The School of Visual Arts’ MFA Social Documentary Film program teaches the artistic skills and techniques needed to tell compelling true stories that stimulate meaningful dialogue. SocDoc not only teaches the fundamentals of good storytelling, but guides students toward a career in the thriving documentary industry. The award-winning faculty is helmed by producer Maro Chermayeff (Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present), and includes Deborah Dickson (Lalee’s Kin), E. Donna Shepherd (Soundbreaking), Richard Hankin (The Jinx), Ross Kauffman (E-Team), and Sam Pollard (4 Little Girls), among others. Program alumni have won an Emmy and Student Academy Awards, and have had their films screened theatrically, on television, and in festivals worldwide.  (TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 43 MIN)

Mourning Doctor Li Wenliang | Director: Alice Chen Chen

February 9th, 2020: Chinese Doctor Li Wenliang dies of COVID-19, after becoming the famous whistleblower about the disease; in NYC’s Central Park, over 300 people gather for a memorial in his honor. (USA, 7 MIN) 

What’s in Chinatown| Director: Hansen Chenhui Lin

A city symphony, capturing Manhattan’s Chinatown. (USA, 3 MIN)

To Lay Bare  | Director: Cathy Zijun You

Si Fang, or Boudoir photography, while viewed stereotypically as pornography, allows the filmmaker to learn about her sexuality through years of photos and to celebrate women’s beauty.  (USA, 7 MIN)

My Little Ones | Director: Peipei Zhang

A visit with the vet brings bad news for a professional taxidermist and her beloved pet. (USA, 9 MIN)

Butts | Director: Yijia Zeng

What lesson can we get from a cutie little butt? (USA, 3 MIN)

Viseltear Violins | Director: Rohan Rao

In Jason Viseltear’s workshop, the feel of wood, the twang of strings, and the smell of polish come together to create a unique instrument that will live forever in the hands of its players.  (USA, 4 MIN)

Busker | Director: Zooey Zhang

A talented European street musician pursues his dreams in New York City, regardless of his hearing disability. (USA, 10 MIN)

Watch an exclusive pre-recorded Q&A with Filmmakers Zooey Zhang, Yijia Zeng, Alice Chen Chen, Peipei Zhang, Zijun Cathy You, Rohan Rao, and Hansen Lin.