Alumni Action: Success in Filmmaking and in Teaching – Susan Kerns

Susan Kerns

Susan Kerns (M.A '02) graduated from UNI with a degree in English Language and Literature. She is a successful filmmaker, producing numerous films including the successful 2012 film Little Red and soon to be released film Last of the Lawsonomists. She is also an assistant professor at Columbia College Chicago.

Post-Graduation Success

Following her graduation from UNI, Kerns went on to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to study Modern Studies and earn her PhD in English. During her time there, she became involved with the Milwaukee Film Festival and began film making again, eventually writing the screenplay for Little Red, a film directed by Tate Bunker that would eventually win the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Berlin Independent Film Festival and Best Feature at both the Canada and Great Lakes International Film Festivals. After her experience with Little Red, Kerns was promoted to the Education Director of the Milwaukee Film Festival, but then moved to Chicago to accept a position at Columbia College Chicago.

In the meantime, she was also actively making films. Recently, she is working on a film titled Last of the Lawsonomists which will be released in 2015. The film details the Direct Credits Society, a utopian society established during the Great Depression by Alfred Lawson that sought economic reform and interest-free lending. The film focuses on telling the story of not only the Lawsonomist society, but also two of its participants, Merle Hayden and Betty Kasch.

Plans for the Future

In addition to being a part of other successful films, Kerns is focusing on revisiting her PhD dissertation Propagating Monsters: Conjoined Twins in Popular Culture, to turn it into an article for publication. She is also researching several other topics including a documentary about social media archives and documentary filmmaking.

Kerns is also planning on finishing her current projects as well as starting a web series.