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Photograph of Laura Hinson

Laura Hinson Assistant Professor Film and Media Arts

Laura Hinson
SOC | Film & Media Arts
McKinley Building 226
MCK 226
Additional Positions at AU
Director, Community Voice Lab
Co-Head, Documentary Concentration
MFA, Film and Electronic Media, American University
BA, Political Science and Communication, Furman University

Laura Waters Hinson is an award-winning filmmaker and Assistant Professor in the Film and Media Arts Division of the School of Communication. Laura serves as the director of the Community Voice Lab and co-head of the film division's documentary concentration. Laura’s films focus on personal journeys, especially among women, exploring themes of reconciliation, human resilience, and entrepreneurship. Her first feature documentary, As We Forgive, about Rwanda’s reconciliation movement and narrated by Mia Farrow, won the 2008 student Academy Award for best documentary, the Cinema for Peace Award in Berlin, and was broadcast nationally on public television.

Since 2009, Laura’s films have been screened at the U.S. Congress, the United Nations, the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art and at dozens of international film festivals such as the Big Sky Documentary Film Fest, Santa Barbara International Film Fest, Palm Springs ShortFest, Austin Film Fest, Seattle Human Rights Film Fest, Pan African Film Fest, Heartland Film Fest, Manchester Film Fest, among many others.

Her newest feature documentary about the 3D printed housing revolution, Project Home, was released in September 2023 by 1091 Pictures and is available on Apple+, Amazon and other digital platforms. During Fall of 2023, she also released her newest short documentary, THE TEST, about a Ghanaian maintenance workers who teams up with a pair of elderly residents at he retirement community where he works to help him pass the U.S. Citizenship Test. The film won the Jury Award for Best Short Documentary at the Santa Fe International Film Festival and the Annapolis Film Festival. The film had its World Premiere at the Oscar-qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival in August 2023, and its international premiere at the Manchester Film Festival in England.

Laura’s earlier film, Street Reporter, won the Jury Award for Best Short Documentary at the Annapolis Film Festival 2022, the Social Impact Media Award for Creative Activism and the Audience Choice Award at the 2021 Austin Film Festival and the Indy Shorts Film Festival. Prior to this, she directed Mama Rwanda, a documentary about the new generation of women entrepreneurs in Rwanda transforming their nation after genocide, supported by the National Geographic All Roads Film Project.

During the Spring of 2019, Laura served as the director's shadow on the set of Showtime's Homeland. In 2018, she directed her first narrative short, a dark romantic comedy called Moving Violation, which starred Milana Vayntrub and won Best Narrative Short at the DC Independent Film Festival.

At American University, Laura serves as director of the Community Voice Lab (CVL), which produces an annual film series capturing the voices of marginalized DC community residents. Laura received her MFA in Film and Electronic Media from American University and a BA in Political Science and Communication from Furman University. She lives with her husband and three children in Washington, DC.
For the Media
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Summer 2024

  • COMM-702 Master's Portfolio Capstone