Nadine M. Patterson

Nadine photo at PMA 2008_LAFJB backgroundNADINE M. PATTERSON is an award winning independent writer/producer/director who works at the crossroads of narrative and documentary cinema.

Her training in theatre, immersion in documentary film, and intense study of world cinema enables her to create works grounded in historical contexts, with a unique visual palette. She earned her Master of Arts in Filmmaking at the London Film School. She operates the production and consulting company Harmony Image Productions with her mother Marlene G. Patterson. Through the company they make multicultural films and media content. Over the past 30 years she has taught video production and workshops at West Chester University, Temple University, Arcadia University, Drexel University, University of Western Sydney (Australia), Scribe Video Center and Robert Morris University.

Some of her films include :  “I Used to Teach English”, Winner Gold Apple Award 1994 National Educational Film/Video Festival, Oakland, CA; “Anna Russell Jones: Praisesong for a Pioneering Spirit”, Best Documentary 1993 African American Women in the Arts Film/Video Competition, Chicago, IL; “Moving with the Dreaming”, Prized Pieces award from the National Black Programming Consortium in 1997; “Todo El Mundo Dance!” selected for the 2001-2002 Council on Foundations Film and Video Festival. Other notable works include: “Shizue”, screened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1991; and “Release” shown at the Constellation Change Dance Film Festival of London in 2006. She was the only filmmaker selected for The Biennial 2000 at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Ms. Patterson has received funding for her film work from The Philadelphia Foundation, The National Black Programming Consortium, The Bartol Foundation, and The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Arts Equity Reimagined, the Leeway Foundation, and the Independence Public Media Foundation. She was granted a 2010 fellowship in the arts to develop the feature film, “Tango Macbeth”, from the Independence Foundation.  In 2011 she published her first book, Always Emerging, about her experiences as an independent filmmaker. Ms. Patterson curated the Trenton International Film Festival in 2010, 2011, and 2012. From 2011 to 2013, along with Ain Gordon and the Painted Bride Art Center, she received a grant from the Pew Philadelphia Theater Initiative for the creation of a play and art installation about Black and White Female Abolitionists Philadelphia. In 2012 she completed her first feature narrative film, “Tango Macbeth”, which has screened in film festivals in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Mar del Plata, Argentina and Paris, France.  “Tango Macbeth” was featured in the African Diaspora International Film Festival on tour in 2013. “Tango Macbeth” was selected by Warrington Hudlin for his  ‘Changing the Picture’ series at the Museum of the Moving Image in 2014.

In 2016, she founded the Abierto Media Fund of Bread & RosesIts mission is to support socially conscious independent filmmakers in Pennsylvania. From 2014 to 2018 she was the Outreach Producer for “Black Ballerina”, which aired on over 200 PBS stations. During the fall of 2016 Ms. Patterson was the Visiting Documentary Filmmaker at Robert Morris University. While consulting at Robert Morris University,  she coordinated MoonDocs, a conference for filmmakers. MoonDocs keynote presentations in 2017 and 2018 included: Academy Award nominated documentary “I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO” with producer Hébert Peck and Academy Award nominated documentary “ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail” with cinematographer Tom Bergman.

We Are Free Because of Harriet Tubman“, done in collaboration with Marlene G. Patterson, Sonia Sanchez, Stephanie Malson and Christian McBride, premiered with local screenings of Kasi Lemmons’ HARRIET at the Tull Family Theater. It was screened as part of the 2nd Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Women Filmmaker Festival at the Eaton Hotel in Washington D.C., 2020 BLACKSTAR Film Festival, the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival.

While working on the Harriet Tubman film at a co-working space, she shared her production office with several Black women filmmakers.  Collectively they founded SIFTMedia 215 – Sisters in Film and Television, which has supported over three years of workshops, screenings and productions by Black and Latinx women identified filmmakers in the Philadelphia region. She is executive producing the compilation series COVID1619 Project which is in post-production.

The Unknown Tales of Lewis & Mary Latimer, a docu-drama series about electric lighting engineer Lewis Latimer, is her next project for HipCinema Labs currently in development.
You can follow Ms. Patterson on Twitter @hipcinema.


