Concordia Studio, the award-winning executive producers of this year’s Academy Award-winning Summer Of Soul (…or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised), has announced four new exceptional filmmakers selected as part of the studio’s 2022 class of fellows for their signature program, The Concordia Fellowship.
The chosen recipients of the Fellowship are creators with the commitment to reshape the future of storytelling. Within the bespoke artist development program, each fellow receives a plan tailored to meet their specific creative goals, financial backing to develop a new project of their choosing, focused guidance and tools to build a sustainable career, and access to professional resources, use of the studio’s state-of-the-art facilities, and mentorship from Concordia executives.
Concordia fellows are the next generation of powerful storytellers and come from diverse racial, religious, and regional backgrounds. This year’s selected fellows who are recognized for their excellence in documentary filmmaking are Giselle Bailey, Alice Gu, Shalini Kantayya, and Christine Turner. Biographies for the full list of fellows can be found below.
“Concordia Fellows are capable of redefining what is possible and our work is to make sure they do,” says Rahdi Taylor, Executive Vice President of The Concordia Fellowship. “We are excited to welcome these artists to The Concordia Fellowship because individually we make films, but collectively, we change culture.”
Through The Concordia Fellowship, filmmakers have gone on to see critical and commercial success, often recognized for their groundbreaking projects at the industry’s most prestigious honors such as the Academy Awards and Emmy Awards, and at film festivals including Sundance. In addition, many of the fellows’ films, limited series, and projects have been acquired for release by major distributors including Amazon Studios, HBO, Onyx/Disney, Hulu and more.
2022 Fellowship Recipients
Giselle Bailey is a Jamaican-American film director who blends and breaks artistic boundaries to illuminate subcultures and spotlight social revolution. She co-directed and produced the HBO feature documentary, The Legend Of The Underground (2021 Tribeca Film Festival) and is currently in development on a project that fuses fiction and documentary to champion the cultural heroes history refuses to honor. She is directing Seen & Heard, a limited nonfiction series with Hoorae (HBO).
Alice Gu began her career as a photographer, cinematographer, and commercial director. As a film director, Alice creates remarkable stories spanning Asian history in diaspora and American popular culture. She directed The Donut King, executive produced by Academy Award-winners Ridley Scott and Freida Lee Mock, (Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Documentary Storytelling 2020 SXSW Film Festival, Independent Lens), and Really Good Rejects (2022 SXSW).
Kantayya directs fiction and nonfiction films that artfully marry the future of science with the future of story. She directed TikTok, Boom (2022 Sundance Film Festival and SXSW), and Coded Bias (2020 Sundance Film Festival, Independent Lens, Netflix) which was nominated for a Critics’ Choice, a Cinema Eye Honors, and NAACP Image Award. Previously, Shalini directed NY Times Critics’ Pick Catching The Sun with executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio (LA Film Festival, Netflix).
Christine Turner is a director of fiction and nonfiction film who spotlights tender, intimate portraits of people in socially charged landscapes. Her most recent film, Lynching Postcards: “Token Of A Great Day,” was shortlisted for the 2022 Academy Awards and won an NAACP Image Award. Other work includes the Sundance selection and New York Times Op-Doc, Betye Saar: Taking Care Of Business and PBS/POV’s Homegoings, now streaming on the Criterion Channel.
MARIA AGUI CARTER
María Agui Carter grew up undocumented in New York City, graduated from Harvard on scholarship, and is now a professor at Emerson College. She directed the award-winning hybrid film Rebel (PBS, Amazon) about a Latina soldier and spy of the American Civil War, and is in production on ALLEGED, about criminal justice and redemption. Her magical realist script Secret Life Of La Mariposa, about climate change and immigration, is in development. Maria Agui Carter was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2021.
Hailing from eastern North Carolina, Cynthia Hill is a creative force for fresh stories set in rural America and in the American South. She won Emmy and Peabody awards for her series A Chef’s Life and Somewhere South (PBS). She directed Private Violence (2014 Sundance Film Festival, HBO), and the series Road To Race Day following NASCAR drivers and teams, and What Happened, Brittany Murphy? (HBO Max). She is in production on a new series for HBO. Cynthia was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2019.
