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Management of the Course and Teaching

Professor Michael Stewart, founding director of Open City Documentary Festival , is responsible for oversight of the programme design and management.

Leading the MA will be one senior tutor per group (normally 12-16 students) chosen form amongst most skilled practitioners of this craft in the UK. You can get a sense of the expertise of such tutors from the web pages for our short courses. The Senior Tutor will give master-classes each term to all the students, attend film-preparation discussion in the spring term, be involved in assessing second term work. Additional senior tutors are recruited for the mentoring of student graduation films through to completion from end of March till Mid September. 

In 2017-18 the senior tutors for the core course non-fiction cinema will be Sandhya Suri, for reportage based documentary: Lucy Sandys-Winsch and Dinah Lammiman for the VR strand.

Each group will also be taught by a Teaching Fellow, drawn from a cohort of tutors, with many years of professional film experience. They provide much of the day-to-day assistance and hands-on training for all the students as well as delivering practical parts of the core course. Like all our staff we will expect the course leaders to move back and forth between professional and teaching work.

A series of masterclasses will also be held throughout the year involving filmmakers associated with Open City Docs School and our partner organisations. In previous years we have run a series of weekly screenings with DocHouse and for the reportage based documentary strand this year we will run masterclasses in association with Frontline club where students will also have a discounted (and subsidised) membership option.

Lasse Johansson (Course Tutor)

Lasse is a self-shooting documentary director and media trainer with a background in fine art and sociology. Apart from making his own independent films Lasse works as a freelance cameraman and editor making films and online content for a variety of charities, non-profit and educational organisations. He also works internationally as a media trainer on projects aiming to empower local voices and media organisations. Over the past 4 years Lasse’s work has explored issues around urban regeneration in Hackney, the part of London where he also lives. This work has produced a large-scale public art installation, a publication and a number of short films documenting the lives of local people. Lasse’s interest in film also include how the process of filmmaking in itself can be used as an educational tool to help marginalised groups unlock, discuss and express issues that impact on their lives. For this purpose Lasse is currently exploring different ways of using film when working with groups of young people not in full-time training or work.

Sandhya Suri (Senior Tutor)

A graduate in Pure Mathematics and Languages, Sandhya Suri received a scholarship to study documentary at The National Film and Television School. Her subsequent feature documentary, 'I for India' screened in World Competition at Sundance Film Festival and at over twenty international film festivals, winning several awards internationally. The film was also released theatrically in the UK. After 'I for India' Sandhya spent several years working in international development, heading up the Film Unit at Oxfam GB and travelling the world filming across a wide range of issues and realities from D.R Congo to Vietnam. She has a particular interest in participatory video and has worked as a media trainer with youth in India, Thailand, Indonesia and London. She has also worked on projects using media as a tool for conflict resolution in Nepal (Search for Common Ground) and Macedonia (Saferworld). She is currently developing both fiction and documentary projects. She is currently working on her first narrative feature 'Santosh', which was selected for the Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Labs 2016.

James Price​ (Course Tutor)

James Price has degrees in Fine Art (BA (Hons) Newcastle, 1999) and Documentary Direction (MA, National Film & TV School, 2006).

Price's films have been shown on the BBC, Channel 4, and More4, in art exhibitions and at film festivals world-wide. Recent projects include Reading Pepys (Kings College London) an audio visual experimental history of Deptford’s Pepys Estate; Chandigarh Corrections Omissions (Linköping University) an investigation of aesthetics and discipline in Le Corbusier's planned city; Diamond Street, Estuary: Working Lives, and Study for the Estuary (ACE, 2011-present) - ongoing collaborations with writer Rachel Lichtenstein exploring place and identity in London and the Thames Estuary; The Body Adorned (Horniman Museum, 2012-3) a multi-screen installation anthropology of London dress, and What is Freedom? (Channel 4, 2009) a semi-serious attempt to find the freest person in the USA. Other projects include A Piece of the Moon (Channel 4, 2008) an exploration of people who have ‘bought’ land on the Moon, and the businessman who made millions selling it to them. The People In Order series (Channel 4, 2006) has gone on to be shown at festivals in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Australia, and the USA, won awards at some of these, and was selected by Channel 4 as one of their highlights of 2006, the first series of 3 Minute Wonders to achieve this accolade. The first program in the series, Age, went to the top of the Viral Video Chart in January 2008 and has had over a million views on YouTube and other video websites.

James has also exhibited installations and photography in the UK and beyond. His 2006 installation and film, Conversation, an exploration of the hidden judgements we make of each other, has shown in the UK, Canada, the USA, and Iran. This work is being distributed as an educational aid in the UK, Australia and North America. He also produces arts biography films for the Tate, the National Trust, the Southbank Centre, the Photographers’ Gallery, and Channel 4, and collaborates extensively with London AV artists, the Light Surgeons, with whom he developed his video practice from 1999 until embarking on his Masters at the NFTS.

