Skip to main content

Jonathan Rattner

Associate Professor, Cinema & Media Arts and Art
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Cinema & Media Arts
(he / him / his)
Buttrick 003D
Website | CV



MFA – Film and Video Production, The University of Iowa, 2008

MFA – Intermedia Art, The University of Iowa, 2009


  • Documentaries
  • 16mm
  • Art Cinema
  • Cinematography
  • Experimental filmmaking


Jonathan Rattner is an award-winning filmmaker and artist who primarily produces experimental nonfiction films and videos. In his work he employs a mixture of documentary (found footage, interviews, historical research) and lyrical (soft-focus imagery, collage, jump cuts, non-diagetic sound design, long-duration wide shots) filmic elements. By doing so, he strives to create a cinematic space in which viewers are invited to interact with what they see on the screen and create meaning by reflecting on their own experiences, ideas, and truths.

He holds M.F.A’s in Film and Video Production and in Intermedia Art from the University of Iowa and a B.F.A. in Film and Television from Tisch School for the Arts, N.Y.U. From fall of 2005 to the summer of 2009 he acted as the creative director of Iowa City Senior Television, a twenty-year-old station consisting of crewmembers whose ages range from 65 to 89.

Rattner has exhibited works at the Anthology Film Archives, Walker Art Center, The Whitechapel Gallery, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, Currents New Media Festival, the European Media Arts Festival, as well as at other galleries, microcinemas, festivals, and universities in the United States, Europe, and Australia.  Most recently, his film The Interior won best documentary at the Ann Arbor Film Festival and was acquired by the Walker Art Center’s Ruben/Benston Moving Image Collection. Rattner is currently the president of COOP Gallery, Nashville’s Longest established, artist-run curatorial collective and holds the position of Associate Professor of Cinema Media Arts and Associate Professor of Art at Vanderbilt University.


Selected Bibliography:

Recent Screenings:

  • 2021
    • Athens International Film and Video Festival, Athens, OH
    • Mimesis Film Festival, Boulder, CO
    • Glasgow Short Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland
    • Vienna Short Film Festival, Vienna, Austria
  • 2020
    • Antimatter, Victoria, BC
    • Chelsea Music Festival, Online Encores, NYC
    • Public Space One, Iowa City, IA
    • Indie Grits, Columbia, SC
    • Rhizome Microcinema, DC
    • Manchester Experimental Film Festival, UK
  • 2019
    • Sightlines Film Festival, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
    • Alternating Current Art Space, Melbourne, Australia
    • Animalia 2, The Mini Microcinema, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • International Motion Festival, Nicosia, Cyprus
    • Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA
    • CAVE Festival, Celluar Cinema, Minneapolis, MN
  •  2018
    • Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
    • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
    • Listasumar’ Festival, Skagaströnd, Iceland
    • Indiana University. Bloomington, IN
    • Rubenstein Arts Center, Duke University, Durham, NC
  • 2017
    • Filmtheater Cinebergan, The Netherlands
    • Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, England
    • Southern Festival of Books, Nashville, TN
    • IDEA Center, Spectral Microcinema, Stevens Point, WI
    • Tisch School for the Arts, N.Y.U.,Chelsea Music Festival, NYC, NY
    • Seed Space Gallery, Nashville,TN
    • Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, Haverhill, MA
    • Centre of Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland
    • Kino City 46, 22nd International Bremen Film Conference, Bremen, Germany
    • Currents New Media Festival, Santa Fe, NM
    • Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI
    • Aquarium Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI
    • Walker Art Center Mediatheque, Cave Festival, Minneapolis, MN
    • Whitechapel Gallery, England
    • Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
  • 2016
    • Anchorage International Film Festival, Anchorage, AK
    • Seed Space Gallery, Nashville, TN
    • Mixer Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
    • Cellular Microcinema, Minneapolis, MN
    • University of Film and Video Association, University of Las Vegas, NV
    • Unexposed Microcinema, Durham, NC
    • Napoleon Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
    • European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrück, Germany
    • Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, Minneapolis, MN
    • Indie Grits, Columbia, SC
    • Athens International Film and Video Festival, Athens, OH
    • Atlanta Film Festival, Plaza Theatre, Atlanta, GA
    • DC Independent Film Festival, Washington, DC
    • Oneota Film Festival, Decorah, IA
    • MicroEye Microcinema, North Asheville Library, Asheville, North Carolina
    • New Filmmakers Winter Series, Anthology Archive, New York City, New York
  • 2015
    • Cal Marcal Cinema, Llorenç del Penedès, Spain
    • Heliopolis Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
    • Legion Arts Gallery, Cedar Rapids, IA
    • Embodied Place, Holman Arts and Media Center, Sierra Nevada College, Tahoe, Nevada
    • L’Alternativa Barcelona Film Festival, Center for Contemporary Culture, Barcelona, Spain

Selected Awards and Fellowships:

  • 2021
    • Artist in Residence, Public Space One, Iowa City
  • 2019
    • Vanderbilt University Global Research and Engagement Micro-Grant
  • 2018
    • Individual Artist Grant, Tennessee Arts Commission
    • Vanderbilt Institute of Digital Learning, MacroGrant
  • 2017
    • Michael Moore Award, Best Documentary, Ann Arbor Film Festival
    • Robert Penn Warren Faculty Fellow, Vanderbilt University
    • Artist in Residence, Chelsea Music Festival
  • 2016
    • American Turkish Foundation, Moon and Stars Travel Art Grant
    • Vanderbilt University Summer Research Scholar Grant
    • Audience Award, Best Documentary, New Filmmakers, Anthology Archives
    • Juried Documentary Prize, Athens International Film and Video Festival
  • 2015
    • Vanderbilt University Littlejohn Faculty Fellow
    • Artist-in-residence at the Centre for Research and Creativity Casamarles, Llorenç del Penedès, Spain
    • Keynote Speaker and Artist-in-residence, Oneota Film Festival, Decorah, Iowa
  • 2014
    • Obermann Center for Advanced Studies: Summer Research Fellow
  • 2013
    • Vanderbilt Summer Research Scholar Grant
    • Vanderbilt Cumberland Project Faculty Fellow
    • Artist-in-residence at N.E.S., Skagaströnd, Iceland
    • Vanderbilt Center for Teaching Junior Faculty Fellow
  • 2012
    • Director of photography for “The Invisible Being,” an NEH funded digital humanities project about contemporary Thai artists/filmmakers.
    • Artist-in-residence for the Department of Art Enrichment Series at Otterbein University
    • Artist-in-residence in Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica
    • Artist-in-residence in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
  • 2010
    • Ingram Scholar Faculty Fellow
    • Imagining America Critical Exchange Grant