Documentary and Unscripted TV Panel

Jun 10, 2020, 5:00 pm6:30 pm
  • Alumni
  • Graduate Students
  • Undergraduate Students


Event Description

Alumni in documentaries and unscripted TV will share their career experiences and will respond to questions from students and alumni. John Carr will screen a brief supertease for his new release.

Alumni guests include: 

  • Hugo Berkeley '99, Director and documentarian
  • John Carr '97, Executive producer, Dating Around
  • Lydia Cornett '16, documentarian
  • Jason Harper '09, director and documentarian
  • Pete Ross '04 SVP, Development, Left/Right TV

This event is from 5 pm to 6:30 pm EST.

Student: Please RSVP on Handshake.

Alumni: Please RSVP:

The Zoom link will be emailed to you the day preceding the event.  Please note registration closes on June 9 at 5 pm EST. 

This event is part of the Arts at Work program, which brings Princeton students and alumni together for speakers and panel discussions, artists’ showcases and social events. The program is also designed to provide Princetonians a supportive arts and creative community and opportunities to learn about the realities of life and work in various creative fields. 


Photo of Hugo Berkeley '99
Hugo Berkeley '99, Director and documentarian

Over his 20-year career, Hugo has worked extensively as a director, producer and writer of documentaries. He is driven by a desire to challenge audiences to confront life’s contradictions, rather than reinforcing assumptions. In his Peabody-winning The Jazz Ambassadors (2018, PBS/BBC/ZDFArte), Hugo explores the tension between patriotism and progressive politics in the story of great jazz musicians touring for the US Government during the Cold War. In the 4-part series Unknown Male No. 1 (2017, Sky/BBC Storyville), a prosecutor confronts her dual roles of justice-bringer and mother as she hunts the killer of a 13-year old girl in Northern Italy. In Land Rush (2012, Peabody Award, Best Series), an American agro-developer faces the paradox of ‘doing well by doing good’ when building a vast sugar-cane business in Mali, West Africa. And in ‘A Normal Life’ (2003, Tribeca Best Doc – co-directed with fellow Princeton Grad Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi), young journalists face the unimagined difficulties of life after war in Kosovo. Hugo currently lives in London.


Headshot of John Carr '97
John Carr '97, Executive producer

John Carr '97 is a documentary/unscripted executive producer and showrunner. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Southern California’s screenwriting MFA program, John began his career as a producer on such hit shows as MTV’s The Hills and ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. He has since served as executive producer of MTV’s Siesta Key and Bravo's Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. John is currently the executive producer of Dating Around for Netflix.






Photo of Lydia Cornett '16
Lydia Cornett '16, Documentarian

Lydia Cornett is a documentary filmmaker from Baltimore, Maryland based in Brooklyn, NY. She was the Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center, a CoLab Fellow at UnionDocs, and a two-time recipient of the NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre. In 2019, her film Narmin's Birthday won the Festival Jury Runner-Up Award at the Nitehawk Shorts Festival and premiered online with NoBudge. Her subsequent film Yves & Variation premiered at BAMcinemaFest and went on to screen at the Hamptons International Film Festival, DOC NYC, Big Sky Documentary Festival, and Aspen ShortsFest. Her upcoming film Bug Farm is currently supported by Tribeca Film Institute's If/Then Short Documentary Program.  

She has assisted filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi (Meru), Brett Story (The Hottest August), and Ken Burns (East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story. As a freelance video producer, she has created short-form documentary-style content for the New Yorker, Slate Magazine, the Washington Post, Atlas Obscura, and Penguin Random House.

Photo of Jason Harper '09
Jason Harper '09, Director and documentarian

Jason Harper is a DGA director and documentarian. He's made several short documentaries for Google on subjects ranging from the LGBTQ movement to the Kenyan ivory trade in Samburu. He was honored in AdWeek's Creative 100 in 2019 and nominated for a Webby for his unscripted "Bevel: Mirrors" series. His latest feature, A Kid from Coney Island, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and theatrically in 2020. The next feature, Down A Dark Stairwell, about the killing of Akai Gurley, premieres on PBS in 2021. He's currently working on a feature documentary on the life of Kanye West. His work has been featured on AdWeek, Vimeo Staff Picks, FADER and the Guggenheim.



Photo of Pete Ross '04
Pete Ross '04, SVP, Development, Left/Right TV

Pete Ross is SVP of Development at Left/Right — the Emmy-award winning production company behind documentary series including Showtime’s The Circus and FX/Hulu’s The Weekly — where he oversees a large slate of projects. 

Since joining Left/Right in 2014, Pete and his team have created, developed, and sold projects across a wide range of genres, includingThe Zoo, The Zoo: San Diego, and The Aquarium for Animal Planet, Biography: The Trump Dynasty for A&E, Tricky Dick for CNN, TruInside for truTV, Generation X for Nat Geo, and multiple specials for History.

Pete began his career at Court TV, where he developed true crime series and documentaries, and played an integral role during the rebrand of the network to truTV and the launch of its first slate of series. He then served as the head of development for IMG Productions, the production division of the global sports, fashion, and media company IMG (now Endeavor).