Matthew Porterfield

Lecturer, Film and Media Studies
Phone: (410) 516-5048

Matt was born and raised in Baltimore and studied film at NYUʼs Tisch School of the Arts. To date, he has written, directed, and produced three feature films, “Hamilton” (2006), “Putty Hill” (2011), and the recently completed “I Used To Be Darker”. In 2012, Matt was a featured artist in the Whitney Biennial, a Creative Capital grantee, and the recipient of a Wexner Center Artists Residency. His films and videos have screened at MOMA, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, AFI, Centre Pompidou, Swedish Film Institute, Harvard Film Archive, Wexner Center for the Arts, Philadelphia International House, George Eastman Kodak House, Gene Siskel Art Center, and film festivals such as the Berlinale, Edinburgh, SXSW, BAFICI, SANFIC, Thessoloniki, Haifa, and Gijon. In addition, his first two films were recently acquired for the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and The Harvard Film Archive.

Matthew Porterfield in the News

Johns Hopkins Film and Media Studies faculty member Matthew Porterfield honored as one of this year’s exhibitors at the Whitney Biennial.

Porterfield was recently named as an exhibiter in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, a world-renowned selection of cutting-edge contemporary art. Porterfield was also awarded a sizable Creative Capital Grant for his latest film project. With all this under his belt, it seems that the sky is the limit for the filmmaker, who creates arresting, lyrical feature-length films about Baltimore-centric characters.

On February 17,, a cultural news blog, named Hopkins professor and independent filmmaker Matt Porterfield on of the 10 Young Filmmakers You Should Know.  According to Flavorwire, this list of filmmakers, all under 35 years old, represents “a whole new generation of auteurs.”  The site called Putty Hill “an absorbing, mockumentary-style movie about the impact of a young man’s death on his family, friends, and acquaintances. As impressive as the film itself is the fact that it came about accidentally — Porterfield had scripted a feature called Metal Gods, but his financing fell through, and Putty Hill… rose from its ashes.”  See the whole list of 10 Filmmakers You Should Know at

Matthew Porterfield, the filmmaker behind "Putty Hill" and "Hamilton," was named the winner of the sixth annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize on Saturday.
His winning installation displayed at the BMA spans one wall with six dozen 20-by-30-inch cellphone pictures that form a large, mosaic-like work. On the opposite wall is a monitor showing a video montage of the same pictures and additional ones.

The Voice of the Film: Writer/Director Matt Porterfield discusses Putty Hill, oral language, and filmic reality, by Carlos Valdes-Lora, Class of 2010

Prof. Matt Porterfield talks movie-making in B'more by Alex Neville