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Robert Greene

Robert Greene

  • Photo By Sadie Thibodeaux

Filmmaker-in-chief, Murray Center for Documentary Journalism

Job description

I am a documentary filmmaker who helped launch and teaches at the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism. I also teach in the MU Film Studies department.

Professional background

I’m a Sundance-award winning filmmaker and I’ve directed more official True/False films than any other director (“Kati With An I,” “Fake It So Real,” “Actress,” “Kate Plays Christine,” “Bisbee ’17”). My newest film, “Procession,” is on Netflix. I write about and teach documentary film.

Hometown

Charlotte, North Carolina, and New York City.

Years lived in Columbia

Seven-plus.

Quote you live by

Fail upwards.

Favorite volunteer/community activity

Supporting Ragtag Film Society, helping to put on our Murray Center student film festival (the Stronger than Fiction Film Festival), helping to program the Based on a True Story Conference.

Favorite recent project

“Procession.” 

A Columbia businessperson you admire and why

Stacey Woelfel because of his incredible leadership at the Murray Center, at KOMU, and beyond. 

Why you are passionate about your job

I love teaching filmmaking through the lens of being an active filmmaker because I learn as much from my students as they do from me, and we can both apply our learning to doing great work. Documentary filmmaking is about ideas, about working with others, and about caring for the world. Journalism students are often the most resourceful and idealistic group.

Why you are passionate about your company

I fell in love with Columbia when I came to my first True/False in 2010 and I love the combination of big dreams and Midwest directness that makes this town unique. I also have a ton of respect for my colleagues at the journalism school. 

If you weren’t doing this for a living, you would

Be programming Ragtag Cinema.

What people should know about your profession

Being a filmmaker means learning to collaborate. Your ideas are only as good as the ideas of your entire team.

The next challenge facing your industry

For film, the challenge is to support movie theaters, because we still need our work to be seen in shared spaces. For the journalism school, we need to continue to produce journalists who do their work from a place of empathy and rigor.

Your next professional goal

Taking a nap and finding a new director of the Murray Center to replace the irreplaceable Stacey Woelfel.

Biggest lesson learned in business

Make sure you take a minute to enjoy your successes, because you never know when they’ll go away.

How you want to impact the Columbia community

I want to make art that the community is proud of and help produce students who do meaningful work. I also want to support the high school and middle school kids of this town, because they may be our greatest generation. 

Greatest strength

My ability to apologize.

Greatest weakness

Too many weaknesses to list one.

What you do for fun

Watch professional wrestling.

Family

My incredible wife, Deanna Davis, who works at the University Press; my incredible daughter, Ella Davis-Greene, who goes to Hickman and is an amazing artist and fashion icon; and my incredible son, Wilkie Davis-Greene, who goes to Jefferson Middle, played basketball for the Cyclones, and is one of the most intuitive people I know. Plus Pippi the dog, Asher the cat, and our hermit crab, Crabby.

Favorite place in Columbia

Ragtag Cinema.

Accomplishment you are most proud of

Raising two incredibly cool kids.

Most people don’t know that

I have been to four Wrestlemanias. 


I love teaching filmmaking through the lens of being an active filmmaker because I learn as much from my students as they do from me, and we can both apply our learning to doing great work.

Robert Greene
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