Discipline: Film/Video – experimental

Courtney Stephens

Discipline: Film/Video – experimental
Region: Los Angeles, CA
MacDowell fellowships: 2019

Courtney Stephens is a filmmaker whose non-fiction and experimental films explore the contours of language, historical geography, and women's lives. Her work has screened at venues including the Berlinale, MoMA, New York Film Festival, National Gallery of Art, South by Southwest, The Garage Museum, and the Hong Kong, Camden, Mumbai, Luxembourg, Dhaka, and San Francisco International Film Festivals. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, a California Humanities Grant, and was one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film. A graduate of the American Film Institute, she co-founded the Los Angeles microcinema Veggie Cloud and has curated film programs for The Getty, Museum of the Moving Image, and Flaherty NYC.

While in residence, she completed editing on The American Sector, a feature documentary about large pieces of the Berlin Wall installed as public monuments around the U.S. The film is a collaboration with Pacho Velez ('17) who did pre-production while in residence. Stephens also worked on a mid-length experimental film, Change of Address, featuring footage from Bryce Canyon, UT. The film considers the fossil record, female itinerancy, and motherhood (and also contains footage shot at MacDowell). Stephens also collaborated with fellow residents Joshua Gen Solondz and Jerome Ellis on a short film Perfect Fifths, which featured Ellis tuning the piano in his studio while discussing his day job as a New York City piano tuner, and his interest in personal and acoustic intervals.



Courtney Stephens worked in the Veltin studio.

Veltin Studio was donated by alumni of the Veltin School, a school for girls in New York with a highly respected visual arts department. As the plaque just outside the entrance attests, this studio was used by poet Edwin Arlington Robinson during most of the 24 summers he spent at MacDowell. Perhaps most famously, Thornton Wilder put the finishing…

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