Matthew Porterfield


Film Centre - Suite 204
Personal Website

A native of Baltimore, Matt Porterfield has written and directed three feature films, Hamilton (2006), Putty Hill (2011) and I Used To Be Darker (2013).

His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Harvard Film Archive and has screened at Centre Pompidou, Walker Art Center, The Whitney Biennial, and film festivals such as Sundance, the Berlinale, and SXSW.

Matt made his first short, Take What You Can Carry, in Berlin in 2014 with a grant from the Harvard Film Study Center. It premiered in the Berlinale Shorts Competition in February 2015.

As a producer, Matt has participated in IFP’s No Borders, Cinemart, FIDLab, the Berlin Coproduction Market and the Venice Production Bridge.

In the summer of 2015, he co-produced and co-wrote Argentine director Gaston Solnicki’s first fiction feature, Kekszakallu, which won the FIPRESCI prize at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.

Matt recently completed photography on his own fourth feature, Sollers Point. Since 2007, Matt has taught film production and theory at Johns Hopkins University.

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 exhibitor 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, 2012,, a cultural news blog, named Hopkins professor and independent filmmaker Matt Porterfield one 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 website 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.”

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