Behind every movie is a director, who casts the vision and then makes it happen. There is no other genre in which this is more true than documentary.  Many of these directors also served as writers, editors, researchers, lights, and sound. Even more than that, they each also served as an urbanist.  Observing, documenting, and sharing the story of their neighborhoods, and their world.  Many will join us at the festival, so take some time to get to know them.

Ifanyi Bell

Future : Portland 0:05:39

ifanyi bell future portland

Spaces have always been not only places where we gather, but places where we get sort of fulfilled, where we see each and tell our stories and where we become whole again and we become renewed. And when you’re in the whitest city in America, those spaces are even more critical. Losing those spaces means you lose a critical element of who you are. It means that you lose your ability to not only share, but to grow.

Samantha Bode

  • The Longest Straw 1:26:23

Samantha Bode the longest strawSamantha Bode lives in Los Angeles, CA as a film and television maker. Throughout the 9 years of her career, she has had the wonderful opportunity to be creative in a range of programming, from shows about Africa and it’s descendants, to short news pieces produced by at risk youth in the Los Angeles area, to documentaries about creating your own reality through open source projects and urban farming. The Longest Straw is her first film directing endeavor. When not making films, Samantha can be found exploring the vast landscapes of the American west and south west.

Caitlin Carroll

  • Painted City 0:26:25

Caitlin Carroll painted CityCaitlin Carroll is a writer, editor, and documentary filmmaker in Washington, DC, where she focuses on stories related to culture and community. A born and bred Hoosier, she moved from America’s crossroads to its capital city and is especially interested in topics surrounding American identity. Her new documentary, “Painted City” (2017 DC Independent Film Festival “Best Documentary Short”) explores the history of DC’s iconic community murals and the preservation issues they face in changing neighborhoods. Caitlin is a graduate of the Institute for Documentary Filmmaking at George Washington University.


Clarence Eckerson

  • Transform Your City With Tactical Urbanism 0:08:22
  • Streetfilms & Streetsblog: The First Ten Years 0:14:33
  • Nijmegen: The City That Tamed Cars So People Can Walk & Bike Where They Please 0:11:01
  • Oslo: The Journey to Car-free 0:11:25

clarence eckersonClarence Eckerson, Jr. is frequently referred to as “the hardest working man in transportation show biz” for his dedication to making difficult, wonky concepts more accessible and entertaining to the general public. He’s been documenting advocacy transportation for over 15 years and produced nearly 850 Streetfilms since 2005, which have been viewed cumulatively at least 13 million times. His work has been featured in thousands of written articles, blogs and broadcast television media. He has spoken at over 100 events worldwide.

He loves living in Jackson Heights, Queens with his wife Fátima, and his young son Clarence, III, whom he’s excited to watch grow up with diverse, exciting transportation options and fewer cars thanks to his hard work.

Nathan Eddy

  • Starship Chicago 0:16:00


  • COLUMBUS 1:43:59

Kogonada columbusKogonada is a proud immigrant, born in Seoul and raised in the Midwest. He has been noted by Filmmaker Magazine (25 New Faces of Independent Film) and The New Yorker for his visual work and film criticism commissioned by the Criterion Collection and Sight & Sound. He currently resides in Nashville with his wife and two sons. COLUMBUS is his directorial feature debut.

Matthew Kaundart

  • The Cardboard Artist 0:11:05


Paulo Carmagnani Franco

  • Tactical Urbanism Workshop – Cataguases 0:01:24
  • BEFORE | AFTER 0:01:45
  •  Park(ing) Day São Paulo 0:01:22
  • Creative Aurea Street 0:01:23

Shing Hei Ho

  • No Pain No Train 0:10:24

Danny Hoffman

  • Build Us a Theatre! 0:02:59

Matt Hulse & Madeleine Shaw –

  • Biketown YYJ 0:08:06

Matt HulseMatt Hulse is a young lawyer practicing aboriginal and environmental law in Victoria, BC. A cycling enthusiast, Biketown YYJ is Matt’s first attempt at any type of musical or video production. He just thought this would be fun to try to pull off!

Biketown is an attitude that results from integrating the bicycle into the fabric of your community in order to promote health, social connection and sustainability. This means that every town can be Biketown. Building Biketown is always a work in progress, but the benefits are endless! Enjoy the ride (and the film)!

