The 2014 Kopkind/CID Film Seminars “campers” announced!

THE GOOD AND THE BAD(2)We are delighted to announce the filmmakers attending this year’s CID / Kopkind Filmmakers Retreat & Seminars in Guilford, VT.

2014 brings us a wonderful group of filmmakers with a diverse range of documentary film works and backgrounds.



2014 Kopkind/CID Seminar filmmakers:

Alex Halkin:

 (Documentary Filmmaker/Director, Americas Media Initiative) founded the Chiapas Media Project, an award winning bi-national organization that has trained over 200 indigenous men and women in video production in Chiapas and Guerrero, Mexico. A Guggenheim Fellowship and Fulbright recipient, Alexandra has produced five documentary shorts in Mexico, many of them award winning and her work has been broadcast and screened at film and video festivals worldwide. In 2010, she founded the Americas Media Initiative (AMI) a non-profit organization that works with Cuban filmmakers living in Cuba. Alexandra is currently Co-Directing with Deb Ellis the feature documentary, End of Love, which goes inside the epidemic of young men being convicted of downloading and distributing child pornography to reveal a world fraught with complexity. Why is this happening and what does it say about who we are?


Bill Lichtenstein:

Bill Lichtenstein’s Peabody Award-winning work as a print and broadcast journalist and documentary producer spans 45 years.  He has received more than 60 major journalism honors, including a Peabody Award; United Nations Media Award; Guggenheim Fellowship; three National News Emmy Award nominations; nine National Headliner Awards; and four Gracie Awards from American Women in Radio and Television.

Since 1990, Bill has been president of Lichtenstein Creative Media, which produces high-quality documentary films; public TV and radio programs; and new media productions focusing on human rights and social justice issues.  Previously, Bill worked for seven years for ABC News, where he produced investigative reports for “20/20,” “World News Tonight” and “Nightline.”

Bill’s current project, “The American Revolution,” is a feature-length documentary film being produced for theatrical and broadcast release that tells the story of the early days of underground radio station WBCN-FM in Boston and how “a radio station, politics and rock and roll changed everything.” The film features the original sights, sounds and stories of the era, shared by members of the public in an innovative crowd-sourcing archival collection effort.  Bill began his work at the age of 14, on air at WBCN, where he worked with and was influenced by Andy Kopkind and John Scagliotti.

Bill has written about politics, the media, and health for the Nation, Newsday, Boston Globe, Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, 7 Days and Health. Bill’s investigative report for the Village Voice, “The Secret Battle for the N.E.A.,” which exposed the Bush White House’s role in defunding the artists known as the “N.E.A. 4” received a National Headliner Award, and Bill’s news photography has appeared on the front page of the New York Daily News and in the Baltimore Sun.

Bill is a graduate of Brown University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.


Roberto Mighty:

Roberto Mighty is a filmmaker, multimedia artist, photographer, sound designer and musician who uses interactive and online technology in his work.  Roberto is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College; teaches Visual Journalism at Boston University’s College of Communication; and teaches Digital Nonlinear Video Editing at American Graphics Institute. After successful careers in audio, TV and video production, he now concentrates on film and art-making that involves nature, science, history and the human condition.

For 2014-2015, Roberto is the first Artist-in-Residence at the 183 year old Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The 174 acre cemetery, founded in 1831, is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District. In Fall, 2013, he completed four online videofilms on the plight of the Eastern Hemlock tree species, Tsuga canadensis. In early 2013, his film about ecology, “Cloud Lightning”, premiered at the National Science Foundation headquarters in Reston, VA. In 2011-2012, Roberto was Artist-in-Residence at Harvard Forest.

Roberto’s multimedia exhibit at Harvard’s Fisher Museum, “First Contact: Puritans, Native Americans and the Clash Over Land in 1630” was on view from September through October, 2012. Roberto spent all of 2010 imaging trees using four types of cameras in a single American city. His subsequent multimedia exhibit, “Trees of My City”, premiered at The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in January – March, 2011, and was on exhibit at the Scandinavian Cultural Center in Newton, Massachusetts, from September to December, 2013.

