Art professor receives 2019 Creative Capital Award plus SFFILM artist residency for new documentary film

Still frame from Run With It, Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman ©2019
(Still frame from Run With It, Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman ©2019)
Dee Hibbert-Jones
Dee Hibbert-Jones

UC Santa Cruz professor of art Dee Hibbert-Jones has received a 2019 Creative Capital Award for Run With It, a feature-length animated documentary film she is currently working on in collaboration with San Francisco artist Nomi Talisman.

The film is one of 50 projects by 58 individual artists that were selected from a pool of more than 5,200 applications.

This year’s winners are based in 15 different states and territories, from New York to California and Puerto Rico to Washington, spanning a wide range of genres, including literature, performance, the visual arts, moving image, technology, and socially engaged art.

Each project will receive up to $50,000 in project funding, and a long-term commitment of advisory and career development.

Run with It tells the story of De'Jaun, a young black man on the Dean's List at Morehouse College, who grew up spinning quarters on death row with his uncle, Troy Davis. He also attended Amnesty International protests with his mother, Martina, who fought for 20 years to prove her brother Troy’s innocence. At 19, Troy was accused of killing a white police officer in one of the most controversial, racially charged cases to go before the courts.

The multigenerational story is both a legal investigation into Troy’s case and an intimate look at the impacts of a death sentence on his family and the whole community.

Hibbert-Jones creates documentary films with Talisman that explore the crisis in the criminal justice system and the U.S. racial divide, blending animation, documentation, and the aesthetics of the graphic novel. 

Their most recent animated documentary short, Last Day of Freedom, was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Documentary Short” in 2016. It also received the International Documentary Association “Best Short” award, as well as a regional Emmy.

The film additionally screened at 30 international festivals, and won 12 festival awards.

Hibbert-Jones teaches sculpture, public art and digital art new media at UC Santa Cruz, and advises in film and social documentary. Her short film, installations, and new media projects have been exhibited worldwide in exhibitions, museums and festivals; broadcast internationally; and shown on Netflix.

Hibbert-Jones’s work can also be found in collections ranging from the Israeli Center for Digital Art to the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences. And in 2016, she was honored with a United States Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust Award in recognition for her outstanding national commitment to civil rights, and social justice.

Hibbert-Jones and Talisman were also recently awarded a 12-month artist residency this year at FilmHouse--SFFILM’s vibrant shared workspace for independent filmmakers, which supports both narrative and documentary films by providing yearlong residencies for filmmakers actively engaged in various stages of production.

In addition to workspace, FilmHouse residents are provided with dedicated rooms for writing and editing their features, plus special access to established industry professionals offering mentorship and artistic guidance from their various areas of expertise.