Samantha Grant is a San Francisco based documentary filmmaker, journalist, and educator who creates thought-provoking, character-driven documentaries solidly rooted in journalism. Her approach to storytelling was shaped by her American Studies/Literature degree from Yale University and her Journalism Master’s degree from UC Berkeley GSJ. Through her company GUSH productions Sam has created work for PBS, CNN, ABC, MTV, NPR, ITVS, POV, PRI, FRONTLINE, FRONTLINE/World, and Al Jazeera International about everything from the black market trade in human kidneys in India to escapees from polygamous cults in Utah, and her work tends to focus on health, women’s empowerment, and the ethical justifications people make to themselves to explain why they do the things they do. Her first feature PBS documentary, A Fragile Trust, (available on iTunes and Amazon) tells the story of the infamous Jayson Blair / New York Times plagiarism scandal. A Fragile Trust screened at festivals around the world, had a theatrical release, and then a national PBS Broadcast on the award-winning series Independent Lens. Sam also created the companion journalism game Decisions on Deadline to help educators teach journalism ethics in a fun and engaging way. Sam’s second feature documentary, Daughters of the Forest, about a radical girls school in the ancient forests of Paraguay, toured the international film festival circuit and premiered nationally on PBS’s Global Voices and was broadcast in Kenya, India, Bangladesh, Malawi, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Jordan and Egypt. Currently, Sam is Producing Survivors (Dir. Arthur Pratt, Banker White, Anna Fitch) and a companion Oral History/Video Database project called WeSurvive, about the 2014 Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. Survivors will have it’s National PBS Broadcast and launch as part of the celebrated PBS series POV in the fall of 2018. In addition, Sam is in production on a short film called “The Last Sound” about artist Yoko Sen, and is in pre-production on a new feature documentary about Women and Leadership. Sam has received several national awards and honors for her work including a National Press Club Award, the National Ethics Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, a Carnegie Knight News 21 Fellowship, a BAVC MediaMaker Fellowship, and a Yale Poynter Fellowship. When she’s not Directing, Shooting, or Producing documentaries, you can find Sam moonlighting as a keynote speaker at conferences and Universities around the world, lecturing at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism where she’s been teaching the next generation of Doc Filmmakers since 2007, or wrangling her 3 children in the streets of San Francisco.
MEDIA PLATFORMSDocumentary, Video Journalism