Each year, RISCA presents a fellowship and a merit award in 13 disciplines. These grants encourage the creative development of artists by enabling them to set aside time to pursue their creative work, and celebrate the amazing artists that make Rhode Island home. In the spring grant deadline, fellowship and merit award recipients are selected in 7 disciplines: crafts, film & video, fiction, poetry, play & screenwriting, photography, and three dimensional art. Over the next week or so, we are pleased to introduce you to the 14 award recipients.
Mary Healey Jamiel
Fellowship Recipient in Film & Video
Mary submitted an excerpt from her feature length documentary SEARCHDOG, and excerpts from a series of short films about Warren, RI artist Allison Newsome. Panelists described this submission as very strong in the craft of filmmaking- good storytelling, strong editing, and great shooting. In the artist documentary, the panelists especially appreciated the focus on watching the artist work and letting the artist speak visually.
For more than four years, Mary Healey Jamiel filmed Matthew Zarrella, a Rhode State police sergeant who rehabilitates “pound dogs” and turns them into Search and Rescue K9s. The result was SEARCHDOG, an intimate and moving documentary that reveals the unparalleled patience, love and grit of these extraordinary human-canine teams. See SEARCHDOGMOVIE.COM for more information. Jamiel’s other award-winning documentary, Holy Water-Gate , was the first film to lay bare the 25 years of an institutionalized cover-up of child sexual abuse by priests, in which she details the methods and mechanisms that concealed these atrocious crimes for decades. Her short film Hidden in the Leaves explored the history of Lyme disease and focused on tick-borne illness prevention.
Jamiel is currently documenting the work of world-renowned sculptor Allison Newsome, a prolific artist whose distinctive style and gregarious personality infuse her ceramic, bronze and steel sculptures with unmistakable energy and force.
Mary is an associate professor of Film/Media & Communication Studies at the Harrington School of Communication & Media at URI where she combines her passion for immersive documentary filmmaking and love of her students with her teaching. She lives Warren, Rhode Island, with her husband Kurt and their rescued dog Lucy.
Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sanchez
Merit Recipient in Film & Video
Benjamin submitted four short films. The panelists were drawn to the use of media and pop culture style to address larger social issues. They appreciated the use of language in the submissions, and the effective use of humor.
Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sanchez is a U.S./-Colombian performance and visual artist.
His video performance uses bodies annotated by historical scars and pop culture citations to peal back the skin of Colombianidad, and to reveal the violence of U.S. intervention in Colombia. He regularly collaborates with Spiderwoman Theater Company as a designer and archivist. He has worked with Norwegian Theater Academy, Rattlestick Playwright’s Theater, 2050 Legacy, Jes Tom, TITS FISCHER & KITTEN’S KISS, and GQ/Conde Naste.
He is a resident artist at AS220 in Providence, and is a member of the 2012 EMERGENYC cohort at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics. Lundberg Torres Sanchez is the recipient of NEA funding through AS220’s 2017 Community Live Arts Residency and was RISCA’s 2017 Merit Fellow in New Genres.