Meet the Team
Talented MFA students with a vision.
Filmmakers Who Want to Make a Difference
Every student in Environmental Filmmaking for Public Television became who they are because they have a deep passion for nature and want to make media that can make a difference.
As an initiative for SOC’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, the team of nine filmmakers with the instructor Mike English created this film from August to December 2016.
Sam Sheline was raised in Duram, North Carolina, but has lived in the DC area for six years. A background in biology led Sam to work for the conservation non-profit NatureServe, where he solidified his passion for telling environmental stories in film. From there he decided to attend film school at American University where he expects to graduate with an MFA in 2017. Sam is an avid outdoorsman and environmentalist. and thinks that film is a powerful way to convey meaningful environmental stories. Sam lives in downtown DC with four mountainbikes, his pug Annabelle, and his fiancee Bettina when she’s not in India or Uganda doing clean energy access work.
Raffi is in his third and final year of the Master of Fine Arts program at American University, and couldn’t be more passionate for nonfiction filmmaking. For this film, he served as a cameraman and editor, and loved the entire experience. He previously earned two B.A.s — Film & Video Studies and English — at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He has interned with the General Services Administration, the National Wildlife Federation, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, WETA (Washington, D.C.’s PBS station), and Conservation International.
Line Producer/Camera/Social Media and Marketing
Sarah Liebman is completing her final semester as an undergraduate Film & Media Arts major at American University. Originally entering into the film major planning to be the next Christopher Nolan, she now has found a love of documentary through this course. After growing up on PBS and interning with WGBH in Boston, she has a passion for public television and hopes to pursue a career in it eventually.
Kent Wagner is a photographer, audio producer, and filmmaker concentrating on environmental, cultural, and natural history topics. His work has included projects for the National Park Service, NASA, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Center for American Indian Resilience.
A former engineering major at Berklee College of Music, Kent holds a degree in Electronic Media and Film from Northern Arizona University, and is presently working on an MFA in Documentary Filmmaking at American University in Washington, DC.
Chelsea is a videographer, editor, and environmental activist. She grew up in the mountains of Vermont, where she formed a close connection with nature. With two degrees in Film and Media Arts and Psychology, she began her career as a filmmaker in South Africa producing a show for Nat Geo WILD called safariLIVE. She now works for the National Institute for Standards in Technology as a science videographer.
Xinyi Song is a Master’s candidate in film and video from American University. With a great passion for social justice, she has worked on environmental and social documentary photography including haze in China, coal miners and coal industry, to bring people’s attention and to alert descendants. Those projects provide her different understandings of interactions between human action, society and environment.
Elizabeth is pursuing her MFA in Film and Electronic Media at American University and plans to make films that focus on the environment and conservation. She is passionate about being outdoors and spending as much time in nature as possible.
Originally hailing from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Anthony Brunner is a filmmaker/photographer currently pursuing an MFA at the American University School of Communication. He also holds a degree in Political Science from Hamline University, and explores themes related to modern sociopolitical systems in his work.
Brunner has worked with a number of media organizations including Planet Forward, National Geographic, and Frontline, and is currently working with the Center for Media and Social Impact as a graduate fellow.
Doaa Nour is an Egyptian MA student of Film and Media Arts at American University. She graduated as a painter, worked as a live-talk show host, and pursued her study and career in filmmaking, photography and Voice Over narration. Her productions concentrate on human rights issues, social justice, and environmental topics. She was happy to be a DP in this film and had designed the marketing plan for our film’s marketing team.
What you can do…
Public involvement is necessary if changes are to be made in the Potomac. Donate to the Potomac Riverkeepers and find out how to be involved.