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Sachi Cunningham

San Francisco State University
Assistant Professor of Multimedia Journalism

Director Sachi Cunningham is a documentary filmmaker and Professor of Multimedia Journalism at San Francisco State University. Her award-winning stories have screened worldwide for outlets including FRONTLINE, The Discovery Channel, The New York Times Sunday Magazine and The Los Angeles Times. The Emmys, Webbys, and Pictures of the Year International, among others have honored Cunningham’s work. A graduate of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and Brown University, Cunningham’s documentaries focus on the ocean environment, international conflict, and the arts. She has turned her lens everywhere from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, to deep under the ocean with 350-pound blue fin tuna, to the shallow waters of a swimming pool with Olympian Michael Phelps. Her work includes the Los Angeles Times film Chasing the Swell about a tribe of big wave surfers who follow a swell across the Pacific, and the FRONTLINE documentary The Rise of ISIS, which Cunningham filmed on location in Iraq. Cunningham has a decade of experience in feature films and commercial productions in New York, Hollywood, and Tokyo prior to her career in journalism. An avid surfer, when not crafting stories, Cunningham can be found bobbing in the Pacific with her husband, or gazing into the horizon with her daughter, waiting for the next wave.