Our mission


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


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


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). Lance produced the Webby Award-winning documentary series THE MESSY TRUTH WITH VAN JONES, released on Van's Facebook page and CNN.com to over 4 million viewers. 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. 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 and in 2018 Lance was a fellow at the Sundance Creative Producers Summit. Lance holds a bachelor’s degree in history and film from Dartmouth College.

Our team

Sara Fusco, editor

Sara got her start as an editor and creator of short documentaries and non profit videos covering refugee crises in the Middle East, the independence of South Sudan, earthquake recovery efforts in Nepal, and innovation in Uganda. Her short documentary MAKAPADS was a semi-finalist in GE's Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition, and her work on The Messy Truth original web series with Van Jones was the winner of a 2017 Webby Award. Sara worked as an assistant editor on MHP's feature documentary film, City of Trees, as a second editor on the film FLY BY LIGHT, and assistant editor on NAILA AND THE UPRISING. When she is not in the edit room, Sara has worked as a mentor and technical advisor in youth media and teacher training classes in New York City and Washington, DC, and she spends most of her free time on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu mats. Sara has a master’s in Media Studies from The New School in New York City.

Peggy Aw, assistant editor

Peggy started her pursuit of non-fiction storytelling with her short documentary, Goodbye Burma (2011), created in partnership with the Tribeca Film Institute, the short was inspired by her families' journey escaping a militaristic Burma and establishing a new life in the United States. Since then, she has focused on a career in non-fiction post-production, highlighting social justice issues such as inequalities in the education system and socio-economic disparities. She was the assistant editor of Class of '27 (2016), which was honored with an Alfred I. du Pont Columbia Journalism Award and aired nationally on America Reframed as well as an associate editor on inVisible currently in production. Apart from documentary films, Peggy has additionally edited non-fiction educational shorts for museums and non-profits across the country, such as the National World War II Museum, The Mob Museum, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Peggy holds a bachelor's degree in media production with a minor in art history from Emerson College.


Will Jenkins, associate producer

Will Jenkins has more than a decade of communications, policy, and program leadership experience at the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services, the House and Senate, and international nonprofit organizations. During his time in government, he worked on a wide range of issues, including criminal justice reform, drug policy, mental health, immigration, environment, healthcare, national security and education. He also has trained, advised or worked with hundreds of filmmakers and other media makers on stories that impact public policy and social issues through the Sundance Institute, South by Southwest Festival, Tribeca Film Institute, Warner Bros., the Fledgling Fund, Good Pitch, and other organizations. He developed the American Film Institute's Political Bootcamp for Filmmakers and co-authored a series of studies on creative media and advocacy at the Center for Media and Social Impact. He serves as a board member of Working Films.



Ellie Walton, director/editor, cinematographer

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.

Lucia Fox-Shapiro, post-production intern

Lucia Fox-Shapiro is a rising senior at the University of Southern California, majoring in Cinema and Media Studies with a minor in Media and Social Change. She has a passion for documentary filmmaking, video editing, and using film for social impact. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 2017 and has strong ties to the DC community.

Gabriella Jones, post-production intern

Gabriella Jones is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, where she studied Chinese and Communication. Throughout her high school and collegiate careers, she participated in the filming and production of many independent projects that highlighted topics ranging from Black men in America and Black women empowerment. She enjoys the combination of storytelling and social justice and hopes to continue working on projects that genuinely impact and inspire people and their communities.


Nathaniel 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.


Angelica 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.

Joshua Glick, PhD, advisory board

Joshua Glick is Assistant Professor of English and Film & Media Studies at Hendrix College and affiliate faculty at Columbia University, where he teaches in their Global Core. He holds a PhD in Film & Media Studies and American Studies from Yale University. Glick’s work focuses on documentary, emerging media, race and representation, and the comparative histories of cinema, TV, and radio. Glick served as the digital media curator and produced the award-winning documentary This Side of Dreamland (2016) for the NEH-funded museum exhibition, Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008. His book, Los Angeles Documentary and the Production of Public History, 1958–1977, was recently published by the University of California Press. Glick is currently researching a new book on contemporary documentary and the media industries and co-editing a volume with Patricia Aufderheide that brings together scholars and practitioners. For 2019-20, Glick will be a Fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab. A native of the Washington DC metro area, he enjoys staying active in the documentary scene and collaborating with local institutions.

Professional affiliations

MHP/Sitar Youth Documentary Program


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


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


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


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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