Brent Renaud, the Little Rock filmmaker, photographer and journalist, has been selected for a fellowship by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
The foundation’s announcement said that Renaud “will study the effects of trauma and mental and emotional illness on rates of poverty and violence in America.”
Renaud was one of 27 fellows selected. Fellows take two semesters of study at Harvard, beginning next fall. They also “participate in Nieman seminars, workshops and master classes and conduct research with Harvard scholars and other leading thinkers in the Cambridge area,” the announcement said.
Renaud is best known for his documentary filmmaking collaborations with his brother Craig. The Renaud brothers won a Peabody Award in 2015 for “Last Chance High,” their eight-part series for Vice News online. The series followed students and teachers in Chicago’s Montefiore Academy, a therapeutic school in the Chicago Public School system for students with severe emotional disorders. Their 2017 HBO documentary “Meth Storm” painted a harrowing picture of the meth addiction and poverty in rural Arkansas; their 2007 documentary “Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later” examined the legacy of the historic desegregation battle at Craig’s alma mater. A forthcoming Vice feature-length film, “Shelter,” will examine the experience of homeless teenagers at a shelter in New Orleans. The brothers have also done numerous critically acclaimed film and television documentaries on international stories of crisis, including coverage of Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Central America, and elsewhere. The Renaud brothers were also the founders of the now-defunct Little Rock Film Festival.