Vespertine Films and The Engage Media Project were founded by documentary filmmaker SABRINA SCHMIDT GORDON. An honors graduate from New York University, she has been committed to cultural and social issues documentary filmmaking for over a decade. Her editing debut garnered an Emmy for WGBH's Greater Boston Arts series, and she has continued to distinguish herself as both a producer and editor through her work on numerous award-winning programs for public television,film, cable and the web.
Her latest film, QUEST, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017. It recently won the Grand Jury Prize at several festivals, including the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, where it also won the Human Rights award. Her feature debut as a producer and editor, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, also premiered at Sundance in 2006, and was named in the Chicago Tribune's "Best Documentaries of 2007." Sabrina is also the producer and editor of DOCUMENTED, the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, and his fight for immigration reform. The film had record viewership for its 2014 broadcast premiere on CNN and social media. It received significant Oscar buzz and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary. Her latest film, BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez, about the renowned poet and activist, marks her directorial debut, and won Best Film Directed By A Woman Of Color at the 2015 African Diaspora Film Festival. It premiered at the prestigious Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, opening to a sold out show and four award nominations. She is also the Co-Producer and Editor of Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was named in both the Chicago Tribune's "Best Documentaries of 2007 and MSNBC's "Ten Most Important Black Films of the Decade." She followed that with Mrs. Goundo's Daughter, a gripping film about a Malian woman's fight for asylum to protect her daughter from ritual genital cutting. It premiered nationally at the AFI Film Festival in June 2009, where it was nominated for an award in the Sterling U.S. Competition, and screened at festivals worldwide, and was among the few films selected to tour worldwide with The Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. Mrs. Goundo's Daughter has been used as a powerful advocacy tool by organizations and was screened as part of a Congressional Hearing on asylum and at the World Economic Forum. Most recently, she edited The New Mad Men, an episode of Maria Hinojosa's acclaimed PBS series, America by the Numbers. The episode won 2015's Imagen Award for Best National Informational Program.
Sabrina's commitment to social justice extends to creating video for nonprofits, and fostering partnerships between filmmakers and activists. She is a new media producer and editor on The Masculinity Project, an ambitious web-based initiative of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) that explores masculine identity in the Black community, and The Haiti Project, NBPC's online portal of stories told by Haitian survivors following the 2010 earthquake. Other organizations she has worked with include The Ford Foundation, Witness, Agricultural Missions, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights. She is an advisor to the Yale Visual Law Project with Fred Wiseman and Alex Gibney, is Co-Chair of the Black Documentary Collective (BDC), teaches documentary filmmaking at Columbia University, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and serves on many media panels and film festival juries.