Darryl Jones  –

  • There’s Always a Way 0:03:32

Darryl Jones always a way

I am a filmmaker based in Oakland, CA and I am a filmmaker because I have always wanted to do so many different things and am fascinated with far too many ideas. For me, film is the ultimate artistic expression of human behavior.

My studies were in landscape architecture at North Carolina State University and at UC Berkeley, but I have been making movies since I was 13 when I received a video camera as a birthday present. I have worked in conservation, design, politics, art, education, acting, landscape architecture and waited on plenty of tables. This is my first animated film.

Brendan Leonard

  • Chocolate Spokes 0:05:30

Brendan Leonard chocolate spokesBrendan Leonard is the creator of and author of the book Sixty Meters to Anywhere. He has written for CNN, Climbing, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Adventure Journal, and other publications. He co-directed the award-winning short film Frank and the Tower, co-produced The Important Places, and co-directed and co-produced Ace and the Desert Dog.

Amanda Macchia

  • Urban Lament 0:03:00

Amanda Macchia urban lamentAmanda Macchia is an Italian-Canadian video artist and curator currently based in New York City.  She studied documentary filmmaking at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism, and produced and directed her first feature film, Yorkville, in 2014.  Amanda’s work has been screened at film festivals internationally, and she regularly curates film programs in Toronto, New York, and Berlin.



Brenda Mattick fried dumplings and bicyclesI’m an Australian communications ‘all-rounder’ formerly based in Hanoi. I worked with a team of talented Vietnamese to produce this short documentary.


Florent MICHEL / Guillaume Gaudart

  • The Prophet 0:01:06


John Moody

  • Redemption Square 0:16:55

john moody redemption squareJohn Moody is from Pullman, Washington and studied film at Pacific University. He has experimented with video since a young age but truly began his film career as a PA in Portland, Oregon, and entered the camera guild in 2010 after moving to LA. He has worked as a digital imaging technician, including three seasons on New Girl, and in 2014 began a city planning master’s program at MIT.

Bob Nesson & Peter Vanderwarker

  • Seaport Views 0:10:00

bob nessonBob Nesson is an independent filmmaker and educator. His films explore the history and ecology of cities [Building Boston], the systems that enable them to function [Waterworks: A Look at Boston’s Liquid Assets], and on larger economic and social issues. His films on artists [It Is Memory, A Bridge Between Cultures] have been screened on four continents. As an educator he has led environmental studies and filmmaking workshops in North America, Russia, China, and Turkey. For the past ten years he’s taught interdisciplinary courses at Emerson College: Filmmaking and the Environment, Urban Studies and Filmmaking, and Documentary for Social Change, among other courses. Nesson was named Emerson’s outstanding adjunct faculty member and received the Alan L. Stanzler Award for excellence in teaching, 2010; and in 2015 was awarded a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship.

Peter Vanderwarker is a renowned architectural and art photographer. His work has been published internationally in books and in magazines. He travels and exhibits extensively. Recent exhibitions include shows in New York and Boston. Upcoming photo shoots include projects in Africa (Rwanda) and China (Hangzhou).  The National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation have supported Peter Vanderwarker’s work, and he has received Institute Honors from the American Institute of Architects.

Maureen Ni Fiann, Tom Rochester

  • Instrument of Change: Street Piano 0:42:13

Maureen NI FiannMaureen is an independent Film Maker and was a first time director on the short film The People’s Piano 2014. Her background is in psychotherapy. It was the human connections that she saw happening around her local street piano that motivated her to make the film. The introductory short film The Peoples Piano was made in 2014 with Tom Rochester. The feature documentary Instrument of Change: Street Piano was completed in 2017.

The Peoples Piano was screened at Raindance Film Festival, was featured on ITN News and was shortlisted at Crystal Palace Film Festival. The soundtrack was used on BBC Radio 4 and it was chosen by Londonist as the short film to open Asif Kapadia’s documentary, Amy.

