Samantha Praus Subverts the Conventional

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Samantha’s filmography includes a series of documentaries directed by Jan Haaken: Researcher on Mind Zone: Therapists Behind the Front Lines (2014), Production Assistant on Milk Men (2015), Assistant Director on Our Bodies Our Doctors (2019) and Co-Director of Necessity Part I: Oil, Water and Climate Resistance (2020) and Necessity Part II: Rails, Rivers and the Thin Green Line (coming soon).

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 2021 Winner of the Puffin Foundation Emerging Directors Award

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Jan and Sam on a field shoot for Our Bodies Our Doctors in Oklahoma City

"I’ve worked with Director Jan Haaken on three previous documentaries that take up ethical questions in social movements, subverts conventional or stereotypical portrayals of marginalized groups, and brings the insights of oppressed groups on the larger social order."

Sam and Jan with Deb Topping

on location for Necessity Part I

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"My background in anthropology at Portland State University, where I joined Dr. Haaken’s field documentary team, shapes my approach to documentary as a medium for education and to participatory methods. After spending time at Standing Rock bringing firewood to activists camped there, I saw NECESSITY as a story that showed how the spirit of Standing Rock continues in this fight against the lethal network of fossil fuel transport and storage here in Oregon."

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Selected as fellows for the Doc Society NYC 2019 Climate Story Lab

"As a team, we came out of that project with a deepened sense of urgency around the climate crisis and the importance of resistance in this region, including the fight for a Green New Deal among youth activists and direct action and other creative strategies that visually and narratively illustrate the interlocking crises of  racial justice, climate justice and the pandemic.  As activist filmmakers, we are committed to a “non-extractive” approach to documentary work, both by engaging throughout the process those communities whose stories are included and by contributing to their own activism.” 

In the second Necessity film,

Cathy Sampson-Kruse, Associate Producer and featured activist, explains how

“She Who Watches” guides us in our fight against fossil fuels.

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