Meagan Murphy worked for WGBY-TV (WGBH Educational Foundation) in Springfield, Ma, for over 12 years as a Producer. Her producing credits include Together in Song, Making It Here, ZOOM, Eco-Exchange, On the Menu, and Connecting Point. In 2003 she was awarded a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medical Journalism Fellowship. Murphy Forget has produced numerous independent projects as well, such as the Northampton Independent Film Festival, The Ready, Go Show, and Fine Tuned for Excellence, for the International Yacht Racing Association. She is also a photographer, and has worked for a wide range of events, including the American Platform Tennis Championships and the Nantucket Film Festival. Murphy-Forget moved from Boston to western Massachusetts in 2000, while working for a medical She is an avid traveler, a devoted athlete, and is committed to making a contribution to society through her work in film and television.

Derek Burrows:

Derek is a master storyteller, modern troubadour, and filmmaker, as well as a web designer, filmmaker and photographer. He is a co-founder, with Greg French and Gregory Fried, of the Mirror of Race project and is currently making a personal documentary called Reflections on Race.

One of four national storytellers, Derek was invited to the first National Book Festival sponsored by the White House and First Lady Laura Bush.

As a storyteller, Derek specializes in Afro-Caribbean and African Diaspora tales, among other styles and traditions, including his own compositions; he has been “telling” for over two decades in the New England area, across the country, and internationally (in both Spanish and English), and he often does work in schools, using stories to teach tolerance.

As a musician, Derek has performed for over 30 years with Voice of the Turtle (Derek sings, play flamenco guitar, bagpipes, flute, and many other instruments, medieval and modern).

Derek’s singular style is filled with textures and colors, whether telling stories, playing music, leading workshops or presenting original works. Weaving together flights of the imagination with tones and rhythms, his dynamic presentations re-affirm the power of words and the commonly loved language of music. A true native of the Bahamas, he carries on the tradition of entertaining and educating wherever he goes, whomever he meets.

Lydia Harris:

Lydia Harris is an award-winning photographer currently working on a major documentary series portraying the original homeowners of a historically black neighborhood in Atlanta, GA. The photography portion of this project was featured in a solo show at the PRC in Boston from September 3 to Oct 12, 2013.  Currently she is working on publishing a book and creating a short non-fiction video.

Her work was shown in a September 2012 solo exhibition at the Firehouse Center for the Arts Gallery in Newburyport, MA. “Ephemera” featured images from her series “Finding Beauty Through Fear” and “Take Me With You”.  In 2011 she exhibited photographs from “Without Love – Death” as the featured artist on Northeast Online (NEO), a monthly one-person, web-based exhibit showcased by the Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA.  Additionally, her work has been seen in The Light Factory’s 4th Juried Annuale (Charlotte, NC) and UMaine Museum of Art Photo National 2011 (Bangor, ME) receiving the Director’s Purchase award for  “Hendrie” which is now in their permanent collection.  Her image “Jacob” won best photography and best in show at the Newburyport Art Association’s 15th Regional Show.

Lydia received an MFA at the School at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as well as a Professional Certificate in Photography from Maine Media College in 2010. Originally trained as a Microbiologist, she holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine and a Master’s degree from the University of Maryland.


Scott Ryan:

He wanted to make films that inspired people. This need was cemented while working in the environmental movement since he was a teen. The vision came to fruition when Scott began directing documentaries for  the early dotcom startup Zoom Culture. Many of these early films were produced for the national TV shows Playground Earth and Hip Hop Nation.

He soon discovered a missing element in television: the desires and dreams, the very manifestoes (or missions) of everyday people were not being represented. His background intertwined with this deficit & inspired the grassroots advocacy based documentary series known as Manifesto. Scott just completed a PSA for 5 Gyres Institute and will be speaking at the 2014 Los Angeles Green Festival.


