Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) is pleased to recognize Samuel George as the December 2021, Filmmaker of the Month.
Samuel George is a documentary filmmaker committed to bringing audiences up close and personal to people and communities facing the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. He offers candid perspectives that allow viewers to draw their own conclusions. His films focus on the intersection of politics, economics, social issues, and daily life. From on the ground filming at the Turkish Syrian border, to the factories of Juarez, Mexico, to elections in West Virginia, Samuel George’s films seek to offer a voice to those impacted by policy and macro trends but who often are denied a seat at the table where decisions are made.
"For me, it is a tremendous honor that people share their lives, stories and experiences with me for documentary films. There is an implicit and critical trust that is created – that these histories and images will be treated with the utmost care and respect; that perspectives will be shared honestly so that one person's personal story can reach—and hopefully impact—a far greater audience. To be recognized for this work in the city where I live—the incredibly talented and vibrant city of Washington, DC—to be able to share these stories with a broader audience is another tremendous honor, and I am very appreciative,” said Samuel George.
George’s most recent documentary feature, “Go-Go City: Displacement & Protest in Washington, DC," which screened locally at the 2021 Filmfest DC, tells the story of the rich legacy of Go-Go Music, the official music of the District of Columbia, and how Go-Go music persevered against attempts to “mute” it, and how Go-Go music was an integral part of the local Black Lives Matter and the social protests for racial justice of 2020. The documentary film is set for a run of theater screenings in Florida as part of the 36th Annual Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival. In 2022 Samuel plans to schedule a series of free theater screenings of “Go-Go City.” He also looks forward to publishing the film and making it freely available to the public.
Other Samuel George filmmaking credits include his documentary film Out to Vote (2021), set in Baltimore, based on the get out the vote efforts that follows three formerly incarcerated individuals who have become leaders for democracy in their communities; The Fields of Immokalee (2020), about the impact of Trump administration immigration crackdowns on migrant workers in Florida, and After Hurricane Michael (2020) about the effects of category 5 Hurricane Michael on the residents of the Florida panhandle. He plans to schedule a series of free theater screenings of Out to Vote in 2022 and publish it, making it freely available to the public.
George graduated with a bachelor's degree in History from Oberlin College. He completed a master's degree in International Economics and Latin American Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and is currently completing a Ph.D. at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. He works as a documentary filmmaker for the Bertelsmann Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC.
In addition to his documentary filmmaking work, George is also the co-author and editor of The No Collar Economy: Exponential Change and the Digital Revolution, a graphic arts book published by the Bertelsmann Foundation in 2017, and Our Digital World, a follow-up publication in 2020— both these projects were also completed in his capacity as Bertelsmann Foundation’s Global Markets & Digital Advisor.
“I am deeply thankful to the Bertelsmann Foundation for giving me the space to learn, improve and explore the medium of documentary as applied to subjects more frequently covered from an analytical bend. Getting into documentary film work allowed me to incorporate this kind of depth and passion into my work. Beyond supporting my growth as a filmmaker, the Bertelsmann Foundation also helped connect me with seasoned veterans,” said Samuel George.
Samuel George also has three new documentaries in development that he looks to premier in 2022. These include a documentary film following a steelworker's strike in Western Pennsylvania, which he hopes will give insight into labor and economic tensions in the US; a movie on the historic Barry Farms housing complex in Southeast Washington DC, the documentary is a collaboration between George and the DC-based anthropologist Sabiyha Prince, and a final project focusing on geopolitical and economic trends in the Balkans.
Samuel's Film Credits:
- Out to Vote (2021) - Official Selection of the DC Shorts International Film Festival, Official Selection of the Chesapeake Film Festival, Official Selection of the Urban Film Festival, Official Selection of the Global Peace International Film Festival, Official Selection of the Baltimore International Black Film Festival
- Go-Go City: Displacement & Protest in Washington, DC (2021) - Official Selection of the American Documentary Film Festival, Official Selection of the NorthWest Documentary Film Festival, Official Selection of the Washington, DC International Film Festival, Official Selection of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, Official Selection, Indianapolis Black Documentary Film Festival, Winner of the Award of Merit with the Impact Documentary Film Awards.
- Liberty City (2020) - Winner, Best Urban Documentary - 2020 Urban Film Festival Winner of the Impact Docs Award of Special Merit, Official Selection - 2020 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
- The Fields of Immokalee (2020) - Winner of the Impact Docs Award of Excellence, Official Selection of the Global Peace International Film Festival
- After Hurricane Michael (2020) - Winner of the Spotlight Documentary Silver Award, Official Selection of the DC Shorts International Film Festival
- Harmony: Latvian Democracy on Russia’s Border (2019) Official Selection of the American Documentary Film Festival, Official Selection of the DC Shorts International Film Festival
- The Fight for West Virginia (2019) – Official Selection of the American Documentary Film Festival
- The People’s Choice: Mexico, Morena and the 2018 Election (2019) – Winner of the 2020 FICMARC Best Documentary Award
Samuel's Additional Films
- Disrupting Democracy: The Story of Italy’s 2018 Election (2018)
- Digital Mozambique (2018)
- No Collar Economy: Argentina (2018)
- The Crossroads India (2017)
- Cuba’s Digital Revolution (2017)
- The Crossroads: US-Mexico Trade (2017)
Samuel's Social Media Handles:
Samuel's Relevant Websites:
SAMUEL GEORGE DC RADIO INTERVIEW
Want to learn more about Samuel George and his work? Click HERE to listen to his DC Radio interview.
About Filmmaker of the Month
The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) launched the “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative as a vehicle for highlighting the talents and creative contributions of filmmakers that make the District of Columbia their home. The “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative is part of OCTFME’s mission to elevate the national and international profile of the District’s talented filmmakers.
***If you know of a filmmaker that would make a great future “Filmmaker of the Month,” you can send OCTFME your recommendations using this nomination form.
The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) produces and broadcasts programming for the District of Columbia’s public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable television channels and digital radio station; regulates the District of Columbia’s cable television service providers; provides customer service for cable subscribers; and supports a sustainable film, music, and entertainment creative economy and labor market in the District of Columbia.
OCTFME operates and manages the District’s government television access channels: the District Council Channel (DCC), the District of Columbia Network (DCN), and the District Knowledge Network (DKN). OCTFME’s award-winning content provides resourceful information on government activity, education, current events, history, music, arts, and entertainment. OCTFME manages and programs DC Radio 96.3 HD4 digital radio station, the District of Columbia’s first government radio station in partnership with Howard University’s WHUR. It is one of only two full-power, city-managed and programmed radio stations in the country.
OCTFME provides production support services that advance film, television, video, entertainment, interactive, multimedia, and digital media content creators. These services include permitting; location scouting; production support; job placement assistance; workforce development; and the DC Film, Television and Entertainment Rebate Fund.
OCTFME supports the creative economy through Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: 202Creates initiative, administering programs supporting the growth and sustainability of the creative industries in all 8 Wards of the District.
OCTFME provides additional support to the Creative community through the Creative Affairs Office (CAO). CAO showcases and preserves the District of Columbia’s rich creative communities throughout all 8 Wards. CAO builds sustainability in the creative community through policy, programming, and education which further expands the pathway to the middle class for the creative workforce. CAO coordinates public, private, and community partners to accomplish all goals and create equitable and inclusive opportunities for the District’s creatives.
For more information, contact the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment at (202) 671-0066, visit us online at: entertainment.dc.gov, and follow us on Facebook.com/entertaindc, Instagram.com/entertain_dc and Twitter.com/entertain_dc.