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 explore the larger sociopolitical significance of the everyday moments of her subjects' lived experience.

Early life and education[edit]

Bradley was born in New York City in 1986[1] to abstract painters Suzanne McClelland and Peter Bradley. She studied religion at Smith College, then earned her MFA in Directing at UCLA.


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 Bilge Ebiri.[2]

Bradley's documentary short America was called by Observer film critic Simran Hans the "most original film" she saw at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival,[3] 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, under the title "Garrett Bradley's America: A Journey Through Time".[4] It was programmed alongside influenced and inspired works as well as a retrospective of Bradley's past films. Invited speakers included Saidiya Hartman, Julie Dash, and RaMell Ross. The event was in partnership with New York University's "Black Portraiture: V Memory and the Archive Past. Present. Future."[5]

Bradley's first museum solo exhibition, American Rhapsody,[6] was curated by Rebecca Matalon at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. She has participated in two group shows, the 2019 Whitney Biennial[7] by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley and Bodies of Knowledge[8] at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

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. Time has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards.[9][10]


Film and television

Year Title Notes
2014 Below Dreams[11] Bradley's feature film debut at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival[12]
2015 Cover Me[13] Prospect 3 Arts Biennial
2016 Like[14] Short
2017 Alone[15] Short Form Jury Award in nonfiction at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival; 2017 Oscar Contender (Shortlist)
2017 Queen Sugar[16] Director of one episode, "Live in the All Along"[17]
2018 The Earth is Humming[18] Documentary short
2019 America[19] Documentary short[20]
2019 When They See Us Second unit director, 4 episodes
2019 A.K.A. Video Installation at the 2019 Whitney Biennial[7]
2020 Naomi Osaka Purchased by Netflix
2020 Time Best Director for US Documentary in Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival
Nominated for Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature


  1. ^ "BIO —— Garrett Bradley".
  2. ^ "Time". Sundance Institute.
  3. ^ Hans, Simran (2019-02-03). "Souvenirs, secrets and Springsteen: the best of Sundance 2019". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  4. ^ "Garrett Bradley's America: A Journey Through Race and Time".
  5. ^ "Black Portraiture[s] – Black Portraitures is an academic conference series lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc nec ligula id dolor scelerisque fermentum at ut augue".
  6. ^ "Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody".
  7. ^ a b "Whitney Biennial 2019".
  8. ^ "Bodies of Knowledge: NOMA hosts international contemporary art exhibition". New Orleans Museum of Art. April 10, 2019.
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (March 15, 2021). "Oscar Nominations: 'Mank' Tops List With 10 Including Best Picture; Six Other Films With Six; Female Directors Record Set – The Complete List". Deadline.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ "The 93rd Academy Awards | 2021". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  11. ^ "Below Dreams". April 18, 2014 – via IMDb.
  12. ^ "5 Questions for Below Dreams Director Garrett Bradley". Filmmaker Magazine.
  13. ^ "Cover Me" – via IMDb.
  14. ^ "Like". March 12, 2016 – via IMDb.
  15. ^ Bradley, Garrett (February 14, 2017). "Video: Opinion | Alone" – via
  16. ^ "Queen Sugar". September 6, 2016 – via IMDb.
  17. ^ "Live in the All Along". October 18, 2017 – via IMDb.
  18. ^ "The Earth is Humming" – via IMDb.
  19. ^ "America". January 26, 2019 – via IMDb.
  20. ^ "Souvenirs, secrets and Springsteen: the best of Sundance 2019". the Guardian. February 3, 2019.

External links[edit]