Sergio Ingato ’15, Mason Sklut ’14, and Maggie Sloane ’14 co-produced the film “BrocKINGton,” which premiered Sept.13 at the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival.

The 8-minute short film explores the life of transgender student Blake Brockington, who was named homecoming king at his high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brockington discusses his experiences, both positive and negative, regarding growing up with a transgender identity in the culture of the South.

The Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film festival showcases films that address controversial issues like culture, race, sexual identity, immigration and religion…

In other words, congratulations to these exceptional students for striving to make an impact with their relentless ambition.

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Trafficked recently played at filmSPARK, a film festival hosted in Raleigh to showcase local film makers and their works. Produced by former ElonDocs members Olivia Pohl, Mason Sklut and Katherine Wise, the short documentary raises awareness of  human trafficking in North Carolina.

Then-senior Wise had learned about the issue through an earlier research project. After contacting various organizations, the group came across Jillian Mourning, a former victim of human trafficking.

“Her story was incredible,” Pohl said.

Wise recently travelled to Raleigh to attend filmSPARK. “It was really rewarding to see our film screened in front of an audience,” she said. “Especially since it fulfilled Jillian’s goal of spreading awareness about trafficking–which in the end turned into our goal of the film.”


Brian Binder

Brian Binder is a junior at Elon University with a Major in Media Arts and Entertainment and Minor in Business Administration. Brian loves to tell stories with the camera whether it be through narrative or documentary filmmaking. With the experience gained through Elondocs, he plans to further his knowledge in cinematography and story construction, and be an all-around student of film. Brian plans to work for a small production company as a director/cinematographer on feature films.


Stefan Fortmann

Stefan Fortmann is a junior majoring in Media Arts and Entertainment and minoring in Psychology. He is a “born and bred” South African and came to the US to play tennis. He works with the Elon Athletic Department and the Pendulum as a sports photographer. He would love to work with the African Wildlife one day either through photo or documentary work.


Brad Hinkle

Brad Hinkle is a media arts and entertainment major with a concentration in cinema. With a background in journalism, he is very interested in pursuing a career in the field of documentary. However, a recent semester in Los Angeles has convinced him that scripted production may also be a possibility. He plans on moving to LA after graduation and starting his career in the film industry at some capacity.


Audrey Horwitz

Audrey Horwitz is a senior at Elon University. She’s a cinema major and a literature minor from Pasadena, California. After graduation she hopes to write for television and live in New York City.


Sergio Ingato

Sergio Ingato is a junior from Princeton Junction, NJ and is majoring in Media Arts and Entertainment with a concentration in Cinema. He recently returned from spring semester in Los Angeles, CA, where he interned at Voltage Pictures and directed a short film. Sergio is humbled to join the Elondocs crew and hopes to enhance his skills in both filming and editing. “Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.”


Brian Mezerski

Brian Mezerski is a junior media arts & entertainment major and Communications Fellow.  He loves student media and has worked with Elon Local News, WSOE 89.3fm and Elon Student Television, among others.  He also attended the Elon in LA summer program and elon@sundance experience.  He most recently interned with FremantleMedia North America, one of the world’s largest television production companies.


Amory Parks

Amory Parks is a sophomore majoring in media arts & entertainment with a concentration in cinema. She is also minoring in psychology and history. On campus, she is involved in InterVarsity and America Reads. She hopes to create documentaries that feature interesting characters and explore social issues.


Jacky Shacknow

Jacky Shacknow is a sophomore from Wayne NJ majoring in media arts and entertainment.  She is really excited to be a part of the Elondocs program.  In the future she plans to work making documentaries for a non-profit and eventually become an editor for high budget documentaries.


Brian Szymanski

Brian Szymanski is a sophomore media arts and entertainment major with a concentration in cinema and an entrepreneurship minor. Through his on-campus job as a video production assistant and the Elondocs program, he plans on learning how to direct, film and edit quality documentary films. His main goal with documentary work is to portray various cultures associated with sports and the arts. After Elon, he would like to direct and shoot extreme sports documentaries.


Kyle Vines

Kyle Vines is an Elon sophomore majoring in Strategic Communications with a minor in Music Technology. Kyle loves Jesus, music, and banana pudding. Believing stories are the best way to communicate with others; Kyle looks to find the most interesting, engaging, and relevant stories today and capture them in documentary form. He currently works as a video production assistant at Elon University and hopes to go into the documentary field once he graduates. When he is not busy with school Kyle can be found playing music, running, or listening to podcast. 


Molly Weingarten

Molly Weingarten is a senior from South Salem, N.Y. majoring in media arts and entertainment with a concentration in broadcast and new media and minoring in philosophy and political science. She has always had a fascination with documentaries and their ability to focus on the truth and shed light on the real issues in the world. Though she is a relatively inexperienced documentarian, Molly hopes that ElonDocs will give her the opportunities to pursue meaningful subjects and stories.




A selection of student projects from the elondocs production program will be screening on Wednesday April 24th at 6pm in McEwen 011 as a part of Celebrate! week.  Madeline Carlin’s We Will Prevail, Alex Hadden’s Beyond Superman, Sean Dolan’s Hear for Me, Mary Johnson’s Kid Issues, Mason Sklut’s Beekeeper, and Heather Cassano’s Crystal Mann are some of the films that will be shown.  We Will Prevail recently played at the RiverRun International Film Festival and Hear for Me won the NC Campus Compact Documentary Film Shorts Competition.  The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers in attendance.


Madeline Carlin’s elondoc We Will Prevail screened twice at the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, NC.  The film profiles a gay couple who have been together for forty-eight years and their advocacy of equality in the state of North Carolina.  We Will Prevail was Carlin’s elondocs production program final project.

Article in Winston-Salem Journal

Article in the Pendulum


Doc members in downtown Durham awaiting the Awards Barbecue (from the left: Mason Sklut, Sean Dolan, Mary Johnson, Emma Kwiatkowski, Heather Cassano, Olivia Pohl, Bia Jurema, Katherine Wise and Nicole Triche)

Last weekend, Elondoc members had the amazing opportunity to attend the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham. The festival incorporates a collection of over 100 carefully selected non-fiction films to be shown over the course of several days. The festival also included various discussions and Q&A panels accompanying films as well as smaller fellows-only sessions where filmmakers talked openly to Elondoc members about their experiences and suggestions for aspiring filmmakers. “The main thing I learned at the festival, through panels with filmmakers and the Q&A sessions, was the best way to make a documentary is to just do it!” said Heather Cassano. “Sometimes I have a lot of trouble getting started on my projects, and it was inspiring to hear from filmmakers about their challenges as well.” All Elondoc members agreed that getting the opportunity to meet and hear from many of the filmmakers was something that made the weekend particularly special and inspirational.


The films also inspired the group to think differently about topics they wouldn’t otherwise focus on in-depth and transported them to different world through camera lenses showcasing a myriad different perspectives. Olivia Pohl really liked the way Alan Berliner’s “First Cousin Once Removed” made her think about time, memory and control by bringing to view the life and mind of a man named Edwin experiencing Alzheimer’s disease. “This movie brings forth the ultimate loss of control, and yet, in a way, paints the topic in a hopeful light,” she said. “In the beginning of the film when Berliner asks Edwin if he knows what is happening to him, Edwin replies, “I know I gave up the past to live in the present.” This is an interesting idea, because many people have been told from a young age to always live in the present and not to dwell on the past. In a strange way, Alzheimer’s is simply a forced version of that inspirational phrase.” “Last Call at the Oasis” was another film that made viewers think differently about the world they live in. It revealed the severity of the water crisis and brought to light an issue many people in the United States seem oblivious to as reflected through their continuous consumption of a limited and precious resource. “The film reminded me of the Flannery O’Connor quote: The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it,” said Mary Johnson. “I love documentaries that are wake-up calls. It took me outside the bubble I live in and educated me about a problem I knew little about before entering the theatre.”

The weekend was one of enjoyment and growth where doc members got to experience different mindsets through film as well as different methods for storytelling. “I learned that there are many experimental methods being used in modern documentary filmmaking, and I loved watching them being implemented at the festival,” said Devon Gailey. Emma Kwiatkowski and Mason Sklut said they took away insights about the process of storytelling, like maintaining focus by always keeping the story at the center, and learned how to bring the meaning of a documentary and its editing to a deeper level. The atmosphere throughout the festival contained the energy and passion from an audience who truly cared immensely about filmmaking and were excited to share and learn. The doc members was excited to be among a group of such talented filmmakers and to get the amazing opportunity to hear and learn from them– not only through discussions and panels–but through experiencing their completed works and witnessing their marvelous mastery first-hand as well. 

Elon Docs Favorite Film Picks

Looking for a great documentary to watch? Here are some of the highlights from the festival:

Gideon’s Army,” recommended by Mason Sklut

A Story for the Modlins,” recommended by Devon Gailey

The Crash Reel,” recommended by Heather Cassano and Sean Dolan

First Cousin Once Removed,” recommended by Olivia Pohl& Mary Johnson

The Record-Breaker,” recommended by Emma Kwiatkowski

Spinning Plates,” recommended by Bia Jurema and Katherine Wise