Leonard Cortana

Leonard Cortana

Adjunct Instructor

Leonard Cortana (Guadeloupe/France) is a Ph.D Candidate at the Cinema Studies Department at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center, Harvard Law School. He holds undergraduate degrees in comparative politics and Spanish from Sciences Po Aix en Provence (France) and a EU Commission NOHA Masters degree in humanitarian assistance from Deusto University (Spain). Cortana also earned a BA in cinema and aesthetics from Sorbonne University Paris 1. Prior to his doctoral studies, he conducted several artistic and educational projects with non-profits and UN agencies that engage with youths in multiple countries including Chile, Brazil, France, and Bulgaria. He became a Trainer for the European Commission’s Youth Program projects and the Children International Summer Village Organization (CISV) and designed methodologies in theater and storytelling for social inclusion. Cortana is also a filmmaker. His last documentary, Marielle's Legacy Will not Die,  follows activist movements spreading the intersectional legacy of Afro-Brazilian activist and politician Marielle Franco in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His doctoral research focuses on the circulation of transnational film narratives about racial justice and activist movements that re-open wounded historical memories between Brazil, France and the US.  Cortana teaches film studies courses at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts.

Currently Teaching

History of European Cinema

Explore groundbreaking European films and the stories behind them.

Diversity, Race and Media: From Films and TV to Podcasts and New Media

In 2020, the global wave of protests following George Floyd’s assassination became a wake-up call for media makers to denounce systemic...