Mission & History

Our Mission:

Carbon Trace Productions is a non-profit film studio dedicated to educating college students on the complexity of the art of documentary filmmaking. Students learn to tell stories of compelling social importance without regard to the commercial potential. Carbon Trace specializes in working with and telling stories about humanitarian organizations, non-profits, NGOs, and the people who work with them to make our world a better place.


Carbon Trace Productions is a documentary/educational organization founded by Dr. Andrew Cline, a professor of media and journalism at Missouri State University. Carbon Trace is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation dedicated to documentary education for college students. The production crew finished its first feature-length project in 2016 — Downtown — a documentary film about the emerging trend of Americans choosing to move away from the suburbs in search of a new American Dream in re-developing urban centers. “Downtown” screened at the 2016 New Urbanism Film where it won the Best Urban Sociology Film category award. The team also produced a documentary short related to Downtown” called Shared Spaces — an official selection at the 2015 New Urbanism Film Festival. Post-production has begun on a second feature-length documentary the team began filming in 2017 about an emerging mental health issue in Syrian refugee children. The team finished three documentary shorts from 2017 to 2018 — Souriyat, the story of a rehabilitation facility in Amman, Jordan serving Syrian refugees, and Joonyper, the story of a tragic death by heroin overdose. “Souriyat” screened at the 2018 Atlanta Docfest. CTP also produced “Homeschooling in Middle America” in 2018, a film by Chinese student filmmaker Yiran Liu. Zero, our student production for 2019, won the Award of Excellence for a student documentary feature at the Broadcast Education Association 2020 Festival of Arts. Our latest feature-length film, Witness at Tornillo, toured nationally during the fall and winter of 2019-2020. It won best feature documentary at the Kansas City FilmFest International 2020. It is now available on Vimeo on Demand.

Carbon Trace is currently in production of All of a Sudden, and in post-production on Witness at the Border, Songs From the Street, “Drive-Ins Aren’t Dead,” “Syrian Doctor” (Working Title), and “A Vietnam Peace Story.”

Watch our founder, Dr. Cline, explain our origin in the interview below!