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.
Lance is a documentary filmmaker, educator, journalist and a co-founder of Meridian Hill Pictures. At MHP, Lance produces the studio’s documentary films and media education projects, spearheads development, social media, outreach and engagement strategy, and curates the PictureHouse pop-up public film screening series. Lance has participated in a variety of successful projects with emerging digital technologies, including the Mozilla/ITVS/BAVC LivingDocs ‘Hackathon’ project at Silverdocs 2012. In 2009, Lance helped lead a digital and grassroots outreach effort to screen the environmental documentary Hope in a Changing Climate in over 20 countries. As a journalist, Lance has written on news, music, film, arts and culture, for a variety of publications. Lance holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Dartmouth College. He is the author of Great Ancient China Projects You Can Build Yourself, a children’s book selected to the American Bookseller’s Association Fall 2008 Indie Next List. Lance serves as Board Chair of Docs In Progress, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to building community through the power of documentary film. Lance has also served as a Humanities Council of Washington DC humanities scholar.
Media Education Intern
Emma is currently finishing a Master’s degree in New Media Photojournalism at the Corcoran College of Art + Design. While at the Corcoran, Emma created a multimedia documentary and project-driven website for her thesis: a story about the long-term effects of Hurricane Katrina on one block in the 7th ward of New Orleans. Emma originally became interested in participatory documentary work and creating change through visual stories during her time with Critical Exposure, a non-profit that teaches underserved youth to use the power of photography and their own voices to make change. While she has done documentary storytelling work in places as far away as Kigali, Rwanda and Eastern Kentucky, Emma is very excited to be involved in MHP’s community-based stories, many of which are unfolding in her own neighborhood.
Ja’anai, a DC native, recently graduated from the University of Virginia in with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies, Arabic Language and Literature. While at UVA she specialized in cultural and religious studies and the unfolding events of the Arab Spring. After graduating, she worked at the Karabakh Foundation, where she single-handedly produced The Azerbaijani Radio Hour, and worked in producorial capacity at NPR and the PBS Newshour. She is particularly interested in storytelling and the use of imagery as a mechanism for transporting audiences to worlds they would not otherwise explore. At MHP Ja'anai has been in the field and behind the desk helping to sculpt powerful stories about individuals' trials and triumphs within the DC community.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Nicholas graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in May 2013, with a degree in International Studies & Linguistics and Film studies. As an undergraduate, he began his documentary work through UAB’s Media Studies program and later studied with the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communications Digital Production and Storytelling program in Dubai on a William Jefferson Clinton Scholarship. Nick’s overarching goal is to publish stories that prompt the audience to ask for more, to self-educate. He has worked across the documentary genre from environmental exposé to Birmingham-rooted civil rights history. He is an advocate of endangered language rights and ultimately aims to tell the stories of speakers behind vanishing languages and cultures. Nicholas is excited to be immersed in the story and production of Project S.I.N.G. and hopes to enrich his own human connection through their stories of isolation and community outreach.
Development & Outreach Intern
Michaela Bethune is a senior undergraduate student at the George Washington University studying journalism and mass communication in the School of Media and Public Affairs. She conducted independent research while studying abroad in Ghana last semester entitled, "The Accused Witch Project: Trends in the Lives of Accused Witches in Gnani." She is currently working with the footage she acquired abroad on creating a film-based website to advocate for this human rights issue. Michaela is interested in how the media portrays social issues internationally outside of the context where these cultural norms are understood, and how if this media coverage results in any tangible changes in the lives of those who are being oppressed. Michaela is excited to be working with MHP to continue her exploration of the power of documentary film to provide the opportunity to see the world through someone else's perspective, and influence social change.
Filmmaker & Educator
Ellie Walton is a filmmaker and educator, dedicated to building and sharing intimate stories as transformational acts that reveal and inspire. Ellie’s feature length documentaries include: Chocolate City (2007), screened over 100 times across the world at festivals, universities, and theatres (including E st. Landmark) and broadcast internationally on The Community Channel, and locally on Greenbelt Access Television and Arlington Cable; Igual Que Tú (2009), screened nationally at universities, conferences and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Ellie is a recipient of the 2011 Mayor’s Arts Award, the highest honor given to individual artists and organizations in Washington, DC. Her work has been recognized through funding from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Assistant Director and Editor
Jen Quintana has watched countless hours of raw footage — compiling, cutting and visualizing MHP's feature-length documentary Green Corps. With her roots beginning in the study of Philosophy, Jen has stretched herself toward where the water runs deepest — capturing the individual human story. While she has dipped her hands in all phases of film production, from research and planning, to working with the camera, and long hours in the edit suite, what she enjoys most is the collaborative process of weaving different threads of a story into one cohesive, moving visual tapestry. Jen has found in documentary the power to turn a conversation, a question, an idea, maybe even an epiphany, into a conduit that catalyzes and inspires others to see and become immersed in the layers of our own reality.