Sam Hill

The founder of Yellow Cake Films, Sam Cullman is an Academy Award nominated filmmaker. In addition to directing, producing and shooting his own work, Sam has contributed to dozens of documentaries both in the US and abroad. A graduate of Brown University (1999), where he majored in Urban Studies and Visual Arts, Sam lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Art and Craft

Art and Craft (2014)

director, producer & cinematographer (2014)

Mark Landis is one of the most prolific art forgers of the modern era — and he isn’t in it for the money. What at first glance seems like a generous act of philanthropy turns out to be a 30-year ruse and one of the most and unusual cases of deception ever known to the art world. A cat-and-mouse caper told with humor and compassion, ART AND CRAFT offers an intimate and unflinching exploration of life with mental illness and the universal need for community, appreciation, and purpose. Made in partnership with director and producer, Jennifer Grausman, and co-director and editor, Mark Becker.

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2014 Top 5 Documentary Award Winner, National Board of Review
2014 Best Documentary Feature Academy Award® Short List

The House I Live In

The House I Live In (2012)

producer & cinematographer (2012)

Filmed in over twenty-five states around the U.S., THE HOUSE I LIVE IN, directed by Eugene Jarecki, examines the systemic racial and economic disparities in America’s longest war. Tracking intersecting stories from an array of communities, courts and prisons around the country, the film combines verite intimacy with a provocative mix of archival material and primary source testimony from voices working within — and to confront — this decades long issue. Has the War On Drugs finally reached its tipping point?

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2012 Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival
2013 Peabody Award

Black Cherokee

Black Cherokee (2012)

director, producer, editor & cinematographer (2012)

For over a decade and on a near-daily basis, Otis Houston Jr., a self-taught artist from Harlem, has performed before a captive audience of car-bound commuters passing through a natural bottleneck on Manhattan’s FDR Drive. BLACK CHEROKEE explores the unique artist’s work at a time of great productivity — and significant challenge as he’s charged with caring for his beloved father who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. A meditation on family, inspiration, sanity and success, the film is a lyrical window into Houston’s deep sense of duty, his raw charisma, and the dynamic beauty of his art. Made in partnership with director Benjamin Rosen.

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If A Tree Falls

If A Tree Falls (2011)

co-director, producer & cinematographer (2011)

Daniel McGowan grew up in Rockaway, Queens and traveled out West in the late 1990s to become involved with the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group. Horrified by the ecological practices of industry and government — and frustrated by the slow pace of change — the ELF had turned to property destruction and arson in protest across the U.S. IF A TREE FALLS investigates the group and explores how a working class kid (the son of a New York cop and a business major in college) found himself facing life in prison for “eco-terrorism.” Made in partnership with director Marshall Curry.

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2011 Best Documentary Editing, Sundance Film Festival
2011 Best Documentary Feature Academy Award® Nominee

Sam Cullman

PORTRAIT OF A CIGAR MAKER (2009)

director & cinematographer

Produced in six installments over three years, this hour-long documentary tracks the life and career of a cigar-maker on the cusp of his 90th birthday. The film is an exploration of a changing industry and the evolution of a man’s life.

CDCP (2008)

director, cinematographer & co-editor

Exploring critical partnerships between police departments and mental health clinicians in a handful of cities across the US, this 20-minute film was commissioned by the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence and the Yale Child Study Center.

SELF SERVICE (2005)

director & cinematographer

Shot in five states with three groups of workers as they tried to organize a union, this 30-minute documentary was commissioned by the SEIU and the Alliance for Quality Services to encourage a large service industry employer to change its policies and practices.

GIULIANI TIME (2005)

assistant producer

This feature-length documentary (directed by Kevin Keating) profiles former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and his influence on the politics and culture of New York City in the late 1990s. The film deconstructs the man and examines the trends he set in motion which changed New York City forever.

BEYOND THE SPIN (2003)

director & cinematographer

Profiling the candidacies of Amb. Carol Moseley Braun, Sen. Bob Graham, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, these three separate documentary shorts were commissioned by the SEIU to educate members about the 2003 Democratic Presidential Candidates. The pieces provide snapshots of the candidates’ platforms and personalities as they hit the road in the summer before the Primary.

MOTOWN MAGIC (2000)

co-director & cinematographer

This 30-minute documentary short, commissioned by the New York City Housing Authority, is a behind-the-scenes portrait of a Youth Chorus preparing for a performance at the Apollo Theater.

Sam Cullman

A CLASS DIVIDE (2015), dir. Marc Levin

Cinematographer

[DOC NYC Grand Jury Prize Winner 2015, HBO broadcast Feb. 2016]

WATCHERS OF THE SKY (2014), dir. Edet Belzberg

Cinematographer

[Sundance Documentary Fund recipient 2008, Sundance Film Festival 2014]

REAGAN (2011), dir. Eugene Jarecki

Additional Photography

[Sundance Film Festival 2011, HBO airdate to follow]

BIG RIVER (2010), dir. Curt Ellis

Cinematographer

[BBC Storyville development fund]

THE FARM: 10 DOWN (2009), dir. Jonathan Stack

Additional Photography

[aired on National Geographic in 2009]

A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY? (2008), dir. Joseph Jacoby

Additional Photography

[aired on American Public Television in 2008]

LOCKUP: ANGOLA (2008), dir. Jonathan Stack

Director of Photography

[aired on MSNBC in 2008]

THE RECRUITER (2008) dir. Edet Belzberg

Additional Photography

[2007 Sundance Documentary Fund recipient, Sundance Film Festival 2008, aired on HBO in 2008]

KING CORN (2007), dir. Aaron Woolf

Director of Photography

[ITVS recipient, aired on Independent Lens in 2008, Peabody Award Winner in 2008]

WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? (2007), dir. Rob VanAlkemade, prod. Morgan Spurlock

Additional Photography

[aired on Sundance Channel in 2008]

KAMP KATRINA (2007), dir. David Redmon and Ashley Sabin

Additional Photography

[Special Jury Prize, Independent Film Festival of Boston, and Best Documentary, Magnolia Film Festival, 2007]

AFRICAN AMERICAN LIVES (2006), dir. Peter Kunhardt

Additional Photography

[aired on PBS in 2006]

STREET FIGHT (2005), dir. Marshall Curry

Additional Photography

[Audience Awards at Hot Docs, SilverDocs, Tribeca Film Festival, 2005; POV airdate and theatrical release 2005; Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary, 2006]

AMERICAN RULING CLASS (2005), dir. John Kirby

Additional Photography

[aired on Sundance Channel, 2006]

WHY WE FIGHT (2006), dir. Eugene Jarecki

Additional Photography

[Sundance 2005 Grand Jury Prize in documentary, Sony theatrical release 2006]

PLANE TRUTHS (2006), dir. Rielle Hunter

Director of Photography

[2008 Presidential candidate John Edwards’ website]

A STADIUM STORY (2006), dir. Benjamin Rosen and Jevon Roush

Director of Photography

FLORIDA: A HEALTHY STATE (2004), dir. Aaron Woolf

Director of Photography

A BABY STORY (2004)

Director of Photography

[The Learning Channel]

WATCH THIS HOUSE (2003), dir. Ryan Junell

Director of Photography

[MTV music video]

UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (2002), dir. Richard Ray Perez and Joan Sekler

Additional Photography

Sam Cullman