Visiting Artists

Bob Hercules Visits 1st Year Doc Students

 In November 2016, award winning filmmaker Bob Hercules visited with the 1st Year MFAs to talk his career, his documentary company Media Process Group, and his newest film Maya Angelou:  And Still I Rise.


Nico Pereda Screening and Masterclass

In October 2016, filmmaker Nicolas Pereda visited Northwestern for a screening of his film Summer of Goliath and met with the MFA Doc students for a masterclass discussing his work and hybrid style of filmmaking. 

Filmmaker Andrea Meditch Visits

 On May 23, Andrea Meditch of Back Allie Entertainment (BS degree in Communications and Media from Northwestern) visited with the Class of 2016 MFA in Documentary Media students to talk about her career in documentary. Meditch has executive produced films that have won Oscars and Emmys. She executive-produced the 2009 Oscar-winner Man on Wire and Oscar-nominated Encounters At The End of the World, by Werner Herzog, as well as Grizzly Man.

Composer Joshua Abrams

In May 2016, film composer Joshua Abrams visited with NU students to talk about the collaboration between filmmakers and his scoring process. Abrams has composed soundtracks for the Kartemquin Films features Life Itself, The Interrupters, The Trials of Muhammad Ali, Almost There Project, and Unbroken Glass.

Masterclass hosted by filmmaker Frederick Wiseman

In April 2016, legendary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman came to Northwestern’s Block Cinema to screen his 40th documentary, In Jackson Heights, followed by a talkback moderated by MFA in Documentary Media Program Director Debra Tolchinsky.  The following day, Wiseman taught an exclusive masterclass for the MFA in Documentary students.  Wiseman was the School of Communication’s 2016 Hoffman Professor for Documentary Media, a short-term filmmaker residency.

The Cove's Louie Psihoyos Visits NU

In February 2016, Oscar winner Louie Psihoyos, the director of the 2009 Oscar winning documentary The Cove came to NU to talk his films and his work with the Oceanic Preservation Society.

Masterclass hosted by filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer

 In November 2015, Oscar nominated filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer hosted a masterclass for the MFA in Documentary Media students.  Following the masterclass, Oppenheimer screened his documentary The Look of Silence for hundreds of Northwestern University students.  By year’s end, The Look of Silence was the most acclaimed documentary of 2015 and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.


Masterclass with Lyric Cabral

The MFA in Documentary Media co-curated a Fall 2015 documentary series at Northwestern’s Block Cinema.  In October 2015, filmmaker Lyric Cabral screened her doc (T)error and hosted a masterclass for the MFA doc students. Cabral discussed her career as a photojournalist and her career evolution into becoming a documentary filmmaker. 

To Singapore With Love

 In April 2015, award-winning Singaporean filmmaker and Northwestern alumnus Tan Pin Pin screened her acclaimed documentary To Singapore With Love at  NU’s Peggy Helmerich Auditorium. Banned by the Singaporean government, To Singapore With Love depicts political activists who have not returned to their home country after decades in exile.


Haroula Rose Visit

Filmmaker Haroula Rose, producer of the award wining Fruitvale Station and executive producer of the acclaimed documentary Heaven Adores You, visited with our MFA students.  Rose has written and will direct the adaptation of Bonnie Jo Campbell’s Once Upon A River, which was a Sundance Film Festival writer’s lab finalist. Haroula’s short films and videos have won awards and screened internationally.

Athina Rachel Tsangari’s The Capsule

In February 2015, internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker Athina Rachel Tsangari spoke with our MFA students and screened her newest fictional short, The Capsule at Block Cinema.

Margaret Brown and The Great Invisible

 In January 2015, filmmaker Margaret Brown visited the MFAs and screened her SXSW Grand Jury Award winning documentary, The Great Invisible at Block Cinema.  The Great Invisible tells the story of the Deepwater Horizon oilrig explosion and its impact on the Gulf Coast and beyond.

Steve James

 In November 2014, award-winning filmmaker Steve James taught a 3-hour master class exclusively for the MFA in Documentary Media students.  The class examined James’s films and explored his personal ethics of documentary filmmaking and such topics as his keys to interviewing and always expecting the unexpected.   In April 2015, James joined the MFA in Documentary Media team as an adjunct instructor, co-teaching the MFA Thesis Seminar course.


Brian Lindstrom’s Alien Boy

 In October 2014, filmmaker Brian Lindstrom visited Northwestern to screen his documentary Alien Boy:  The Life and Death of James Chasse.  The film tells the story of James Chassse’s struggle with schizophrenia and examines the actions of police officers responsible for his death.


Darius Clark Monroe’s Evolution of a Criminal

In October 2014, Darius Clark Monroe, winner of the Independent Spirit Award’s Truer Than Fiction Award for an emerging filmmaker, visited the MFA students following a Chicago International Film Festival screening of his documentary Evolution of a Criminal.  Monroe’s film tells the story of Monroe returning to his hometown to examine how his robbery of a bank affected his family, friends and other victims.

Nishtha Jain’s Gulabi Gang

Filmmaker Nishtha Jain visited NU in October 2014 and screened her documentary Gulabi Gang.  Jain’s film depicts a group of Indian women activists fighting against gender violence, caste oppression and corruption.

The Gatekeepers

 On November 19, 2013, David Tolchinsky and Debra Tolchinsky interviewed Dror Moreh, director of the Academy Award nominated feature documentary, The Gatekeepers. The event was co-sponsored by The Department of Radio TV Film.