Meg McLagan is a filmmaker and cultural anthropologist. She co-directed the feature documentary Lioness, which won the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at Full Frame Documentary Festival, and screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and many other venues including the U.S. Congress. Lioness aired nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens and has been optioned for tv serialization by Sony Pictures. Other works include Tibet in Exile, a film that screened on public television and at festivals and museums in the U.S. and Europe. McLagan began her film career working as a producer on the documentary Paris is Burning, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and both the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Circle Award for Best Documentary.
In her scholarly work, McLagan has published essays on the transnational Tibet Movement, human rights activism, and the relationship between politics and visual culture. One particular focus is on the media architectures and visual forms by which political movements gain publicity. McLagan is co-editor of Sensible Politics: The Visual Culture of Nongovernmental Activism, published by Zone Books in 2012. She is also editor of the symposium ‘Technologies of Witnessing: The Visual Culture of Human Rights” published in American Anthropologist in 2006. McLagan has also contributed pieces to the New York Times “Room for Debate” blog, POV’s Regarding War blog, and other books and journals.
McLagan has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony; the Bunting Institute for Advanced Research at Radcliffe College, Harvard University; the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe; and the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, The Netherlands. Her film projects have been funded by the Sundance Documentary Fund, New York State Council on the Arts Rockefeller Family & Associates, Impact Partners, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and the Fledgling Fund. Her scholarly research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation, among others.