International Emerging Filmmakers Fellowship to bring 20 directors to SMPA

May 20, 2010

Twenty Non-fiction Directors to Enhance Technical Skills and Develop Story-telling Techniques

The George Washington University Documentary Center's International Emerging Filmmakers Fellowship will bring together 20 non-fiction directors from countries that lack the infrastructure for the creation and distribution of documentary films. The fellowship also will help them develop a common language about documentary filmmaking that crosses national boundaries and cultures. These filmmakers from around the world will descend on GW's campus this summer to enhance their technical skills and work collaboratively to develop their documentary story-telling techniques using the University's resources and state-of-the-art video equipment. The six-week fellowship begins May 26, 2010.

"We have created a program that launches the work of these amazing documentary filmmakers onto the world stage," said Nina Gilden Seavey, director of GW's Documentary Center. "All of these emerging filmmakers are known in their home countries, they are actively involved in their respective filmmaking communities and now they will have an opportunity to bring their documentary stories to audiences across the globe. The fellowship is truly a transformative experience for this next generation of documentarians."

Selected from over 250 applicants in 56 countries, the 10 men and 10 women of the 2010 fellows class represent the following nations: Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, India (Kashmir), Indonesia, Kyrgyztan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and augmented by substantial in-kind support from the Panasonic Corporation of America, the fellowship provides the filmmakers with the opportunity to produce two films during their stay in the U.S., one in Washington, D.C. and one in New York City. The fellows also will participate in round-table discussions with notable filmmakers and meet with program executives from the U.S. and other Western broadcasters to heighten international awareness of their work. In addition, they will be special guests of the SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, and will assist middle and high school teachers for the first time with their use of documentaries in the classroom. The program will culminate in an afternoon screening of individual film projects on July 8 on the GW campus.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in October 2010, The Documentary Center has helped launch the careers of hundreds of documentarians. Ms. Seavey, the center's director, has been a filmmaker for more than 25 years and has won numerous awards, including an Emmy, the Erik Barnouw Prize for Best Historical Film of the Year and the Women in Film and Video "Woman of Vision" Award. Her work can be seen in theaters, on television and in museum installations across the globe. Ms. Seavey is also the founding director and senior advisor for SILVERDOCS, the international documentary film festival held annually in Silver Spring, Md. Sponsored by the American Film Institute and the Discovery Channel, SILVERDOCS has grown since its founding in 2003 to become the largest documentary festival in the United States.

The School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) is dedicated to the rigorous study of journalism and political communication with a focus on understanding the impact media have on how societies inform and govern, connect and communicate. As media undergo transformational change, SMPA's goal is to advance both theoretical insight and innovative practice. SMPA conducts ground-breaking research, offers inspired teaching and encourage hands-on work in the field and in our production facilities, and engages directly with thought-leaders in Washington and around the world. For more information about GW's School of Media and Public Affairs, visit:

For more information about GW's Documentary Center, visit:

MEDIA CONTACT: Samara Sit, 202-994-5349 - [email protected]