MoonDocs® brings together filmmakers, students and others interested in filmmaking and socially conscious arts for networking and learning opportunities.

MoonDocs® is an annual networking and learning event for experienced, aspiring and student filmmakers, artists, educators, cultural workers, and others interested in filmmaking, production, socially conscious arts and diversity.

MoonDocs® has brought documentary filmmakers, students and community members together since 2017. Attendees engage with socially conscious, award-winning filmmakers from around the world, network with regional filmmakers, film students and others interested in film and socially conscious arts. Brief event workshops enhance knowledge in different areas of independent filmmaking.

MoonDocs® is an event of the Department of Arts and Humanities at Robert Morris University. The Media Arts program offers undergraduate majors in Cinema & Photography, Graphic Design, and UX/UI Design. MoonDocs® supports the program’s professional focus and students’ engagement in the regional film and arts community.

Contact us about MoonDocs®

Carolina Loyola-Garcia, M.F.A.

Carolina Loyola-Garcia, M.F.A.

Professor of Media Arts
Department of Arts and Humanities

Media Arts Professor Carolina Loyola-Garcia is a multidisciplinary artist, award-winning filmmaker, and performer. She works primarily in media arts, including single-channel video art, video installations, video design for theater, digital printmaking, documentary, and performance through theater and dance. She received her M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. She has been full-time faculty at RMU since 2004, and continues to learn as much from her students as from her practice as an artist.

Through her work Professor Loyola-Garcia has explored topics related to social justice, the dislocated identity that results from colonialism and migration, and questionings around issues related to complex aspects of human existence such as relationships, the transient nature of the postmodern experience, memory, and the tense interaction between economy and the environment. Her feature length documentary Sobre las Olas, A story of flamenco (2013) had a world premiere at the 15th Havana Film Festival New York, and has been an ‘Official Selection’ at various festivals. Her work has been shown at dozens of art galleries, museums, and film/video festivals both in the United States and abroad, including such venues as the 10th Havana Biennial, Cuba; Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Thailand; Chicago International Latino Film Festival; and Biennial of Video and New Media in Santiago, Chile. Her work has been supported by many grants, including from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pittsburgh Foundation, and the Heinz Endowments. She has also curated, produced, and fundraised various international exhibitions. She is a member of the #notwhite collective, a group of 13 women artists.

Dr. Helena Vanhala, Ph.D.

Dr. Helena Vanhala, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Media Arts
Department of Arts and Humanities

Dr. Helena Vanhala is an academic and media professional with diverse experiences in higher education, university administration and the creative industries. At RMU she has served as the Director of the Center for Global Engagement, Media Arts Department Head, and Assistant Dean of the School of Informatics, Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2017 she founded MoonDocs® in collaboration with RMU Fall 2016 Visiting Documentary Filmmaker Nadine Patterson.

Dr. Vanhala received her Ph.D. in Communication and Society from the University of Oregon, and her M.A. and B.A. in English Philology from the University of Tampere, Finland. In addition to her professional and academic background in media and communication, her academic fields also include international politics and North American Studies. Her teaching and scholarship focus on the media and entertainment industries, particularly on the history, theory and professional practices of film, streaming, television and video. Her current scholarship analyzes the media industry development and operations in the so-called Streaming Wars. She is the author of The Depiction of Terrorists in Blockbuster Hollywood Films, 1980-2001. An Analytical Study (McFarland).

MoonDocs® 2023 Registration

Event Date: 12:00-7:00pm Friday, November 3, Wheatley Center, RMU campus

Registration: $20
All Student registration: Free
RMU Faculty and Staff registration: Free


Advance registration is encouraged, Seating is limited.

MoonDocs® 2023 Program


MoonDocs® 2023 – The 6th Annual Documentary Filmmakers’ Open House
Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108

Friday, November 3, 2023 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Keynote Filmmaker and Film:
Kevin Schreck, Fall 2023 Visiting Documentary Filmmaker at RMU
𝘛𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘴: 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘊.𝘔. 𝘒ö𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯 (2018) 102 min., USA/Turkey

Featured filmmakers at the event panels and film workshops

MoonDocs® 2023 Program Schedule

Friday, November 3, 2023 at RMU
12:00-7:00 pm

Coffee, tea & networking during event breaks
Wheatley Center, Robert Morris University


  • Registration Opens & Networking


  • Welcome & Panel 1:
    Embracing the Real: A Quest for Honesty & Humanity in Documentary Filmmaking
    Welcome: Dr. Helena Vanhala & Professor Carolina Loyola-Garcia
  • Featured Filmmaker Panelists
    • Annette Banks
    • BethDolinar
    • Nick Childers
    • Carolina Loyola-Garcia (moderator)
    • Kevin Schreck
    • Will Zavala


  • Documentary Film Workshop 1:
    Finding Your Narrative
    Featured Filmmaker: Brad Grimm

    “Finding Your Narrative" is an enlightening workshop for current and aspiring documentary filmmakers led by veteran Brad Grimm. Attendees will gain insight into the power of storytelling and why stories compel us. Brad will discuss what makes a story engaging and how to uncover narratives that connect with audiences. He will share techniques to develop stories and craft documentaries that resonate. Brad will reveal strategies to hone your unique voice and bring impactful stories to life on screen. Attendees will learn how to embrace the documentary filmmaking journey with flexibility as stories evolve. By participating, filmmakers will be equipped with Brad's wisdom to tell meaningful stories that transport and captivate audiences.


  • Documentary Film Workshop 2:
    The Personal Narrative: Small Stories and Large Truth
    Featured Filmmaker: Makia Harper

    The workshop with Makia Harper will explore ways that storytellers can use micro, nuanced personal stories to collate shared histories, collective identities, and relatable truth.


  • Panel 2:
    Embracing the Real: The Independent Filmmaker
    Panel moderator: Dr. Helena Vanhala

    Featured Filmmaker Panelists
    • Tony Buba
    • Willy James
    • Carolina Loyola-Garcia


Register at: MoonDocs®

  • Regular registration: $20
  • All students, and RMU faculty and staff register for free.
  • Advance registration is encouraged, seating is limited.

Event location:

Robert Morris University - Wheatley Center
6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108
University map and driving directions

MoonDocs® is an open networking and learning event for experienced, aspiring and student filmmakers, artists, educators, cultural workers, and others interested in filmmaking, production, socially conscious arts and diversity.

MoonDocs® is organized by the Cinema and Photography major at the Department of Arts and Humanities at the School of Information, Humanities and Social Sciences at Robert Morris University. The department also offers undergraduate majors Graphic Design and UX/UI Design, and English.

Robert Morris University is member of the Pittsburgh Film and Media Educators (PFAME) Alliance with the Pittsburgh Film Office.