Brett A. Schwartz

Based in Chicago, Brett A. Schwartz is an award-winning filmmaker who has been producing documentaries since 1995. Schwartz's latest feature documentary, Insatiable: The Homaro Cantu Story, received a Spotlight Documentary Film Award, an Award of Recognition from The Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, and had its world premiere at SXSW in 2016. The film tells the story of Homaro Cantu, a chef and inventor who wanted to change the world and helped to put Chicago on the culinary map. Schwartz's previous feature-­length documentary, Mashed Media (2010), aired on PBS and is distributed to North American schools, colleges and libraries by Films for the Humanities and Sciences.

Schwartz's films have screened at numerous film festivals, including SXSW, Slamdance, and Cinequest, and have aired on several television networks including Bravo, MSNBC, HGTV, Court TV, CBS, and PBS. His short film, Shifting Traditions, aired on PBS and was distributed by the University of California Center for Media and Independent Learning.

In 2014 Schwartz launched StoryScreen, LLC, a short and feature-length documentary production company.

At Cornell, Schwartz received a dual degree in photography in the Department of Art, and American history in the Department of History. His love of history and telling visual stories was brought to life in three undergraduate solo shows, one of which was funded by the Cornell Council of the Arts. Schwartz was awarded the David R. Bean Prize in Fine Arts, providing him with an inspiring semester abroad at Cornell in Rome. In art, Associate Professor and Associate Dean Barry Perlus had a profound impact on Schwartz, cultivating in him a respect for craft and refinement. Schwartz also benefited from the inspiration of professors Michael Kammen and Michael P. Steinberg in the history department, who, like Perlus, taught that art and artifacts enable us to combine practices in order to better understand society and the human condition.

In addition to producing films and videos, Schwartz teaches television production, journalism, and history at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois, and has been teaching for more than 13 years. He earned a M.A. in documentary film and video production from Stanford University, and a M.A. in social studies education from New York University in addition to his Cornell degrees.

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