Poitras is a 48-year-old New Yorker and founder of Praxis Films. For the last ten years, she has been working on a trilogy of films about the world since 9/11 and the war on terror, including “My Country, My Country” (2006), “The Oath” (2010) and a forthcoming untitled doc that looks at the effect of prolonged international conflict in the U.S. After an early start in experimental film, Poitras studied filmmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute and the New School and has mainly focused on contemporary social issues.
Founder of Altamura Films, the 37-year-old Mexican-born Almada addresses social issues that affect both Mexicans and Americans in non-linear films such as “El General” (2009) and the drug-trafficking investigation “El Velador” (2011). Almada received degrees from the College of Santa Fe and the Rhode Island School of Design, and her additional films include “All Water Has a Perfect Memory” (2001) and “Al Otro Lado” (2005).
Additional fellows include a pediatric neurosurgeon, a marine ecologist, a journalist, a photographer, an optical physicist and astronomer, a stringed-instrument bow maker, a geochemist, a fiction writer and an arts entrepreneur. The financial support the MacArthur Fellowships provide comes with no requirements or stipulations for its use.