Samantha Schulte is a documentary filmmaker and producer. Before turning to film, she worked in brand marketing in the technology sector, writing and creating campaigns for organizations, such as NerdWallet.
The New School helped pivot her career in storytelling to one rooted in social change with the documentary. Recipient of the President Award, Samantha graduated in 2021 from the Documentary Studies graduate program with her first film, That Change I Have Seen. The documentary revealed how an immigrant woman met the most immediate need facing her community, that of food, by creating a distribution service that has fed over 6,000 families across Brooklyn. It won Best Short Documentary and an Audience Award at the 2021 Cannes Short Film Festival, and screened at DOC NYC, Oregon Documentary Film Festival, and the Dam Short Film Festival, among others.
As a freelance producer, Samantha continues to collaborate around the world on stories that inspire and empower social change. She has produced several short films for foundations and nonprofits, exploring universal basic income with mothers in Alabama, access to safe drinking water on an indigenous reservation in Oregon, affordable housing initiatives in San Francisco, and more. She produced and story produced a docuseries pilot on the impact of NFTs on the creator community, and recently directed a branded piece on a leading art handling company. Samantha is currently in development as a director for her first feature. Working as a producer has greatly informed how she approaches her work as a director, grounded in thoughtfulness and deep care.
As a filmmaker and creative partner, Samantha’s purpose is to share human-centered stories, guided by the tenets of compassion and curiosity. She is most moved by stories of joy-seekers, purpose-definers, and meaning-makers. Those who seek to make the world a better place in service of others. It is a profound opportunity and responsibility to work in the documentary field, to be with the stories and lives of real people. Samantha is mindful of Trinh T. Minh-Ha’s ethos of: I am not speaking about, I am speaking nearby.