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MA in Media Studies Notable Graduates

Kevin Allen, New York, has taught documentary production for the School of Media Studies and is an independent maker of experimental docs such as The Bridge, which has screened at festivals like the Black Maria Film Festival. He has co-authored several papers and presented at many academic conferences on anthropological fieldwork and sonic methods.

Melissa Anderson, senior film critic, ArtForum, contributor to The Village Voice, Film Comment, among others.

Berke Bas, Istanbul, Turkey, documentary filmmaker whose films include Planet Galata: A Bridge in Istanbul and In Transit, among others. Bas and Birder are frequent collaborators and their newest film is about a Kurdish soccer team.

Carol Bergman, New York, is the author of Another Day in Paradise: International Stories of Humanitarian Workers (Orbis Books, 2003).

Melis Birder, Istanbul, Turkey, documentary filmmaker whose works include The Visitors, The Tenth Planet: A Single Life in Baghdad. She frequently collaborates with classmate Berke Bas.

Gavin Browning, New York, is Director of Events and Public Programs at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University.

Dr. Rangan Chakravarty, Kolkata, India, has worked as creative director in Kolkata and Delhi and teaches at Calcutta Media Institute. He is partner of the media production company Graffiti, which produces television software, corporate communications and development communications products and is a media consultant for Reliance Industries, Mumbai.

Sonia Chanda, Berkeley, California, is Digital Marketing Campaign Manager for LinkedIn.

Yau Ching, Hong Kong, professor at Lingnan University and research fellow at Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan, author and internationally noted video artist whose works include Suet Sin’s Sisters, I’m Starving, and The Ideal Na(ra)tion.

Inhan Cho, Seoul, South Korea, is completing a doctoral program and his experimental film, February, was featured in the New York Film Festival.

Jeremy Cohen, New York, DocStudies grad and documentary filmmaker, was nominated for a student Academy Award for After.

Meghna Dahmani, New York, a DocStudies grad whose short film Hearts Suspended helped changed legislation affecting the status of women on H$ visas who are denied the right to work in the U.S.A.

Rachel Dorfman, New York, VP of the The Casting Network, premiere international casting database with over 300,000 active members.

Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy, based in Berlin since 2010, have been working together under the moniker OJOBOCA. Their work encompasses films, performances, installations and workshops straddling the borders between
experimental, narrative and documentary. They have presented their work internationally and earned numerous awards for their compelling experiments. Since 2010 they are members of the artist-run film lab LaborBerlin.

Jessica Edwards, New York, documentary filmmaker made the acclaimed profile of music legend Mavis Staples, Mavis! (2015).

Dr. Stefan Elfenbein, Berlin, Germany, author of a best-selling book on The New York Times since the Pentagon Papers, former US correspondent for Berliner Zeitung, and food critic and contributor to Der Feinshmecker and other cultural journals.

Tanaz Eshagian, New York and Iran, is a filmmaker whose work about women’s prisons in Kabul, Afghanistan, Love Crimes of Kabul, was funded in part and cablecast by HBO.

DeSiree Fawn, Idaho, Documentary Filmmaker and TV News Reporter for KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV, Southern Idaho’s First News.

Hannah Fiddel, Los Angeles, was named one of the “25 New Faces” in 2013 by Filmmaker Magazine, and has produced a number of award-winning short and feature films, including A Teacher and The Gathering Squall.

Pamela French, New York, 2016 MA graduate, MTV producer and documentary director; recent feature documentary about transgender youth Becoming More Visible premieres at 2016 prestigious NY Doc Film festival.

Rosario Garcia-Montero, Lima, Peru, narrative feature filmmaker whose film The Bad Intention was Peru’s nomination for the best foreign language film at the Academy Awards in 2012.

Sara Girgis, Santa Monica, CA, is a producer and director who has worked largely on music-related documentaries for cable TV including the new Red Bull network. Her work as executive producer includes: When X Ruled the World, Gone Too Soon, the TV series “Catfish,” “After the Raves,” and “Mad Genius,” among others.

James Graham, Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University; Director of Publications, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning.

Melissa Grey, Composer; Associate Director, Composers Concordance; artistic director, l’artist ordinaire:

Sally Gutierrez, Madrid, Spain, is a filmmaker and artist; her award-winning films include Tapólogo, about former sex-workers in South Africa.

Linda Hattendorf, New York and Taos, New Mexico, is an award-winning editor and documentary filmmaker, best known for her own film, The Cats of Mirikitani.

Ian Johnson, film critic, contributor to The New York Review of Books among other publications.

Carolyn Kane, Ph.D., NYU; Assistant Professor, Ryerson University; author of Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Color After Aesthetics (University of Chicago Press, 2014).

Chow Wing Keung, Hong Kong and Beijing, co-founder of Xstream Pictures with Jia Zhang-ke, leader of China’s Sixth Generation filmmakers. Executive producer and editor of feature films such as Unknown Pleasures by Jia and Secret Garden by Emily Tang.

Tim Kirkman, Los Angeles, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker of such works as Dear Jesse, The Rose Bowl, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, and Loggerheads, and among others.

Jay Kirkman, Brooklyn, New York, is Technology & Resources Manager at the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College of CUNY.

Nina Köll, Amsterdam, Ph.D. Researcher at Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), UvA and Lecturer of Media and Performance Studies at University College Utrecht.

Dr. Wai Luk Lo, Hong Kong, Associate Professor, Academy of Film Hong Kong Baptist University, radio & television host, theater director, poet.

Eric Luers, film critic and programmer, Independent Feature Project.

Melissa Maguire, New York, Executive Producer at NY1 News, Time Warner Cable’s 24-hour news station in New York City.

Blas Eloy Martinez, Argentina, writer and director of award-winning narrative feature films including El Notificator (2011), which screened at New Directors/New Filmmakers in New York.

Javier Martin-Dominguez, Spain, long-time director of the Seville European Film Festival and secretary general of TVE. He is a journalist and director, producer, and screenwriter. His fiction film, Within the Sun, won first prize at Pamplona Film Festival. He writes a weekly column for the Spanish press and has his own blog.

Lea Hjort Mathiesen, Copenhagen, Denmark, is a DocStudies grad whose documentary, Malek Means Angel, was screened at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam in 2014.

Maya Mumma, award-winning editor of documentary feature films including Restrepo by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, as well as other films, including O.J. Made in America, A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers, Which Way is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, among others.

Dr. Susan Murray, New York City, professor in Culture and Communications, New York University. Murray is author of several scholarly books including Reality TV: Remaking Television.

Miguel Nájera, Mexico City, is professor of media studies at Monterey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City.

Alexis Nephytides, New York, is a DocStudies grad and producer/director of the cable tv series “Neighborhood Slice.”

Mark Nickolas, former organizer for Gore presidential campaign, now documentary filmmaker with award winning films, including Nefertiti’s Daughters on the women’s role in the Arab spring in Egypt.

Dr. Laurie Ouillette, Minneapolis, is on faculty of University of Minnesota, Communications Studies, and is the author and/or editor of The Media Studies Reader (2012), Better Living Through Lifestyle TV (2016), Viewers Like You: How Public TV Failed the People (2002), Reality TV: Television and Post-Welfare Culture (2008) with John Hay and A Companion of Reality TV (2014).

Dr. Aras Ozgun, Izmir, Turkey, Assistant Professor and chair of the Cinema and Digital Media Department, Izmir Economics University. He is part-time faculty in SMS and has taught at CUNY, New York University, the American University in Dubai and the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

Laura Poitras, New York, has won a MacArthur Genius Award and an Academy Award, among numerous other honors, for her ground-breaking documentary work, including her post-9/ll trilogy: My Country, My Country, The Oath, and CitizenFour.

EJerry Risius, New York, documentary cinematographer with dozens of feature and TV credits, including award-winning films Our Brand is Crisis, The Devil came on Horseback, PBS series Frontline and POV, Anthony Bourden’s TV Series No Reservation and Parts Unknown.
Eric Rockey, New York, a DocStudies graduate, recently completed Pink Boy, a short documentary about a transgendered boy, broadcast on the PBS national series, “P.O.V. “

Trina Rodriguez, New York, is also a DocStudies grad and Nephytides’ partner in the production of “Neightborhood Slice.” She was producer of the award-winning documentary, High Tech, Low Life (2012) directed by Stephen Maing.

Megan Ryan, New York, is the executive producer of WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning program The Brian Lehrer Show.

Dr. Elida Schogt, Toronto, Canada, is a film/video artist and academic whose trilogy of films about her family’s experience of the Holocaust has won acclaim and awards at film festivals, museums, galleries and universities around the globe.

Tal Shamir, New York, filmmaker, was awarded a student Academy Award for his experimental animation, The Vermeers. Author of Cinematic Philosophy, published in 2016, based the Master thesis he wrote (winner of the 2010 Media Studies thesis award).

Benjamin Sutton, Brooklyn, New York, is news editor at Hyperallergic, a forum for playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art and culture in the world today.

Saundra Thomas, New York, is Vice-President of Community Affairs at WABC-TV.

Tanya Toft, Ph.D. candidate, University of Copenhagen; curator for various international venues; co-editor, What Urban Media Art Can Do – Why When Where and How? (av edition, 2016);

Masako Tsumura, New York and Japan, award-winning documentary filmmaker and producer and Tibetan activist; films include Fire Under the Snow, which played ad dozens of documentary and human rights festivals, and The Birth of Sake.

Somnur Vardar, Istanbul, Turkey, documentary filmmaker and editor, director of Journey to the Lake and Beginnings; her work has screened at such major festivals as the Toronto International Film Festival.

Arun Venugopal, New York, is reporter and host of “Micropolis,” WNYC’s program on race, sexuality and identity. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He has appeared on PBS Newshour, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, On the Media and Studio 360, and has been published in The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and Salon and in the New York Times, the New York Post and the Associated Press.

Beatriz Villamor, New York, recognized by Brand Innovators’ “40 Under 40,” in 2016 (, is Director of New Media, International, at MAC Cosmetics, overseeing social media for Markets outside the US and Canada.

Jordan Waid won the student Academy Award for his experimental film essay, The Piece.

Yonghi Yang, Tokyo, Japan, author, television correspondent, and filmmaker: her two documentaries on her family in North Korea premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and her first narrative feature, Our Homeland, was Japan’s nomination for best foreign language film at the Academy Award in 2013.

Akram Zaatari, Beirut, Lebanon, award-winning filmmaker and installation video artist, co-founder of Arab Image Foundation. His work has been included in the Venice Biennale and exhibited at the Singapore Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among numerous international venues. His videos include Letter to a Refusing Pilot, In This House, and Tomorrow Everything Will be Alright, among many others.

Carolina Zúniga Vasquez, Santiago, Chile, is a DocStudies and MA grad who is now a professor at Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago.

We have lots of “on-their-way-to-great-things” students in top PhD programs:
Alex Campolo, Ph.D. candidate, NYU Media Culture and Communication;
Yeong Ran Kim, Ph.D. candidate, Brown University
Zeynep Kunt, Ph.D. candidate, Istanbul Bilgi University
Ben Mendelsohn, Ph.D. candidate, NYU Media Culture and Communication; documentary filmmaker;
Karl Mendonca, Ph.D. candidate, UCSC Film & Digital Media
Laura Scherling, Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University
Rory Solomon, Ph.D. candidate, NYU Media Culture and Communication

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