Jacob Rosdail is a documentary filmmaker and educator currently based out of Kearney, Nebraska.

Jacob Rosdail has been working in video production since attending Wartburg College in Waverly, IA in 2001. When he graduated in 2005 with a BA in Electronic Media and Public Relations, he was awarded the “Maggie Award” for Outstanding Senior in Communication Arts.

After graduation, Rosdail worked from 2005-2008 for Mudd Advertising where he edited radio and television advertisements that aired across the country. From 2008-2011, he was a Senior Producer at the Communication Research Institute of William Penn University. This was his first opportunity to work with students and mentor them as they honed video production and journalism skills. At the CRI he also produced the documentary program Oskaloosa Today, produced content for the Emmy-winning CRI Weekly News, and co-created the travel program 1 Day Getaway.

In 2009, Rosdail co-produced his first documentary Historic Measures: Preserving our Future. That film, which is about urban development in downtown Oskaloosa, Iowa, was honored with the award for First Place in Public Affairs by the Iowa Broadcast News Association.

Rosdail was also co-producer of the documentary Searching For Buxton which aired on Iowa Public Television and WNET (New York Public Television) in February of 2011. Searching For Buxton follows a young African-American as he traces his family roots to an 1900’s Iowa coal town that experienced racial harmony atypical of the time. Buxton won the 2010 Iowa Motion Picture Association award for Best Documentary. It was nominated for a 2011 Midwest Emmy Award.

Lost in History: Alexander Clark, another CRI production, aired on Iowa Public Television and WNET in February 2012. Lost in History: Alexander Clark is the story of a prominent 19th Century African-American from Iowa who organized African-Americans to fight during the Civil War and later brought an historic lawsuit that forced the desegregation of Iowa’s public schools.

His final production with CRI, Iowa’s Firefighting Family, aired on Iowa Public Television in June 2012. Iowa’s Firefighting Family looks at the special bond that unites the 20,000 firefighters in the state (90% of whom are volunteers) by focusing on one family in Harlan, Iowa who have dedicated their lives to serving the community.

In 2010, Rosdail wrote, directed, and produced the documentary Step Together about Pella, Iowa’s Guinness World Record attempt. The documentary played at several Iowa film festivals including the Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival where it won a Silver Eddy Award and the Interrobang Film Festival where the film and Rosdail were presented with the Iowa Filmmaker Award.

In 2014, Rosdail earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Film from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  While there he  produced several short films and collaborated on documentaries that  played in film festivals across North Carolina.   He was also able to formally develop his skills as an educator and mentor, teaching classes and acting as director for Wrought Iron Productions, a graduate student-operated production company.

He collaborated with Cameron Bargerstock on Musickland, a documentary about musician turned hog farmer Adam Musick.  That film, along with his short film The Doll Dilemma played in film festivals across the country.

Rosdail is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  In 2016 his film “Kearney Goes to War” which aired Nebraska Public Television (NET).   His films Life on the Gila and The Seventh Stages of Grief played in festivals and on public television. He is currently working on films about Latin@ immigrants and Nebraska’s State Hospital for Tuberculosis.


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