Daniel Nearing – 9/23 Films



Program Coordinator / Professor
Master of Fine Arts - Independent Film & Digital Imaging
Division of Communication, Visual & Performing Arts
College of Arts and Sciences
Governors State University
University Park, Illinois



  • 2006, 2009, 2010 GSU Faculty Excellence Award winner

  • Designed and implemented a new degree path in the College of Arts & Sciences – The Master of Fine Arts in Independent Film & Digital Imaging

  • Oversaw accreditation process (still pending) by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD). The path was singled out by NASAD external consultants as a “star program” and a model for the development of subsequent MFA degrees. 

  • Oversaw documentation for two successful cyclical program reviews, in 2010 and 2016

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Instruction in Producing, Directing, Screenwriting, Editing, Film Seminar and Survey of the MFA

  • Oversaw the making of Chicago Heights and Hogtown, both critically acclaimed, award-winning faculty-student feature film collaborations

  • Graduates include award-winning filmmakers and photographers such as Jason Knade, Seth McClellanMercedes Kane, and Dirk Fletcher

  • Committee for Intellectual Life, 2006-present

  • Division/ College Personnel Committees, 2006-present

  • CAS Grievance Committee, 2004-present

  • CAS Strategic Planning Committee 2012-2014

  • GSU Planning and Budgetary Advisory Council 2013-2015

  • Extensive service in the community including presentations locally, nationally, and internationally

  • Numerous additional independent functions as an undergraduate and graduate advisor, overseeing theses, internships, independent studies

  • Uniformly strong student and faculty evaluations




Sister Carrie
(Writer-Director-Producer) 2016-present


  • A hybrid narrative drawn from multiple literary sources, including three proto-feminist novels: Sister Carrie (Theodore Dreiser’s landmark Chicago story), Alexander Dumas’ (Fils) La Dame aux Camélias, Abbé Prévost’s Manon Lescaut, and Sherwood Anderson’s Brothers

  • Project selected in association with Director being named inaugural Filmmaker in Residence for the City of Chicago (Chicago Film Office, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), 2017

  • Named Chicagoan of the Year for Film (2016-17) by the Chicago Tribune in relation to the development of Sister Carrie

  • Project development supported by a fellowship and grant with the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, 2015-16

  • Screenplay written in residence as a Fellow at The MacDowell Colony, 2016

  • Project profiled in the Chicago Reader and ALIVE magazine

  • Final film in a trilogy started by Chicago Heights and Hogtown

  • The 2017 Sister Carrie "look book"


(Writer-Director-Producer)  2015



(Director)  2011


  • An adaptation of the highly regarded Canadian short story by Rudy Thauberger

  • North American premiere at the 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival

Chicago Heights / The Last Soul on a Summer Night
(Writer-Director)  2010


  • An experimental interpretation of the landmark American novel, Winesburg, Ohio

  • Named to Roger Ebert’s list of the Best Art Films of 2010

  • “brilliant… a beautiful book has inspired this beautiful film.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

  • Film of the Week – Time Out Chicago

  • “[They] took my favorite book of all time, which is almost universally understood to be unadaptable, and made a magnificent film out of it.” – Michael W. Phillips, Jr.

  • Winner, Best Film in a Fine Arts Discipline, Black International Cinema Berlin 2010

  • “This stunning adaptation of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio... is an aesthetic and political knockout… both profoundly affecting on its own right and as a beau ideal of detournement.” Monica Westin, Flavorpill

  • “poetic and haunting” – Sergio Mims, Shadow and Act: On Media of the African Diaspora

  • “a gorgeously photographed, beautifully scored tour de force.” – Marty Rubin, The Gene Siskel Film Center

  • distributed (2012) by Rogue Arts and Vanguard Cinema, now available on Netflix and through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Best Buy and many more retailers

