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Saturday, July 27 through
Saturday, August 3, 2024
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2020 Filmmakers In Residence and Special Guests


Each year, the Woods Hole Film Festival includes a Filmmaker In Residence who has a body of work that has been recognized for excellence in filmmaking. Filmmaker Laura Nix is the Filmmaker In Residence for the 29th Woods Hole Film Festival. Woods Hole Film Festival alumna Laura Nix is a director, writer and producer working in non-fiction and fiction. She was nominated for a 2020 Academy Award for her documentary short WALK RUN CHA-CHA. Laura also directed award-winning feature documentaries including the Peabody award-winning film INVENTING TOMORROW, THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING, and THE LIGHT IN HER EYES. She was named a 2018 Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker, was awarded the Sundance Institute/Discovery Impact Fellowship in 2017, and is a former fellow at the MacDowell Colony and Film Independent. Raised in New York state and based in Los Angeles, Laura is a film expert for the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase and a member of the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Laura will offer a masterclass on Defining Your Formal Approach in documentary filmmaking and lead a panel on how to create a meaningful impact campaign using examples from the impact campaign she developed for INVENTING TOMORROW. She will also participate in panel discussions and conversations with filmmakers.

Master Class: Defining Your Formal Approach

Panel Discussion, How to Create a Meaningful Impact Campaign



Woods Hole Film Festival alum and animator Patrick Smith is known for his metaphorical hand drawn short films, as well as his experimental stop motion films. Smith is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the New York Foundation of the Arts. His formative years were spent as a storyboard artist for Walt Disney, and animation director for MTV’s Daria and the Emmy-nominated Downtown. In the last decade, Smith has produced and directed over 15 independent award winning short films, screening at Tribeca Film Festival, Slamdance, SXSW, and Annecy.  His PBS web-series “Blank on Blank” is the longest running and most viewed animated biographical series of all time, featured in Rolling Stone, New York Times, and Juxtopoz Magazine.  His latest award winning animated short film “Gun Shop” qualified for entry into the 2020 Oscars. Patrick returns to the 29th Woods Hole Film Festival as a Filmmaker In Residence and a filmmaker with his most recent short film BEYOND NOH.  This is Smith’s sixth film with collaborator and producer Kaori Ishida.

Master Class: The Art of Animated Visual Storytelling


Woods Hole Film Festival 2018/9 Filmmaker In Residence John Edginton returns to the Festival this year to offer insight and strategy to anyone who is  currently making a documentary or is interested in making one. John is an award-winning British producer, writer and director of documentary films. He also acts as a Consultant Producer on a wide range of documentaries at various stages of development and/or production. John’s key films include: JOE COCKER: MAD DOG WITH SOUL (NETFLIX); GENESIS: SUM OF THE PARTS (BBC/SHOWTIME); PINK FLOYD: THE STORY OF ‘WISH YOU WERE HERE (BBC/ VH1 CLASSIC); ROBYN HITCHCOCK: SEX, FLOOD, DEATH…AND INSECTS (SUNDANCE CHANNEL); THE PINK FLOYD AND SYD BARRETT STORY (BBC/VH1); DIVORCE JEWISH STYLE (CHANNEL FOUR UK); MUMIA ABU JAMAL: A CASE FOR REASONABLE DOUBT (HBO); BATTLE FOR THE TREES (NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA/CHANNEL FOUR UK; CHAPPAQUIDDICK (BBC/A&E); WHO KILLED MARTIN LUTHER KING? (BBC/A&E). John will teach a master class, WHEN DOCUMENTARY VISIONS COLLIDE WITH FILMMAKING REALITIES, and participate in “Doc Doctor” Surgeries – one on one problem-solving sessions with filmmakers.

