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Ian Frank


Ian crafts impactful social narratives through cinematic films. He has learned how to be intimate yet unobtrusive. Perhaps most importantly, Ian considers when to put the camera down. His favorite stories are the intersection of telling an untold story and a universal theme of family. Ian strives to make people feel their voices count — to create that extraordinary moment when pictures and sound flow in a perfect cadence that raises the hair on the back of your neck.

“In all my work, I'm interested in understanding big issues through the lives of individuals...”
-- Laura Poitras


Film Festival premiers


Languages he is fluent in


Views on "Yaya the Wise Man"

A bit about Ian

Considering all the big-screen movies you’ve ever seen, which one do you believe had the greatest emotional impact on you?
My answer – after much internal deliberation –  happens to be that BBC’s Planet Earth. Released in 2006 I was age 11 where my mind was still so malleable. Witnessing this epic glimpse into the pristine ecosystems in the world sparked a deep curiosity in me. When you bare witness to such a complex world the mind cannot help but be impacted – unpacking all this new information I came to find such a beauty in the natural world.
This was inspired in the art form of my senior project which captured My Montana Backcountry – Where I Live and What I Live For. It was my first true experience of artistic self-expression where I’d created something to be proud of!
I decided to take a Global Citizen Year after high school for the opportunity to live 8 months in Ecuador because I thought “this is what will make my story special.” However, the emphasis that the curriculum placed on storytelling was tremendous and through that, I learned to think differently about what makes a story “special” – not in terms of “exotic” locales, but in terms of authentic, responsible and compelling storytelling.