  • Feature profiles in Creative Screenwriting, on NPR and in the Chicago Reader 

  • Official Selection, Black Harvest Film Festival 2010, invited back for a week-long run at the Gene Siskel Film Center, December 2010

  • Official Selection, San Francisco Black Film Festival 2010; Official Selection, Montreal Black Film Festival, 2010; In Competition, Flash Forward, Pusan International Film Festival 2009; Honorable Mention, Columbus International Film and Video Festival 2009

  • View The Making of Chicago Heights


Literary Olympics


(Writer-Director)   1999        


  • Documentary retrospective on the world’s premier authors gathering, the Toronto Festival of Authors

  • Featuring interviews with and on-stage appearances by Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Richard Ford, Tom Wolfe, John Irving, Alice Munro, and more of the world’s best-loved novelists and poets


The Island Hibernia

Discovery Channel
(Writer)   1998


  • An hour-long documentary about drilling for oil while fending off icebergs in the North Atlantic


Bomb Tech

Discovery Channel

(Writer)   1998


  • An hour-long documentary: taking “the long walk” with bomb technicians as they attempt to defuse terrorist devices


Giant’s Playground

Discovery Channel

(Writer-Director-Editor)   1997                     


  • Hour-long documentary overview of the historic construction of the fixed link between mainland Canada and Prince Edward Island, celebrating the spirit of the Island while documenting the mammoth task of constructing the world’s longest marine-span bridge

  • Aired on The Discovery Channel’s Forbidden Places

  • Highest-rated episode of the season; “hugely popular” (network head Trina McQueen)

  • “Fascinating... nothing beats the awesome footage...but what gives Giant’s Playground its richness is the attention it pays to peripheral details.” Feature review, Henry Mietkiewicz, The Toronto Star


Soviet Reunion: The Russian Red Wings

TSN - The Sports Network, Canada
(Writer-Director)   1996


  • A reflection on the impact of glasnost on Russian National Hockey League players, including profiles of Sergei Fedorov, Vyacheslav Fetisov, Igor Larionov, Vladimir Konstantinov, and Viacheslav Kozlov of the Detroit Red Wings Hockey Club


The Big Train

(Writer-Director)   1994


  • A half-hour documentary on the life of Lionel Conacher, Canada’s Athlete of the Half-Century

  • Developed with the assistance of CBC-TV; contract bought out by TSN Inside Sports

  • “A... revelation to those of us who have never heard of the once-acclaimed athlete of the half-century.” (John Haslett Cuff, The Globe and Mail)

  • Distributed educationally by The Canadian Learning Company


When Children Kill

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) National Network

(Writer-Director)   1992


  • MFA thesis documentary about juvenile homicide

  • “Riveting... documentary of the week” (John Doyle, The Globe and Mail)

  • Second window with repeated airings on CBC Newsworld




The Canadian Film Centre
Producer Resident



  • Founded by Norman Jewison, the Centre is a national, advanced training institution for the Canadian film and television industry.

York University
Master of Fine Arts in Film and Video



  • Intensive study of all aspects of film production, screenwriting and theory

  • Wrote, produced, and directed nationally broadcast documentary on juvenile homicide for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as thesis film

  • Studied with Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient) and Robin Wood (CineACTION!)


The University of Toronto
Master of Arts in English Literature


  • Modern and contemporary Canadian, British and American emphases

  • Studied with Northrop Frye (Anatomy of Criticism)


The University of Calgary
Bachelor of Arts in English


  • Modern and contemporary literature




4th Chicagoan of the Year (Film - 2017) and first academic to receive the recognition, for the Chicago Tribune 

Inaugural Filmmaker in Residence, The City of Chicago (2017)

Core Collection (Hogtown peripherals), Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (2017)

Fellow, The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2015-16)

Fellow, The MacDowell Colony (2016)

The University Film and Video Association (2001-present)

Black Harvest Community CouncilGene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2014 - present)

The Independent Feature Project – Chicago (2001-present)