Jonathan Skurnik

South Pasadena, California, United States


Jonathan Skurnik is a documentary producer, director and cinematographer. His most recent documentary, Becoming Johanna, broadcast on PBS in the summer and fall of 2021 and 2022. Five of his other films previously broadcast on PBS as well as on European Television, domestic Satellite and Cable stations. His films have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center and in art galleries in New York City and at over two hundred film festivals throughout the world. He has won numerous awards, including Best Documentary at the American Indian film festival, the Change Maker Award at the Media That Matters Film Festival, the Audience Award for Outstanding Achievement at Outfest, the Harry Chapin Media Award for films about poverty and Best Documentary Award at the UrbanTV film Festival. The majority of his work is archived in the permanent collections of both Duke University and beginning in 2022, Dartmouth College.

Jonathan has worked in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South and North America. His films have been supported by NEH, ITVS, Vision Maker Media, the MacArthur Foundation, the Fledgling Fund, the Paul Robeson Fund, The Arcus Foundation and many other foundations and private donors. He served as the chair of the steering committee of New Day Films, the only cooperatively run educational film distribution company in the US.

In addition to his documentary work, Jonathan founded the Workfare Media Initiative, The Youth and Gender Media Project and The Cante Sica Foundation, three foundation-funded grassroots audience outreach and engagement projects that provide transformational educational experiences through facilitated screenings and discussions and immersive digital resources.

Jonathan has led workshops and master classes in theory and production for filmmakers in the US and China and teaches undergrad and MFA documentary students at Chapman University and UCLA. He also writes and directs narrative film and television, and creates multimedia installations.