Artistic Director, Co-Founder
Brandon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, educator and a co-founder of Meridian Hill Pictures. Brandon has focused his career and education on directing documentary films and teaching youth and adults how to create their own films. Brandon is director of the feature documentary in-production, Green Corps (working title), and co-director of the award-winning short documentaries Porchfest (2011) and Community Harvest (2010). Brandon served as executive producer and media teaching artist on the award-winning youth documentary Life as a Collage (screened at the 2011 AFI SchoolDocs and the San Francisco International Film Festival). Brandon co-designed MHP's Community Video Storytelling media education curriculum, a standards-based approach for teaching documentary filmmaking to diverse populations. Brandon has presented on Community Video Storytelling at the Media That Matters Conference, Yale University, AFI's Silverdocs, MHZ's ShortiCon and the Corps Network's Annual Conference. Brandon has served as a reviewer for the President's Committee on the Arts & Humanities National Youth Program Awards, the highest honor in the country for after school youth arts programs. Prior to forming MHP, Brandon taught documentary filmmaking to youth at ten middle schools across the country for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ ‘On Location’ national tour. Brandon holds a Bachelors Degree in Film Production and Cultural Anthropology from Boston University.
Executive Director, Co-Founder
Lance is a multi-discplinary storyteller and respected arts leader, with background in documentary filmmaking, education, journalism and community organizing. At MHP, Lance produces the studio’s independent documentary films; develops new partnerships; and spearheads outreach and engagement strategy. In 2014, Lance received the prestigious DC Mayor's Arts Award, recognizing his innovative work in the art of documentary filmmaking. Lance is producer of the feature documentaries Green Corps, Voices from Within and associate producer of Fly By Light; and producer of award-winning shorts Life as a Collage, Doing it for Me, Porchfest, and Community Harvest. Prior to founding MHP, worked as a community journalist and children's author in Portland, Oregon; and taught English in Ethiopia. Lance is active in building the DC documentary filmmaking community: he has served two terms as Board Member of Docs In Progress; a Humanities Council of Washington DC humanities scholar and is a current DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Individual Arts Fellow. Lance holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Dartmouth College.
Studio & Development Manager
Lindsay prides herself on being curious and analytical with an eye for efficiency. As the studio and development manager for Meridian Hill Pictures, she combines her skills at creating organized systems with her interests in community development and filmmaking. Lindsay comes to MHP with a background in marketing and economics from DePaul University. Led by her interest community development, she served two years in the Peace Corps in Senegal where she collaborated with small business owners and community members to develop a juice and jam business, national artisan network, and youth development camp. Prior to working at MHP, Lindsay served as an economist at Bureau of Labor Statistics where she produced and analyzed employment estimates. Lindsay is drawn to film for its ability to reveal underrepresented perspectives and spark dialogue. By asking thoughtful, engaging, and challenging questions, she works to discover what leads people to pursue proactive solutions to issues facing their own communities. This is what drives her to support the development of films at Meridian Hill Pictures and produce her own narrative and documentary films.
Communications & Outreach Manager
Alison is a writer and communications specialist who lives and works in Washington, D.C. A native of Bethesda, MD, she completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University with a BA in Film and Media Studies. With a background in communications, new media, and journalism for scientific non-profits, Alison delights in using creative storytelling to express complex and revolutionary ideas. She also works as a freelance writer and swim coach. Outside of work she enjoys reading graphic novels, exploring D.C. with friends, and playing a lot of pointless iPhone games.
Media Education Manager
Aqiyla is a social worker, documentary filmmaker, and educator living in Washington, DC. Growing up in the Triangle-area of North Carolina, she participated in children’s theater and youth civic organizations, which sparked her passion for the arts and social action at an early age. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her work experience spans early childhood development research, youth-adult partnership programs in the US and Ghana, and youth performance and media arts engagement programs. She received training in documentary arts from Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies and a graduate certification from George Washington University’s Documentary Filmmaking program. Aqiyla continues to think of new media projects to work on with her community.
