MFA candidate John D. Sutter to teach environmental filmmaking at George Washington University

October 17 2022
Photo:CNN Photo:CNN

John D. Sutter, MFA candidate in the University of Utah Department of Film & Media Arts and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and independent investigative journalist focusing on environmental reporting, will be the inaugural Ted Turner Visiting Professor of Environmental Media at George Washington University.

Sutter has received wide acclaim for his work, including the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, the IRE Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the Peabody Award, and more. He is a CNN contributor, a Logan Nonfiction Fellow, former Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT,  a Knight Visiting Nieman fellow at Harvard, and teaches media studies at Poynter Institute.  

Sutter is also teaching a course related to climate change media at the University of Utah, while he works to complete his thesis.

"John Sutter came to the College of Fine Arts from a career in journalism where he frequently reported on climate change. He has brought us his talents in that field, which have been supplemented by his new work in film," said Chris Lippard, director of graduate studies for the department. 

That work includes his independent feature called "BASELINE: Part 1," which follows three children growing up on the frontlines of the climate crisis between now and 2050. He is also collaborating as producer with Assistant Professor Emelie Madhavian on her new feature film surrounding glaciologists. 

"John came to us with a clear idea of what he wanted to do, but his perspective on how documentary might change people through a study conducted over a long period—a possibility largely denied him by the constraints of journalism—has benefited from his work with Emelie Mahdavian, who is herself working in a related area, as well as other faculty in the Department where concern with the interrelationship between contemporary world events and their depiction on film is always of paramount importance, " Lippard said.