Our mission

Storytellers

Ethics, artistry and truth

We are a team of documentary storytellers dedicated to ethics, artistry and truth. Through independent films, commissioned shorts, and participatory trainings, we make it possible to share authentic and compelling stories through the power of documentary. Meridian Hill Pictures' independent documentary films like CITY OF TREES have been broadcast nationally on PBS and played at renowned festivals including Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival and the Yale, Princeton and DC Environmental Film Festivals. MHP has produced award-winning commissioned short-form documentaries and facilitated video storytelling trainings with dozens of non-profit, educational and public partners. MHP produces work that demonstrates excellence in storytelling craft, establishes trust with participants and partners, strategic thinking, and a deep embrace of documentary ethics. 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. In 2014, MHP received the DC Mayor's Arts Award, the highest honor given to working artists in the District of Columbia.


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Our roots run deep in DC

Meridian Hill Pictures was started by brothers Brandon and Lance Kramer in 2010 out of the basement of Lance’s home on Hobart Street NW in Mount Pleasant. With inspiration from the Kramer family’s long tradition of entrepreneurship in the DC area, we formed a passionate and innovative team with a combined background in documentary filmmaking, education, digital strategy and community organizing, to create a new kind of production company with strong roots and relationships in the community. Since 2010 we have ardently advanced opportunities to make honest, people-centered storytelling more accessible, including our award-winning Youth Documentary Program run in partnership with Sitar Arts Center. Our current studio in the Josephine Butler Parks Center is a creative home and hub for our trainings, independent productions, and community events we regularly host with our partners.  

Our people

E_Lance_Headshot.jpgLance Kramer, partner, executive producer

Lance is a co-founder of MHP and multi-disciplinary storyteller with a background in documentary filmmaking, education, journalism, and community organizing. A respected arts leader in the DC documentary community, Lance received the 2014 DC Mayor’s Arts Award, has served two terms as Board Member of Docs in Progress, and is a current DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Individual Arts Fellow. Lance holds a Bachelor's Degree in History from Dartmouth College.

E_Brandon_Headshot.jpgBrandon Kramer, partner, artistic director

Brandon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of the DC-based production company Meridian Hill Pictures. Brandon is the director of the award-winning feature documentary CITY OF TREES (PBS' America Reframed, Netflix, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival) and director of the Webby Award-winning documentary series THE MESSY TRUTH WITH VAN JONES, which was released on Van's Facebook page and CNN.com to over 4 million views. 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.

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.

Lisa Allen, director of outreachlisa_allen.jpg

Lisa is a photographer and writer based in Washington, DC. Previously she lived in Kyoto, Japan where she was Assistant Editor and Publicity Strategist at Kyoto Journal, an independent, quarterly magazine presenting insights from Kyoto, Japan and Asia. She also taught English to high school and elementary school students. Her writing and photographs have been published in Kyoto Journal, ZenVita and Real Kyoto. Lisa interned at MHP in 2012 when CITY OF TREES was in the early stages of production and is now working on outreach and distribution for the finished film. She holds a BA in Communication/Media Studies and Art History from Wake Forest University. See more of her photos on Instagram @reesasan

 


-james_edited.jpgJames Tedrow, production intern

James graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 with majors in Political Science, History, and Social Work. It was through activism and grassroots organizing that James developed a passion for documentary filmmaking. He believes that it is the most powerful and effective way to tell the stories of those most affected by today’s political and social realities. James has completed a few documentary projects including FINALLY FREE, TERRELL JOHNSON, which tells the story of a Pittsburgh man who spent 17 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. James has also worked at an anti-hunger nonprofit helping people apply for SNAP (food stamp) benefits and advocating for other anti-poverty policies. He is very excited for the opportunity to learn from the amazing team at Meridian Hill Pictures.

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Sarah Diamond, outreach & development intern

Originally from Sonoma County by way of New Delhi India, Sarah moved to DC in 2013 to attend American University. After 2.5years at AU and 1 year spent studying at the London School of Economics, Sarah holds a BSBA in Business Administration with a minor in International Studies. Living in Accra, Ghana in High School sparked Sarah’s passion for Storytelling and she has since worked for NPR and PBS, fundraising and creating philanthropic partnerships. Sarah is excited to bring her outreach and development knowledge to MHP and hopes to contribute to the growing conversation around perspective and equality in documentary filmmaking.


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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