Bryan Bello is a Ph.D. student at American University’s School of Communication studying the representation of public interests in media and technology policy debates.
Bello is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker advancing decolonized production praxis.
In 2015 he founded the nation’s first homeless filmmaking cooperative along with eight men and women surviving the streets of Washington D.C. The group’s five documentaries have been viewed across the country, screened by the Department of Justice, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian and covered by The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour, and the Washington Post. His most recent endeavor, Renga for The West, was funded by the Tribeca Film Institute. The project helps families resettled from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Missoula, Montana direct films as a means of introducing themselves and their experiences to their new neighbors. A final 40-minute piece weaves the refugee directed shorts into a master narrative. It premiered at the 2018 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is currently in submission to festivals around the world.
Bello recently co-founded The Mobile Humanities Lab – a Washington D.C. community storytelling initiative funded by the Henry Luce Foundation to promote first-person histories and storytelling in Washington D.C.
Bello has also received funding from the MacArthur Foundation for his work advancing the application of fair use in cultural production and from the Logan Foundation for his sustained contributions to the development of community media in Washington D.C.