2009 Graduating Class

Better Bones and Gardens
Co-Directors: Lindsey Clark and Natalie Edler

Better Bones and Gardens follows Dan Phillips and Kipp Nash as they take a new approach to the typical American house and lawn. Dan Phillips scavenges around Huntsville, Texas picking up everything from cattle bones to old picture frames, using them to build homes for low-income families and artists. Meanwhile, Kipp Nash tears up his neighbors’ front and backyards to create a small farm in the middle of Boulder, Colorado.

For both men, these projects are about living their dreams and keeping the planet a little cleaner. In the end, they show that their lifestyle may be a little difficult and different from the norm; but if we change our attitudes towards homes and lawns, just a little, we can save a lot of precious resources. As Dan says, “If you legitimize trash and gentrify icky, then you’ve done something; and people go ‘Oh, you mean it can look nice?!‘”

Chasing Health: A Story of Medical Travelers
Co-Directors: Yelena Packwood and Carlos Torres
chasing health poster

Lured by exotic locales and substantial savings, more and more Americans are seeking medical treatment abroad. Chasing Health tells the story of three Americans who, despite concerns expressed by doctors and loved ones, believe medical treatment in Costa Rica is their best option.

This documentary examines the growing phenomenon of the multi-million dollar medical tourism industry and how it is changing the way Americans shop for health care.

Lessons Learned: The Story of a Principal, a School, and a Turn of Events
Co-Directors: Ana Paula Habib and Kristin Wernicke Benitez

Lessons Learned PosterIn an educational system where students are often treated as products, Kristine Santos, a single mother of four, is determined to find a better option for her daughters. Taking matters into her own hands, Kris opens a charter school with the mission of educating and empowering students through the arts. But after serving the community for years, Hoggetowne Middle School faces a major crisis that not only jeopardizes its future, but also changes Kris’ life dramatically.

The Man Behind the Curtain
Co-Directors: Michael Nichols and Joshua Woltermann

man behind curtainThe Man Behind the Curtain explores the troubled mind and tumultuous life of amateur artificial intelligence researcher Chris McKinstry. Plagued with mental instability, Chris left in his wake a swath of broken relationships and public suicide attempts, ultimately culminating in an online forum post detailing his last moments.

Across Canada to South America, Chris’s friends, lovers and colleagues share their intriguing experiences with a creative man bent on fame and immortality. And the rich archives Chris left behind paint a vivid picture of a scientific outsider struggling against circumstance and biology.