Master Class: When Documentary Visions Collide with Filmmaking



Evan Hodges began his career as a musician, but an injury from in 2013 caused him to shift from being a working musician to scoring films. He has scored more than 40 films, including both feature films and short films, two musicals, and a full video game soundtrack. Scoring comes intuitively to Hodges. His background and training in jazz music, with its highly improvisational component, allows him to adapt quickly and easily to score both simple and advanced thematic musical cues appropriate for every scene. In 2017, Hodges scored the feature, “The Canadoo”, and it has full US and international distribution. He was Emmy-nominated in 2018 for the PBS documentary feature, “My Dear Children”, which has full US distribution in all 50 states. He scored the short film “Cells” which was in the program of the 2018 Festival. Evan will teach a Master Class on Film Scoring at the 2020 Woods Hole Film Festival.

Evan Hodges: Film Scoring Master Class



Garrett Audio is a leading sound production service company based on Cape Cod. Owner, Jay Sheehan, has been a recording engineer and media content producer for over 20 years and has worked with some of New England’s best talent among singers, songwriters, musicians, and artists at all levels.

For about the last 15 years, he has specialized in providing sound for picture services, including location production sound mixing, sound editorial services, foley, and mixing to picture. Clients have included Disney, 20th Century Fox, and Fortune 100 companies, as well as many independent production companies. Accolade’s have included Best Sound Design (team win)  for Boston’s 2016 48 hour Project and two New England Emmy nominations in 2012 for his work on the documentary series’ ‘Hit and Run History: Columbia Expedition’ and ‘Through My Eyes’, both of which have been featured at WGBH online, Rhode Island PBS, and were produced locally.

Jay is also a Board Member of the Woods Hole Film Festival and will be teaching the workshop –  Beyond Surround Sound: A Primer on Immersive Audio.


Biologist, author, and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. writes about climate change, ecology, and the links between human health and the environment.

Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries and was adapted for the screen in 2010. As both book and documentary film, Living Downstream has won praise from international media.

Continuing the investigation begun in Living Downstream, Steingraber’s books, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood and Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis, explore the intimate ecology of pregnancy and reveal the ways which environmental hazards now threaten each stage of infant and child development. Throughout, she calls parents and cancer patients alike to political action.

Steingraber has received many honors for her work as a science writer, including, in 2011, a Heinz Award. By donating the cash prize to the anti-fracking movement, she became, in 2012, the co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking, a statewide coalition of more than 280 grassroots organizations.

Steingraber has been named a Woman of the Year by Ms. Magazine, a Person of the Year by Treehugger, and one of 25 “Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World” by the Utne Reader. She is the recipient of the biennial Rachel Carson Leadership Award and the Jenifer Altman Foundation’s Altman Award for “the inspiring and poetic use of science to elucidate the causes of cancer.” Steingraber received a Hero Award from the Breast Cancer Fund and the Environmental Health Champion Award from Physicians for Social Responsibility, Los Angeles.

Recognized for her ability to serve as a two-way translator between scientists and activists, Steingraber has keynoted conferences on human health and the environment throughout the United States and Canada and has been invited to lecture at many medical schools, hospitals, and universities–including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and the Woods Hole Research Center. She has testified in the European Parliament, at the European Commission, before the President’s Cancer Panel, and has participated in briefings to Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, and before United Nations delegates in Geneva, Switzerland. Interviews with Steingraber have appeared in The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Rolling Stone, Outside Magazine, on National Public Radio, CBS News, “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “Bill Moyers & Company.”

A contributing essayist and editor for Orion magazine, Sandra Steingraber is currently a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York.

Dr. Steingraber will participate on a panel with Laura Nix about Creating a Meaningful Impact Campaign.


