Alumni New Films News Round-Up

October 15, 2020
Alumni New Films News Round-Up

A lot of our smart & talented alumni are out in the world with their films at pitch markets, festivals, and streaming - take a look!

Several alumni participated in China's Fresh Pitch Factual Content Conference 2020, showcasing documentary works-in-progress to potential broadcasters and other partners around the world. Death Education, a thesis film directed by Keliang Li (2020) and produced by Xin Fang (2019, pictured above), won People’s Choice Award of 2020 FreshPitch.  Inspirare, directed by Yuqi Kang (2016) and produced by Dana Kalmey (2013), won the Silver Award of 2020 FreshPitch. Yunhong Pu (2019) also participated in Fresh Pitch with her thesis Go Through the Dark, and Bailin Li (2018) attended representing CCTV. These films are in the late editing phase, and are seeking broadcasters, festivals and other support.

Director David Osit's (2011) latest feature, MAYOR, is playing festivals world-wide and will soon have a theatrical release in partnership with Film Movement, starting Dec 2 at Film Forum in NYC. Check out the trailer, above. Critical praise for MAYOR: “THE BEST NEW FILM ABOUT THE ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT is a dark comedy about Ramallah’s Mayor... offers a striking new perspective on that struggle, with a personal on-the-ground quality matched by grand tonal ambitions that makes it the best of its subgenre."  CRITICS PICK. Indiewire

a woman stands at a 16mm film projector in this black & white image

SocDoc alumna Caroline Berler’s (2018) first feature, her thesis DYKES, CAMERA, ACTION! is now available on iTunes and Apple TV! Rent or own this groundbreaking doc, that's been called ‘The Celluloid Closet’ for lesbian cinema today.

The Netflix series, UNORTHODOX, produced and written by Alexa Karolinski (2011) was nominated for eight Emmys, and won for Outstanding Directing. See an interview here with Karolinski, a part of SVA's After School Special alumni festival. 

poster image for the film BORDER SOUTH featuring white drawings of a train and migrants walking along train tracks on a orange-brown desert mountain landscape image

Raul Paz Pastrana's (2012) debut feature BORDER SOUTH was broadcast on the PBS World Channel in October 2020 and is now streaming. The film was edited in part at SocDoc's annual Summer Alumni Editing Fellowship.

Bao Nguyen's third feature BE WATER is now streaming on ESPN. The film is directed and produced by Nguyen, and includes crew cinematographer Caleb Heller and sound recordist Ben Nimkin (all class of 2011).

a photograph of the young martial arts master Bruce Lee,


New documentary series American Masters: In The Making includes the episode Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: The New Chief, directed and produced by SocDoc alumni Erik Spink (2013) and Amitabh Joshi (2013), who are also now on faculty. Joshi is also the show's cinematographer, with socDoc alumni Dana Kalmey (2013) as Associate Producer, and Andres Arias (2013) as Additional Camera. The show is presented by American Masters and Firelight Media, and is now streaming on

The BAFTA Newcomers program, giving mentorship to international professionals who have recently moved to the US to further their career, includes Bella Randle Racklin (2018) and Weixin Zhuang (2020).


At the Workers Unite Film Festival, celebrating films about labor, these films produced during the SocDoc program are streaming through October 18: IN THE RIGHT FRAME OF MIND, directed by Veronique Engel (2020); A LITTLE MESS , directed by  Jamie Deradorian Delia (2020); NIGHT CLEANERS, directed by Hanna Nordenswan (2018); WOODCARVER: DEBORAH MILLS, directed by Walter Zhang (2020). SocDoc alumna Justin Thomas (2013) latest film “Sophia Dawson: PURPOSE” is also streaming at WUFF.