Jon Kasbe is a director and cinematographer of Australian and Indian descent, whose global childhood instilled a lasting curiosity and desire to understand opposing perspectives. Kasbe shot, directed and produced When Lambs Become Lions (2018 Tribeca Film Festival), released theatrically by Oscilloscope and nominated for two IDA Awards. His short film Blood Rider (Google Brand Studio) is featured on The New Yorker. He is in production on a feature documentary and a nonfiction limited series. Jon was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2019.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Elizabeth Lo is an immersive nonfiction filmmaker who is interested in finding new, aesthetic ways to transcend the boundaries between us. Her debut feature, Stray (2020 Tribeca Film Festival, Hot Docs Jury Prize) was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, Critics’ Choice Award, and Cinema Eye Honors. Stray was released theatrically by Magnolia Pictures in 2021, and is now streaming on Hulu and is a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Elizabeth was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2020.
Omar Mullick is a director and cinematographer driven by the idea of film as an act of prayer. He directed and filmed These Birds Walk (2013 SXSW), released theatrically by Oscilloscope and named one of the best foreign films of the 21st Century (Richard Brody, The New Yorker). Omar directed and lensed episodes of The Vow (HBO), Nomad for CNN+ and is in production on Flight/Risk (Amazon Studios) about whistle blowers at Boeing. He also produced the first indigenous Afghan film to be nominated to the Oscars in 2022. Omar was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2020.
Born in the U.S. and raised across two continents, Smriti Mundhra is an Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker. Her recent films include St. Louis Superman (2020 Academy Award nominee) and Shelter (2022 NAACP Image Award and DGA Award nominee). Her debut documentary film, A Suitable Girl (2017 Tribeca Film Festival), won the Albert Maysles Best Documentary Director prize. She created and executive produced Indian Matchmaking, a Primetime Emmy-nominated eight-part original documentary series currently streaming on Netflix. Smriti was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2021.
Brent Palmer is a rising producer from Detroit, who wants to inspire audiences with vibrant stories of black cultural movements. He has worked on nonfiction features and limited series with One Story Up, Concordia Studio, and Tremolo Productions. He is producing an independent feature documentary film based in Detroit that follows students, teachers, parents and activists as they fight for equal education in America, and is also in development on a limited music series. Brent was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2020.
Jeff Unay is a director, cinematographer and visual artist. Hailing from a small town in the American heartland, he is driven by stories of ordinary people in extra/ordinary circumstances. Jeff’s first independent documentary was The Cage Fighter (2018 IFC Films/Sundance Selects), nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. He previously helmed the direct-to-fan feature documentary Free To Play which received 5.5 million views in its opening weekend release. Jeff was a 2017 IFP Filmmaker To Watch and was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2020.
Joshua Altman is a director, producer, DP, and premier editor in the documentary landscape. He’s currently producing the Untitled Wildcat Documentary (Amazon) and directing the latest season of Couples Therapy (Showtime). He executive produced the limited series Pandemic (Netflix), and co-directed All These Sons (2021 Tribeca Film Festival). Altman edited Minding The Gap (nominated for 2019 Academy Award), The Price Of Free (Grand Jury Prize, 2018 Sundance), and We Live In Public (Grand Jury Prize, 2009 Sundance). Joshua was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.
Garrett Bradley is an artist and Oscar Nominated filmmaker who works across narrative, documentary and experimental modes of filmmaking. In 2020, Bradley presented her debut documentary feature length film, Time, which was nominated for over 57 awards and won 20 times including best director at the Sundance Film Festival. Bradley lives and works in New Orleans. Garrett was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.
