On Wednesday, February 10, and Thursday, February 11, Stevenson's FMI (Film & Moving Image) Department will host documentary filmmaker - and Baltimore resident - Ramona S. Diaz (Imelda, The Learning) as our Spring 2016 Artist-in-Residence. Ms. Diaz will spend two days visiting classes and talking about both her own work and the process of filmmaking, in general. On Thursday, February 11, at 7pm, in the Soundstage (SD101) of the School of Design building (located at 11200-A Gundry Lane, Owings Mills, MD, 21117), we will screen her powerful 2012 film, Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey, which tells the fascinating and moving story of how the rock band Journey found the perfect new singer (who sounds just like their original frontman Steve Perry) … from The Philippines. There will be a reception prior to the screening, at 6pm, in the School of Design lobby, and a Q&A with Ms. Diaz afterwards. Both the reception and the screening are free and open to the general public.
Here are selections from Ms. Diaz's official biography:
Ramona Diaz is an Asian-American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Ramona’s films have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films - be they rock stars, first ladies, dissidents, or teachers – resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives that are unforgettable. She has received funding from major agencies such as Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS, Center for Asian American Media, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Sundance Documentary Fund, MacArthur Foundation, the Catapult Fund, and Chicken and Egg.
Ramona has been invited to participate in numerous funding and editorial panels and has conducted master classes and production and post-production workshops all over the world: from Northwestern University in Doha, Qatar to Docs In Progress in Washington DC. She has served as consultant, both formally and informally, on many documentaries. She was chosen for the inaugural CBP/PBS Producers Workshop at WGBH in 2000. Ramona took part in the prestigious Sundance Institute’s Documentary Edit and Story Lab with The Learning and was designated a Sundance Fellow in 2011. Four of Ramona’s feature length documentaries have been invited to participate in IFP’s annual Independent Film Week in New York City. In addition, Ramona’s films are required viewing in numerous top tier Asian studies, gender studies, and humanities programs across the country. She has served for three years as a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, a touring film program that brings American films to audiences worldwide.
Beyond filmmaking, Ramona is an active member of her communities, both in the city she lives in and within the larger Filipino-American diaspora. She was one of The Baltimore Sun’s 50 Women to Watch in 2013 and recently received the 2015 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award in the Innovator and Thought Leader category by the Filipina Women’s Network.
Ramona is a graduate of Emerson College and holds an MA in Communication from Stanford University.