Tull Family Theater hosts two Black women filmmakers for first-ever artists-in-residency program

‘Trailblazer’ Anna Russell Jones is getting long-overdue recognition as the African American Museum reopens to visitors

Funding A Lifeline: Supporting Community through Film

Humans of RMU: The Filmmaker, November 14, 2016

Visiting Documentary Filmmaker Nadine Patterson at Robert Morris University, October 12, 2016

Interview by Sue Ann Rybak for the Chestnut Hill Local, Dec. 18th, 2015

Interview on Blake Radio with Deardra Shuler Saturday April 19th–documentary-filmmaker-nadine-patterson

Interview with Sergio Mims at Shadow & Act April 19, 2014

April 26, 2013: “Painted Bride Productions on 19th Century Women touch familiar issues” by Stephan Salisbury

April 21, 2013: “Painted Bride tells female abolitionists story” by Bobbi Booker

April 16, 2013: “Penn Charter contributes to PIFA’s “If She Stood” Exhibit by Alaina Mabaso

April 2013, PhillyCam Video Interview on “Freedom, Fire and Promiscuous Meetings” posted in HipCinema


We Are Free Because of Harriet Tubman is a meditation on resistance, history and nature. Professor Sanchez’s words speak to us today as many in America struggle to find their own liberation. The imagery is meant to heal and aid the viewer in reflection upon the text.

The four and a half minute film was shot on location in Harmony Maryland, along the Underground Railroad Trail as marked by the state of Maryland and in Philadelphia, where Harriet Tubman found refuge in a community of Free Blacks and Quakers.

Tango Macbeth (Philadelphia, 2012, HD, 73 min) Writer/Director. A documentary film crew follows the creation of a new dance theater film piece called Tango Macbeth. Occasionally the actors become lost in Shakespeare’s intense drama. The film was screened at the Museum of the Moving Image as part of Warrington Hudlin’s ‘Changing the Picture’ series. Watch on kweli.TV here.

Release (London, 2005, Super 16mm, 13:05) Writer/Director/Editor.  This film is about the power of dance to communicate the things that we cannot express in words. Husband and wife dance couple separate when she pursues a career overseas.  He stays behind to raise their daughter.  In 2006 Release was screened as part of the following film festivals: Constellation Change Screen Dance Festival in London, the Dance Boom Film Festival in Philadelphia, the Roxbury Film Festival in Boston, and the Denver Pan African Film Festival.

LickFILM (London, 2004, 16mm, 2 min) Writer/Director/Editor An editor grapples with his love/hate relationship with film. Voice over: “If you are not sure which side is the emulsion side, you can wet you finger and touch it. Or you can put it between you lips and lick it”.  Dancer/Choreographer Jonathan McDermott. Music by Lenny Seidman and the Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra. Director of Photography Jean-Philippe Tremblay. Vocals (in order): Manu Dellape, Carlos Navarrete-Patino and Ailise O’Neil. Video Installation for “From Taboo to Icon” at the Ice Box Project Space, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia 2008.

Cosmic Trane (Philadelphia, 2003, DVCAM, 14:00) Writer/Director/Camera/Producer  Cosmic Trane is a 14-minute experimental video that uses music, movement, visual art, and documentary footage to convey some of the issues explored in John Coltrane’s music. Broadcast on WYBE TV 35 as part of Philadelphia Stories.

LoqueeshaAshleyFranklinJoséBrown (2001, DV 18:00) Writer/Director/Camera/Editor Produced by Harmony Image Productions. An experimental documentary about children in Philadelphia, with poetry by Ursula Rucker. Screened at the High Falls Film Festival in Rochester, New York and the 24th Mill Valley Film Festival in California. Broadcast on WYBE TV 35 –Philadelphia Stories. Shown on DUTV.

Moving with the Dreaming (Australia 1997, 29:17) Writer/Director/Producer Explores the cross-cultural collaboration between African Americans and Aboriginal and Islander Australians in the area of modern dance and social activism. Broadcast on public television in Philadelphia PA and Tucson, Arizona. Winner of a Prized Pieces award of the National Black Programming Consortium 1997.

Anna Russell Jones:Praisesong for a Pioneering Spirit (1993, 26:00) Writer/Director Meet Mrs. Anna Russell Jones, a textile designer in the1920’s and 30’s, a WAAC during World War II, and a nurse in the 1950’s- a professional career woman ahead of her times. Narrated by Toni Cade Bambara. Aired on WHYY TV 12. Winner of best documentary African American Women in the Arts Film /Video Festival Chicago 1993.