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Nina Gilden Seavey Faculty Member

Nina Gilden Seavey is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and 30-year veteran of the documentary world. Her films can be seen in theaters, on television, in ancillary media, and in museum exhibitions across the globe. Some of her films include: “A Paralyzing Fear: The Story of Polio in America,” “The Ballad of Bering Strait,” “The Matador,” “A Short History of Sweet Potato Pie and How It Became a Flying Saucer,” “The War at Home,” “4th & GOAL,” and "Parables of War." Her most recently completed film is “The Messengers” which she produced in collaboration with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Lucien Perkins. Seavey is currently in production on a ten-part investigative podcast entitled “My Fugitive"produced under the auspices of Pineapple Street Studios and Entercom, Inc. This podcast has been ten years in the making. In the course of the development of this project, Seavey sued the FBI, the CIA, and the National Archives for the release of documents in one of the largest Freedom of Information lawsuits in US History. Seavey is the director of The Documentary Center in the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University, which she founded in 1990. She concurrently serves as the Co-Director of the Center for Innovative Media. She holds the academic rank of full Research Professor of History and Media and Public Affairs with appointments both in the Department of History and in the School of Media and Public Affairs in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at GW. For the 2017-2018 academic year, Seavey was a Visiting Research Scholar at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. In 2002, Seavey became the Founding Director of SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival (now AFI Docs). She continued with the festival as Executive Producer, strand programmer, and senior member of the management team until 2009. Seavey’s films have appeared in domestic and international festivals and have won numerous awards including five National Emmy nominations (one statue awarded), the Erik Barnouw Prize for Best Historical Film of the Year, The Golden Hugo, Cine Special Jury Prize, The Telly, The Italian National Olympic Cup for Best Sports Film, The Peter C Rollins Prize for Best Film in American Culture, among many others. In addition to awards for her films, Seavey has received a number of professional accolades including being named one of the top 50 professors of journalism in the U.S. Further, she was named a “Woman of Vision” by Women in Film and Video. And she received a commendation for “Outstanding Service to the Industry” by Discovery Communications. Seavey regularly serves as panelist and advisor to many projects including efforts on behalf of the International Documentary Association, the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, The John Heinz Family Foundation, and the Southern Humanities Media Fund, . Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Seavey had a career in politics from 1972 until 1980. She served on the Missouri campaign staff for the presidential campaigns of George McGovern and Morris Udall and for the senatorial campaign for Thomas Eagleton (D-MO). Seavey moved to Washington and served as foreign and military policy advisor to Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder (D-CO) and in 1979 became a political appointee in the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the Carter Administration. Seavey earned her BA in History and French Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and an MA in History, with an emphasis on late 19th Century American social history, from George Washington University.

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