DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

Detours Series: BBC World Service + Sundance Institute


Imran Is Stateless

Role: Producer | Filmed by: Carlos Javier Ortiz | Associate Producer + Sound by: Michael Green

Imran Mohammad, a Rohingya refugee, was born into statelessness. In search of safety, he got on a boat in the middle of the night in search of a place he could call home. He ended up detained indefinitely on Manus Island, PNG. Today, he is finally free.

Artist: Carlos Javier Ortiz

We All We Got

Role: Assistant Audio Producer | Year: 2015

We All We Got captures the poetic language of the streets: police helicopters flying over the city, music popping out of cars, people talking shit on the street corners, ambulances on the run, and preachers hollering for the violence to stop after another young man is senselessly gunned down in the streets of Chicago.

In the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the country’s recent focus on youth violence, police brutality, poverty and marginalized communities, We All We Got is an elegy of urban America. The film is an intimate portrait of people affected by violence: including community activists, kids, and cops. It navigates the tragedy and persistence of families impacted by violence. , the perseverance of affected families, and the outpouring support of local leaders and residents who highlight these social issues in Chicago.

Awards / Nominations

  • Best documentary short Crested Butte Film Festival

  • Tribeca Film Festival Nominee Jury Award Best Documentary Short

A Thousand Midnights

Role: Co-Audio Producer, Research | Year: 2016

Published: The New Yorker

A SHORT DOCUMENTARY BY CARLOS JAVIER ORTIZ

2015 marks the centennial of the beginning of the Great Migration in which six million African Americans relocated from the rural South to the cities of the North, Midwest and West from 1915 to 1970. In many ways, the epic internal migration created what we now consider the modern American city, particularly Chicago.

For Blacks fleeing the south during the Great Migration, economic and racial exploitation were inextricably linked. Black Americans in search of some semblance of freedom from racial terror also longed for the opportunity to provide for their families outside the racial plunder of the Southern plantation system. In this manner, the purported racial openness of the north was believed to translate into more economic opportunity for Black migrants, their families, and future generations. However, as is the case with much of the American story, this dream remains just out of reach for many. This experimental documentary chronicles the contemporary manifestation of the economic and social histories of Black Americans who came to the north during the Great Migration in search of economic opportunities. The implications of their migration, and the lack of economic opportunity they encountered, has far reaching consequences for Black America today.

Awards / Nominations

  • Winner Grand Jury Prize /Special Mention Live Action Short Special Mention A Thousand Midnights For cinematography

  • Nominee Grand Jury Prize Live Action Short Film A Thousand Midnights

I’m Here

Role: Audio Producer, Co-writer | Year: 2017

Commissioned by: Atlanta Legal Aid | Screening: Atlanta Celebrates Photography, “Picturing Justice” Festival

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A short documentary based on interviews with long-time Atlanta residents and Legal Aid clients, including a legally blind woman named Ernestine Harris, who nearly lost her home due to foreclosure and a young mother struggling with homelessness, housing discrimination, violence, and incarceration.

Artist: Nina Berman

The Triumph of The Shill

Role: Assistant Sound Editor, Mixer | Year: 2017

Screening: Photoville Photography Festival | Shipping Container, Brooklyn, NY


MULTICHANNEL

Artists: Tirtza Even + Meg McLagan

Half Truths and Full Lies

Role: Audio Producer | Year: 2018

Screenings: Sullivan Galleries (School of The Art Institute of Chicago) ; Casa de Rosado (Michigan)

Half Truths and Full Lies depicts, through documentation and reenactment, the case of Efrén Paredes Jr. a Latinx man from Michigan, who was sentenced to life without parole in 1989 at age fifteen, for a murder he claims he did not commit.

The multichannel installation takes on a Rashomon-like quality, as divergent accounts of the crime accrue, forming multiple portraits of Efren. These accounts reflect perspectives of a range of individuals, from a police detective to key witnesses from the tight-knit small town community who singled Paredes out, as well as of those whose lives–over the past 30 years–were most affected by the teen’s conviction: family members, teachers, and citizens who sat in judgment as jury members.

Half Truths and Full Lies tells a story about story; one constructed by a group of teens who appear to have conspired to set up their peer, and whose narrative played on stereotypical assumptions about racial minorities and upon which the local police and prosecutor relied. This account became the only one the public, and the jury, got to hear.

The installation, however, is also a story about a handful of alternative, untold stories, and at their center – Efren’s story of innocence. The project thus attempts to recuperate conflicting narrative possibilities, and to investigate the nature of truth-telling in both media and the law.

Artist: Nina Berman

Kimberly 2011-2018 (An Autobiography of Miss Wish)

Role: Assistant Producer, Editor, Composer | Year: 2018

Screening: The Organ Vida International Photography Festival | Garerija Nova, Zagreb, Croatia

An Autobiography of Miss Wish is a tale about two lives intertwined, subject and photographer, working collaboratively to create a uniquely enigmatic book, which pushes the boundaries of documentary storytelling. It is a haunting, dark story of a survivor of sex trafficking and child pornography and her struggle to survive and find physical and emotional safety, to assert herself as an artist and narrator, and to craft a life while living in a state of flashbacks, trauma and addiction. Photographed over 25 years in London and then New York City where Miss Wish fled on the advice of Scotland Yard, the story is told through multiple narrative elements including the protagonist’s vast personal archive which was safeguarded by the photographer who assumed the role of friend and advocate. The resulting book weaves together this archive of harrowing drawings depicting crime scenes and flashbacks, hospital psychiatric reports, diary entries, personal ephemera and letters and text messages between photographer and protagonist.


SHORT FILMS: UNIONDOCS COLLABORATIVE STUDIO

Last Stop For Lost Property

Role: Audio Story Producer, Sound Designer, Composer | Team: Director — Vicente Cueto; Editor — Benjamin Stillerman; Cinematographer — Emma Yi, Art Director — Rachel Winton

Deep underground, as millions rush through the New York City subway system, countless items get left behind. The MTA’s gargantuan Lost Property Unit is near impossible to navigate alone. Luckily, Sonny Drayton can point us in the right direction. Through his humor and intimate personal knowledge of the subway, Sonny invites us to consider what it means to lose and be lost underground, often the last stop for those who’ve fallen through the social safety net and have nowhere else to go. Last Stop For Lost Property spends time in public places of transit where people and objects are repeatedly overlooked, and questions how we value the artifacts of our lives: big and small, cherished and dismissed, tangible and existential.

Filmmaker: Spiritual First Aid

Role: Composer | Team: Director and Principal Director of Photography - Jordan Elizabeth Vesey; Senior Producer and Assistant Camera —
Vicente Cueto; Editor and Story Producer — Emily Packer

‘Spiritual First Aid’ is a cinematic portrait of loss, faith, and the ways we seek guidance in times of death. It follows the stories of the MTA Work Life Services and The Office of the Chaplains’, a group of interfaith volunteers for the MTA that serve as First Responders to traumatic subway and bus accidents. These Chaplains, together with the help of a forensic psychologist from Work Life Services, help Train Operators, Conductors and Bus Operators process what they see when a subway or bus rider turns their train or bus into a means for suicide.


Artist: Donna Ferrato

Road Trip, U.S.A

Role: Editor, Audio Producer | Year: 2017

Screening: Cortona On The Move International Photography Festival | Italy

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COMEDY SHORTS

Filmmaker: Caveh Zahedi

First Crush

Role: Assistant Producer | Year: 2017


MUSIC VIDEOS

Artist: Avery R. Young

Lead In Da Watah’

Role: Producer | Year: 2015 | Published: NPR (Michigan Public Radio)