Stay Close
2019
Synopsis:
The underdog story of a fencer from Brooklyn who overcomes a gauntlet of hardships on the road to the Olympics.
Filmmakers:
Luther Clement-Lam
Director
Raised by schoolteachers in Lawrence, Kansas, Luther Clement-Lam is a former internationally competitive fencer who got his start in film by editing videos with rapper J. Cole’s personal video team. That led to making videos for a variety of other music acts including a 93-year-old Holocaust survivor and her death metal band. He edited the SXSW Film Festival documentary Hamtramck, USA, about a municipal election in the country’s first Muslim-majority city, which premieres on PBS’ America ReFramed in 2021. He directed the documentary Stay Close, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival, was distributed by PBS and New York Times Op-Docs, was nominated for Cinema Eye Honors, won the special jury award for directing at DOC NYC, and was shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2020. Luther was named one of DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 for the year 2020.
Shuhan Fan
Director
Shuhan Fan was born in Taiyuan, China to a family with a long history in the Chinese television industry. She has earned a degree in Television with a focus in Documentary from Communication University of China, an MFA in Documentary Media from Northwestern University, and an MFA in Screenwriting from American Film Institute. Her short documentary One Eightieth of Zhang Tianyi premiered at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and Stay Close, the short documentary she co-directed with Luther Clement-Lam, premiered at Sundance Film Festival, was distributed by The New York Times and PBS, nominated for Cinema Eye Honors, and shortlisted for an Academy Award. She currently lives in Beijing and is collaborating with the 2019 Student Academy Award Narrative Silver Medal winner Hao Zheng as a writer on his debut feature film.
Nevo Shinaar
Producer
Nevo is a creative producer based in Chicago. His award-winning films played at film festivals including Sundance, SXSW, AFI Docs and Palm Springs, showcased on POV/PBS, the NY Times and The Atlantic Selects, and supported by Tribeca Film Institute and Kartemquin Films. Nevo serves as Head of Development for Mitten Media for both scripted and documentary. He is a founding member of the award-winning SITE collective, and of Wolf + Me Films. In 2020, he was included in Newcity Film 50. Nevo holds an MFA from Northwestern University in Documentary Media and a BFA from the Tisch School of Film and Television at Tel-Aviv University.