Michelle Bauer Carpenter is an Associate Professor of Digital Design in the College of Arts & Media at the University of Colorado Denver.


Carpenter has produced, directed and edited award winning experimental and documentary pieces. Her video pieces have screened in numerous international and national film festivals and art galleries. Her recent film, Driven to Ride has broadcast in 32 states, on 222 channels in 93 markets with 533 telecasts. In 2012, her film about the catastrophic Fourmile fire titled Above the Ashes was awarded two prestigious Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards in the categories of best topical documentary and best program editing. The Heartland Chapter is a chapter in the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and the Emmy Award represents the best in the television industry.


Michelle’s prior non-profit work experience with Free Speech TV includes collaboration with grassroots organizations and larger institutions including the Getty Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Roosevelt Institute, Human Rights Watch International, among others.


National Broadcasts


Students Mentored

“For a writer, it’s a word. For a composer or a musician it’s a note.
For an editor or a filmmaker,it’s a frame.”
Quentin Tarantino
  • 2016

    The desolate, alien landscape of the Bonneville Salt Flats, barren, gleaming white…in the distance, the faint, high whine of motorcycles shifting through gears…and then three woman stream into view on their roaring machines.

    Designed as a feature length documentary, Klocked: Women with Horsepower focuses on women motorcycle land speed record holders Laura Klock and her two daughters Erika and Karlee Cobb. Laura raced on the salt for the first time in 2006, and by 2008 her young daughters had joined her. That year the three became the first mother, daughter, daughter trio in land speed racing history to set records at the same time. In 2008 Karlee was also named the youngest to set a record on the Salt, as she was only 14 years old. The trio has been setting records ever since and have been named some of the most influential women in land speed racing.

    Through moving and candid interviews Klocked: Women with Horsepower takes us into the lives of Laura Klock and Erika and Karlee Cobb revealing the strength of their mother, daughter, daughter relationship, the love and rivalry between two sisters and explores Laura’s non-profit dedicated to helping at risk youth called Helping with Horsepower.

    Coming Spring of 2016.

    April 20, 2016
  • 2014
  • Driven to Ride broadcasting on PBS through March 2016

    Driven to Ride was asked to extend its programming license on PBS through March of 2016!

    November 20, 2014
  • Motorcycle Film Festival, New York

    Driven to Ride screens at the 2nd Motorcycle Film Festival in Brooklyn, New York.

    September 25, 2014

    Driven to Ride opens the Biker Belles event at The Lodge at Deadwood part of the 74th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

    August 3, 2014

    Because of successful national distribution and broadcast to over 50% of the United States, Driven to Ride was eligible to compete in the National Primetime Emmy Competition.

    July 30, 2014
  • 2013

    Since the 1870′s women have been Driven to Ride… Two-wheeled vehicles gave women a first real taste of the wild thrill found in unfettered mobility. Victorian Age corsets and billowing skirts were set aside as riding unleashed the power hidden within and the freedom to give that power pursuit.

    Driven to Ride is a documentary that explores the unstoppable spirit and diversity of  women motorcycle riders. Riders featured in the documentary include Betsy Huelskamp, Erin Doherty-Ratay, Masyn Moyer, Janice Ferrante, Debra Conroy and Julie Graff.

    Women continue to shape and push the boundaries of two-wheeled freedom. The call of the road stirs in their blood.  A call they answer down a thousand Interstates, and black-tops, and dusty country roads.  Highways and byways that sail past in the raw sweep of wide-open spaces.  Women climb aboard and tear off  — embracing the wild exhilaration of acceleration…Driven to Ride.

    November 24, 2013
  • 2012
  • 2012 Above the Ashes Awards

    2012 Honorable Mention- Compelling Story Telling 9th Annual Montana CINE Film Festival

    2012 Winner Silver Award 33rd Annual Telly Award

    2012 Winner Golden Palm Award Documentary Short Mexico International Film Festival

    2012 Winner Best Documentary Short
    Indie Spirit Film Festival
    Colorado Springs, Colorado

     Sierra Nevada Award  2012 Mountain Film Awards.

    December 20, 2012

    2012 Above the Ashes wins two Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards

    Above the Ashes has won two prestigious Heartland Chapter Emmy Awards in the categories of best topical documentary and best program editing. The Heartland Chapter is a chapter in the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and the Emmy Award represents the best in the television industry. The Heartland Emmy award ceremony took place in both Denver, Colorado and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    July 21, 2012

    Above the Ashes, Nominated Golden Reel Award

    Thanks to the talents of supervising sound editor David Bondelevitch, MPSE, CAS, Above the Ashes was nominated for a prestigious MPSE GOLDEN REEL Award for BEST SOUND EDITING: SHORT FORM DOCUMENTARY.

    Above the Ashes is in competition with Man Made – “Bugatti Super Car”and Tim Tebow: Everything In Between.

    The 59th Golden Reel Award ceremony took place in Los Angeles, California on February 19, 2012.

    February 19, 2012
  • 2011
  • Above the Ashes Broadcast Premiere

    Above the Ashes is an award winning documentary that reveals untold heroes, the strength of mountain communities and the devastation caused by the catastrophic Fourmile fire.

    Above the Ashes documents the Fourmile fire through the eyes of Sunshine residents who joined together to fight fire, taking action and saving numerous homes in the Sunshine community. Using haunting visuals Above the Ashes reveals tales of bravery, family, friends, loss and the rebuilding of a community.

    A long time Boulder resident Michelle Bauer Carpenter and her family live in the historic mining town site of Sunshine located in the Fourmile fire burn area. "The losses our friends suffered are absolutely heartbreaking. Over half of the homes in our neighborhood were lost to the fire. As soon as we were allowed home I began documenting the devastation".


    November 24, 2011

Michelle Bauer Carpenter

David J. Bondelevitch, MPSE, CAS

Brandon Vaccaro

Craig Volk

Digital art, film and video provides valuable contributions to the discourse on political and social issues of our day, and transforms the way people confront those issues. Utilizing the medium of film, video and installation, I address personal memories, loss and the construction of romantic and social mythologies about women, aging and even everyday heroism.

Klocked: Women with Horsepower

What the Doctor didn’t tell me…

Driven to Ride

Above the Ashes







CU Denver Digital Design Alumni