Hampshire College Alum and Filmmaker Alex Rivera Awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship

Hampshire College alum Alex Rivera 91F has been awarded a 2021 MacArthur Fellowship. Rivera was one of 25 Fellows chosen by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their “outstanding talent and exceptional creativity.” Colloquially known as the MacArthur "genius" grant, the fellowship includes a stipend of $625,000 for the pursuit of a Fellow’s creative, intellectual, and professional work. 

A filmmaker and digital media artist whose work explores themes of globalization, migration, and technology, Rivera’s first feature film, Sleep Dealer, won multiple awards at Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festival. Rivera’s second feature, a documentary/scripted hybrid set in an immigrant detention center, The Infiltrators, won the NEXT: Audience Award and the Innovator Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. It was released theatrically in the U.S. and is currently being developed as a scripted series by Blumhouse Television.

Rivera’s work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Tribeca Film Institute, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Open Society Institute, Sundance, Creative Capital, and many others. 

Rivera received his B.A. from Hampshire College, and has served as the Rothschild Lecturer at Harvard University, and held the position of Distinguished Lecturer of Media Studies at Queens College. Rivera's partner, Cristina Ibarra, also received a MacArthur Fellowship.