Bio & Contact

Brian Kaufman is the Executive Video Producer at the Detroit Free Press, where he bridges the gap between video journalism and documentary film. Kaufman’s work spans a broad range, from news-driven shorts to feature films on social and environmental issues. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has recognized Kaufman’s work with three Emmy awards and a nomination in the craft category of Nature and Wildlife Cinematography. In addition to film production, Kaufman regularly pursues photography projects in wilderness settings throughout the Great Lakes region.

Currently, Kaufman is co-directing Coldwater Kitchen, a character-driven film set in a Michigan prison, where soft-spoken chef Jimmy Lee Hill runs a highly regarded culinary training program, offering inmates a renewed sense of purpose through the craft of fine dining. Formerly, Kaufman directed and edited The Wall, a feature film about President Trump’s proposed border wall that was part of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion, Kaufman directed and edited 12th and Clairmount, an entirely-archival feature film that Variety Magazine called, “a revelatory portrait of the city … illuminating and innovatively crafted.”

Kaufman’s career began with a Visual Journalism degree at Brooks Institute of Photography in Southern California. At the Naples Daily News in SW Florida, Kaufman helped launch the first newspaper-based television newscast in the country. Since joining the Detroit Free Press, Kaufman has been instrumental in facilitating the education of video journalism to other newspaper photographers and reporters, including a USA Today Network initiative that dramatically increased video traffic in newsrooms nationwide.

Passionate about the sharing of craft, Kaufman teaches photography and film workshops regularly. He leads a week-long course annually at Maine Media Workshops and has coached workshops for the National Press Photographer’s Association, The Mountain Workshops and The Eddie Adams Workshop. As projects allow, Kaufman presents his own work at colleges and conferences worldwide.

In his spare time, Kaufman pursues adventure, solitude and art outdoors.

Contact him at bkaufman@freepress.com or directly through the form below.