Recap – 2021 MediaMaker Fellowship Culminating Celebration

Published On: May 3, 2022 |

RECAP – 2021 MediaMaker Fellowship Culminating Celebration

Photograph of MediaMaker Fellows with BAVC Media staff by Valarie Duran

Last week, we hosted a sold-out culminating celebration for the remarkable 2021 MediaMaker Fellows at KQED’s newly renovated headquarters in San Francisco. The night opened with Executive Director, Paula Smith Arrigoni reflecting on the power of films to humanize and offer up necessary and expansive narratives. BAVC Media’s 2021 MediaMaker Fellowship Co-Director’s, Niema Jordan and Rodrigo Reyes graced the stage as co-emcees, sharing fond memories and affirmations of the cohort!

Photograph of MediaMaker Fellow Tony Nguyen by Valarie Duran

Photograph of MediaMaker Fellow Demise Zmekhol by Valarie Duran

Each fellow shared a new sample and pitched their film to a panel of seasoned filmmakers for comments, feedback, and words of encouragement. The evening followed with an inspired conversation between 2022 Fellowship Co-Director’s Dawn Valadez and Rodrigo Reyes, and special guests, MediaMaker alum Reid Davenport and Keith Wilson, Director and Producer of the outstanding documentary I Didn’t See You There, which screened last week at SF International Film Festival. BAVC Media’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Isa Nakazawa, closed the evening with a James Baldwin quote on the role of the artist to expose the question the answer hides. We spent the rest of the evening breaking (delicious) bread and dancing to the quality selections of Oakland’s finest, DJ Kream.

Photograph of Panelists and Paula Smith Arrigoni by Valarie Duran

Photograph of MediaMaker Fellow Lendl Tellington by Valarie Duran

We are deeply honored to play a small part in the journey of these talented filmmakers and eager to see (and support) where they go next. Thank you to all of our community members, supporters, board, and staff for attending! Thank to our event sponsors and community supporters Berkeley Film Foundation, Gus’s Community Market, and Calicraft for making the party special! A special bow of gratitude to KQED for their generous partnership in making this event possible. It is our sincere hope that you are inspired to find direct and sustained ways to support both the films and filmmakers you want to see in the world.

Photograph of Jenny Slattery by Valarie Duran

Thank you to the 2021 MediaMaker Fellows:

  • Carolina González Valencia, The Cleaning Writer (Portland, ME)
  • Contessa Gayles, Life + Life (New York, NY)
  • Denise Zmekhol, Skin of Glass (Berkeley, CA)
  • Hadley Austin, Demon Mineral (Chicago, IL)
  • Lendl Tellington, …that’s why He made momma (Baltimore, MD)
  • Norbert Shieh, Preserves (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Tony Nguyen, TO BE (Oakland, CA)
  • Zack Khalil, Aanikoobijigan [ancestor / great-grandparent / great-grandchild] (Brooklyn, NY)