Nina Davenport Biography
Nina Davenport grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and received a B.A. in Visual & Environmental Studies from Harvard College in 1990. Her senior thesis "Slain in the Spirit", a portfolio of photographs about faith healing, received the distinction of summa cum laude and The Boston Globe's J. Edward Fitzgerald Award for Photojournalism. Upon graduating from Harvard, Davenport won a Gardner Fellowship to go to India. She shot Hello Photo, her first film, with a silent movie camera, applying her still photographer's vision to filmmaking, as she documented her journey through India. When she returned, she worked as a teaching assistant at Harvard while editing the film. Hello Photo premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 1996 and has played at many other festivals throughout the world, including Seattle, Chicago, Sydney, St. Petersburg, Créteil and Montreal. It garnered numerous awards as well: "Best Documentary" from Melbourne, Australia, "Best Black & White Cinematography" from Cork, Ireland, "Outstanding Independent Film" from the New England Film & Video Festival, and the "Kodak Award" from the New York Expo, among others. It was also one of six films chosen for Southern Circuit, a tour of films throughout the southern United States. In 1996, Davenport received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to go to Mexico where she filmed Los Pericos (The Parrots), a documentary about a pair of blind street musicians, due to be finished in late 2000. Davenport began shooting Always a Bridesmaid also in 1996, which was funded primarily by HBO/Cinemax and Channel Four in England and is Davenport's firstfeature-length film. The Film Study Center of Harvard University has also provided Davenport with immeasurable support on all three of her films. Currently, in addition to finishing Los Pericos, Davenport is also working on a screenplay for a fictional adaptation of Always a Bridesmaid.
--Jeff Silva [splice@MIT.EDU]