Wesleyan portrait of Randall M. MacLowry

Randall M. MacLowry

University Professor of Film Studies and Co-Director of WesDocs

Center for Film Studies, 171


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BA Wesleyan University

Randall M. MacLowry

Randall MacLowry teaches advanced filmmaking and documentary production at Wesleyan. He is an award-winning filmmaker who has produced, directed and/or edited nearly two dozen films for public television, ten of which as director. MacLowry brings his over thirty years of professional experience into the classroom and further mentors students through the student internship program he runs at The Film Posse, the production company he co-founded with his partner and CFILM colleague Tracy Heather Strain.

Since 1986, MacLowry has been making documentaries, many of them focused on topics in United States history. After serving as a production associate on two episodes of the New York Center for Visual History’s Voices and Visions—the acclaimed 13-part documentary series on American poets that aired on PBS in 1988, he decided to pursue editing. Working as an assistant film editor, primarily for renowned Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Charles Guggenheim, led to editing on film the four-part, six-and-a-half-hour series West Virginia: A Film History for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Editing opened the door to directing, writing and producing.

MacLowry’s feature documentary directing debut, a film about Stephen Foster, America’s first great songwriter, was acquired by GBH’s flagship PBS history series American Experience. Since then, he has worked on over a dozen films for American Experience. Other credits include films for the PBS series NOVA and Frontline, Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?, and Race: The Power of an Illusion. MacLowry produced and edited the Peabody Award-winning Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart about the late playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and won the American Historical Association John E. O’Connor Film Award. He received a Writers Guild of America award for “The Illusion of Time,” his episode of the 2013 NOVA series The Fabric of the Cosmos, and the 2014 American Experience episode “Silicon Valley.” His American Experience films “The Gold Rush” and “The Mine Wars” won the Organization for American Historians’ Erik Barnouw Award.

Recent projects include the American Experience films “American Oz” (2021) that he directed, produced and wrote with Strain, and producing “Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space,” which was written and directed by Strain. The show premiered in January 2023 on PBS stations nationwide, PBS.org and the PBS Video app.

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Fall 2024
FILM 456 - 03
Advanced Filmmaking