Medill Documentary Program Faculty



Brent E. Huffman

Brent E. Huffman is an award-winning director, producer, writer, and cinematographer of documentaries and television programs. His work ranges from documentaries aired on Netflix, The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, NBC, CNN, PBS, and Al Jazeera, to Sundance Film Festival premieres, to ethnographic films made for the China Exploration and Research Society.

He has also directed, produced, shot, and edited documentaries for online outlets like The New York Times, TIME, Salon, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and PBS Arts.

Huffman has been making social issue documentaries and environmental films for over two decades in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These films have gone on to win numerous awards including a Primetime Emmy, Silver Plaque from the Chicago International Film Festival, IAFOR Documentary Award, MacArthur Foundation Grant, Best Film at CinemAmbiente International Environmental Film Festival, Grand Prize and Audience Award at Arkhaios Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Festival, Best Conservation Film-Jackson Hole, seven Cine Golden Eagle Awards, and a Grand Jury Award at the American Film Institute's SILVERDOCS.

Huffman was also an editor of Julia Reichert's and Steven Bognar's Primetime Emmy winning PBS documentary series "A Lion in the House". Huffman is also a writer whose work has been featured in CNN, The New York Times, Asia Society, Tricycle Magazine, The Wilson Quarterly, FRONTLINE and The China Digital Times.

Huffman's documentary "Saving Mes Aynak," about the fight to save a 5,000-year-old ancient city in Afghanistan threatened by a Chinese copper mine, has won over 30 major awards and has been broadcast on television in over seventy countries. It can currently be seen on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and on special edition DVD.

Huffman is currently directing "The Iron Friendship" about China's creation of a new Silk Road beginning in Pakistan. He is also producing "Finding Yingying", a Kartemquin film about a Chinese family searching for their missing daughter in the U.S.

Medill Video Faculty


Ava Thompson Greenwell

Since 1993, Prof. Ava Thompson Greenwell has been teaching broadcast writing, reporting and producing classes at Medill for undergraduate and graduate students. During the summer of 2006, she was awarded the Radio Television News Directors' Foundation Educator in the Newsroom Fellowship. The fellowship allowed her to spend four weeks at CBS2 in Chicago where she spent most of her time working on the station's website. Greenwell has served as the school's associate dean, Teaching Television Program director and Crain lecture series moderator.


Craig Duff

Craig Duff is an award-winning video journalist and documentary television director, producer and writer, specializing in multi-platform storytelling and solo journalism. Before joining Medill in 2012, he was the director of multimedia and chief video journalist for TIME, where he oversaw video and other multimedia projects for the magazine’s digital platforms and He and his team at TIME won an Emmy award for new approaches in news and documentary programming for a series he created and produced that explored the stories behind several iconic photographs.


Michael Harvey

Michael Harvey is a journalist, documentary producer, lawyer and novelist, as well as co-creator, producer and executive producer of A& E’ s groundbreaking forensic series, Cold Case Files. Michael’ s investigative journalism and documentary work has won multiple Emmys and CableACE awards, numerous national and international film festival awards, a CINE Golden Eagle, as well as an Academy Award nomination for best documentary short.

Michael is also the author of five best-selling crime novels: "The Chicago Way," "The Fifth Floor," "The Third Rail," "We All Fall Down" and "The Innocence Game." His sixth, "The Governor's Wife," will be published by Knopf in 2014.

Beth Bennett

Beth Bennett is Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Journalism at Medill. She is an award-winning producer and reporter with more than 15 years of experience in broadcast television news and video production. Her experience spans many areas of television news, including on-air reporting, studio/booth producing, and field producing. Since leaving the broadcast industry, she has specialized in producing web and tablet-based videos in addition to independent documentary film work.