Sanjeev Chatterjee is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and professor in the department of Cinema and Interactive Media with a secondary appointment in the department of Journalism at the School of Communication, University of Miami. He also serves on the faculties of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change and the Young India Fellowship.
RECENT DOCUMENTARY WORK, AWARDS AND HONORS
Sanjeev Chatterjee started making documentaries focusing on development issues in India in 1985. Since then he has made many films meant for television, festivals, international organizations, educational institutions, NGO’s and for training. The following are highlights from documentary work completed since he has been at the University of Miami:
Sanjeev produced and directed On Cities (2012), a non-verbal short documentary about the past, present and future of cities. The film was the central piece of a “virtual gathering” that he produced at the University of Miami in October 2012 to engage a global audience with the subject of life and living in today’s cities. The “virtual gathering” is archived at http://knight.miami.edu/oncities . Following up on what he learned through the experiences of making the short film and producing the “virtual gathering” he is currently researching his next global film project about our changing relationship to food and the challenge of feeding cities in the future.
He received a Fulbright Scholarship to make a series of short documentary videos about the East Kolkata Wetlands in 2011.
In 2010 he was a featured speaker at the inaugural TEDxMiami.
Professor Chatterjee is producer, co-director and writer of a global motion picture project about our changing relationship to fresh water entitled “One Water". An earlier short version of the film won two awards at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) and was screened at the United Nations headquarters in New York in 2004 and 2005. This film won a special jury award at the World Water Forum in Mexico City in 2006. A feature version of "One Water" premiered on the closing night of the Miami International Film Festival, 2008. The film has been screened at diverse venues including Expo Zaragoza 2008 and International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). "One Water" is the recipient of the Best Environmental Feature award from the Artivist Film Festival, 2008, Best Documentary Cinambiente 2008, Turin, Italy and Best Documentary at the Foyle Film Festival 2008, Derry, Ireland. An international television version of the film was completed in 2009 for which Chatterjee wrote a new script narrated by actor Martin Sheen and has reached over 4 million television households worldwide.
In 2007 Chatterjee received the Images and Voices of Hope Award in the film category “ for the use of compelling imagery in bringing attention to global issues.”
In 2006 Prof. Chatterjee completed a television pilot entitled "Through Her Eyes" - a proposed series of documentaries about women photojournalists of note. C0-produced with colleague Lelen Bourgoignie-Robert. "Through Her Eyes" won the Best of Festival, King Award at the Broadcast Education Association's Media Arts Festival in 2006. A sequel to Through Her Eyes was completed in 2011. The film "Beyond Assignment" is directed by Jim Virga and Chatterjee served as Executive Producer.
Prof. Chatterjee's earlier documentary work explores issues of identity among people in the Indian diaspora. His films on the topic are "Bittersweet" (1995) about Asian Indians in the United States and "Pure Chutney" (1998) about people of Indian origin in Trinidad. "Pure Chutney" won second place at the Film South Asia competition in Kathmandu in 1999. In 2005 Professor Chatterjee completed "Dirty Laundry" - an essay film about people of Indian origin living in South Africa.
In 1999-2000, Professor Chatterjee was commissioned by the National Geographic Channel to produce television reports about environment and culture in India. The topics of these reports, which were part of National Geographic's prime time magazine show "National Geographic Today," ranged from deforestation and habitat fragmentation to the survival of folk and classical dance in India. The Salt Lake City Corporation commissioned Professor Chatterjee to create a video installation for an exhibition "The Physical Fitness of Cities" that was mounted as part of the 2002 Winter Olympic festivities and highlighted aspects of good design in city building.
His other documentary work includes "From the Shadow of History" (1996) about the role of preventive diplomacy in the Republic of Macedonia during the Yugoslav war. The film has been shown on the History Channel and WPBT (PBS, Miami) and won awards at the Vermont International Film Festival and Silver State Documentary Festival.
Professor Chatterjee’s teaching focuses on documentary film and multimedia visual storytelling. He teaches classes pertaining to both studio and field production. He received University of Miami’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002 and has been nominated two more times since.
Through his teaching at the University of Miami and at other venues like the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change and the Young India Fellowship, Sanjeev has developed his “teaching by doing” approach where students learn about community engagement, media change making, media literacy, ethics, issues and subjects of media projects through the process of media making.
WORK WITH STUDENTS
In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Professor Chatterjee continues to work with students through the School of Communication's award winning Documentary Unit, which he founded in 1994.
In 2013, Chatterjee founded the non-partisan, non-profit organization mediaforchange.org with the purpose of connecting the globally dispersed tribe of media change makers.
International Documentary Association, Member since 2006
University Film and Video Association, Member since 1990, Member ofBoard of Directors (1995-1997)
National Broadcasting Society, Professional Member since 2003
Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society, inducted in 2002
Broadcast Education Association, Member since 1994
Alpha Epsilon Rho National Honor Society, inducted in 1995
Professor Chatterjee is the director of UIndia – University of Miami’s semester abroad program in India. He served as the Executive Director of the Knight Center for International Media at the School of Communication from 2007-2010. He also served as a vice-dean of the School of Communication during the same period.
Professor Chatterjee lives in the Miami suburb of Palmetto Bay with his wife Sumita, who is a historian, their two teenage children Abhi and Uma, and their dog Maraka.