Lisa D’Apolito:

Lisa was born and raised in Greenwich Village and originally started directing puppet shows at 7 years old in the hallways of her grandmother’s building.  Lisa went on to become an actress in theatre, films and commercials living and working in NY, LA and London.  Her film career included a small part in Martin Scorcese’s Goodfellas. When Lisa started working at an ad agency as a producer she realized she loved being behind the camera instead of being in front of it.  At  the advertising company,  Lisa ran the internal production group for many years producing and directing branded videos and documentaries.  Next Lisa started a production company called  3 Faces Films where she directed corporate and non-profit commercials  including pieces for Planned Parenthood, Greenwich Village Youth Center and Gilda’s Club.  Lisa directed a short comedy called “The Gynotician” with Amber Tamblin and David Cross,  which is still traveling to film festivals and winning awards.  Lisa is in the middle of production of her first feature documentary about the  Gilda Radner who was not only a groundbreaking  female comedian but is still an inspiration for those living with cancer 25 years after her death.

Indrani Kopal:

Indrani  is a Malaysian documentary filmmaker and a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship 2012. She has over six years of experience working as a multimedia journalist for, a prestigious news organization in Malaysia and is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Studies and Production at Hofstra University in New York.  She has more than 10 years of experience working as a Video Journalist, Documentary Video Producer and TV Producer.

Her short documentary, She’s My Son (Malaysia, 2007, 13-min) won an award at the 2007 Freedom Film Festival in Kuala Lumpur and one of her recent films, Living Jazz with Bill Saxton (US, 2012, 10-min) was an official selection of the 10th Annual Langston Hughes African American Film Festival 2013 in Seattle.

In 2010, she participated in The George Washington University Documentary Center’s International Emerging Filmmakers six-weeks fellowship program where she co-produced two short documentaries in New York and Washington DC with a Zimbabwean filmmaker  Simon De Swardt.  One of their films, Oily Hair (US, 2010, 5-min) a story about hair boom – a cutting-edge, community-based initiative by the hairdressers in DC to help clean up the Gulf Oil Spill – was screened at the National Press Club during the fellowship. The film was also accepted in an online film festival called “Green Unplugged” that year.  Another film that was shot in New York during the fellowship titled, “I only dance for you” (US, 2010, 10-min) a slice of life story about a gay couple who live in Greenwich Village, NYC was selected for the fourth annual Outrate Online Film Festival (OOSFF10) and showcased at OUTtv’s Hot Pink Shorts 2010, Canada.

She has conducted several video journalism workshops in Malaysia and in East Timor and has taught video editing for the Citizen Journalism Malaysia program.

Tracy Heather Strain:

Tracy is an award-winning film and video director, producer, and writer of documentaries and non-fiction media, primarily for public television.  Her PBS series credits include Discover: The World of Science; The Great Depression; America’s War on Poverty; I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African-American Arts; Race: The Power of an Illusion; Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?; and American Experience  Other credits include educational, non-profit and museum exhibit videos. She is an American Studies graduate of Wellesley College, concentrated on Technology, Innovation and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and has begun learning to code in the Web and Interactive Development Certificate Program at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Continuing Education division. Tracy, along with her husband, filmmaker Randall MacLowry, run The Film Posse, which is based in Fort Point Channel’s Midway Studios. They are producing a nonfiction transmedia storytelling project about the artist and activist Lorraine Hansberry who is best known for writing the play A Raisin in the Sun. Tracy will be co-directing the project’s two-hour documentary with Jamila Wignot (The African Americans, Town Hall, Triangle Fire). Tracy is also a Professor of the Practice in the College of Media, Arts and Design at Northeastern University, where she teaches introductory documentary production to undergraduates.

