Filmmaker, Educator and Director of Community Supported Film, Michael Sheridan
Michael Sheridan is a filmmaker, educator and activist whose experimental and documentary films address issues of social and economic development and the tipping point between order and chaos. For nearly 20 years Michael has engaged the public in stories from Asia, Africa and the Americas about people in poor and developing communities challenging the status quo and struggling to improve their lives.
In the mid 90s Michael co-founded Oxfam America’s documentary production unit where he began to break new ground in the effective use of media to educate and change policy. He has worked on media campaigns for Save the Children-UK, Bread the World, Pact and many other national and international organizations.
PBS, ABC, TLC, and Discovery have aired Michael’s documentary work. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Cyberarts Festival, GASP and many other galleries have exhibited his experimental work. The National Education Media Network, the Columbia International Film and Video Festival, the United Nations Association Film Festival, and EarthVision have screened and awarded his films.
For 20 years Michael has taught documentary and experimental filmmaking at the community and university level including at Northeastern, MassArt and the former Boston Film and Video Foundation. He taught a seminar on using video for education and advocacy at the Kennedy School from 2000-14. Michael has an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. During the 2007-08 academic year he was as Senior Fulbright Scholar in Indonesia teaching and working on new films.
In 2009 he began work on a documentary, Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War, on the role of economic development in peacemaking from the perspective of Afghan villagers. To accomplish this Michael trained Afghans in documentary filmmaking. From this work developed Community Supported Film an organization dedicated to strengthening documentary storytelling capacity in countries where the dissemination of objective and accurate information is essential to stabilization and development. Locals are trained in documentary filmmaking to tell stories from their perspective that can influence local and international views on sustainable paths to a more peaceful and equitable world.
You can learn more about Michael’s docuemntary films and video art at www.sheridanworks.com
Haiti Program Coordinator, Ralph Thomassaint Joseph
Ralph Thomassaint Joseph is a multimedia journalist based in Haiti. Prior to the Haitian earthquake in January of 2010, Ralph worked for Enfòmasyon Nou Dwe Konnen (ENDK), a daily radio program launched by Internews, a non-profit that provides a platform for local news to be distributed globally. After the earthquake in Haiti, Joseph’s work was distributed to nearly 40 radio stations to keep locals up to date on the conditions in Haiti. In addition, he was part of nearly 600 news shows, which ended up serving as training tools for young and aspiring Haitian journalists. Joseph is the winner of the 2014 Prix Philippe Chaffanjon award for multimedia reporting in Paris, France.
Jessica is a junior at Tufts University where she is studying Film and Media Studies and Africana Studies. She is personally interested in using film as a medium to tell stories, and to impact representation in the media. She wants to explore both the artistic aspects of film as well as the social realities that exist around film. Jessica has experience working with documentary-based organizations previously and believes they can be an extremely empowering film form. She is very excited to be a part of the CSF team, and help more people learn about the work being done here to give resources to people with amazing stories to tell.
Mariana Berenguer, Intern
Mariana is a senior at Tufts University where she studies sociology and peace and justice studies. She is especially interested in the intersection of social inequality and collective social action and the space it creates for meaningful and lasting change. Mariana also has a passion for all kinds of film and recognizes the potential filmmaking and consumption has on how people see and interact with the world around them. She is excited to be working with CSFilm to harness the power of film to bring about positive change to communities that need it.
Jen is a junior at Emerson College where she studies creative writing with a focus on screenwriting. Her interest in film fostered a deep appreciation for documentary filmmaking and the unique narratives that can be shown through that medium. Jen identifies as a feminist and advocate for social change through organizations such as Emerson’s PRIDE program and Emerson Peace and Social Justice. She’s active in the LGBTQ community and hopes to write films that encourage the viewer to engage in compassionate listening. Jen is very excited to intern at Community Supported Film and hopes to further her skills both as a filmmaker and empathetic ear for those with stories to tell.
Irfan AmaLee is passionate about creating creative media for children. For more than 10 years he has been working as a professional in the children’s book industry and has been involved in social work as a peace education media creator. Irfan has written more than 20 books, directed 8 movies and TV programs, written and directed 20 songs, 12 interactive games, 7 creative events, and has received 5 awards. Irfan is interested in being a social entrepreneur by combining his experience in media industry and his passion in peace education. Irfan just received a Master’s degree in Co-Existence and Conflict Studies at Brandeis University.
Katherine Bamberg is a student at Clark University in Worcester, MA. She is pursuing a double major in Film Studies as well as International Development & Social Change. Katherine is interested in combining both of these fields to work with indigenous media, and use film as a tool for social change. She has a strong interest in working within the film industry of Cuba upon graduation.
Allison Cole, Intern
Allison Cole graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies. She won the Best of Mount Holyoke prize at the annual Five College Student Film Festival for her experimental short Terrible Storm. Apart from filmmaking, Allison is passionate about activism, particularly in regards to gender inequality in media. She is thrilled to be interning for Community Supported Film, whereshe can combine her love of filmmaking and her commitment social justice.
Meaghan graduated from Connecticut College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies and Anthropology. She is interested in how these two fields combine through the medium of documentary film. In college, Meaghan produced three short documentary films, as well as videos for the college newspaper and TEDxConnecticutCollege. Besides her film pursuits, she has also been active in the LGBTQ community, with a particular passion for promoting communication and collaboration between high school and college activist groups. Meaghan is excited to be working with CSFilm, where she can continue to learn about the documentary filmmaking field with an emphasis on her interests in applied anthropology and social justice.
Ali Newhard, Intern
Ali Newhard is a senior at Needham High School. She is looking to pursue a Film Studies degree in college as well as minor in History. Currently she is working on a film about the recent changes that have been made in the armed forces in regards to women and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. In the future she hopes to be able to document social changes with the use of documentary filmmaking as a medium.
Steph Rizzo is a Junior at Emerson College. As a Journalism major and a Photography minor, she focuses on different mediums of storytelling through combing writing, photography, and various visual media platforms. Steph is a member of Emerson Feminists and an employee of Life Alive Organic Oasis and Café. She is a humanist—and in these spaces she interacts with those who care for the environment, their personal wellness and the rest of the human family. Steph wants to be a channel through which alternative facets of the community are heard. She is invested in positive social change and awareness through connecting with others in a direct, in-depth and personal manner. Through these experiences, Steph is a student and teacher in life—and is excited to collaborate with CSFilms to help spur growth.
Meredith Saucier, Intern
Meredith is a graduate of The School of Visual Arts where she received a B.F.A. in Film with a concentration in directing. She has interned with Focus Features and Big Beach Films, and volunteered in Morocco with Al Saida Al Hora – an organization that equips rural women with income-generating skills. She also volunteered with a group that teaches storytelling and film making to at-risk youth in Rabat. The convergence of film, storytelling, and development work was an ideal fit and was the impetus for Meredith joining CSFilm as an intern. Meredith is in a Master’s program focusing on education in the Middle East and North Africa region. Her research interests are education equity for women and refugee populations, education in post-conflict regions, and using art, creative writing and film as tools for development.
Marie is a fourth year student at Northeastern University where she studies Media Production and Digital Art. Her passion for travel and foreign language led her to South America in 2010, where she spent a year teaching English and volunteering with an environmental NGO. She is an active member of the Northeastern community and enjoys producing videos for student organizations. Her interest in documentary filmmaking and social activism led her to CSF, where she is currently an Intern.