Meet the Instructors for Documentary Video Production in Havana

Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018

We are pleased to announce the spring 2019 instructors for the study abroad program Documentary Video Production in Havana. Ken Schneider and Marcia Jarmel have been creating films together for over 20 years. Through their production company, PatchWorks Films, they make award-winning documentaries exploring contemporary social issues through intimate character stories.

Ken Schneider and Marcia Jarmel standing together, Ken holding a camera on his shoulder.

Ken Schneider and Marcia Jarmel
Photo by MaryAnn Talavera

Over his career, Ken Schneider has produced, directed, and edited documentaries in English and Spanish, focusing on war and peace, human rights, artists’ lives, American history, contemporary social issues, and Cuba. Ken co-edited the Oscar-nominated Regret To Inform, a film the New York Times described as “unforgettable … exquisitely filmed, edited and scored.”

Films he edited have won primetime and documentary Emmys, two Peabodys, a Columbia-Dupont, IDA (International Documentary Association) awards, an Indie Spirit, top awards at Sundance, other major festival awards, and have been nominated for an Oscar, and additional Emmys.

Ken has taught at San Francisco City College, and has lectured at the SF Art Institute, University of San Francisco, Chapman University, Harvard and NYU.

Ken Schneider holding a camera

Ken Schneider
Photo by MaryAnn Talavera

Marcia Jarmel serves as consulting producer and engagement and outreach consultant for other social issue documentary films, recently consulting on Academy-Award-nominee Last Day of Freedom, on HBO’s Emmy-nominated 50 Children, And Then They Came for Us, and The Last Season. She is currently co-producing Life Crime, a powerful criminal justice story for N.C. Heikin.

Marcia has been a resident at Working Films’ Content+Intent at Mass MoCA, Fledgling Fund’s Reel Education and Reel Impact, San Francisco Film Society’s FilmHouse (three times), the Kopkind Colony, and twice a BAVC Media Maker. She has guest lectured at NYU, the San Francisco Art Institute, Stanford University, and San Francisco City College.

As co-founders of PatchWorks Films, Ken and Marcia have created four feature documentaries and many shorts. Their films have broadcast worldwide and shown at museums, libraries, schools, universities, community centers, conferences, and film festivals. Their most recent feature, Havana Curveball screened in six countries, winning Best Documentary awards at the Boston and Seattle Children’s Film Festival, a special juror award at the Olympia Festival in Greece and a spot on School Library Journal’s “Best of 2014” list.

Their most recent project, Los Hermanos / The Brothers, tells the story of two Cuban virtuoso brothers separated by geopolitics but united by their music.

Documentary Video Production in Havana is offered each spring semester. Students create their own short documentaries, immersed in the culture and context of Cuba. View recent student work on our website as well as admissions information, dates, and deadlines.