Garrett Bradley (filmmaker)

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Garrett Bradley
New York City
EducationSmith College, UCLA
Years active2014-present
Notable work
Alone; America; Time
AwardsSundance Film Festival: Best Director, US Documentary Competition (2020); Prix de Rome (2019); Creative Capital Grantee (2019)

Garrett Bradley is an American filmmaker and director of short films, feature films, documentaries, and television. She is known for blending cinematic genres to investigate the larger sociopolitical significance embedded within the everyday moments of her subjects' lived experience. Bradley's first feature was Below Dreams which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.The film won a special jury award at the New Orleans Film Festival and was named a "slow burn beauty" by film critic Blige Ebiri.[1] Bradley won the directing award in the U.S. documentary competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival for her first nonfiction feature, Time, becoming the first black woman to win the award.

Biography and works[edit]

Bradley was born in New York City to abstract painters Suzanne McClelland and Peter Bradley. She studied religion at Smith College, then earned her MFA in Directing at UCLA.

Bradley's documentary short America was called by Guardian film critic Simran Hans the "most original film" she saw at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival,[2] and was nominated for an Independent Documentary Award by the IDA. America set a new precedent as a short film in 2019 when it was given a week run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music entitled "Garrett Bradley's America: A Journey Through Time",[3] and was programmed alongside influenced and inspired works as well as a retrospective of Bradley's past films. Invited speakers included Saidiya Hartman, July Dash, and RaMell Ross. The event was in partnership with New York University's "Black Portraiture: V Memory and the Archive Past. Present. Future."[4]

Bradley's first museum solo exhibition, "American Rhapsody",[5] was curated by Rebecca Matalon at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. She has participated in two group shows, the 2019 Whitney Biennial[6] by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley and "Bodies of Knowledge"[7] at the New Orleans Museum of Art.


Film and television

Year Title Notes
2014 Below Dreams[8] Bradley's feature film debut at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival[9]
2015 Cover Me[10] Prospect 3 Arts Biennial
2016 Like[11] Short
2017 Alone Short Form Jury Award in nonfiction at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival; 2017 Oscar Contender (Shortlist)
2018 The Earth is Humming[12] Documentary short
2019 America[13] Documentary short[14]
2019 Queen Sugar[15] Director of one episode, "Live in the All Along"[16]
2019 When They See Us[17] Second unit director, 4 episodes
2019 A.K.A. 2019 Whitney Biennial[18]
2019 Power (working title) In post-production
2019 Time Best Director for US Documentary in Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival
2020 Untitled Naomi Osaka Docu-series (Netflix) In Production


  1. ^ "Time". Sundance Institute.
  2. ^ Hans, Simran (2019-02-03). "Souvenirs, secrets and Springsteen: the best of Sundance 2019". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  3. ^ "Garrett Bradley's America: A Journey Through Time"
  4. ^ "Black Portraiture: V Memory and the Archive Past. Present. Future."
  5. ^ "American Rhapsody"
  6. ^ 2019 Whitney Biennial
  7. ^ "Bodies of Knowledge"
  8. ^ Below Dreams
  9. ^ "5 Questions for Below Dreams Director Garrett Bradley". Filmmaker Magazine.
  10. ^ Cover Me
  11. ^ Like
  12. ^ The Earth is Humming
  13. ^ America
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Queen Sugar
  16. ^ "Live in the All Along"
  17. ^ When They See Us
  18. ^ 2019 Whitney Biennial

External links[edit]