17-year old Claressa “T-Rex” Shields from Flint, Michigan dreams of being the first woman in history to win the gold medal in Olympic boxing. To succeed, she will need to stand her ground both inside and outside of the ring.
Date: Friday, February 19, 6PM
Location: Lehman Auditorium, 202 Altschul Hall
Q&A session to follow screening with producer Sue Jay Johnson
Canepari and Cooper have worked together since 2009, right after Zack shot Drea’s wedding and then proceeded to lose all the photos. Since then, they’ve produced and directed the award winning online short documentary series California is a Place. With over 10 million views online, the films have screened at film festivals around the world, including Sundance. Their compelling visual style and deeply personal storytelling has earned Cooper and Canepari award nominations from IDFA DocLab for best digital storytelling and documentary project of the year by POYi. The directing duo landed on Filmmaker Magazine’s Top 25 New Filmmakers to Watch list. They’re also an accomplished commercial directing team.
Sue Jay Johnson is a photographer, producer, and writer. Johnson does whatever it takes to tell the story. In 2011, Johnson spearheaded an unprecedented collaboration between The New York Times Magazine, NPR, WNYC, and Radio Diaries to tell the stories of the first women to box in the Olympics. The series included Teen Contender, Claressa Shields’ radio diary of her journey to the Olympic Trials, which won a Peabody Award. Along the way, I teamed up with Zack Canepari and Drea Cooper to produce T-Rex, which premieres at SXSW and HotDocs in 2015 and will air on PBS’s Independent Lens in 2016. Johnson is a two-time Peabody Award winner and a recipient of a Creative Capital Artist Grant. Her collaborations have been broadcast on PBS, NPR, WNYC, BBC, SABC and CBC and have garnered many awards including a Webby Award, a Columbia-duPont, and the Online News Association’s Award for most creative use of the medium. Her early interactive documentaries (360degrees.org—Perspectives on the US Criminal Justice System andsonicmemorial.org) have been exhibited at the Smithsonian’s Design Triennial and are archived at the Library of Congress.
Over the last decade, Johnson lived and worked off and on in South Africa where she co-founded Iliso Labantu, a collective of township-based photographers who train and earn a living through their documentation of contemporary urban life. More recently, Johnson has been working with Rock Girl, which trains young women in radio and photography and then takes them on road trips across South Africa to document the lives of other young women. She have taught at Harvard University and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism and guest lecture widely on artistic process and professional development for artists. She lives in NYC with her husband and two daughters.