purcellcarson [at] gmail
acarson [at] princeton.edu
Purcell Carson is a documentary filmmaker and editor based in New York. As an editor, she’s served as a lead creative partner on long-form documentaries, including the Oscar-winning Smile Pinki and the 2011 Semper Fi: Always Faithful, which won best-editing from the Tribeca Film Festival. She has recently finished editing Simple as Water, a feature documentary following five Syrian refugees in five countries. As director, she is currently editing Harlan B. Joseph Was Here about a young man shot by a police officer in 1968 Trenton, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Purcell spent 2019 on a Fulbright in Guatemala; she is directing an essay film about the the migrant community in New Jersey. These two projects are connected to the seminar she teaches in urban studies and film at Princeton University, where she is project director of a multi-year community-based documentary project, The Trenton Project. She is a graduate of Brown and Stanford.
Purcell Carson is a documentary filmmaker and editor based in New York. As an editor, she’s served as a lead creative partner on award-winning, long-form documentaries which have aired nationally and internationally and received numerous honors, including a 2009 Oscar. Her editing craft in particular has received an Emmy nomination and best-editing awards from the Tribeca and Woodstock film festivals.
In her work, Purcell works to shape visually rich and emotionally nuanced stories to enhance the public conversation about complex issues. As editor of Rachel Libert’s Semper Fi: Always Faithful, she was part of the successful push for legislation to improve benefits for military veterans exposed to environmental toxins. Her work on Megan Mylan’s Academy Award-winning Smile Pinki helped raised awareness for an issue in global health. Simple as Water, her latest editorial project, connects to the emotional heart of the Syrian refugee crisis. Other films, Note by Note and How to Grow a Band, dive deep into the way that other artists harness their own craft. She has also worked in short form: the New York Times' Op-Doc, Taller than the Trees and the Sundance-premiering After My Garden Grows are two examples.
As director, she is currently editing Harlan B. Joseph Was Here about a young man shot by a police officer in 1968 Trenton, in the days following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, she is directing a essay film, La Vida No Termina, about the the Central American migrant community in New Jersey; this work grew out of her 2019 Fulbright to that Guatemala. Her work has been generously championed by the Kendeda Sustainability Fund, the Sulzberger Foundation, and the MacDowell Colony.
Purcell graduated from Brown University and holds an M.A. from Stanford’s Program in Documentary Film and Video. She divides her time between New York City and Princeton University where she directs a multi-year community-based documentary project, The Trenton Project, through a hands-on seminar that uses film to explore issues facing American cities today.