Short Films Panel
From Calling Card to Long Career
Friday, April 21st, 1:15pm – Hannah Grimes Center
A short film can be a calling card for an aspiring filmmaker, or a creative exercise in making a feature film. Find out how these filmmakers are navigating the film festival circuit and using their short films as a steppingstone to their next project.
Sabrina Lee Ross, Moderator
Formerly a professional modern dancer and choreographer, Sabrina Lee turned her artistic eye toward documentary filmmaking in 2005. Upon spotting a hand-painted sign in a cow pasture that read “Hip-hop Show Tonight,” she was inspired to create the award-winning Where You From about rap musicians in rural America. She then produced/co-directed the critically acclaimed film Not Yet Begun to Fight about a retired Marine colonel who teaches wounded veterans to fly-fish. The film had a successful festival run followed by a broadcast premier on PBS in 2013, and was acquired by Virgil Films. Sabrina is currently providing production consultation on several documentary projects.
The Beautifully Drowned
Jon Dewar is a Canadian filmmaker and co-owner of the New Brunswick based production company, Frictive Pictures. The Beautifully Drowned is his fourth and latest film as a director. Adapted from a R.W. Gray short story, The Beautifully Drowned is an eerie seaside fairy tale about a woman trying to escape a ritualistic and repressive community. It was awarded Best Short Film at both the Silver Wave Film Festival and the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival. The film also won awards for Best Actress, Best Screenwriting, Best Cinematography, and Audience Choice. Jon works in Fredericton, New Brunswick as a teacher and freelance filmmaker. He’s been involved in organizing Fredericton’s 48 Hour Film Festival and the public school based filmmaking program, “What’s Up Doc?”
Becky Roy is the founder of Draft Gratitude, a nonprofit draft horse rescue located in Winchester, New Hampshire. She has a background in marketing and real estate. She grew up on a small farm in Hinsdale, NH and continues to farm on a small scale producing hay and some vegetables. In addition to farming, Becky practices equine dentistry. She lives with her husband Jay and their 4 year old son Cody.
Derrick L. Middleton
Shape Up: Gay in the Black Barbershop
Derrick L. Middleton is a black queer filmmaker, actor and music artist from Harlem, NYC. He uses different mediums of art to deconstruct toxic stereotypes of black masculinity. His directorial debut, “Shape Up: Gay in the Black Barbershop” premiered at The White House in 2016 and has been written up by NBC and Out Magazine. “Shape Up” was a Grand Prize winner at the 2016 “March on Washington Film Festival” and an Audience Choice award winner at NewFest 2016. In addition to film directing Derrick is an award winning actor and music artist. He is excited to have the New Hampshire debut of “Shape Up” at MONIFF!
The Song of the Broad Axe
Erin Murphy is a documentary filmmaker based in Portland, Maine. She is also a visiting instructor at Colby College, where she teaches documentary film production and digital storytelling. Her two most recent short documentaries focus on the past through the lens of the present. The Song of the Broad Axe (2016) follows eight Mainers and their deep connections to one of civilization’s first tools. The film is currently on the festival circuit and has screened at the Maine International Film Festival and the Newburyport Film Festival. Erin is currently shooting her first feature-length documentary, Tomorrow’s Ideas. The film follows Kesho Wazo, a student-led art collective based in Portland.
Pushing Boundaries, Opening Doors
Saturday, April 22nd, 3:15pm – Hannah Grimes Center
Our featured filmmakers discuss the challenges they faced in making issue-oriented documentaries and the social, ethical and political impact their work has had to date.
Virginia Prescott, Moderator
Virginia Prescott is the Gracie Award-winning host of Word of Mouth and the 10-Minute Writers Workshop podcast from NHPR. Before returning to her home state of New Hampshire, Virginia was a producer and editor for NPR’s On Point and Here & Now programs, and a director at WNYC in New York. Throughout her career, she’s trained journalists and helped develop independent community radio in post-conflict zones from the Balkans to West Africa. She was a member of the Peabody Award-Winning team at Jazz from Lincoln Center, an Edward R. Murrow Award-winner at WNYC, and a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University.
What Tomorrow Brings
Beth Murphy is founder of Boston-based Principle Pictures and Director of GroundTruth Films. Her work as producer, director, journalist, writer, and photographer is focused on human rights, equality and justice, and she is most driven to tell the stories of those who are shining a light in some of the darkest corners of our world. As Director of GroundTruth Films, Murphy is training and mentoring the next generation of foreign correspondents and filmmakers.
Murphy has directed and produced nearly 20 documentary films including the features Beyond Belief (Tribeca FF premiere, Sundance Channel) and The List (Tribeca FF premiere, HotDocs, PBS) that have screened at film festivals and aired on broadcast networks globally. Her work as a multi-media producer, Impact Campaign director and author raises awareness and promotes action for issues and causes that demand social change.
The Guys Next Door
Amy Geller has been producer and line producer on numerous commercials, shorts and documentaries, including the PBS/BBC broadcast docudrama Murder at Harvard. She also produced the Sundance Institute supported narrative Stay Until Tomorrow; The War That Made America, a four-hour PBS mini-series broadcast in 2006; and Love and Other Anxieties, a personal documentary directed by Lyda Kuth. Geller’s most ambitious production to date, the feature documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism, has screened at over 80 film festivals, theaters, and universities in the US and abroad. It was broadcast internationally and nationally on the Documentary Channel and WGBH-Boston. She has taught classes at Boston University and Emerson College. Most recently, Geller served as the Artistic Director of the Boston Jewish Film Festival. The Guys Next Door is her feature-length directorial debut.
Barry Frechette is an ad guy by trade. He’s spent almost 25 years in the production community of Boston, and is currently the Director of Creative Services at Connelly Partners. Most of his days are spent helping others create TV ads and other content. But when the story of Mr. Mori and the 12 American POWs in Hiroshima came his way, he was driven to tell it.
The four-year journey to create this film has taken Barry and his team from Tokyo to Hiroshima, Kentucky, Connecticut and Massachusetts. “As I started weaving in and out of the story and where it went, we’d sit down and ask, ‘What is this story about?’” said Frechette. “It kept coming back to the same thing: It’s about humanity and the power of peace.” This is Barry’s first film.
A 1992 graduate of Stonehill College, Barry resides in Billerica, Massachusetts, with his wife Carolyn, his two children, Lily and Jennifer.