Joanna Lipper is a filmmaker, photographer and author. She is a lecturer at Harvard University where she teaches “Using Film For Social Change.” In Fall 2011 she was awarded a $200,000 grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her current documentary film, The Supreme Price. This film received a Chicken & Egg Mother Wit Human Rights Grant and was selected for Good Pitch 2012 at Ford Foundation.
Lipper’s first documentary Inside Out: Portraits of Children won the Prix Jeune Public at Marseille Vue Sur Les Docs as well as the Hollywood Discovery Award and a Certificate of Merit for Best Film in the Category of Sociology at The San Francisco International Film Festival. This film played in the New Documentaries Series at MoMA and aired on The Sundance Channel. Her second documentary, Growing Up Fast, focused on teen mothers living in a post-industrial New England city in the wake of downsizing and globalization and the region’s loss of its manufacturing base. Growing Up Fast was distinguished as one of the top ten short documentaries of the year by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and screened in their annual documentary showcase as well as in the Frame By Frame Screening Series sponsored by HBO and the International Documentary Association. The documentary film played at museums and conferences across the United States and is distributed by Films For The Humanities and Sciences. The Jane Pauley Show (NBC) devoted a segment to documenting the grassroots impact of the book and film in the arena of teen pregnancy and parenthood prevention. This film was the inspiration for her nationally acclaimed book combining text and photographs, Growing Up Fast published by Picador in 2003.
Ms. Lipper’s debut feature film Little Fugitive was released by Cinema Libre Studio in September 2008. Her photographic series, Seaweed Farmers in Zanzibar was featured in Economica: Picturing Power and Potential, a group exhibition presented by the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and The International Museum of Women in Summer of 2010. This series along with a related multimedia installation was featured in a solo show at Photo De Mer in Vannes, France (April 2011).
Lipper’s work has been exhibited by museums and galleries including MoMA, the Museum of Tolerance, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, the International Museum of Women, Berkshire Museum and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. From 2008-2010 she was a Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow at the W.E.B Du Bois Institute at Harvard and from 2005-2008 she was a non-resident fellow at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership.