Jill Freidberg is a documentary filmmaker, sound producer, oral historian, archivist, public artist, educator, and researcher.
Freidberg's current projects include Wa Na Wari, a center for Black art and stories, in Seattle's Central District; and the Shelf Life Community Story project, an oral history collective that is using neighborhood stories to interrupt the narratives of erasure that accompany gentrification and displacement. Shelf Life recently released a ten-episode podcast. Freidberg is also currently working with Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound (MIPoPS) to rescue and archive a 400-hour video collection from the Independent Media Center's coverage of the 1999 WTO protests, in Seattle.
Freidberg teaches documentary film production, oral history, and audio storytelling at the University of Washington Bothell. Prior to joining the University of Washington, she taught in the Film and Video Communications program at Seattle Central Community College, where she instructed second-year students in directing, production, story development, writing, and editing. She also mentors for Reel Grrls, teaching media production and media literacy to girls between the ages of 12 and 18.
Freidberg has edited, directed, shot, and/or produced five award-winning feature-length documentaries, three national PBS series, countless documentary shorts, and a handful of radio features. Her work includes the groundbreaking This is What Democracy Looks Like, and Sandy Cioffi's searing film, Sweet Crude.
Between 2003 and 2008, Freidberg worked primarily in southern Mexico, producing, directing, and editing the award-winning documentaries, Granito de Arena and A Little Bit of So Much Truth. It was during this time that she got to interview her greatest hero, the late Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano.
Freidberg received a BA in Cultural Anthropology, with a minor in Environmental Studies, from the University of Oregon (1990) and a Certificate of Excellence in Film Production from the Vancouver Film School (1994). She recently completed the Marine Education & Research Society's 2021 Marine Naturalist Certificate Program, as well as the Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab.
When Freidberg isn't making films or teaching, she experiments with underwater sound recording, kayaks, gardens, rides the ferry, and watches birds. In the near future, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Marine Sciences / Ocean Acoustics so she can use public art and sound to raise public awareness about human impacts on the sustainability of Salish Sea ecosystems .