Cheers to an Exceptional Group of Young Filmmakers!

It’s the end of the semester, and once again I have to share, THESE exceptional students give me hope for a better world!

Of all the classes I’ve taught over the years, there’s none I love more than documentary filmmaking. And once in a decade, I’m lucky enough to teach a group like this. Every one of these talented young filmmakers started the semester with a distinct style – with their own way of seeing, hearing, and understanding the world around them – informed by the diverse histories they carried into the classroom with them. They let these histories guide them as they honed their skills and found the stories that had been waiting to be told.

The incredible films they shared at our premiere last week filled me with awe, pride, and faith that we are on the right track! They are the next generation of storytellers. They are female, queer, black, biracial, Jewish, Chinese, immigrant, first-generation, and aware of their privilege. They wear their vulnerabilities alongside their strength and their beauty. They will tell the stories of their generation. They will write the histories the next generation will learn. And I know that in doing so, they will give voice to those who have never been heard before.

To my students: I’m sorry I didn’t have the chance last week to tell every one of them individually just how brilliant, thoughtful, creative, inspiring, and kind I think you are. But it’s true. Every single one of you. I can’t wait to see where your adventures take you after graduation, and I can’t wait to see what stories you will tell next. Please stay in touch and know that you’ve always got someone in your corner. Next week, next month, next year, tell me what I can do to support you and the incredible films that I know you’re going to keep making, and I’ll be there.

And please stay in touch with one another, too. It’s a unique community we’ve built together over the past months, and trust me, you’re going to need friends and fellow creatives who know where you started and believe in where you’re going. As I told one of you recently, I don’t know many things for certain in life, but this one thing I do know: No one who’s designed a creative, fulfilling, and impactful career for themselves has had an easy path getting there. I’m honored to be on the difficult path with you all.

Here’s to you! This is only the beginning…