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Kathryn Carlson

Creative Director, SideXSide Studios
Washington, DC US
Open To Mentoring
Open To Virtual Coffee
Kathryn is a globe-trotting Director and DOP, avid cross-stitcher and baker, proud cat lady and new mother.


Kathryn is an award-winning director, cinematographer, and editor. She has traveled throughout six continents for original film and commercial documentaries. Her short documentary, Finding Us, premiered in 2022 at the AmDocs Film Festival. Her cinematography was part of Emmy-winning VICE News coverage of the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and nominated with the Al Jazeera Fault Lines team. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting while working at National Geographic. Kathryn is also a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantee. She currently works as Creative Director at SideXSide Studios documentary production company in DC. She is also a new mother, juggling cameras and a baby!

Featured Work

National Geographic | A Widow’s Torment

This is the story of Betty Nanozi, who was widowed just three weeks after her son, John Paul, was born. Over the 11 years of her widowhood, she describes how her husband’s children from a previous marriage (all adults) robbed her of everything twice, even threatening the life of her son. Now, with the help of attorneys, social workers, and criminal investigators from the International Justice Mission, Nanozi is fighting back.

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HIAS | We Open Our Hearts to Them

Ailisec and Divine both fled their home countries — Venezuela and Uganda — to escape oppression and direct threats to their lives. HIAS, the world’s first Jewish refugee resettlement agency, welcomed them with open arms and helped them rebuild their lives safely in a new country.

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VICE | Moment of Truth

VICE News Tonight special report, Moment of Truth on HBO. This documentary was filmed and edited in a single day, the day of the hearing itself, by several teams following people from both sides of the aisle. The film won an Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a Newscast in 2019.

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View Finding Us

Finding Us

Georgetown University sold hundreds of enslaved people who worked on their plantations to stave off bankruptcy, scattering families across the South, never to see each other again. With the help of DNA databases, their descendants are reconnecting six generations later. “Finding Us” is a portrait of four descendants who are using their unique talents to regrow the family trees felled nearly two centuries ago.

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