Ricky Margolis has over twenty years’ experience in the entertainment industry. Over the course of his career, Ricky has been involved in the production, finance, sales, distribution and marketing of over thirty titles, including films, TV shows, and web series.
Having started out in physical production on films such as “Waking Ned Devine”, Ricky then spent three years working at one of Spain’s largest studios, Filmax, where he was the Marketing Coordinator for the international sales team, focusing on the foreign distribution of the studio’s titles at international film and TV markets. These included internationally-recognized titles such as “The Machinist” starring Christian Bale and “Fragile” featuring Calista Flockhart, among others.
Ricky then moved to LA where he became VP of Future Films USA, overseeing US operations of an international finance and production company for films such as “Walter” with William H. Macy and “B&B” starring Paul McGann, as well as television shows for the UK’s BBC and Channel 4 among others. He currently serves as VP for venture capital firm ARIE Capital, overseeing their media activities and investments, as well as other sectors.
Ricky is also the author of a series of informational books on film and TV finance called “HOW THE HELL… Do I Get My Film Financed?” designed specifically for filmmakers, producers and investors.

Mark Gerzon

Mark has been working to bridge the partisan divide in the U.S. for many years.  In 1997-1999, he co-designed and facilitated two bipartisan Congressional retreats for the U.S. House of Representatives that were designed to help House members deal with conflict in order to work together more effectively. These efforts were followed by other numerous bipartisan and trans-partisan activities, including most recently co-founding The Bridge Alliance, a diverse coalition of more than 80 organizations committed to revitalizing democratic practice in America. He is the author of The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide, in which he no only explains realistic steps that we all can take to bridge gaping partisan differences, but he also provides many examples and stories about how this is already being done.

Joan Blades

Joan Blades is a co-founder of Living Room Conversations, an open source effort to rebuild respectful discourse across ideological, cultural and party lines while embracing our shared values. Joan is also a co-founder of MomsRising.org and MoveOn.org. She is the co-author of The Custom-Fit Workplace and The Motherhood Manifesto. An attorney and mediator by training and inclination, she is a nature lover, artist, and true believer in the power of citizens and our need to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values. Her basic premise is that When we care about each other, we work to find ways to meet each other’s core needs. https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/04/07/coronavirus-pandemic-groups-use-online-tools-fight-isolation-column/5090452002/

Tru Peddigrew

Tru is known primarily for his “Barbershop Raps” – a community led initiative that invites white police officers into local barbershops for conversations with the Black community. His road to bridging divides started much earlier. After publishing his first book, Millennials Revealed, which focuses on helping organizations understand how to build bridges effectively across the generations, Tru quickly realized that the generation gaps were not the only gaps that were hindering the health, growth, and development of organizations and their people. Tru then dedicated himself to helping organizations build bridges across the divides that challenge them most, and has quickly emerged as one of the nation’s most dynamic public speakers, and the go-to expert on helping organizations understand how to build bridges across racial, generational, cultural, and relational divides. https://tru-access.com/https://www.wunc.org/post/how-barbershop-brought-cary-community-closer

John Wood, Jr.

John Wood Jr. is a national leader for Braver Angels, a former nominee for Congress, former Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, musical artist and a noted writer and speaker on subjects including racial and political reconciliation. As an African-American Republican working on bridge-building space, John Wood Jr. has helped to build Braver Angels into the leading organization in the nation aimed at bringing liberals and conservatives together to depolarize America. – https://braverangels.org/author/johnbetter-angels-org/https://reflections.yale.edu/article/lets-talk-confronting-our-divisions/revolution-reconciliation-john-wood-jr –

Pearce Godwin

Described as the national voice for bridging divides, Pearce is the Founder & CEO of Listen First Project, Executive Director of National Conversation Project, and leader of the #ListenFirst Coalition of 300 partner organizations. He catalyzes the #ListenFirst movement to mend the social fabric of America by building relationships and bridging divides. Pearce graduated from Duke University and received an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill. He spent five years working in Washington, DC – in the U.S. Senate and as a national political consultant for presidential and statewide campaigns. Before moving home to North Carolina in 2013, Pearce spent six months in Uganda, Africa where he wrote It’s Time to Listen. That message – printed in dozens of papers across the United States – launched Listen First Project and led thousands to sign the Listen First Pledge – “I will listen first to understand.”