M I C H E L E F O R M A N
M.A., Art History, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2009
Michele Forman, M.A., is Director of Visual Literacy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Co-Director of the Media Studies Program, an interdisciplinary minor she co-founded in 2003. The aim of the program is to educate college students about media and film history, as well as connect them with crucial community issues in the Greater Birmingham area through documentary filmmaking, digital storytelling, and multimedia-based research.
Her work with the UAB Media Studies Program has created a student-produced archive of over 100 community-based social justice short films. The films are available free of charge online, streaming from both the UAB Mervyn H. Sterne Digital Collection and the DCS Vimeo Channel. Program partnerships include McWane Science Center, UAB School of Public Health, Sidewalk Film Festival, Vulcan Park and Museum, Red Mountain Park, WBHM, and the national oral history project, StoryCorps. Media Studies is supported in part by the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues Initiative.
Forman is a documentary filmmaker who gained her experience as an executive in feature films. As Director of Development at Spike Lee's 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, she was responsible for the acquisition and development of new projects, including New Jersey Drive, Girl 6, Sula, The Jackie Robinson Story, and Summer of Sam. In addition, Forman served as associate producer on Mr. Lee's Academy Award-nominated film 4 Little Girls, a feature-length documentary for HBO about the bombing of the Sixteenth Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.
Since 1997, Forman has been directing and producing documentary projects for film and television, earning an Emmy nomination in 2001 for Coat of Many Colors. Her most recent feature-length documentary is Climb for the Cause: A Breast Cancer Story (2007) about five women who became activists for women’s health after surviving breast cancer. To raise money and raise awareness about what women can accomplish after cancer, they climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, one of the world’s tallest peaks. The film follows their journey.
Forman began her film work at Harvard University, where she double-majored in English and filmmaking. She consults on media pedagogy in higher education and media messaging for a number of non-profit organizations.