Isabel Castro is a Mexican-American filmmaker who combines a practice in art and journalism to tell stories about immigration, civil rights, and identity. A director, producer, and cinematographer, her debut feature documentary Mija follows Chicanas trying to make it in the music industry (2022 Sundance Film Festival). Her previous work includes the short films Crossing Over (Participant Media/Univision), and the Emmy-nominated films Darlin (2019 Tribeca Film Festival, NYT OpDocs) and Usa V. Scott (2020 Tribeca Film Festival, The New Yorker). Isabel was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.
Ben-Alex Dupris grew up on the Colville Confederated Tribes Indian reservation in Washington State, where he is an enrolled member. Ben directs films about contemporary life and popular culture in Indian Country. His debut short film Sweetheart Dancers (2019 Big Sky, Showtime) was followed up with an episode of In The Making, a series of shorts with Firelight Media for PBS American Masters. He has been a (2018) Concordia Fellow, a Firelight Fellow, and a Sundance Producing Fellow.
Paula Eiselt directs and produces feature films about unforgettable characters thriving in unbelievable circumstances. Her most recent feature, Aftershock, premiered at 2022 Sundance and was awarded the Special Jury Award: Impact for Change. Aftershock will be released by Disney’s Onyx Collective and ABC News, to stream on HULU and Disney+. Her previous feature 93queen was released theatrically and broadcast worldwide starting with PBS’s POV, now on HBO Max. Paula was named one of Jewish Week’s “36 Under 36” and is a 2019 Concordia Fellow.
Nadia Hallgren is an award winning Black and Puerto Rican director and cinematographer from the Bronx, New York. She directed the feature documentary Becoming about Michelle Obama (Netflix) as well as The Show (Showtime). Her short films include After Maria (2019 Oscar shortlist, Netflix), and Omnipresence (The New Yorker). Hallgren is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Nadia was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.
Bing Liu began his documentary career making skate videos as a teenager before joining the International Cinematographer’s Guild. His debut feature, Minding The Gap was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award and earned another 59 awards, including a Peabody and the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. He co-directed All These Sons, which won the award for Best Cinematography at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. Bing is in development on fiction and nonfiction features. Bing was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.
Edwin Martinez is a Puerto Rican filmmaker born and raised in the Bronx. Martinez co-directed, edited and shot the Emmy-nominated Personal Statement (2018 AFI Film Festival, 2019 SXSW Film Festival, PBS), and To Be Heard, (2010 DOC NYC, NYT Critic’s Pick). He is in production on his solo directorial debut, a collaborative, nonfiction-fantasy film, The Monster And The Storm. Martinez is designing innovative strategies for creative co-authorship with both film participants and his students as an Assistant Professor of Film. Edwin was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.
Heather Rae has produced such films as Academy Award nominated Frozen River, Netflix Originals Tallulah and Dude, festival darling I Believe In Unicorns, award-winning The Dry Land and Bull, which premiered in Cannes. Rae is currently in a First Look deal with Amazon Studios and is an executive producer on the series, Outer Range starring Josh Brolin. Rae is a narrative change strategist with IllumiNative and throughout her career has worked to deepen the dialogue of reconciliation and responsibility in the Americas. Heather was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2018.
Randy Redroad is a storyteller from West Texas whose father was an Irish Cowboy and whose mother is Native American. His work as an editor includes The Infiltrators (2019 Sundance Film Festival) and FIRST CIRCLE (Showtime). He is also a sought after writer and director of fiction film and television whose debut feature, The Doe Boy (2001 Sundance Film Festival/NHK Award), garnered 15 festival awards including an IFP/Gotham nomination for outstanding directorial debut. Randy was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2019.
Dominique Ulloa is a nonfiction editor and proud single mom of two from the Crenshaw District of South Los Angeles. Dominique was an editor on the four-part series We Need To Talk About Cosby (2022 Sundance Film Festival, Showtime). Previously she worked on the six-part series Surviving R. Kelly (Lifetime), which won a 2019 Peabody Award. She is an ACE Fellow, A Karen Schmeer Diversity in the Edit Fellow, and chair of the Ujima Entertainment Coalition. Dominique was awarded The Concordia Fellowship in 2019.