headshot photo of Jeff Swimmer

Jeff Swimmer

Associate Professor, Director, International Programs for Dodge College
Artistic Faculty
Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Office Location: Chapman Studios West 120
Phone: (714) 744-7053
University of California, Berkeley, Bachelor of Arts
Northwestern University, Master of Science


It's one thing to see the devastation from a natural disaster on television, but to be there in person to film the devastation as the wreckage of people's lives is thrown into military trucks is life altering. Jeff Swimmer has traveled the world only to watch that world be transformed before his eyes.

While most of us only dream of flying over Istanbul, walking across volcanoes in Hawaii, and being in the epicenter of the tsunami that hit Indonesia, Jeff Swimmer can only smile and say, "Somewhere down the road I got really lucky, being able to pursue my childhood dream of traveling." Working with brand networks such as NBS, CNN, National Geographic and the Discovery channel, Jeff has seen it all.

During the production of several documentary projects, Jeff discovered an interest in teaching and now oversees the International Documentary program at Dodge, where he encourages students to pursue exactly what they want. "There is only so much you can learn in the classroom, but to go overseas and work with an international program improves the learning curve of students in ways that they can't even imagine.  The overall transformation is amazing."

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

For the 3rd year in a row, I oversaw the production of 6 short documentaries about the Sikh diaspora, involving 3 Faculty and 14 students. I led the group on a filmmaking trip to the U.K., overseeing the students at all levels of Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production. The films will be shown at the Sikhlens Festival in November 2017.
For the 2nd year in a row, I oversaw the production of 4 short documentary films around the world exploring the Sikh diaspora, for the Sikhlens film festival in November 2016.
Produced, Directed and Wrote "Doctor Ji," a 30-minute documentary aimed at public television distribution, about a well-known Sikh-American guru and philosopher.
Supervised production of documentary with 6 Chapman students, from across multiple departments, of a short film about the work of the Orange Country District Attorney's anti-trafficking unit. Film is now widely used in the DA's office's public outreach campaign.
Supervised production of 4 short documentary films, working with 10 current Dodge College students and several alums, about the accomplishments of the Sikh Indian Diaspora. FIlms will screen at the Sikhlens Arts and Film Festival in November, 2015.
"A Golden State of Mind: The Storytelling Genius of Huell Howser" - Jeff Swimmer was Director, Producer and Writer. 1-Hour. Aired on PBS in California and nationally, and won numerous festival awards, including Best Documentary at Sacramento Film Festival.
**Developed and began writing book for publication: "Documentary Case Studies." Book closely examines the most successful and challenging films made by the world's leading documentary filmmakers, exploring how they were conceived, produced and how challenges were overcome during the entire process. Expect publication in Summer 2012.
**Organized filming and creation of short documentary about the Heritage Museum of Orange County, for Judge Jim Gray. May 2010. Oversaw student filmmakers creating the short film.