Scoring for Film and Multimedia

Underhill Scores Winning Mead Festival Documentary "To the Light"

Yuanchen Liu, a 2010 graduate of New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, has been awarded the Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award for his documentary, “To the Light,” which chronicles the lives of miners in Sichuan, China. Liu worked in collaboration with Steinhardt alum Edward Underhill (pictured), who composed the score for the award-winning documentary.

The award was announced at the 35th annual Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival, held November 11 to 13 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary filmmakers whose work “displays artistic excellence and originality of technique while offering a new perspective on a culture or community remote from the majority of the festival audiences’ experience.”

“To the Light” takes an intimate look at a community struggling to survive in hard economic times. For many, coal mining has become a principal source of income and the only alternative to factory jobs in distant cities. But the mines are notoriously dangerous, annually claiming an estimated 5,000 lives. In the documentary, Yuanchen overcomes the challenges presented by filming underground and provides access to what would have otherwise been an untold story. For more about Yuanchen’s debut feature-length documentary, go to:

Yuanchen is from Wuhan, China. He worked as a journalist and photographer in China before moving to the United States to pursue a master’s degree at NYU. He has directed several short documentaries, including a 30-minute piece about the financial struggles of the Harlem School of the Arts.

The 2011 award jury was led by the Academy Award-nominated director of “Black Swan”, Darren Aronofsky, who was joined by Karen Cooper, director of New York City’s Film Forum; Liz Garbus, Academy Award-nominated director of “Bobby Fischer Against the World”; and Stanley Nelson, director of the Emmy-winning documentary “The Murder of Emmett Till”. 

For more on the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, go to; for more on NYU Steinhardt’s Scoring for Film and Multimedia program, go to: