Professional Feedback + Internships

Professional Feedback

MFAs who submit a polished documentary or “actuality”-based work (feature length or under) within two years after graduation will receive formally solicited professional feedback from established Northwestern alumni and industry professionals.

Internship Program

All program participants will have the opportunity to apply for internships earmarked for the MFA in Documentary Media in Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago. Students will obtain hands-on experience and make real-world connections. Previous examples of internships that Northwestern Radio/Television/Film students have participated in include MTV News & Docs, Kartemquin Films, Sundance, Participant Media, and Chicago Filmmakers.

Internship Highlights:

  • Carlos Cova interned at the historic Chicago documentary company, Kartemquin Films.  The nearly 50-year-old documentary organization has released such films as Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters, and Life Itself. 
  • Rafie Drencheva interned in Santa Monica, CA with Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker.  Walker’s 2010 documentary Waste Land received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature and her 2011 documentary The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short.  
  • Sara Reed interned for Lauren Greenfield, winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award for the documentary Queen of Versailles.  Greenfield is also an award winning photographer and commercial director. 
  • Jesseca Simmons was named a Southern Exposure Fellow by the Southern Environmental Law Center.  Southern Exposure provides a positive and challenging learning experience to exceptional film students and emerging filmmakers seeking to explore and develop their own voices as environmental advocates through nonfiction storytelling. This innovative summer fellowship equips students with the skills, equipment, content knowledge and contacts to create authentic, engaging films intended to raise public awareness about important issues facing Alabama’s environment, from the mountains to the coast.
  • João Queiroga worked for the New York based Logo Documentary Films.  A division of Logo TV, Logo Documentary Films aims to share powerful stores that capture LGBT life and culture in all its diversity. 
  • Justin Reifert interned with Jeff Spitz’s Groundswell Educational Films on the public engagement campaign of Food Patriots.  The film and campaign aims to show how our buying power, our growing power, our community power challenges an industrialized food system to respond to people’s demand for healthier food and to know from where it comes.
  • Deborah Libby interned with Trinley Pictures on the Emmy nominated series Notes from the Field.  The short documentary programs explore human interactions with the natural world as host Tom Trinley, joined by historians, naturalists and scientists, reports from environmental sites throughout the United States.
  • Shuhan Fan returned to China for the summer and interned at Beijing Energy Media Co. BEM’s main business includes the production of web media, TV shows, TV series and documentaries. The company maintains a stable collaboration with well-known TV stations in China, including China Central Television, Phoenix TV, Hunan Satellite TV, etc. Currently the company is working with CCTV 9–Documentary on a documentary series about Chinese cultural issues.
  • Qihui Wu worked as the director’s assistant for the Chinese documentarian, Liang Zhao. Zhao’s most famous films are Petition (2009), Together (2010) and Crime and Punishment (2007). During Qihui Wu’s internship, she is editing of one of Zhao’s unfinished documentaries, about the life of a group of disabled acrobats in Shenyang, China.  Wu is also helping coordinate film festival submissions for Zhao’s latest documentary, Behemoth. 
  • Miasarah Laiinterned with the China Agricultural University Center for Documentary Studies (Beijing, China) and produced a short documentary while doing translation work in rural Chinese provinces.
  • Jasmine Huff interned with Rebel Star LLC (Winston-Salem, NC) a graphic design, marketing, and 3D media production for print.  Huff also contributed to  Forever Is Tomorrow (Winston-Salem, NC), a documentary project aimed at defining “adulthood.”
  • Brittany Shyne  interned with FilmDayton assisting with the local film festival and coordinating networking events aimed at revitalizing the local independent filmmaking community.


"One professor put me in touch with a small agency in downtown Chicago that awarded me the campaign for the Big 10 in 2008. That was a huge break there, and that was all because of the internships and connections created by Northwestern and the School of Communication."

Martin Rodahl (C08), documentary director and founder of 71 Degrees North, pictured holding the urn from his documentary, Our Longest Drive. Also pictured, from left to right, are cameramen Jason Chiu (C09) and Nick Perron-Siegel (C10), and cinematographer David Lassiter (C08)

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