Christian Hammons is a writer, producer, and director who works in documentary, fiction, and the space in between. Ethnographically informed, his work often focuses on the everyday lives of marginalized people. His most recent films include the short documentary Messengers, which premiered at the IFS Los Angeles Film Festival in 2019, and the short film Lemonade, which screened at the Lone Star Film Festival and other venues in 2018. His in-between work includes the live documentary Tripod: Mead, Bateson, Bali and participatory media projects on the Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota and in the Mentawai Islands in Indonesia.
Chris is a cultural anthropologist by aptitude and training. He received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Southern California. His research on indigeneity and the state in the Mentawai Islands has been published widely, and he is the author of the book Exploring Culture and Gender through Film. He also holds an MFA in film production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He has worked at PBS, Cruise-Wagner Productions/Paramount, ICM, Disney Channel, and Bunim-Murray Productions/ABC. He now heads up the production company Deranged Penguin (with Eric Coombs Esmail) and teaches anthropology and critical media practices at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the Department of Critical Media Practices and the Associate Director of the Center for Documentary and Ethnographic Media.
Eric Coombs Esmail
Eric Coombs Esmail is a cinematographer and documentarian working across film, video, and installation. Recent works include: the short documentary video and VR experience Messengers, cinematography for the short narrative Lemonade (dir. Christian Hammons), the installation and short film Esmerillion: Y Gwyllt, cinematography and field recording for the forthcoming documentary features On This Land (dir. MTL Collective) and Off Country (dir. Taylor Dunne and Eric Stewart), and the documentary video installation Grant Ferry. His works have screened across North America and Europe, primarily in the communities from which they were made. He holds an MFA in Media Arts Practices from the University at Buffalo and has worked for over 15 years as a cinematographer and videographer. He is a founding board member of the Colorado-based filmmaking non-profit Process Reversal and runs Deranged Penguin Productions (with Christian Hammons). Currently, he teaches critical media practices at the University of Colorado Boulder.