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Zoe Black on Thesis Documentary

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Zoe Black. Photo by Sola Muno for UMMA

Stamps senior Zoe Black discusses her senior thesis documentary film, How to Make a Self Portrait, in a new UMMA profile.

An illustrator as long as she can remember, U‑M Penny Stamps School of Art and Design senior Zoe Black never considered herself a filmmaker. But after a meeting with a career-aptitude test mentor, who told her You’re going to go into film,” Black latched onto the idea.

I’ve definitely kept illustrating, and doing graphic design, so I have those in my back pocket,” Black says. But film, and specifically documentary work, has been my main focus since my first film class at Stamps.” 

A sophomore film project got her thinking about media’s representation of women, and how it affects their identities. It was a theme that stuck with her through undergrad, and is now the subject of her senior thesis documentary film: How to Make a Self Portrait.

Student Profile: U‑M Stamps Senior Debuts Film Thesis Project at Michigan Theater | UMMA