Hanna is a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and recent graduate from Wake Forest University’s Documentary Film program. Her body of work includes nationally-screened documentary shorts, enhanced e-books on international issues, and transmedia projects that aim to give a voice to overlooked groups in international communities. Her passion for visual storytelling and educating audiences about underrepresented groups brings her to Meridian Hill Pictures, where she acts as the studio’s production manager. Hanna uses her production experience and storytelling background to assist and support all stages of pre-production, production, and post-production at Meridian Hill Pictures.
Originally from New York, Kate has worked in documentary and commercial development, production and post-production for the last 6 years. Driven by a passionate belief in the power of documentary, Kate came to DC to learn how to build effective strategic communications and impact campaigns around documentary films. In addition to participating in the 2015 George Washington University Institute for Documentary Filmmaking, she is also an MA candidate in GWU's School of Media and Public Affairs. Kate comes to Meridian Hill Pictures excited to further her education in social justice filmmaking and impact producing.
Originally from Raleigh, NC, Aaron Hedquist is a junior at The George Washington University studying International Affairs with concentrations in Security Policy and Global Health & Development. Aaron recently returned from studying abroad in Khon Kaen, Thailand where he spent time researching diabetic risk perceptions in the northeast region of the country. Additionally, Aaron worked with human rights groups to organize the 7th Annual Issan Human Rights Festival in commemoration of International Human Rights Day. The event opened a dialogue on censorship and other human rights issues between ambassadors from seven different countries, including the United States, and human rights activists in the northeast region of Thailand. Aaron’s background in photography and interest in connecting with the local DC community has lead him to work with Meridian Hill Pictures as the development intern.
A Masters Candidate in Film at American University and a graduate of Hampton University with a Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism, Lauren has a passion for the art of authentic storytelling. Her interest in community documentary and media education was sparked during a mission trip to Ghana and Liberia in 2013. Acting as a one-women production crew, Lauren has learned that the world revolves around the stories of everyday people, and believes that these extraordinary stories weave the fabric of humanity. Lauren is ecstatic to join Meridian Hill Pictures in their efforts to teach community-based video storytelling.
Kimberly is a documentary filmmaker living in the Washington, DC metro area. After graduating from Virginia Tech’s Communication program in 2013, Kimberly traveled to Singapore to write about the entertainment industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Her experiences there fueled her curiosity for content creation and led her to explore documentary filmmaking upon her return to the United States. Seeing the potential documentaries have for highlighting social issues, sharing underrepresented perspectives and making change brought Kimberly to Meridian Hill Pictures where she hopes to continue to serve the DC community. Outside of work she enjoys being a voracious reader and avid coffee drinker.
Edwin Martinez is a Bronx-born filmmaker whose first feature documentary To Be Heard, was winner of both the Metropolis Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the DOC NYC film festival. As a cinematographer he has worked on several feature-length fiction and documentary films including Rachel Is, Leave No Soldier, Las Marthas (in production) and What Alice Found (winner, Special Jury Prize, Sundance). After graduating from the SUNY Purchase Film Conservatory as a Gates Millennium Scholar, he earned a Master’s in Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has worked as an instructor in various youth media programs in Boston and New York City. In addition to editing/directing independent films, Edwin produces shorts for educational, government and non-profit organizations.
Editor & Teaching Artist
Sara Fusco is a documentary filmmaker, educator and transmedia specialist. She has nearly a decade of experience as a documentary editor and producer, and as a non-profit communications and fundraising strategist. With a focus on international humanitarian and human rights advocacy, her work has taken her on a variety of projects in Africa and the Middle East. Her documentary short MAKAPADS, about innovation in Uganda, was a semi-finalist in GE's Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition. Sara's community-based projects have focused on working as a mentor and technical advisor in youth media classes in New York City and Washington, DC. She has co-created a range of iPad and iPod-based video curricula. Sara has a master’s in Media Studies from The New School in New York City.