Martin Barry, Radka Ondrackova

  • reSITE: Choose Your Future 0:02:12

Callista Ottoni (Haggis)

  • Bill 0:02:30

calista haggisCallista Haggis is a Canadian documentary filmmaker with a Masters in Urban Planning and Community Development. She has been involved in numerous projects that combine documentary film with broader initiatives for social change. Callista received the Hot Pink Shorts audience award for “Quirk-e: A Learning Collective”, at the 2011 Vancouver Queer Film Festival. She currently works as a Knowledge Broker in Vancouver, Canada, where she combines her multimedia skills with academic research and community engagement. Her recent project, “I’d Rather Stay” has been showcased throughout Canada to act as a catalyst for community and policy maker discussions on what makes a neighbourhood a good place to grow old?

Babaak Parcham, Geoff Pingree

  • blight 0:06:27

Dan Perez

  • GRAFSTRACT The Bronx Street Art Renaissance 0:17:21

dan perez grafstractDan Perez is a self-taught documentary filmmaker born and raised in the Bronx who now resides with his family in South Florida. A true DIY filmmaker, Dan has written, produced, directed, shot and edited all his documentary films.
He won the “Director’s Choice” award at the 2008 Rincón International Film Festival for his very first film, “The Motivator: The Business of Selling Hope” and the “Best Florida Film” award at the 2010 Sunscreen Film Festival for his second film, the feature documentary “P.A.T.H.” His short film “Angels with Shoes” took home the “Best International Short” and “Audience Choice” awards at the 2015 Rincón International Film Festival and the “Best Documentary” award at the 2015 Film Miami Fest.
In the summer of 2014, Dan returned to his hometown on the Bronx to shoot his latest documentary short, “GRAFSTRACT: The Bronx Street Art Renaissance” which has screened in film festivals in Mexico, Albania, Turkey, Spain, Chile, Sweden, India, and Romania, Scotland. The film took home the “Best Street Art Film” award at the 2015 New Urbanism Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film proudly made its NYC debut at the 2015 Bronx International Film Festival.

Bennett Piscitelli

  • Venice And Lincoln 0:01:00

Zach Putnam

  • The Kenton Lead Blob* 0:10:08

When Zach saw a news article that suggested he was living in a hotspot of lead pollution, he took action. Connecting with his neighbors through social media, a community-led investigation began, with hopes of getting to the bottom of any causes and health risks that could be affecting them and their families.

This film was produced as a student project in the University of Oregon Master’s in Multimedia Journalism program.

Alan Ricks

  • Design That Heals 0:23:53

alan ricks design that healsAlan co-founded MASS Design Group, a non-profit focused on social impact through the design and construction process. He manages global operations for the 60+ person firm with projects in over a dozen countries that range from design to research to policy—a portfolio that continues to expand the role of design in advancing a more just world.  Alan is a Lecturer in Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and has an appointment as an Expert-in-Residence at the Harvard Innovation Lab.

John Simmerman

  • CNU25.Seattle: Pocket Neighborhoods Tour 0:07:34

John_Simmerman_HeadshotJohn is a health promotion professional turned filmmaker with nearly 30 years of experience. He’s dedicated to profiling the people, places and programs that promote a healthy culture of activity. “There are so many exciting and encouraging things happening to enhance and improve the quality of life in communities around the world, my goal is to capture and tell some of the stories.”


Marika Snider

  • C-House 0:04:56
  • What is Inclusive Design? 0:02:49
  • Boombox Retail 0:04:34

marika snider c house

Marika is a preservation architect for the Ohio History Connection. Film is one of the tools she uses to talk about architecture and the impact it has on our urban and rural environments.

Emilia Stålhammar, Veronica Pålsson, Elsa Lövdin

  • CYCOLOGIC 0:15:00

Emilia Stalhammar - Veronica Palsson - Elsa Lovdin cycologic

Dennis Stein

  • Tony – The Movie 1:02:01

Dennis-Stein Tony the movieTony and I filmed and edited this documentary between November 2016 and August 2017. Tony has been living on the streets the entire time. We interviewed 30+ people and the full versions of these interviews are posted on this website. I encourage those who are interested in this topic to watch these videos for additional context.


