Brian Zahm

Senior Professional Lecturer // Cinema Production
School of Cinematic Arts
Brian Zahm

Bio and Research Information

Brian is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist whose work has been exhibited worldwide. Riding the analog-to-digital wave for thirty years, he works in narrative, documentary and experimental filmmaking, performs and produces electronic music, indulges in photography and graphic design, and enjoys writing “fast-food” fiction. Having spent much of his career working in the commercial film and media industry, over the past several years his reputation has grown as a prolific outsider artist due to bold and diverse stylistic explorations with such films as "Catatonic," "Audition For Death," “Le Nu,” “Stinger,” “Pleasant Valley Drive In” and "Signal." No matter what artistic direction, he strives to create a timeless, unforgettable experience through his work, this aim cemented with the experimental documentary feature “Headspace: The Sound of Life,” for which he was the writer, cinematographer and editor—the film called “visionary” by The New York Times. He puts his career in education, and the opportunity to mentor students, above all else. A true career highlight was the unique opportunity to take his educational and professional production skills to Guyana, South America where he was tasked to help bring a narrative film industry to the country as part of a grant from Higher Education for Development (H.E.D.) and USAID, this project called The President’s Film Endowment. Over the course of four months, he taught all phases of cinema production to 180 students, ages 18-65, who had little-to-no film experience. With this newfound knowledge along with modest production equipment and resources, the students created eight short narrative films featuring Guyanese culture and formed a film collective known as CineGuyana. Ultimately these films went to film festivals worldwide and eventually were shown at The American Film Institute. At DePaul School of Cinematic Arts, his efforts have been focused on building the Experimental Film Program through a growing array of classes, designing the Experimental Film Minor, founding/producing D.E.F. Showcase (DePaul Experimental Film Showcase that happens annually at DePaul Art Museum), establishing the DePaul Experimental Film Club and helping his students exhibit work at film festivals and galleries worldwide.

Research Area

Cinema Production

Specific Research Area

Experimental Filmmaking, Visual Design, Editing, Cinematography

Professional Associations

CineGuyana, IFP, UFVA

Schedule for Fall 2023-2024

Courses Taught at DePaul

Course Evaluations