Skip navigation

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Media, Film & Journalism Studies

News & Events

News

Upcoming Event

Documenting the World: DU Alumni Reflect on Their Careers in Documentary Filmmaking

One of the highlights of the Film Studies & Production major at MFJS is its alumni. Graduates of the program have gone on to a variety of careers – in filmmaking and in related professions – all over the world. To better celebrate these alumni and to build better opportunities for connecting them with current students, Dr. Sheila Schroeder has arranged a one-year speaker series highlighting those specifically working in documentary filmmaking.

The Marsico Grant-funded speaker series will allow MFJS to host two events per quarter during the 2018-2019 academic year, each featuring 1 or 2 alumni who will speak to students on a particular aspect of documentary filmmaking based on their experiences. The final event, planned for late spring 2019, will involve a panel discussion between multiple sets of alumni who have founded their own production or media companies since graduating.

Documentary film has provided many creative outlets and career opportunities for our alumni. From working as a producer/director on the award-winning documentary series E:60 on ESPN as Blake Foeman does, to creating the half hour history series, Colorado Experience for Rocky Mountain PBS as director/producer Mariel Rodriguez did, our alumni have a wide range of experiences in the documentary realm. Indeed, several film major alumni have become media entrepreneurs (docupreneurs), staking their claim locally and beyond. They have taken on client work in (the relatively new form of) documercials, corporate communication pieces and educational documentary realms using their documentary storytelling skills to work with non-profits from around the globe.

The goal of connecting students to professional mentors, especially MFJS alumni, is close to Dr. Schroeder's heart. Dr. Schroeder is well-known on campus for her work to develop Project DU F.I.L.M., an initiative to bring students and alumni filmmakers together on a film set to create short comedies that can be – and have been – invited for screenings at film festivals around the world. This speaker series will also provide networking and mentorship opportunities to students and alumni while giving them insight into a side of filmmaking that many students don't consider when they begin the program.

Another goal of the series, as of Project DU F.I.L.M., is to highlight the work of non-white, non-male, non-straight filmmakers, who often find the field of filmmaking a difficult place to operate. Particular care has been taken to schedule women, people of color, and alumni who identify as queer as speakers.

The first event in the series, "Women Who Doc: From Cocaine Submarines to Colorado History" was held on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 and featured Shannon Umetani – a Warren Miller Films producer and media freelancer – and Mariel Rodriguez-McGill – the Deputy Film Commissioner for the Colorado Office of Film and Television and a writer/producer/director/videographer/and editor for The Colorado Experience on Rocky Mountain PBS.

Our next event will be held on Tuesday, November 13 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. here at MFJS, and will feature University of Colorado, Denver, professors Roma Sur (MA '03) and Jessica McGaugh. The collaborators will screen a fine cut of their documentary, Three Worlds One Stage. The film tells the story of three immigrant artists from three regions of the world who have made Colorado their second home. It captures their journey of staying connected with their roots via performing arts. More information and the RSVP link are available here. The event is free to attend, but space is limited so please RSVP by Monday, November 12. Alumnus Joe Brown and Justin Marceau were previously scheduled to speak on November 13, but their discussion has been postponed until future notice.

For details about upcoming events in the series please visit our events website.

Flyer for Immigrants, Dance, and Documentary event on 11/13