Our mission

Storytellers

Ethics, artistry and truth

We produce films that attempt to tell deeply-honest and personal stories about diverse groups of people navigating complex contemporary social issues. We strive to make films that demonstrate excellence in storytelling craft, establish trust with participants and partners, strategic thinking, and a deep embrace of documentary ethics. We often spend years building close relationships with the participants in our films, and try to explore the nuances, paradoxes, contradictions and 'messy truths' that embody their lived experiences. MHP’s work raises awareness of pressing social issues, democratizes the medium, builds people’s storytelling capacity, and strategically shares under-represented community perspectives with broad audiences. Our film CITY OF TREES was broadcast nationally on PBS; played at renowned festivals including Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival and the Yale, Princeton and DC Environmental Film Festivals; and is available to stream on Netflix and iTunes. We have produced award-winning commercial short-form documentaries and video storytelling trainings with dozens of non-profit, educational, public and corporate partners. In 2014, MHP received the DC Mayor's Arts Award, the highest honor given to working artists in the District of Columbia.


Brandon Kramer

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Brandon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and artistic director/co-founder of the DC-based production company Meridian Hill Pictures. Brandon is the director of the feature documentary CITY OF TREES, which played at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, was nationally broadcast on PBS' America Reframed and is now streaming on Netflix and iTunes. Brandon directed the Webby Award-winning documentary series THE MESSY TRUTH WITH VAN JONES, released on Van's Facebook page and CNN.com just before the 2016 election to over 4 million viewers. Brandon is the winner of the Best Director award at the 2016 Chesapeake Film Festival and Indie Capital Awards, received the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 American Conservation Film Festival and was a 2015 DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Individual Arts Fellow. Since 2010, Brandon has directed and produced over 30 short documentaries commissioned by government agencies and nonprofits including the AARP Foundation, the US Institute of Peace and the International Baccalaureate. Before starting Meridian Hill Pictures, Brandon served as a staff teaching artist for the John F. Kennedy Center’s national media education program. Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree in film production and cultural anthropology from Boston University. 


Lance Kramer

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Lance is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and executive director/co-founder of the DC-based production company Meridian Hill Pictures. Lance produced the feature-length documentary CITY OF TREES (Official Selection 2016 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, National Broadcast on PBS series America Reframed, released on Netflix in May 2017). In 2014, Lance received the prestigious DC Mayor’s Arts Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the highest honor bestowed upon working artists in the city. In addition to CITY OF TREES, Lance is the co-producer of independent feature documentary VOICES FROM WITHIN (2015), associate producer of FLY BY LIGHT (2015), associate field producer of Al Jazeera America documentary series HARD EARNED (2015, winner of Alfred I. duPont Award), co-producer of independent short films DOING IT FOR ME (2013), LIFE AS A COLLAGE (2011), PORCHFEST (2011), COMMUNITY HARVEST (2010). Lance has served two terms as Board Member of Docs in Progress, and was a DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Individual Arts Fellow in 2015. In 2017, Lance was selected to the 2017 Impact Partners Documentary Producers Fellowship cohort. Lance holds a bachelor’s degree in history and film from Dartmouth College.

Our team

Michelle_Headshot.jpgMichelle Aguilar, director of production

Originally from South Lake Tahoe, Michelle has produced numerous non-fiction multimedia projects in cultures and communities across the world. Michelle served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a rural indigenous community in Panama where she later returned to produce her most recent short film, El Cacao.  Michelle's work has screened at numerous nationally-acclaimed film festivals, won awards at the Social Justice Film Festival and the DC Environmental Film Festival and was nominated for an IDA award in 2015. Michelle holds a Bachelor's in Business from Cal Poly, SLO and a Masters Degree in Social Documentation from UC Santa Cruz. 

paul_warner.jpgPaul Warner, production intern

Growing up in the D.C. metro area, Paul began pursuing filmmaking four years ago after taking a couple of film courses at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. His love for filmmaking grew as he crafted projects at the college as well as short videos for nonprofits, charter schools and other organizations. Paul has completed an associate’s degree in Film Studies from Anne Arundel Community College and a Graduate Certificate in Documentary Filmmaking from George Washington University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College (IL). In addition, Paul has co-produced a short music documentary titled Everything Between, which has been selected to four film festivals and won three awards so far. He continues to pursue filmmaking relentlessly through watching a film a day and making films through his freelance business, Warner Film Productions, LLC.