Melissa Langer

Melissa Langer was born and raised in Washington, DC. She received a BA in History from Carleton College and is currently pursuing an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University. She has worked for the Philadelphia Film Society, the People’s Production House, and Creative Time in New York. For the past several years she has lived in Boston, where she has worked for independent non-fiction production houses making media for permanent museum installations around the country. She has also served as the Associate Producer and Archival Researcher for J Street, a documentary that follows an upstart lobby as it navigates Washington, DC’s world of Israel advocacy. She has directed a number of documentary shorts, with topics ranging from the existence of nuclear radiation in residential communities built on former naval bases, to the emerging industry of professional cuddling. Currently, she is producing and editing In Crystal Skin, an independent film shot in Bogotá, Colombia, that traces the lives of four individuals challenged by Epidermolysis Bullosa, a severe inherited skin disorder. The film intimately observes the quiet routines of those who manage daily life with a rare disease. The fortitude of her subjects inspires her to be a better filmmaker.

 Michaela O’Brien

Michaela O’Brien is a documentary filmmaker and photographer from Boston, MA. She is currently directing and producing “In Crystal Skin” while employed at Northern Light Productions, a premiere non-fiction and documentary media outlet in Boston, where she has worked for the past five years. As an Associate Producer, Production Manager, Cinematographer, and Archival Researcher, she has worked on documentary broadcast specials for the Investigation Discovery Channel and on audiovisual installations and interactive videos for a variety of acclaimed museums. Michaela’s freelance video and photographic works are often ethnographic and observational in quality and have been featured in galleries nationwide. She received her BA in Sociology and International Studies from Boston College and has also studied filmmaking and photography at The New England School of Photography and the The New England Institute of Art. In the fall of  2014, Michaela will enter Duke University’s Experimental & Documentary Arts MFA program.


The Kopkind/CID Seminars are sponsored by Garden Thieves Pictures!  Thank you !

About Kopkind Filmmakers Retreat

Annie Berman of WIFV/NE reflects on her 2010 experience:
Radical Relaxation from NAMAC by JoAnn Wypijewski:

Prior participants of the seminars:

2013 Casey Callister, Laurel Chiten, Lisa Leeman, Andrea Meyerson, Meaghan Murphy, Maureen McNamara, David Pavlovsky, Vandana Sood-Gittings, Robin Truesdale, Irene Zabytko

2012 Jenny Alexander, Helen DiMichel, Alexandra DeGonzalez, Maryanne Galvin, Bob Nesson, Michael Rossi, Emmy Scharlatt, David Tames, Bruce Weaver, Lise Zumwalt  Read 2012 participants bios HERE

2011 Jesse Freeston, David A. Goldenberg, Jonathan Goldman, Lily Keber, Jan Krawitz, Pearl J Park, Marilyn Pennell, Karen Schoucair,
Martha Swetzoff.

2010 Marcia Jarmel & Ken Schneider (San Francisco), James Demo (Boston), Susan Rivo (Boston), Annie Berman (New York), Ben Actenberg (Boston), Jesse Achtenberg (Washington DC), Gabriela Bohm (Los Angeles), Andrea Torrice (Cincinnati), Woody Bovota (Cape Cod)

2009 Dean Hamer (Washington, DC), Ann Bennett (NY, New York), Brett Story (Montreal, Canada), Sharon Arkin (Tucson, AZ), Sanford Lewis (Amherst, MA), Matt Gossage (Austin, TX), Kavita Pillay (Cambridge, MA), Betsy Kalin (Los Angeles, CA), Joan Mandell (Detroit, MI)

2008 Erin Sisk, Heather Kapplow, Betsy Kalin, Lynn Cadwallader, Terry Holzgreen, Daniella Broitman, Grace Shulner, Sarah Hesterman, Benedicte Naudin

2007 Nancy Kelly, Savanna Washington, Jonathan Skurnick, Karen Everett, Jim Wolpaw, Nancy Kates, Bennett Singer, Natalie Lardner, Carlyn Saltman and Tim McCarthy.

2006 Joel Katz , Nancy Kates, Robbie Leppzer, Alexandra de Gonzalez, Emily Kunstler, Deb Ellis, Eli Moore, Jenifer Kaplan, Rebecca Snedeker and Savanna Washington.