40 Years of Film

Welcome history, storytelling, and culture to the silver screen with these ten captivating and provocative future releases. Here, we offer a look at our program’s deep roots through a list of films that are still in production. We’ve selected ten titles that give you a taste of the topics and styles our grantees have employed over our 40-year history. These grantees are recipients of project grants, which fund the film’s production, promotion, or both. Experience our grant program through this exciting and new lens and look for these titles at venues near you soon!

Left on Pearl

Grantee: 888 Women's History Project, Inc.
Filmmaker: Susan Rivo

Left on Pearl is a documentary-in-progress about a little-known but highly significant event in the history of the women's liberation movement, the 1971 takeover and occupation of a Harvard University-owned building by hundreds of Boston area women. The surprise ending of that year's International Women's Day March, the takeover led to the establishment of the longest continuously operating Women's Center in the United States.

Reflections on Race

Grantee: The Mirror of Race Project
Filmmaker: Gregory Fried

Musician and storyteller Derek Burrows was a white man in the Bahamas during his youth, but in the 1970s moved to Boston and became black. This curious transition is the focus of Reflections on Race, a documentary that explores his racial identity through a series of interviews, re-enactments, digital and graphic illustration, and archival footage. The film challenges our understandings of race and documents his family's reaction.

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Grantee: Western NY Public Broadcasting Assoc.
Filmmaker: Larry Hott

Designing America documents the life, work and legacy of the father of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted. As the designer of major urban parks, Olmsted made enormous contributions to the American landscape, including Central Park, Yosemite, and the U.S. Capitol Grounds.

The American Revolution

Grantee: Filmmakers Collaborative
Filmmaker: Bill Lichtenstein

Underground radio stations were a powerful medium that shaped the social, political, and cultural views of their listeners. The early years of the progressive radio station WBCN-FM in Boston are the subject of The American Revolution, a film that examines the station's role in both covering and promoting the dramatic changes that took place between 1968 and 1974.

Love Between the Covers

Grantee: The Filmmakers Collaborative
Filmmaker: Laurie Kahn

A female-powered storytelling sisterhood that doubles as a multi-billion dollar economic powerhouse remains largely invisible to the untrained eye but Love Between the Covers aims to change that. The film focuses on the women who write, read, and love romance novels, their entrepreneurial spirits and innovative approaches to fostering global community around their shared passion.

Community by Design

Grantee: Library of American Landscape History
Filmmaker: Robin Karson

The sons of the first American landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, followed in his footsteps when they inherited the Olmstead Firm. Headquartered in Brookline, the Firm was the nation's first landscape architecture business, responsible for many large-scale landscape design and engineering commissions. Community by Design explores this history and how the Firm shaped the Omlstead's hometown of Brookline.

Whitin Documentary

Grantee: ValleyCAST
Filmmaker: Heather Riley

The Whitin family almost single-handedly built Whitinsville, Massachusetts. A company town that grew with the 19th century industrial boom that made the Whitin family titans of textiles, the charming New England setting is a testament to the family's unique relationship to their home and atypical responsibility to their workers. The film contains interviews with generations of Whitins, telling how their dynasty grew, thrived, and changed over time.

Paper Town

Grantee: Paper Town Projects Inc.
Filmmaker: Judith Monachina

Of the 25 paper mills that once made Lee, Massachusetts, the hub of its industry, only one remains. The Berkshire area tradition of papermaking extends 200 years back, and with the current condition of the industry, Paper Town looks at the future of these mill towns while deliberating on their histories. The film is a part of the Paper Mills Documentary Project, in which students are learning the papermaking heritage of Lee.

A Song of Hope

Grantee: Documentary Educational Resources
Filmmaker: Margo Guernsey

Jane Crow, the sister of the racial segregation laws known as Jim Crow, was the term that Pauli Murray coined to describe the dual oppressions of racism and sexism she experienced. She was a civil rights activist, lawyer, feminist, author, and the first black woman to enter the Episcopal priesthood. Her extraordinary life is documented in A Song of Hope, from her intense personal turmoil over her sexuality to her public life as a pioneering advocate.


Grantee: Center for Independent Documentary
Filmmaker: Carolyn Shadid Lewis

Women of Ireland and Northern Ireland worked extensively with linen during the Second World War, as factory workers, medical professionals, or soldiers in the British forces. Seams takes an imaginative look at their oral histories, and poetically sets these against animations, questioning definitions of “enemy” by interviewing women on either side of the border conflict.