Elon alumna to receive first elondocs Emerging Documentarian Award
Erin Barnett ’09 will be honored before a Nov. 9 screening of “Food Chains,” a 2014 documentary film she edited that highlights agricultural labor in the United States.
Since graduating from Elon University, Erin Barnett ’09, a full-time documentary editor in New York City, has developed a knack for shaping complex narratives and social issues into compelling stories. An example of her work, “Food Chains,” a 2014 documentary film she edited that highlights agricultural labor in the United States, will be screened in Turner Theatre this week.
Presented by the elondocs production program, “Food Chains” will be shown on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. Prior to the film, Barnett will also receive elondocs’ first Emerging Documentarian Award, presented to an Elon alumnus/alumna who has graduated in the last decade and is already excelling in the professional documentary field. Barnett will host a Q&A session following the film screening.
“Food Chains” follows a group of Florida farmworkers challenging the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through its Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the United States. The film has screened at the prestigious Berlin and Tribeca Film Festivals, and Eva Longoria and Eric Schlosser (“Fast Food Nation”) both served as executive producers.
During her return to her alma mater, Barnett will visit several classes and meet with this year’s elondocs cohort. In addition to majoring in broadcast communications at Elon, Barnett was active in ETV (now The Gear Room) and received grants to direct, shoot and edit two short documentaries. The topics included the digital divide as well as an HIV/AIDS activist in Namibia.
Barnett’s professional work includes Alex Gibney's “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” (Magnolia Pictures, CNN Films, 2015), “Food Chains” (Screen Media, Netflix, 2014), “(Dis)Honesty: The Truth About Lies” (Bond 360, CNBC) and, most recently, “Unseen Enemy,” a CNN film about the potential looming crisis of disease pandemics. This April 2017 release highlighted the premiere of “Unseen Enemy.”
The documentaries Barnett has edited have been official selections at numerous film festivals, including Berlinale, Tribeca, SXSW, Copenhagen, Sheffield and HotDocs.