Woman with the movie camera redux: revisiting the position of women in the production classroom


River Branch

River Branch’s production work incorporates elements of fictional, non-fiction and experimental film and video practices, moving seamlessly among multiple modes of address. A creative and critical inquiry into the role of storytelling stands at the heart of this production work, as does a regular interrogation of local, national and global issues of social justice. These sites of inquiry find further form in the critical dialogue among the arts, academy and community that permeates her work. This dialogue finds a lived expression in the group she co-founded, a film and video production workshop for under-represented youth, in her on-going work with local non-profits, in her courses such as “Community-Based Media:  Creative Citizenry Through the Use of Video,” and in her current project, a documentary exploring the role of community-based media practices within the on-going political and social unrest in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her work has screened in venues throughout the United States, and her research and production work have received numerous grants and awards.   

Branch received her B.A. in Psychology from Kenyon College where she focused her studies on the historical and contemporary relationship between psychiatry and human rights. She expanded upon this work via local and national human rights initiatives and efforts tied to women’s issues, LGBT concerns, health care access and a media reform.  After completing studies in documentary production at the University of Washington, she continued her graduate work at the University of Iowa where she received an M.A. in Communication Studies and an M.F.A. in Film and Video Production. Branch is Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Theatre at Allegheny College.