Matthew Porterfield

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

Matt Porterfield has taught film production, screenwriting, and theory at Johns Hopkins University since 2007. He has written, directed, and produced three narrative feature films–Hamilton (2006), Putty Hill (2011) and I Used To Be Darker (2013)–as well as a number of experimental shorts and videos.  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 work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Harvard Film Archive and has screened at the Walker Arts Center, Centre Pompidou, Cinémathèque Française and film festivals such as Sundance, the Berlinale, and SXSW. Locally, all three of Matt's films have premiered at the Maryland Film Festival. Matt received the Janet & Walter Sondheim Award in 2011, an Individual Artist Award in Media from the Maryland State Arts Council in 2006, and in 2014 he was among the first recipients of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance's Rubys Artists Grant. Matt made his first narrative short in Berlin this past summer with a grant from the Harvard Film Study Center.   


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