunity to participate in a weeklong Trinidad & Tobago Economic Botany Field Study Tour.  The field study was led by Jonathan Wilson and Stephanie Zukerman.  Ten students participated overall, and two of these were selected as filmmaking fellows.  All the students took Wilson’s course on Economic Botany, and the two filmmaking students also took my course The Documentary Body: Advanced Media Production.  They spent the semester creating short documentary films engaging with the field study.  I proposed and designed the documentary facets of the project, advised the student filmmakers, and co-produced the films.  During the field study, I also stepped in when needed to do additional camera and sound recording.  And I ate large quantities of locally produced, fair trade, incredibly delicious Trinidadian chocolate.

Resulting Films

The 2016 Pool Movie Project Summer Arts Lab was a seven-week community-oriented documentary media lab, which I designed and directed.  It was funded by Haverford College’s John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities.  The lab engaged community members, students, advisors, and field experts in a collaborative design process for the engagement campaign, website, and web content of my multi-platform documentary-in-progress Pool Movie (working title).

More About the Lab

This was an ambitious interdisciplinary media project, completed in 2013-2014.  The idea originated when I proposed community media artist jesikah maria ross for a Mellon Creative Residency at Haverford College.  We were joined by Associate Professor of Political Science Craig Borowiak and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Helen White in planning and carrying out the project.  We wanted to draw upon jesikah’s expertise in socially engaged art to build connections among disciplines and with local communities. 

This project brought together jesikah, the three faculty members, and community partner the Delaware Riverkeeper, along with over 50 Haverford and Bryn Mawr College students, from four courses, across three academic divisions.  Our aim was to explore the causes and impacts of different kinds of waste present in the Delaware River.  The students focussed on the methodology of their own discipline, while also learning about how other disciplines approached the topic.  Chemistry students collected samples to determine the presence of chemicals from various waste products, Political Science students traced the waste to globalized production processes and mapped social and ecological implications, and Documentary students explored diverse ways of representing the theme of waste on screen. 

At semester’s end, the Chemistry and Political Science students completed data visualization projects about their research, while the Documentary students made short films.  Jesikah curated all the materials onto a Tumblr site.  The following semester, we did another phase of the work, holding a one-day mobile media lab, during which the Delaware Riverkeeper’s community partners took students to three waste sites to document them with photos, audio, and video.  This material too was curated onto the Tumblr site.





In Fall 2013, I proposed a pilot model for a documentary fellowship at Haverford College.  I developed the idea with Assistant Professor of Chemistry Helen White.  Helen was engaged in ongoing research along the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico about the long-term impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizons oil spill.  Each summer she and her students collected samples from Gulf Coast beaches for later analysis at her lab at Haverford.  Over the course of ten weeks in Summer 2014, four student filmmaking Fellows engaged with Helen’s research, travelled to the Gulf Coast, and researched, developed, and completed a short film titled WAKE, with advisory, logistical, and creative support from Helen and myself.  WAKE explores changing environmental and human conditions in the Gulf, post-spill and post-Katrina.

The project offered documentary production students an opportunity to develop their skills in a real-world setting; built interdisciplinary connections between students and faculty members; and linked faculty research to the local community where that research takes place.  The Fellowship was generously supported by all three Centers at the College – the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship (CPGC), the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for Arts and Humanities (HCAH), and the Koshland Integrated Natural Sciences Center (KINSC).

Watch the Video

The MAQUILÁPOLIS Binational Community Engagement Campaign was designed and implemented collaboratively with factory workers and stakeholder organizations in the U.S. and Mexico. From 2006-2009, we used the film MAQUILÁPOLIS in diverse education and advocacy contexts to create meaningful social change around the issues of globalization, social and environmental justice and fair trade.  The primary strategy was to use the film to promote dialogue and as an organizing tool:  to get people involved and mobilized for change and to support cross-issue and cross-border activism. I directed the campaign.

