Dustin Morrow is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker, author, programmer and educator with more than twenty years of professional film and media production experience and more than sixteen years’ experience teaching and building curriculum at the university level. As a media artist, his works frequently explore issues of and relationships between landscape/space and personal, communal and cultural identities; the relationship between music and the moving image; intersections of traditional cinema and new media; the actor-director relationship; and genre filmmaking. He was born and raised in western Illinois, and received his MFA from the Department of Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa in 2003. He is currently a tenured Associate Professor in the School of Film at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches courses in digital cinema production and film studies. He previously taught at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he was also hired to revise the media production curriculum, at Monmouth College in Illinois, and at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He was the Interim Head of Film at Portland State University for the 2013-14 school year; established the university’s equipment office and policies and the school’s social media; and was a principal designer of the school’s film production curriculum.
Professor Morrow’s films have won numerous awards and been shown in venues around the world. He has written about film and pop culture for a host of publications, and his photographs have been featured in both solo and group exhibitions. Before re-entering academia, Morrow was an editor and director of short-form projects and series television in Los Angeles, for such clients as Sony Pictures, MTV, FoxSports, the Discovery Channel, and for such filmmakers as Spike Jonze, Michael Apted, Steven Soderbergh, and (as directors) Kathy Bates and Denzel Washington. He continues to operate his own independent production company, Little Swan Pictures, for which projects have taken him as far away as the Aleutian Sea.
Mr. Morrow is the author of the 2018 book Kathleen Turner on Acting: Conversations about Film, Television, and Theater. The book is structured around a series of conversations Morrow conducted with the iconic actress about subjects such as the relationship between an actor and a director, the preparation an actor must do for a role, and the pursuit of acting as a profession. The book was endorsed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sofia Coppola and published by Skyhorse Publishing, whose recent New York Times Bestsellers include books by Alan Dershowitz and Malcolm Nance.
Prof. Morrow also recently finished Black Pool, a feature-length thriller that he wrote and directed, which tells a taut revenge story set against the backdrop of the political conflict in Northern Ireland. The film was shot partially in Dublin and Belfast, and was picked up at the Cannes Film Festival for distribution in 2019. Learn more about that film at its website, www.blackpoolfilm.com.
Among his recent works are a feature-film contemporary musical called Everything Went Down, which was the subject of a TED Talk and has screened at film festivals around the world, taken Best Film honors at five film festivals, and was a success on the streaming service Hulu. Other recent projects include Ground London, an experimental documentary short exploring the British capital’s urban landscapes, which screened and won awards at festivals worldwide and was curated in Ohio State University’s Journal of Short Film; Dead Mall, an experimental documentary portrait of a failing Midwestern shopping mall, which premiered at Anthology Film Archives in New York City; Treetops, an experimental short that meditates on the limitations of digital filmmaking technologies, which has screened widely at international film festivals; an anthology of short films examining Irish identity entitled Firinne: Searching for Ireland, which has screened in festivals and museums in the U.S. and Ireland and is in the permanent cultural and historical collection of An Lar TV in Ireland; The Marriage of Figaro, a production of the classic opera produced for Comcast Television; Laptop, a short documentary about electronic music which premiered in Cambridge at M.I.T.; and Film versus Film, a cinema discussion forum produced as both a television series and a popular web series. In 2013, Focal Press published his textbook, Producing for TV and New Media (reprinted in 2015). Prof. Morrow has received grants for his work totaling more than half a million dollars.
Mr. Morrow was the Director of the Greenfield Youth Film Festival in Philadelphia for three years. The Greenfield Youth Film Festival is among the largest youth-centered film education programs in the world. Presently he is the Founder/Director of the Portland Music Video Festival, one of the only festivals in the country dedicated exclusively to the art and craft of music videos. He has also programmed for the Hollywood Theater in Portland, the Portland Film Festival, and the Reel Music Festival. He is an in-demand speaker at conferences, film festivals and workshops nationwide about issues related to film and media production and scholarship.
A passionate advocate of study-away education, Professor Morrow has during his summers run programs in London and Dublin, as well as taught documentary filmmaking in Northern Ireland. At Temple University, he co-authored a new certificate program in Globalization and Intercultural Communication. Recently, he directed the University of Oregon’s film-centered summer program in Dublin, and he designed and directed a program incorporating both film studies and production in New York City.
Learn more about Prof. Morrow and his work at www.dustinmorrow.com.
University of Iowa