Aug. 25

12:00 PM
Live on Facebook


Cinematography Conversation: Nadia Hallgren, Michael Fernandez and Shawn Peters

Join Nadia Hallgren (Becoming, 2020), Michael Fernandez (The Burial of Kojo, 2019), and Shawn Peters (Random Acts of Flyness, 2018) as they discuss craft, style, and tapping into the ethereal and sensory dimensions intrinsic to script and story. These prolific cinematographers will show select scenes from recent work, allowing us to peek into the process of bringing personal artistic accents to the emotional and visual tenor of the scene thereby creating the perfect shot and ultimately serving the work’s narrative trajectory.

This panel is free and open to the public. It will stream live with closed captioning on August 25th from this web page as well as BlackStar’s Facebook page.




Shawn Peters


Shawn Peters is a cinematographer and storyteller represented by the William Morris Agency, listed as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces in Independent Film in 2016, and is a Sundance Institute Fellow for 2016. Parts of his work can be seen at www.shawnpeters.com. He started shooting music videos for artists like Pharoahe Monch, Blitz the Ambassador, Michelle Williams, Bilal, and Alicia Keys. That led to commercial and Narrative work with director’s Rhys Ernst, Sam De Jong, Terence Nance, Sebastian Silva, Daniel Kaufman and Andrew Renzi. Film’s that Shawn has worked on have premiered at Sundance, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival. In the last 12 months Shawn lensed three feature narrative films “Goldie,” for VICE Features and “Adam,” produced by James Schamus, “Really Love” for Charles King’s MACRO and an HBO television series, “Random Acts of Flyness,” produced and directed by Terence Nance. Shawn was awarded a 2015 Creative Capital Award for his AR/VR combo project, The Art of Dying Young and has been invited to present at the Sea Idea Festival, the Future of Storytelling Summit 2016 and IFP Week 2106. The Art of Dying Young is a film installation and new media tour using Augmented and Virtual Reality technology to examine the lives, local histories and place-making initiatives of the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford Stuyvesant and South Williamsburg told through the lives of two young men who have been memorialized through murals. Each mural will be the Shawn Peters Filmmaker Storyteller end point of a mini bike tour of the neighborhood curated by the life of the deceased using landmarks integral to their lives. Each landmark will be points of content distribution: video, sound, image overlay and text giving an experience of the site and/ or a brief history viewed on mobile devices using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality applications. Through an in-depth interview and research process with family, friends, mural artists, mural sponsors and community members, the artist creates an emotive fictional film that will depict a dream that the deceased may have had while they were alive. The films will be narrated from the voice and perspective of the deceased beginning with the words “I once had a dream that…” The films are intended to be accessed at the site of the original death memorial mural, distributed using augmented reality technology and viewed on smart devices. There will be a companion website to this project that will contain ancillary video of interviews, other death murals, statistics and stories of people currently living in these communities.



Nadia Hallgren


Nadia Hallgren is an award-winning filmmaker and director of photography from The Bronx, New York. Most recently Nadia directed BECOMING a documentary about former First Lady Michelle Obama that was released on Netflix in 2020. Prior to that she directed After Maria a short documentary that tells the story of three mothers displaced by Hurricane Maria, it was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2019. Nadia won the special jury prize at SXSW 2018 for a independent episodic series about women running for office in response to Trump’s election and a Webby for Public Service and Activism (2018) for her film Gavin Grimm vs. about a transgender teen from Virginia headed to the Supreme Court. With a focus on the craft of vérité storytelling, Nadia has also become one of the leading cinematographers in documentary filmmaking her credits include the Sundance award-winner Motherland (2017), Academy Award-nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner Trouble the Water (2008), and Sundance award-winner Trapped (2016).



Michael Fernandez

Director of Photography

Michael Fernandez is Cinematographer from California’s Central Valley. Son of a migrant cotton picker from the Southern Delta, Michael learned photography from his father who documented the everyday life and beauty of their working class family and has since carried on this way of seeing the world where magic realism and working class testimonials intersect.