photo of Heather Courtney

Heather Courtney


Heather Courtney is a 2014 Guggenheim fellow. She won an Emmy, an Independent Spirit Award, and a SXSW Jury Award for her film WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM. The film received positive reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post, and was broadcast nationally on the PBS program POV in November 2011. It made several Top 10 films of 2011 lists, including Salon’s Best Non-fiction, and was supported by many grants and fellowships including from ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the United States Artists Fellowship, and POV/American Documentary. Heather was also a fellow at the Sundance Edit and Story Lab.

Her most recent feature documentary, The Unafraid (co-directed with Anayansi Prado), was funded by the Ford Foundation Just Film and the MacArthur Foundation, and premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 2018, where it won the Human Rights Award.

She has directed and produced several other documentary films including award-winners LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE, and THE WORKERS, both broadcast nationally on PBS. They were supported by a Fulbright Fellowship and an International Documentary Association Award.

Prior to receiving her MFA in Film Production, Heather spent eight years writing and photographing for the United Nations and several refugee and immigrant rights organizations, including in the Rwandan refugee camps after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Events featuring Heather Courtney
Events featuring Heather Courtney