Ruth Leitman - Columbia College Chicago

Ruth Leitman

Associate Chair
Associate Professor


Ruth Leitman has a BFA in Film and Photography from University of the Arts in Philadelphia and has been teaching filmmaking for 14 years. Through her company Ruthless Films, she has directed 6 feature length documentary films that have received funding from Rockefeller Foundation, Paul Robeson Fund, TribeCa Film Institute, Fledgling Fund and Illinois Humanities Council. Her film Alma (1998), won the Documentary Feature Jury Prize at Hamptons Film Festival, screened at IDFA, SXSW, DGA and Whitney Biennial. Her film Lipstick & Dynamite (2005) premiered at TriBeCa Film Festival and Hot Docs. It won the Documentary Storytelling Prize at Nantucket Film Festival, was released theatrically by Koch Lorber Films and broadcast on SHOWTIME. Lipstick was featured on Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and NPR’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition. Leitman wrote Fordson, which has garnered numerous festival awards. Most recently Tony & Janina’s American Wedding (2010) an immigration story, premiered at Chicago International Film Festival winning a Jury Prize. The film won several advocacy awards after it became a clear agent for change, when it’s subjects were reunited in the US in August 2011. A broadcast is scheduled for 2012. Freelance clients include: The Redwalls, Neko Case, Ronald McDonald House, Safe Humane Chicago, American Trial Lawyers Association, Sallie Mae Student Loans, Harry Mitchell (D- AZ) and Fair Wisconsin. Early work as a photographer includes: Rolling Stone, SPIN, Esquire, Working Mother, Newsweek, Outkast, Black Crowes, REM and Indigo Girls. Leitman is in development on a 1950’s fiction feature film, The Pin Down Girl, about the pioneers of women’s wrestling.


B.F.A., Photography Philadelphia College of Art 1984