Dcomentary Film/Video Projects
- Eating Alaska: a Wry Search for the "Right" Thing to Eat. (56:40)
With sixth graders
enthusiastically comparing food labels at the grocery store, teens jarring gumboots at a culture
camp, women climbing mountains as they hunt for their own meat and a group of passionate
vegans sharing why they've rejected their fishing poles and days of meat eating, Eating Alaska
is a film that generates discussion on what we eat, where it comes from and how that connects
us to where we live. Screenings and events around the film range from a Slow Food group in
Boston to an interdisciplinary science conference in Nome along with sustainability fairs, local
food potlucks, health fairs, panel discussions and presentations to high schools.
- No Loitering. (56:40)
A documentary film made with and about youth in a small Alaskan town and their struggles to understand the world and their place in the community. A coproduction
with KTOO-TV, Juneau, with the Independent Television Service, with funding
provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding for working with kids
provided by the Rockefeller Foundation. The combination community arts and documentary
involved Native and on-Native teens from Sitka to Good News Bay, Alaska. No Loitering
premiered on Alaska PBS stations prime time, followed by airing on PBS stations across the
- Carved from the Heart: A Portrait of Grief, Healing and Community. (30 min); Words from
the Heart: a Follow-up Video (15 min)
Co-Produced with Louise Brady, member of the Tlingit
Tribe. Funders: Rockefeller Foundation, Alaska Humanities Forum, And The Institute of Noetic
Sciences. Awards and Screenings: American Indian Film Festival, Best Documentary Short;
Dreamspeakers, Best Short Documentary; Sundance Film Festival, Broadcast on the PBS
series "Independent Lens." Carved from the Heart began with Stan Marsden, a Tsimshian
carver who decided to carve a totem pole after his son died from a cocaine overdose and
brought his community together in the process. The film intertwines the carving of the pole with
peoples' stories of dealing with loss, substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide and their
efforts to heal.
- A Matter of Respect: Modern Alaska Natives Balancing the Past and Present. (30 min.)
Co-Producer, Sharon Gmelch. Funding: National Endowment of the Art, Folk Arts Fellowship,
the Alaska Humanities Forum. Awarded a Silver Apple, National Educational Film Festival,
Finalist, American Indian Festival, Margaret Mead Festival. PBS Broadcast.
- Stuck on Sugar. (28 Min)
Documentary video. The dilemma of a monocrop 300 years later
through the eyes of workers and plantation owners in the West Indies.
- Women, Land & Food: Small Farmers in Barbados (25 min)
Video. Funded and
distributed by the Women & Development Unit, University of the West Indies.
- Miles From the Border: A Successful Mexican-American Family Caught Between
Cultures. 16 mm documentary film, (15 min)
Special Jury Award San Antonio CineFestival,
Focus Documentary Award. Screenings: Margaret Mead Festival, International. Festival of New
Latin America Cinema (Cuba), Mundos En Contraste (Spain). PBS Broadcast.
Additional Experience Summary
In addition to creating independent documentary films, experience includes
producing and directing educational films for non-profits, native health consortiums and
universities. Topics range from whale research and marine safety to contraceptives and
community wellness. Also free-lance as a producer/cameraperson/production coordinator
for non-profits and television including Earthjustice, National Resource Defense Council,
Disney Teacher of the Year profiles, CBS, the Weather Channel, Showtime, Court TV
and PBS. Other experience includes both working with youth and adults as an artist in
schools and as a community media artist and creating short experimental films and black
and white documentary photography series. Photographs published in The Sun,
Natural History, Anthropology Today, and LA Parent.
Selected short Films
- Out of the Water. (25 min)
Amidst the tales of sailing through heavy winds and storms into
anchorages by exotic islands covered with palm trees, comes another reality. Out of the Water
is a whimsical and at times poignant film set in a boatyard. This is a place where "cruisers"
from around the world share their dreams, challenges, and choices while they reconstruct and
repair their sailboats, their homes out of the water.
- Demolished. (6 min)
Creating something new is an accomplishment. What about tearing it
down? Take a look at the housing project across the street from the filmmaker's house, as
white suited men remove asbestos, an excavator crunches beams, bits of insulation dance
though the air making room for new homes. Anchorage Film Festival, DUTV, Busan Film
- Uncertain Passage. (14 min)
De-romanticizes the dream of sailing around the world with
cockroaches, seasickness and the uncertainty that landfall is attainable. A reflexive portrait of
two people alone, in a 30-foot gaff-rigged ketch starting in Tonga and ending up off the coast of
New Zealand, 27 days later.
Works in Progress
- Branches and Baskets (working title)
A documentary about Haida weaver Delores
Churchill. Using spruce root, cedar bark, wool, and natural dyes, Delores creates stunning
utilitarian and ceremonial objects. Delores is not only a master at creating baskets, robes, hat,
she has inspired a community of weavers. Now eighty years old, she spends much of her time
passing on the traditional weaving techniques to emerging weavers, and researching historical
southeast Alaskan baskets and Chilkat style weavings.
A short film about ritual, order, and dislocation.
- Time, Place, Object
An unconventional documentary about individuals and their connection
to landscape, the passage of time and the "things" they put meaning into or are letting go of.
Community Arts/Teaching Experience
- Artist in Residence, Lexington, Kentucky
Through funding received by the Living Arts and
Science Center from the National Endowment for the Arts, worked with students in three
schools to create photography and video projects. The projects ranged from individual personal
video portraits, to a documentary on technology (2009).
- Artistic Director, Eyes on the Wall, Sitka School District
A Native Elder and Artist
photography project, Students from three high schools interviewed and photographed Alaska
Native artists and elders. They created archival black and white images with text from
participants. Images were exhibited at the local National Sitka National Historical Park, and
moved on to rotate throughout the public schools in Sitka. A traveling exhibit, within Alaska and
the project funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum and other sources. (Fall 2001-2006).
- Adult Mentor, Beyond Borders. With NYC based Listen UP!
Assisted young adults in Sitka
as they produced a segment for an international project involving fifteen youth production
teams from around the world creating personal stories about fear and security (2003-04).
- Adjunct Professor, Art Department, University of Alaska, Southeast & Instructor, Sitka
Fine Arts Camp
Black and White Photography (1998-2001). Digital Filmmaking (2004-).
Introduction to Video and Documentary Video Production (2005-7).
- Coordinator, Carved from the Heart Follow-up and Outreach Project
multiple communities, programs and schools across the state of Alaska. The collaborations led
to screenings, workshops, talking circles and art projects inspired by the project portrayed in
Carved from the Heart. Included creating a follow-up video and user's guide. Funded by the
Rockefeller Partnerships Affirming Community Transformation Program (1997-2000).
- Artist in the Schools. Residencies in Kake, White Mountain, and Juneau
students from K-12 grades on animation, documentaries and experimental shorts. In these
residencies, students use photography and video to tell stories of their lives and their
communities. (1996-97) & (2009-)
- Community Video Project Coordinator, Alliance for Health, Sitka, Alaska
worked with adults and youth to produce public service announcements and short
documentaries, such as A Beginning of a New Life, a diary of teen pregnancy by a teen mom
and her best friend (Bronze Apple, National Educational Media Network, Winner, Northwest
Film Center's Young People's Film Festival). Organized "Sitkawood," an intergenerational
community event. Funded by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (1993-95).
Education,Fellowships, and Awards
- M.A. in Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California
Program in Cinema, Broadcast Journalism and Anthropology
- B.A. Vassar College. Honors. Fellowship for graduate work.
- Fulbright-Hays Fellowship
- Member, New Day Films. National self-distribution cooperative of independent producers of
social issue films and video. Steering Committee (second round) (2002-)
- Wellness Champion Award for work in nutrition from the Sitka Health Summit (2008).
- Career Opportunity Awards, Alaska State Council on the Arts: To attend a Community Arts
Workshop (1993). To present work at the American Museum of Natural History (1997).
- Puffin Foundation Award for Artists "who work with ordinary people" (1996).
- Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Artist Award (1991-2).
Selected Photography Series
- Salud Che
Series of photographs and visual diary of travels in Cuba (2003)
- Land, Water, Kava
A visual diary exploring travel, communication, the nature of transient
friendships and images of "escape" from Mexico to Tonga (1995-98)
Images of community in South Central Los Angeles. Funded by the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Exhibitions: William Grant. Stills Gallery, St. Vincent's
Church, UCLA and the Univ. of Southern California (1990-92)
- Untitled Series on Barbados
Images in: George Gmelch's Double Passage: The Lives of
Caribbean Migrants Abroad and Back Home. Univ. of Michigan Press, 1992; George Gmelch
and Sharon Gmelch's The Parish Behind God's Back, 1997. National Cultural Foundation
Group Exhibit. Bridgetown 1988. Permanent exhibition commissioned by UNICEF for
Portrait of a rural-suburban community in Southern California.
- Everyday Life in a
Photographs from Esteli, Nicaragua (1985-87). One person show Helen Lindhurst
Gallery, University of Southern California.1987.
Selected Exhibits, Workshops, and Talks
- 2009 & 2010
Workshop Presenter and Co-Leader with Julia Smith for Lead On, Youth Summit
through the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Presenter with film screening of Eating Alaska,
Museum of the North
Environmental studies and anthropology classes and
or/the campuses of University of Alaska, Fairbanks Anchorage and Juneau
Sitka Public Health Summit
Lexington, KY Public Library and others.
Presenter with a student participant from Sitka
at the opening of the Eyes on the World photography series exhibition
Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, AK.
Solo Exhibit of Salud Che series.
Fountain Cafe. Port Townsend, WA.
Group Exhibit, with 3 other artists, Visions gallery. Sitka, AK
Presenter, Northwest Network on Youth Conference. Fairbanks, Alaska.
Visiting Filmmaker, Mesa State College, Grand Junction Colorado,
Visiting Artist, Whangarei Polytechnic, Applied Arts Program, Whagarei, New Zealand, Screening of Carved from the Heart and presentation and discussion on
cross cultural collaboration.
Permanent installation of work from "A Matter of Respect,"
Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh. PA.
Group Show, "Cultural Connections: Explorations of Transcultural Identity,"
SPACES Gallery. Cleveland, Ohio.
"Experiments in Community Video," Workshops presented with students from
the Kake Student Video Prevention Project
Bilingual Multicultural Equity Conference. Anchorage. AK.
"Constructed Relations," One person show of photography, video, and
Visiting artist and guest lecturer in Anthropology,
University of Alaska, Anchorage.
"Struggles Against Racism," Traveling exhibition presented by the
Photography Collective of Community Change, Inc. Boston, MA.
Artist-on-the-Ferry. Alaska Marine Highway (Bellingham to
Skagway) Photographer, organizer of the "Floating Film Festival."
Visiting Artist, Artsreach Inc./UCLA Extension
Artists in Correctional Institutions, California Institute for
Women. Chino, San Bernardino County, California.
Guest Lecturer. Advanced Documentary Practice. Academy of Arts, San
(Right-click to save)