Dustin Morrow is a filmmaker, photographer, writer and media artist. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, where he teaches courses in digital cinema production and film studies. His short films have won numerous awards and been shown in venues around the world. He has written about film, pop culture, and pedagogy for a host of publications, and his photographs have been featured in a number of art and culture magazines, as well as public exhibition spaces.
Morrow was born and raised in a rural Illinois community, where he wrote his first (really awful) novel in third grade, directed his first (even worse) play in fourth grade, and made his first (borderline unwatchable) film in seventh grade. Luckily, over time, his skills as a writer and a filmmaker improved. He grew up on a lake, and was rarely not swimming in it in the summer and skating on it in the winter. He was the valedictorian of his high school class, which is impressive until it's noted that his graduating class consisted of forty students.
After working for several years as an editor and director of music videos, trailers, and commercials in Los Angeles, Morrow returned to the Midwest to earn his MFA in film, video, and digital media production from the Department of Cinema at the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, he held the Iowa Arts Fellowship for two years; curated the digital film collection D:Cinema; directed a large-scale mounting of Stephen Belber's play Tape, in which he integrated interactive digital media into the traditional theatrical setting; and won several awards for his films, including a student Emmy from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Before graduation, he was already screening as in invitee at such places as the prestigious Ann Arbor Film Festival.
At Temple University, Morrow revised the curricula of eight courses and authored six new ones, including courses in music video production, web media and experimental media, digital cinema, and advanced strategies in screenwriting and directing. He was an active member of the university's International Programs and served as an advisor to the groundbreaking Arts and the Quality of Life Research Center. He has overseen several long-form student works, including a documentary about the Philadelphia fashion scene, another focusing on diversity and segregation in the city's neighborhoods, a limited-run six-episode dramatic series, and studies of media production in the military and of the writing staff of Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Morrow's research interests have led him to give presentations at multiple conferences, including the "Media in Transition" conference at M.I.T., the conferences of the Broadcast Education Association and the University Film and Video Association, and The Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu. He has also given invited lectures at such institutions as Monmouth College, the University of Illinois, and Western Washington University. With grant funding totaling over a half-million dollars, Morrow was for three years the Director of the Greenfield Youth Film Festival, one of the largest youth-centered media education programs in the nation.
Morrow is a passionate advocate of the value of study-abroad programs. In the summers of 2007 and 2008, he was the director of Temple University's Summer Seminar in Dublin, Ireland. He also taught documentary filmmaking in IEI Media's study-abroad program in Northern Ireland. In the summer of 2009, Morrow directed Temple University's London Program. He also co-authored Temple University's new interdisciplinary degree certificate in international communication, as well as presented research on intercultural studies at a number of conferences.
Many of Morrow's creative works have sought to explore Irish identity, politics, and culture through short- and long-form documentary, narrative, and avant-garde pieces. He produced a public radio documentary about the use of traditional Irish instrumentation in contemporary music called Shamrock 'n Roll: A Journey Through Modern Irish Music, and his film Matchmaker is a feature-length documentary about the world's largest singles event, the Matchmaking Festival in County Clare. His photo essay Stealing Ireland explores politics of representation by questioning the traditional tourist vision of the Irish landscape. Morrow has also contributed essays about contemporary Irish cinema to an Irish newspaper.
Among his recent and upcoming projects are Laptop, a short documentary about electronic music; Firinne: Searching for Ireland, an anthology of short films focusing on contemporary Irish identity; the film discussion-centered web series Film versus Film; music videos for such artists as Kate Tucker and Johanna & the Dusty Floor; the feature-length musical film Everything Went Down; the upcoming Focal Press textbook Producing for TV and New Media, and a collaborative book with stage and screen legend Kathleen Turner.