Bonnie Rae Brickman (Editing Tutor)

Bonnie Rae Brickman is a New York born, London based Film + TV Editor with over twenty-five years’ experience, accumulating a diverse and extensive list of credits including Julie Andrews’ Opening Night on Broadway, American Playhouse, and Shining Time Station.

She has been honoured with four New York Area Emmy Award Certificates during her ten years at WNET/thirteen, Highly Commended at Underwire's In The Cut: Best Editor Award 2015 for BOOTWMN, and shortlisted for the Kevin Spacey Foundation Artists of Choice Award 2016.  Her work has screened on US, UK and Australian television and at film festivals worldwide including Clermont-Ferrand, HotDocs, Open City Doc Fest, SF Frameline, LA Outfest, Athens International Film+Video Festival, BFI Flare and Fringe! Film Fest.

Alongside her editing work, she has taught editing and post-production at SUNY/Oswego and currently teaches editing on the Ethnographic & Documentary Film MA programme at University College London.

Ariadna Fatjo-Vilas (Editing Tutor)

Ariadna Fatjo-Vilas is freelance editor with over 10 years experience. She works in UK and internationally mainly on documentaries, fiction and artists films.

Her films have played in festivals worldwide (including Berlinale, Sundance and Toronto) and some of the accolades that her films have received include an Oscar nomination (‘The Act of Killing’), a BAFTA award and other three nominations (‘The Act of Killing’, ‘Yours Truly’ and ‘The Last Regal Kingsize’), the Ecumenical and Panorama Audience Award in Berlinale, three prizes at Tribeca (‘Una Noche’), a Grierson Award nomination (‘Estate. A Reverie’) and a British Animation Award.

Ariadna’s credits include many of the large T.V. channels in Europe and North America (like BBC, Sky Atlantic, Channel 4, PBS, Canal+, ARTE, RTE and MTV).

She’s been nominated to the 2016 Jules Wright Prize for Female Creative Technicians.

She has also long term involvement in education, including most recently as Course Leader for Goldsmiths’ MA in editing.

Ariadna graduated from the National Film and Television School (NFTS) with an MA in editing in 2006.

Lucy Sandys-Winsch (Course Tutor, Reportage)

Lucy is a multi award-nominated Documentary Film Director, Series Producer and Executive Producer, with a very strong track record across landmark documentary strands such as Channel 4’s 'Cutting Edge' and BBC’s 'Modern Times’.  Having worked at the BBC and at numerous independent production companies, she has made observational documentaries, biographical, historical, scientific and reportage single films and series for all the major television channels.

As well as having been nominated for Griersons and BAFTAs, Lucy has been on judging juries for the Griersons, Student RTS Awards and the Sheffield Documentary Festival New Talent Pitch.

Juliet Brown  (Course Tutor, Reportage)

Juliet Brown is a self-shooting documentary Director/Producer and mentor to young filmmakers. She grew up in Singapore and had her first filmmaking experience in Cambodia, following Buddhist monk and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Maha Ghosananda on peace marches across the country. An interest in traditional skills led her to apprentice and work as a traditional wooden boat builder, living on the coast of Maine, USA for twelve years. Her short films about traditional craftsmen were funded by philanthropists, museums and The National Endowment for the Arts. Juliet returned to the UK for her MA in Documentary Direction at The National Film & Television School. Her graduation film, Noah’s Canoe (2011) was short listed for The Royal Television Society’s Postgraduate Factual Award. The film is set in rural Maine and follows the difficult journey of a transgender male as he finds his place as a man in a family of his own. Juliet’s interest in how characters work through trauma continued with her film, Ecocide - Voices from Paradise (2014) which explores the impact of the 2010 BP oil spill on a small island off the coast of Louisiana. The film premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest in the Green Award category and continues on the festival circuit. Juliet was a course leader on the National Film & Television School's Summer Docs course 2015.

Dinah Lammiman (Course Tutor, VR)

For many years Dinah was a senior broadcast journalist for BBC Radio and TV’s Current Affairs Division, producing and presenting multiple documentaries. During her BBC years she was also closely involved with experimental interactive and digital initiatives at CBeebies. Latterly she’s worked extensively in immersive media, specializing in binaural and other sound concepts for museum and visitor attractions (including the National Trust, the Royal Collection, Oslo’s Fram Museum and ss Great Britain), alongside producing innovative mobile phone games and creating installations for VR/360 experiences.

Michael Stewart (Course Leader)

Field research among Hungarian Roma (Gypsies) and Romanian shepherds and farmers. Founder of Open City Documentary Festival and MyStreet Films. He has worked on or produced ten documentaries for Granada (Disappearing World) and the BBC (Everyman, Timewatch).