Artistic Director, Co-Founder
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.
Executive Director, Co-Founder
Lance is a multi-disciplinary storyteller and respected arts leader, with background in documentary filmmaking, education, journalism and community organizing. At MHP, Lance produces the studio’s independent documentary films; develops new partnerships; and spearheads outreach and engagement strategy. In 2014, Lance received the prestigious DC Mayor's Arts Award, recognizing his innovative work in the art of documentary filmmaking. Lance is producer of the feature documentaries Green Corps, Voices from Within and associate producer of Fly By Light; and producer of award-winning shorts Life as a Collage, Doing it for Me, Porchfest, and Community Harvest. Prior to founding MHP, worked as a community journalist and children's author in Portland, Oregon; and taught English in Ethiopia. Lance is active in building the DC documentary filmmaking community: he has served two terms as Board Member of Docs In Progress; a Humanities Council of Washington DC humanities scholar and is a current DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Individual Arts Fellow. Lance holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Dartmouth College.
Studio & Development Manager
Lindsay prides herself on being curious and analytical with an eye for efficiency. As the studio and development manager for Meridian Hill Pictures, she combines her skills at creating organized systems with her interests in community development and filmmaking. Lindsay comes to MHP with a background in marketing and economics from DePaul University. Led by her interest community development, she served two years in the Peace Corps in Senegal where she collaborated with small business owners and community members to develop a juice and jam business, national artisan network, and youth development camp. Prior to working at MHP, Lindsay served as an economist at Bureau of Labor Statistics where she produced and analyzed employment estimates. Lindsay is drawn to film for its ability to reveal underrepresented perspectives and spark dialogue. By asking thoughtful, engaging, and challenging questions, she works to discover what leads people to pursue proactive solutions to issues facing their own communities. This is what drives her to support the development of films at Meridian Hill Pictures and produce her own narrative and documentary films.
Communications & Outreach Manager
Alison is a writer and communications specialist who lives and works in Washington, D.C. A native of Bethesda, MD, she completed her undergraduate studies at Stanford University with a BA in Film and Media Studies. With a background in communications, new media, and journalism for scientific non-profits, Alison delights in using creative storytelling to express complex and revolutionary ideas. She also works as a freelance writer and swim coach. Outside of work she enjoys reading graphic novels, exploring D.C. with friends, and playing a lot of pointless iPhone games.
Media Education Manager
Aqiyla is a social worker, documentary filmmaker, and educator living in Washington, DC. Growing up in the Triangle-area of North Carolina, she participated in children’s theater and youth civic organizations, which sparked her passion for the arts and social action at an early age. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her work experience spans early childhood development research, youth-adult partnership programs in the US and Ghana, and youth performance and media arts engagement programs. She received training in documentary arts from Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies and a graduate certification from George Washington University’s Documentary Filmmaking program. Aqiyla continues to think of new media projects to work on with her community.
Hanna is a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and recent graduate from Wake Forest University’s Documentary Film program. Her body of work includes nationally-screened documentary shorts, enhanced e-books on international issues, and transmedia projects that aim to give a voice to overlooked groups in international communities. Her passion for visual storytelling and educating audiences about underrepresented groups brings her to Meridian Hill Pictures, where she acts as the studio’s production manager. Hanna uses her production experience and storytelling background to assist and support all stages of pre-production, production, and post-production at Meridian Hill Pictures.
Shannon Lawrence is a graduate student in American University’s MFA program in Film and Electronic Media. She graduated from Cornell University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. Shannon’s passion for film began at a young age, and she believes that film is a gateway to social change and public awareness. She aspires to use her background in science as well as her skills in filmmaking to tell unique stories about science and the environment. Additionally, Shannon hopes to use the documentary medium to inspire public action on social issues she is passionate about. Shannon is excited to work with Meridian Hill Pictures for the Summer of 2015 to further their studio goals in outreach and impact using documentary film.
Born in Oakland, CA but raised in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Inga Lam is a rising senior who will be graduating next year from the College of Idaho with a B.A. in Psychology, and minors in Visual Studies and Human Services. Stories have always fascinated Inga, and her recent study abroad experience to countries in Asia and Africa with Semester At Sea has opened her eyes to the countless new perspectives and stories that have yet to be told and explored. Driven by a passion to raise levels of awareness at both a micro and macro level, and understanding the potential that documentaries have in encouraging open dialogues through storytelling, Inga is excited to be part of Meridian Hill Pictures in their efforts of bringing underrepresented perspectives to light.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Peter is currently pursuing his Masters Degree in Film and Video at American University. A lifelong lover of both fiction and nonfiction film, Peter seeks to tell socially important and emotionally impactful stories. Previously, Peter worked at the Ulu’Ulu Moving Image Archive at the University of Hawaii, whose goal it is to preserve the filmic history of Hawaii. As the Summer Production Intern, Peter will assist in all phases of the production process.
Edwin Martinez is a Bronx-born filmmaker whose first feature documentary To Be Heard, was winner of both the Metropolis Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the DOC NYC film festival. As a cinematographer he has worked on several feature-length fiction and documentary films including Rachel Is, Leave No Soldier, Las Marthas (in production) and What Alice Found (winner, Special Jury Prize, Sundance). After graduating from the SUNY Purchase Film Conservatory as a Gates Millennium Scholar, he earned a Master’s in Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has worked as an instructor in various youth media programs in Boston and New York City. In addition to editing/directing independent films, Edwin produces shorts for educational, government and non-profit organizations.
Editor & Teaching Artist
Sara Fusco is a documentary filmmaker, educator and transmedia specialist. She has nearly a decade of experience as a documentary editor and producer, and as a non-profit communications and fundraising strategist. With a focus on international humanitarian and human rights advocacy, her work has taken her on a variety of projects in Africa and the Middle East. Her documentary short MAKAPADS, about innovation in Uganda, was a semi-finalist in GE's Focus Forward Filmmaker Competition. Sara's community-based projects have focused on working as a mentor and technical advisor in youth media classes in New York City and Washington, DC. She has co-created a range of iPad and iPod-based video curricula. Sara has a master’s in Media Studies from The New School in New York City.