Filmmaker Bios

Suree TowfighniaDirector Suree Towfighnia is an independent filmmaker, director of photography and freelance director/producer from Chicago. Her documentary Tampico (2006), winner of the Studs Terkel Award, chronicles a woman's struggle to survive by performing her family's music in the subways of Chicago. Suree is working on Plan B, a feature comedy that explores the choices Americans make during divisive times. Suree's other short films include: Caution:2001, The Stringer, Cycles, and Clutter. Suree studied History and Latin American studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned her MFA in documentary film from Columbia College Chicago, where she co-founded Prairie Dust Films with Courtney Hermann in 2002.

Courtney Hermann Producer Courtney Hermann is an independent documentary filmmaker and educator from Portland, Oregon. She recently received the Outstanding Faculty Award at the Art Institute of Portland, where she is an instructor in the Digital Film and Video Department. She has produced and directed several short documentaries, including Granite Janet (2000), which was nominated for the International Documentary Association's David L. Wolper Award. Courtney earned an MFA degree in Film and Video Production from Columbia College Chicago, where she and Suree Towfighnia worked as co-technical coordinators of the Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary. She is working on the documentary Gurlesque Burlesque, about the last days of the Exotic World Burlesque Museum, an old Route 66 roadside attraction.