Danya Abt

Brooklyn, New York, United States


My love of storytelling and insatiable curiosity has driven me from my native Detroit to the bayous of Louisiana and as far as the deserts of Central Africa.

While working in the warehouse for Eastern Effects in NYC my first short documentary, [Food Water Revolution (2005): a short about Iraq War Veterans in New Orleans] premiered at MoMa’s documentary fortnight.  I subsequently began working on-set as an electrician & gaffer while at the same time traveling almost weekly, producing and editing videos for the Financial Times.

In 2008 I was called up again by friends at Iraq Veterans Against the war to help with “Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan,” a three-day televised summit in which veterans of these foreign wars gave testimony of their experiences while serving abroad, and I acted as Executive Producer of broadcast. The following year I was commissioned to direct a documentary exposing the disastrous effects of the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline and I lived in Cameroon during production of Quel Souvenir.  Following completion of the film, I served as Senior Video Producer for the nationally-syndicated show GRITtv with Laura Flanders for which I edited daily and also directed field segments for the show, including The Harvest andMiriam Moscowitz: Surviving McCarthyism.  METROPOLIS ILLINOIS, a short documentary, was inspired by a group I met while traveling for GRIT and tells the story of a year-long lockout in Southern Illinois.

I was recently a fellow at Uniondocs, a documentary arts space in Brooklyn NY and I produced and directed two short documentaries Eric, Winter to Spring and Rooted/Uprooted as a member of the collaborative studio. Eric, Winter to Spring was an official selection of the 2015 True/False Film Festival. 

For many years I have freelanced as an editor and I love it. My work continues to challenge me and take me in new creative directions, from feature documentaries to commercial shorts. I've come to discover that editing is at the very heart of storytelling and that is exactly where I want to be.

I currently live in Brooklyn with my husband Zac and a cat named Squirrel.