The Doc Lab Introduces the 2020-2021 Film & Journalism Documentary Fellows

The Doc Lab at Michigan State University is proud to announce the newest cohort of fellows selected for the prestigious documentary film program.

After an especially tumultuous year, The Doc Lab is looking ahead to the industry’s creative future through these emerging filmmakers with wide-ranging approaches, styles, insights, and perspectives.

The 2020-2021 Documentary Lab fellows include:

  • Hannah Roll, BAKED – A filmmaker’s journey to help her cousins pay off crushing medical debt. Their toffee business, 'Two Sisters and a Kitchen,' was created to do just that, but when the money proves too little, they find a more appealing product to sell.
  • Megan Kipper, A Normal Happy Kid – Caught between a deadly pandemic and being away from family, isolation has never been harder. This story explores the everyday challenges that come from living with Bipolar disorder in unprecedented times, and the emotional toll it has on a twenty-one-year-old woman.
  • Patrick Butcher & Barret Baxter, DIET – 50 pounds in 5 months: A man changes his diet and changes his life.
  • Casey Iles, Love Unwound – Facing the heart wrenching complexities of her parents’ divorce, the filmmaker struggles to confront her past, her own emotions, and ultimately the meaning of love.
  • Celia Lochkos, Finding Home – A young woman fall in love with dance, but also finds manipulation, social pressure, conformity, and a conflicted relationship with her mother.
  • Kara Headley, Shared Pain – For over a decade Kara Headley has experienced chronic pain. She has seen an endless stream of doctors, tried physical therapy, and even acupuncture. Now, almost out of options, she experiments with an elimination diet to ease her suffering.
  • Tessa Osborne, The Grey Zone – This self-portrait takes an unfiltered, deep dive into the complex psyche of a young suicidal woman recently released from the Forest View Psychiatric Hospital.
  • Laura Truong, I Saw the Train! – Amidst the cramped streets of Hanoi’s old quarter lies an impoverished community where high-speed trains careen through the neighborhood. The trains pass by just feet from where everyday people live; doing dishes and homework, hanging laundry, fighting and falling in love. Seventy-six-year-old Dung Nguyen tells us all about this place, and how the people there see a chance to escape poverty.
  • Yi Peng, China 19 – A personal chronicle of deception and heroism from a young woman at the pandemic’s ground zero.
  • Gia Mariano, In My Shoes – A pair of shoes can carry with it echoes of the past; one pair recalls a brutal murder, another speaks of unrequited love, and a third leads toward empowerment.
  • Sofia Decarolis, This is Me Trying – Mental illness and survival despite almost constant panic. It is a theme that’s driving a generation of young people to the brink of despair. This deeply personal experimental film delves into the darkness in search of the light.

By Michelle David

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