Sam Adams is the senior editor of Brow Beat, Slate Magazine’s culture blog. He has more than 20 years of experience in critique and feature writing, being a regular contributor for Rolling Stone, The LA Times, and The A.V. Club. He served as the editor of CriticWire, IndieWire’s film and TV criticism blog. He has been a member of the National Society of Film Critics for more than ten years. He is currently based out of Philadelphia, PA, and is on twitter as @SamuelAAdams.
Khalik Allah is a filmmaker and photographer born and raised in New York, whose second documentary feature Field Niggas earned praise and recognition on the festival circuit in 2015. He holds tightly to his roots as a photographer, shooting on a manual, analog film camera and has been referred to as a “street opera” photographer. He was a cinematographer for Beyoncé Knowles’ visual album, Beyoncé: Lemonade in 2016.
Josh Begley, The Intercept
Kamau Bilal is a director, editor, and cinematographer who masterminded his short, What Kind of Man, in 2013. He co-directed and edited Crown Candy with David Wilson in 2016. Bilal is on the faculty the University of Missouri Film Studies Program and teaches cinematography and post-production.
Jimmie Briggs is a freelance journalist and the winner of the 2010 GQ Magazine “Better Men Better World” Search and Women’s eNews’ 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. He wrote his book, Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War, in 2005, revealing the realities of war-affected children in Uganda, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Colombia. He launched the Man Up Campaign during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, encouraging young people to use art, sports, and technology as a platform to stand up against violence against women. He now travels the world speaking about his role as a human rights activist.
Alex Buono is the director and executive producer of the IFC comedy series Documentary Now! He wrote and produced the 2008 documentary Better Faster Stronger* and was the producer and cinematographer of Green Street Hooligans, which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival. He also worked as the director of photography at Saturday Night Live’s Film Unit for more than 15 years.
Charlotte Cook, Field of Vision
Erinn Clark, First Look Media
Damon Davis, Whose Streets
Yance Ford is the director and producer of the highly acclaimed 2017 documentary Strong Island, examining his brother’s death and the judicial decision to free his killer. He uses the personal events from his past as a gateway to observe black life in America. He also works closely with programming directors at P.O.V. and serves as a Programming Consultant and Pre-Screener for film festivals all over the country.
Kitty Green is the director of the 2017 documentary Casting JonBenet, an experimental feature documentary exploring the unsolved death of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. Green gained international attention in 2011 after being abducted by the KGB in Belarus. Her first feature-length documentary, Ukraine is Not a Brothel in 2013, was entirely self-produced as she spent a year in Ukraine filming the women of the topless movement “Femen.” It premiered at the True/False Film Fest and went on to play at SXSW Film Festival.
Robert Greene is the Filmmaker-in-Chief at the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at MU. His 2016 film Kate Plays Christine, which looks at the controversial death of Sarasota news anchor Christine Chubbuck, won the Sundance Jury Award for Writing. In addition to directing and editing his own films (Actress, Kati with an I, and Fake It So Real), he has also edited over a dozen films, including Alex Ross Perry’s movies Queen of Earth (2015) and Amanda Rose Wilder’s Approaching the Elephant (2014). He writes about documentary for Sight & Sound Magazine and Filmmaker Magazine.Eric Hynes is a journalist and film critic who writes a weekly column, “Make It Real,” for Film Comment, and has also written for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Intercept, Slate, Sight & Sound, and Reverse Shot, where he hosts the “Talkies” interview series. He is also an Associate Curator of Film at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York. He served as the first writer-in-residence at the True/False Film Fest in 2013.
Eric Hynes, The Museum of the Moving Image
Elahe Izadi is a D.C.-based pop culture writer for the Washington Post. Though now she covers that beat, she has covered Congress and demographics. She was born in the U.S. to Iranian parents and speaks about her experiences as a woman and daughter of immigrants. Elahe is also a stand-up comedian.
Tabitha Jackson, Sundance Institute
Kirsten Johnson is an award-winning director and cinematographer who shook the world of documentary with her 2016 feature Cameraperson, which won 22 awards. Johnson has spent much of her career as a cinematographer on notable films such as Citizenfour (2014), The Oath (2010), and The Invisible War (2012). She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Loira Limbal, Firelight Media
Cliff Mayotte is the Education Program Director at Voice of Witness, connecting educators and students with the VOW’s oral book series to help illuminate human rights crises. Cliff has worked as a full-time teacher and curriculum designer, as well as a theatre director. He seeks to emphasize the use of storytelling and oral history as a means to educate.
Jonathan Murray is an Emmy Award-winning reality-television producer best known for co-creating MTV’S The Real World. Since then, he has also been behind Project Runway, The Challenge, and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. In 2012, Jonathan Murray was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. A University of Missouri alumnus, Murray made a $6.7 million gift to the Missouri School of Journalism in 2014 to fund the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism.
Brad Prager is Professor of Film Studies and German Studies at MU. His areas of research include Film History and Contemporary German Cinema, Holocaust Studies, and the art and literature of German Romanticism. He is the author of After the Fact: The Holocaust in Twenty-First Century Documentary Film, The Cinema of Werner Herzog: Aesthetic Ecstasy and Truth and Aesthetic Vision and German Romanticism: Writing Images. He is the co-editor of a new volume on Visual Studies and the Holocaust entitled Visualizing the Holocaust: Documents, Aesthetics, Memory, of a volume on contemporary German cinema entitled The Collapse of the Conventional: German Cinema and its Politics at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century and the editor of A Companion to Werner Herzog. Prager has been a DAAD Guest Professor at the University of Paderborn, and he was the recipient of MU's Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity in 2015.
Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross are the filmmaking brothers behind such documentaries as Contemporary Color, Western and Tchoupitoulas. Their films bring intense scrutiny to American places and the people who inhabit them. Most recently, the brothers acted as directors of photography on the Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro. They make their homes in New Orleans.
RaMell Ross is a photographer and filmmaker who describes being black as the “greatest fiction of his life.” His work as a photographer in Alabama focused on black experiences, and his 2016 feature documentary, Idiom; Hale County This Morning, This Evening follows two young black men living in the South, blending both real and fictional narratives. His photography has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on CNN. He has also written for the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and ESPN. In 2015, he was part of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”
AJ Schnack, Field of Vision
Brett Story is a Canadian director and cinematographer known best for her 2016 film The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, which explores the reverberations of mass incarceration in the United States. Brett studies geography, and uses the academic major as a medium to tell honest stories about larger systems. She was the first to win the New Visions Award from the DOC Institute.
Rhys Thomas is a producer and director best known for his work with Saturday Night Live. Born in South Wales, he moved to Brazil briefly before heading to New York to begin working with SNL in 2004. He began producing with the show’s Film Unit in 2006 and became a director in 2010. His first feature, Staten Island Summer, was released in 2015 starring Ashley Greene, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Kate Walsh, and Jim Gaffigan. He is a co-creator of Documentary Now! which he currently directs.
Stacey Woelfel is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and the director of the Jonathan B. Murray Center for Documentary Journalism. Woelfel and his colleagues developed the curriculum and began teaching courses in the fall of 2015. Formerly, Woelfel was the news director for KOMU-TV, the University of Missouri-owned NBC affiliate. Woelfel is the past national chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).