Charissa has been making nonfiction films and videos since 1999 as an independent producer, filmmaker, and editor in Chicago and Boston. Charissa’s work presents conflict, humor, and intimacy through the genre of personal essay films dealing with identity, race and ethnicity, spirituality, social movements, and through observing human behavior.
From 2000-2004, Charissa was a member of Filmmakers Collaborative a group of established and up-and-coming independent documentary filmmakers who work on social awareness documentary films and videos and provide fiscal sponsorship for projects, including Charissa's documentary debut. In My Father’s Church, released in 2004, follows Charissa’s story of wanting to get married to her partner Kelly in her minister father’s conservative church. In My Father’s Church has shown at festivals and conferences internationally, screened on television in Israel, and is being distributed through Women Make Movies.
Charissa also produces community videos for non-profits, including a video for a Chicago running race. In Cambridge, MA, Charissa worked as an assistant for documentary producer Julie Mallozzi and worked as the assistant to the president of a video events production company in Watertown, MA.
In 2006, Charissa received a M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Film, Video and New Media, studying with Christopher Sullivan, Shellie Fleming and Ruth Leitman. Charissa has taught workshops in documentary video and assisted with teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Boston Film/Video Foundation.
Charissa has recently won a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council.
P.O. Box 15372
Chicago, IL 60615
The following high-resolution photographs of Charissa King-O’Brien and her films are available: