Documentary Center Staff


Documentary Center instructors offer unparalleled expertise in all aspects of documentary filmmaking – from film theory to script writing to production and editing.  We work closely as a team to ensure students gain a thorough, in-depth understanding of all the elements of the craft of non-fiction storytelling.

Documentary Center staff assist with everything from class admission and registration to internship placement to content and technical instruction to event management and community outreach.

Sam Sheline

Sam Sheline

Sam Sheline is an environmental filmmaker and visual storyteller living in downtown DC. Sam received an MFA in film from American University, where he was a scholar of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking. Sam has produced, directed, shot, and edited award-winning documentaries on a variety of environmental topics. His films have aired on PBS and various cable channels and screened at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, the American Conservation Film Festival, SXSW Eco, and many other film festivals and events. Sam has spoken on effective science communication, and won grants and awards including the Alex Kemnitzer Emerging Filmmaker Award and the Mavis and Sidney John Palmer Scholarship. Sam is excited to be teaching at George Washington University's Documentary Center as he believes in the power of film and visual media to create positive change in the world, and to provide a voice for the voiceless animals, plants, and ecosystems that need our help.

Maryann Culpepper

Maryanne Culpepper

Maryanne Culpepper is an award-winning writer and filmmaker with 20 plus years experience in developing and delivering high-profile documentaries and nonfiction series. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the DC Environmental Film Festival.  She is the former President of National Geographic Television where she oversaw the development and production of 100+ hours of factual programming annually. At Graffiti Works, where she is President and Executive Producer, she specializes in story-driven films for theatrical, broadcast, and digital platforms. Current projects include films based in Mozambique and the Baltic Sea. She is an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs teaching courses in writing and storytelling in film.