Joshua Marston

Joshua Marston

Fellow: Awarded 2014

Field of Study: Film - Video

Competition: US & Canada

Joshua Marston's film work combines the tools of anthropological field work and immersive journalism to create narrative cinema that explores worlds through otherwise overlooked points of view.  Maria Full of Grace (2004) tells a story about the drug war that eschews drug lords and DEA agents in favor of the perspective of a Colombian teenager—a drug mule who swallows pellets of heroin and transports them to the U.S.—whose life would otherwise be considered dispensable. The lead actress was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress; and the film won numerous awards, including the Audience Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Marston's second feature film, The Forgiveness of Blood (2012), tells the story of an Albanian blood feud by focusing not on the murderer and the avengers but rather on two teenage siblings whose lives are turned upside down when their father kills a neighbor causing their family  to "owe" a life in exchange. The film was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the Berlin International Film Festival and is now available on the Criterion Collection. Marston also directed the Coney Island section of New York I Love You, starring Cloris Leachman and Eli Wallach. Marston has served as a creative advisor at the Sundance Directors Lab, the Mumbai Mantra Writers Lab, and the MAISHA Film Lab in Kampala, Uganda. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2008, his work was acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Marston received an M.F.A. in filmmaking from New York University, a master's degree in political science from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in social sciences from the University of California, Berkeley. Trailers to his films can be found at these links: The Forgiveness of Blood Maria Full of Grace