Ian Cheney ’98

ian-cheneyFilmmaker and cinematographer Ian Cheney won a Peabody Award in 2008 for his film King Corn, and in 2011, with his collaborator Curt Ellis, became the youngest person ever to receive the Heinz Award.

Some of the third-year students were feeling nervous—the city’s licensing exam for welders was a week away, leaving them little time for last-minute practice in the center’s welding booths, which resemble oversized shower stalls—but few could have been as nervous as Ian Cheney, who had directed the film [The Greening of Southie] and agreed to introduce it. Making a movie about green construction is one thing; screening it for actual construction workers is another. Cheney wasn’t wearing steel-toed boots, a do-rag, or a split cowhide welding jacket, and his arms and neck were neither bulging with muscles nor heavily tattooed, and he had to warn the ironworkers that they might see people in the film wearing Boston Red Sox insignia. “If that’s shocking to you,” he said, “just close your eyes.”

— from “Green Collars,” by David Owen,
The New Yorker, May 18, 2009