Who We Are

The faculty steering committee includes producers and directors who work across multiple forms of documentary as well scholars of documentary across platforms.

Documentary Studies and Production Program Director

scott headshot

John D. Scott is Associate Professor of Media Arts, Sciences, and Studies and the Director of the documentary studies and production degree at Ithaca College. His films have won multiple awards and glowing reviews in the US and Canada. He has directed many short films that have played internationally in over twenty countries as well as two critically acclaimed feature-length documentaries, Scouts Are Cancelled, and Elizabeth Bishop and the Art of Losing. His films create intersections between fiction and documentary approaches to filmmaking.

Prior to joining academia, he worked as an independent producer and editor. He served as a field producer at Street Cents, a Gemini Award winning show at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He earned a BFA in Film Production from Concordia University, a BA in Honours English form Dalhousie University, and an MFA in Film and Video Production from the University of Iowa.

Scott teaches documentary production, fiction production, video essay, and editing courses. Scott grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada and identifies as a Maritimer.

steering committee members


Idrissou Mora-Kpai is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences and Studies at Ithaca College and an award winning filmmaker whose films have been screened world-wide at numerous prestigious festivals, such as Berlin, Rotterdam, Vienna, Milano, Busan, Sheffield, and garnered many international accolades. Born in Benin, West Africa, he is internationally renowned for his social documentaries tackling post-colonial African societies, African migrations, and diasporas. He is a recipient of the prestigious Dutch Prince Claus Award for his artistic achievements dedicated to promoting social change in the Global South.

His most recent film, America Street explores the daily struggles of an African-American community in a quickly gentrifying historical black neighborhood in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, just after the 2015 Walter Scott killing.

A graduate of the Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg (Germany), he served as a guest artist and visiting faculty member at Cornell University, Duke University, and the University of Pittsburgh


Brad Rappa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media Arts, Sciences, and Studies in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. He is an award-winning filmmaker With a background in painting, photography, documentary, and experimental media.

Shot in Iceland, Mongolia, and the United States, Rappa’s three most recent films, Losing Ground (2015), Fall (2016), and Anthropocene (2017), address climate change from global and local perspectives to investigate global consumer culture and the challenges of living in harmony with the natural environment.

His films have screened internationally at festivals such as the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Athens International Film and Video Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Black Maria Film and Video Festival, Tel Aviv International Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival. His films were awarded Best of Fest at the Arizona International Film Festival, and Best Minnesota Made Documentary at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival. His work has also received funding from the New York State Council for the Arts.

He is currently working on the final film in a three-part series entitled Mindful Hypocrisy, a playful commentary on the economic, environmental, and social costs of destructive behaviors that contribute to our rapidly diminishing biosphere .

patty zimmermann

Patricia R. Zimmermann is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Screen Studies in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College and Director of the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.

She is the author of Flash Flaherty: Tales from a Film Seminar with Scott MacDonald (Indiana, 2021); Documentary Across Platforms: Reverse Engineering Media, Place, and Politics (Indiana, 2019); Open Space Collaborative New Media: A Toolkit for Theory and Practice, with Helen De Michiel (Routledge Press, 2018); The Flaherty: Fifty Years in the Cause of Independent Cinema, with Scott MacDonald (Indiana University Press, 2017); Open Spaces:  Openings, Closings, and Thresholds in International Public Media (University of St. Andrews Press, 2016); Thinking through Digital Media: Transnational Environments and Locative Places with Dale Hudson (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015); States of Emergency: Documentaries, Wars, Democracies (University of Minnesota Press, 2000); and Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film (Indiana University Press, 1995). She is coeditor with Karen Ishizuka of Mining the Home Movie: Excavations into Historical and Cultural Memories (University of California Press, 2007).

With Louis Massiah from Scribe Video Center, she coprogrammed the national touring exhibition, We Tell: Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media.