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Laura Hinson AA AA

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SOC - School of Communication
MCK 226
Additional Positions at AU
Director, Community Voice Lab
Head, Social Impact Concentration
Fellow, DC Humanities Truck
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 division’s social impact coordinator and director of the Community Voice Lab. Laura’s films focus on personal journeys, especially among women in Africa, exploring themes of reconciliation, human resilience and entrepreneurship. Her first feature documentary, As We Forgive, about Rwanda’s reconciliation movement, 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 Santa Barbara International Film Fest, Austin Film Fest, Seattle Human Rights Film Fest, Heartland Film Fest, Manchester International Film Fest, among many others. Her latest documentary, Mama Rwanda, is about the new generation of women entrepreneurs in Rwanda transforming their nation after genocide and was supported by the National Geographic All Roads Film Project. She partnered with the Akilah Institute for Women, using the film to promote women's education in East Africa and beyond.

Most recently, Laura directed her first narrative short called Moving Violation, which starred Milana Vayntrub and won Best Narrative Short at the DC Independent Film Festival. During the Spring of 2019, Laura served as the director's shadow on the set of Showtime's Homeland. Prior to this, she served as Filmmaker-in-Residence within SOC where she re-launched the Community Voice Project (CVP), which partners American University student filmmakers with DC-based non-profits to produce a short film series capturing voices of marginalized DC community residents.

Current Projects:

In 2019, Laura received a production grant from HumanitiesDC, a sub-grantee of the National Endowment for the Arts, to produce a collaborative documentary on the issue of homelessness and tent city in downtown DC. Production will commence in the Fall of 2019 with the help of several film graduate students serving as Community Voice Project Fellows through a partnership with AU's Humanities Truck.


Spring 2023

  • COMM-400 Community Documentary

  • COMM-702 Master's Portfolio Capstone

Summer 2023

  • COMM-702 Master's Portfolio Capstone

Fall 2023

  • COMM-702 Master's Portfolio Capstone