Our campaign team included dedicated activists on both sides of the border, mediamakers commited to social change, and most importantly a group of women factory workers struggling to bring about positive change in their world. Our core Campaign Partners were:  Chilpancingo Collective for Environmental Justice; CITTAC/Worker’s Information Center; Binational Feminist Collective; Environmental Health Coalition; Global Exchange; Maquiladora Health and Safety Support Network; San Diego Maquiladora Workers Support Network; SweatFree Communities; and Women Thrive Worldwide.  Other organizations have also partnered with us to organize and promote events, including the Sierra Club, Comité Fronterizo de Obreras (CFO/Border Workers’ Committee), Students Against Sweatshops and many others. 

See the Film




The Film at ITVS


Discussion Guide/English


Discussion Guide/Spanish


Community Directory/Bilingual



Strange Truth Film Series

I originated the Strange Truth film series in 2009, and I have programmed it most years since then.  In recent years my colleague John Muse has joined me in programming it.  Each year, Strange Truth explores the non-fiction imagination through documentary and experimental films and performance work.  The series features visiting filmmakers and performers, who present work, visit classes, and do one-on-one consultations with students.  Among the prominent artists who have visited for Strange Truth are Jean Marie Teno, Kamal Aljafari, Jeanne C. Finley, Natalia Almada, Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, Pamela Z, Sabaah Folayan, and Alan Berliner.  We present work both at Haverford College and at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, our local arthouse cinema.  In the years when I did not program Strange Truth, I programmed other film series instead, like the 2013 series Parrots Pelicans Plutonium, featuring the films of Judy Irving, and the 2011 series Obstinate Memory: Documentary Films from Latin America, featuring the films of Lourdes Portillo.

From the start, Strange Truth has been supported by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for Arts and Humanities (HCAH), with incredible cheerleading and practical support from the staff, including James Weissinger, Emily Cronin, Noemí Fernández, and Kerry Nelson, along with successive HCAH Directors Kim Benston, Israel Burshatin, Laura McGrane, Deborah Roberts, and Ken Koltun Fromm.

Links to Strange Truth programs from the past three years:

2019 – Link
2018 – Link
2017 – Link
2016 – Link
2015 – Link


Troubled Waters: Tracing Globalization and Waste in the Delaware River

Written with Craig Borowiak, jesikah maria ross, and Helen K. White.
PS: Political Science & Politics
, Vol. 50, Issue 1, January 2017, pp. 193-198


Participatory Documentary Then and Now: A Conversation about Practice and Pedagogy

jesikah maria ross and Vicky Funari, Television & New Media, 2017, Vol. 18, Issue 3: pp. 283-293. First Published November 23, 2016




Lift like a girl.

I edited this feature documentary from 2008-2011.  The filmmaking team was a powerhouse of amazing women:  directed by Julie Wyman, filmed by Anne Etheridge, co-edited by Jennifer Chinlund, and executive produced by Vivian Kleiman.

Strong! is the story of Olympic weightlifter Cheryl Haworth, as she struggles to maintain her champion status and faces life in a 300-pound body that is celebrated in her sport but shunned by mainstream culture.  Strong! premiered on PBS’s Independent Lens series in 2012 and won the series’ Audience Award.


From 2015, a tiny homage to Ruby Lerner, Creative Capital founder and lioness-protector of independent filmmakers and artists, on the occasion of her retirement from Creative Capital.

Watch the Video

Judy Irving Residency: Parrots/Pelicans/Plutonium

In 2013, Sundance-and-Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Judy Irving visited Haverford College on a Mellon Creative Residency.  We showed her films Dark Circle and The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill and did a rough cut screening of her film Pelican Dreams.  During the residency, Haverford College and Swarthmore College students from Environmental Studies, Anthropology, Political Science, and Film & Media Studies participated in meditative and observational nature walks:  a Duck Pond Walk and a visit to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education.

More niblets coming soon