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Bridget Besaw is a New England Emmy-nominated filmmaker and founder of Seedlight Pictures. Before finding her second passion as a director, Bridget enjoyed a career as an award-winning newspaper and magazine photographer, capturing national stories for Smithsonian, Newsweek, Time, Forbes, and National Geographic, among others. As a Nikon Ambassador and Leica sponsored photographer, Bridget created large scale documentary projects for The Nature Conservancy in all corners of the globe.
Bridget is the author of two photography books— Wildness Within, Wildness Without (2008) and From The Land (2012). The creation of these books inspired her to start using her skills as a visual storyteller to rally attention for wilderness preservation and food sustainability. Since that pivot, Bridget has shot, directed, and produced numerous shorts for environmental NGOs on resource depletion and sustainability.
Her first independent film project culminated in the GROWING LOCAL series (2015), and screened to acclaim at festivals nationwide. Her short film SEEDING A DREAM (2015), won several audience choice awards and was a finalist for the DCEFF Eric Moe Sustainability Award. Her two latest shorts, GUIDED and THE NATURE OF MAPS, both toured the 2016-2017 festival circuits winning audience choice awards. Bridget’s feature doc in progress THE MOUNTAIN AND THE MAGIC CITY, was supported by the LEF Foundation and invited to the Points North Institute Fellowship and the PNI/TFI Retreat. Bridget is a board member of the Camden International Film Festival and Points North Institute, and a board advisor to the Chewonki Foundation.



Par Parekh‘s work as a filmmaker has placed him in many roles—director, writer, producer, editor, and cinematographer. Par recently made his narrative directorial debut with the short THE HAPPY, which premiered at SeriesFest in June 2019. He produced and co-wrote Benh Zeitlin’s GLORY AT SEA, winner of the Wholphin Best Short Film Award at SXSW, and edited Dana O’Keefe’s short narrative THE NEW YORKIST, which was in competition at Tribeca Film Festival. He’s also produced and shot short documentaries for the Haitian Government to present at the World Economic Forum. Par edited a feature-length documentary about Cameron Crowe’s film ALOHA. Before his documentary and narrative work, Par spent a decade creating promotional videos for such musical talents as Beyoncé and Willie Nelson, and fashion clients such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s. A recipient of the inaugural PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund, Par’s debut feature documentary SISTER ÚNA LIVED A GOOD DEATH will premiere on Independent Lens in 2024. He was named one of Austin Film Festival’s 20 Screenwriters To Watch in 2020, and is represented by Artists First.



Janah Elise is a Nuyorican documentary director and editor from the Bronx, NY. Her editorial work has premiered at Cannes, Berlinale, Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and New York film festivals, among others. She was a 2019 Karen Schmeer Diversity in the Edit Room Fellow, a 2020 IF/Then North Shorts grant recipient and was recognized by DOC NYC as a 40 Under 40 talent. Her directorial debut, Melting Snow, was nominated for best Experimental Short at BlackStar Film Festival and premiered on the Criterion Collection in April 2022.



Hope Hall is a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and photographer. Her short films have been selected for over 40 film festivals worldwide and have received numerous awards, including at Sundance. She has a BA from UC Berkeley, an MA from Stanford, and is a proud graduate of the Independent Studio Program at the Whitney Museum.  After working on the feature documentary, “BY THE PEOPLE” by Amy Rice and Alicia Sams, which followed then-Senator Obama’s trajectory into candidacy, she joined the ’08 campaign’s now legendary New Media team as a staff filmmaker, telling the story from the campaign trail and making over 40 videos. From May 2011 to January 2017, she was President Obama’s Principal Videographer at the White House in the Office of Digital Strategy. Her work can be seen in various projects including, BEYOND CONVICTION, AND SHE COULD BE NEXT, RACING DREAMS, THE FIGHT, SEMPER FI: ALWAYS FAITHFUL, as well as a multi-channel installation videos featured in the Guggenheim Museum’s Art of the Motorcycle exhibition in Las Vegas. Most recently she was the Senior Advisor for Video & Senior Road Videographer for Elizabeth Warren 2020 presidential campaign.



Jason Pollard’s introduction to film began at an early age through his parents, Sam and Glenda. As a result of their influence, Jason studied film at New York University. In 2007, he co-edited PETE SEEGER: THE POWER OF SONG, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. He also co-edited SING YOUR SONG, a documentary about the life of singer/activist Harry Belafonte which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In 2012, he edited the PBS documentary SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Jason has received a degree in Bachelors in Fine Arts in Film & Television and a Masters in Cinema Studies, both from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.



Prolific composer and singer/songwriter Kathryn Bostic is known for her work on film, TV and live theater. She is a recipient of many fellowships and awards including the prestigious Sundance Time Warner  Fellowship, Sundance Fellowship for Feature Film Scoring, Sundance/Skywalker Documentary Film Scoring and the BMI Conducting Fellowship. Kathryn was the Vice President of the Alliance for Women Film Composers from 2017-2019. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her credits include Sundance premiered RITA MORENA: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT (2021), TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM (2019), CLEMENCY (2019), CAMERAPERSON (2016), and DEAR WHITE PEOPLE (2014), MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (2012).



Lauren Waring Douglas is a native of Charleston, SC, and has worked both in the studio system and in the independent film industry. She began her career as a production coordinator for South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV). Subsequently, her credits include projects with Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, A&E Television – Biography Network, and ABC Studios. After graduating from the University of South Carolina, Lauren went on to receive her Master of Arts Degree in Media Management from Columbia College Chicago.  Once Lauren acquired the fancy titles that made her resume look fancy, she realized her real passion was in celebrating her heritage.  She is proud to be a Southern Producers’ Lab Fellow with the New Orleans Film Society to bring these stories to light.   She is making her directorial debut with When Porgy Came Home, the untold story of Charleston’s famous opera, Porgy and Bess.  Lauren seeks to give voice to the oft-silenced Gullah Geechee culture of South Carolina.