Paul Steinberg

  • Bicycle Revolution 0:45:00

paul steinberg

Paul Steinberg is Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy at Harvey Mudd College. He has spent the past 20 years studying how social change works, with a special focus on global environmental problems. He is the author of three books: Who Rules the Earth? (Oxford University Press), Comparative Environmental Politics (MIT Press), and Environmental Leadership in Developing Countries (MIT Press), which won the Harold and
Margaret Sprout Award for the best book in international environmental affairs. He is the director of the Social Rules Project, a multi-media initiative designed to raise public awareness about the importance of changing policies and other binding rules to promote sustainability. For more information see

Cornelius Swart

  • Priced Out 1:00:00

cornelius swart priced out

Cornelius Swart is the project’s director and senior producer. Swart co-produced the first film, Northeast Passage, with Spencer Wolf. Since then Swart has established himself as a reporter with a deep knowledge of the community. He published a community newspaper and hyperlocal website that covered St. Johns, North, and Northeast Portland, called the The Portland Sentinel, for five years. Since then he has worked on staff at the state’s largest newspaper, The Oregonian, the state’s largest television station, KGW NewsChannel 8, and as Director of Content during the startup of the web-based news platform Swart volunteers his time to the project.

Kristin Tieche

  • Velo Visionaries – Gabe Dominguez 0:10:45
  • Women Just Want To Be Safe – Angela May Chen 0:05:34

kristin tieche velo visionariesKristin Tieche is an award-winning producer, director and editor. Her work has aired on National Geographic, Smithsonian Channel, Science Channel, Al Jazeera America, PBS, CBS–5, Fox Worldwide, Link TV, Fine Living Channel, Food Network and Home and Garden.  Kristin’s storytelling provides viewers with deeply immersive and visceral experiences that intend to inspire action and transform minds.  Kristin holds a Master of Arts in Television, Radio and Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where she received awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in screenwriting and sound design. She is currently pursuing a degree in Sustainability at City College of San Francisco. Kristin received certification in GRI standards sustainability reporting in 2017. She is also a certified cetacean naturalist, a dedicated urban cyclist, and a mindfulness practitioner.

Alexander Valeton

  • Urban Labs 0:30:50

Alexander Valetonbookseller, publisher, (war) correspondent, Dutch living in Africa, global producer, director with a very weak spot for architecture, cities and societies.


Edward Valibus

  • The New Memphis 0:01:46

edward valibus new memphis

I am a film director, screenwriter, and editor based in Memphis, TN. Over the past decade, I have created two feature films, nine short films, and multiple music videos. I often work in comedic genres including surrealism, dark comedy, and satire but have ventured recently into drama and experimental filmmaking also.

I currently enjoy a wonderful career making films showing local pride in Memphis including editing NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies hype-films for Marc Gasol & Mike Coley, directed by Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow, Black Snake Moan, Empire). I also wrote and directed the short film, THE NEW MEMPHIS, a visual love poem for Memphis, produced by New Memphis Institute.

Diane Estelle Vicari

  • R I T A H O U S E 0:03:00

Diane Estelle vicari - rita houseThough her work, director diane estelle Vicari explores thematic stories about our human spirit and innate gift of triumphing over any adversity.  In the end, we all have the potential to reach our dreams.


In addition to her own documentary filmmaking career, diane estelle is a champion for others with stories to tell. She’s done this most notably through her extensive work with the IDA, International Documentary Association, an organization for which she served as President of the Board from 2006 to 2009. And, more recently, Vicari has extended her efforts as chair and co­founder of the 501c3, DOCClub®LA.

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, she is fluent in French and a graduate of the UCLA’s Certificate Program in Film and Television.

Maya Weatherall

  • Community Engagement Project: Park, Franklin, Colfax Ave 0:03:19

Maya WeatherallStudying in Denver, Maya Weatherall learned a lot about the process of how a city can or cannot become sustainable. For her community engagement project, she researched the five point intersection (Park Ave, Franklin Ave, and Colfax Ave). This location could be used for shutting down Park Ave and turning it into a park. Giving Colfax Ave more of a touristy spot and keeping the residents and drivers in the community safe. This short documentary shows how and why the five point intersection is dangerous and how the best ideas for improvements can come from the pedestrians who cross the street every day. As a result of this video there will be a block party August 12 on Park Ave, for the community to see what it would like to have a park on that street.

David Wynn

  • Skid Row – Street Art – Community 0:02:36