 

E_Ellie_Headshot.JPGEllie Walton, director, facilitator

Ellie is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, director, and MHP facilitator. A DC native, Ellie has directed and produced films in and about the DC community, using storytelling to foster community connection and understanding. She is the director and producer of the films Igual Que Tu (2009), Walk with Me (2012), and Fly by Light (2014). Highly respected in the DC arts community, Ellie was the 2011 recipient of the DC Mayor’s Arts Award. Ellie holds a Masters degree in Social Anthropology from the the University of Edinburgh and a Masters in Screen Documentary from the University of London.

E_Nathaniel_Headshot.jpgNathaniel Pearlman, advisory board

Nathaniel is an experienced entrepreneur and the founder of NGP VAN, Graphicacy, and served as Chief Technology Officer for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign in 2007-8.

E_Angie_Headshot.jpgAngelica Das, advisory board

Angelica specializes in strategy for social impact documentary with over a decade of experience in non-profit communication and management. She was previously associate director at the Center for Media & Social Impact, running content production and events on empowering media that matters. Angelica is an impact producer, presenter, writer and public media advocate. She regularly serves on film juries and committees including the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, AFI DOCS and the Indie Caucus.

E_Joshua_Headshot.jpgJoshua Glick, PhD, advisory board

Joshua Glick is Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at Hendrix College. He holds a PhD from Yale University in Film and Media Studies and American Studies. His research, teaching, and programming focus on documentary film, television and web-based media. Joshua has designed such courses as “Film and American History,” “Digital Documentary in the Age of the Internet,” and “Modern Media Transitions.” His articles have appeared in the scholarly publications The Moving Image and Film History. In addition to collaborating with museums and arts organizations on public humanities projects, Joshua is currently completing a manuscript on documentary film and television in Los Angeles, 1958-1977. The book is under contract with the University of California Press. Contact Joshua: glick@hendrix.edu.

Professional affiliations

MHP/Sitar Youth Documentary Program

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The Meridian Hill Pictures/Sitar Arts Center Youth Documentary Program offers promising young people in DC the opportunity to find their creative voice and build vital leadership skills through learning the art of documentary filmmaking. Formed through a partnership between Sitar Arts Center and Meridian Hill Pictures, the yearlong program provides youth ages 10-18 the transformative experience of making a nonfiction film that speaks to relevant issues in their lives and communities.

Throughout the program, students work closely with professional teaching artists who guide them through all stages of the production process. Students have the opportunity to showcase their film at community screenings, travel to local film festivals, and speak about their work in front of a variety of audiences. Through the Youth Documentary Program’s innovative, standards-based curriculum, participants are able to experience what it is like to be a professional filmmaker while building creative confidence and vital 21st century leadership skills. Learn more at youthdocs.org.

Portfolio: MHP/Sitar Youth Documentary Program

Life As A Collage (2011)
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Life As A Collage (2011)

Created by seven DC students about local art teacher Tim Gabel, Life as a Collage is a reflexive portrait of a dying artist, his philosophies on life, art and his impact on the community.

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Doing It For Me (2013)
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Doing It For Me (2013)

When two young women in the District of Columbia lose their way through the traditional school system, can their best friend help them get back on their feet again?

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In the Path of My Father (2015)
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In the Path of My Father (2015)

A deeply-personal story of two brothers growing up in DC without their father, and how relationships with their family, peers, community leaders and the arts have helped them cope and build new beginnings on their road to adulthood.

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Our team

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Our award-winning team of independent filmmakers is passionate about bringing excellence in documentary storytelling to every project. We are a diverse and inclusive team and take pride in our studio culture as one that respects people of all races, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, and national origins.

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Jobs and internships

Jobs and internships

Internships

Each season, Meridian Hill Pictures seeks enthusiastic individuals for our internship program. The internship program at Meridian Hill Pictures is a unique opportunity for emerging filmmakers, storytellers, and educators to build experience in producing and teaching documentary filmmaking, outreach, and engagement strategy. Self-motivated individuals with a strong entrepreneurial spirit interested in are encouraged to apply.
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Jobs and internships

Freelancers

Meridian Hill Pictures regularly seeks to expand its network of collaborating local documentary crew including producers, directors, directors of photography, sound recordists, editors, production assistants, assistant editors, composers, and graphic designers.
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