Skip to main content
MH logo overlaying green map of new england with text MADE HERE FILM FESTIVAL 2024

Meet the Filmmakers

Karen Akins – The Quietest Year

Karen Akins is an award-winning documentary filmmaker from Vermont, with a strong interest in the cultural, commercial, and political determinants of health. She has directed two feature documentaries, El Susto, about the politics and health consequences of sugary drink marketing in Mexico, and a new film, The Quietest Year, which exposes how our acoustic environment is under threat even in the seemingly peaceful state of Vermont, and the detrimental impacts of noise pollution on our mental and physical health.

photo of Karen Akins

Philippe Berthelet – The Flower Darkens(À La Fontaine)

Berthelet is a young filmmaker based in Montreal. His career started off in 2020 when he was accepted into the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, where he is currently completing studies in film production. In 2022, at the age of 20, he wrote, directed, co-produced and edited his first ever fiction short-film, a drama entitled The Flower Darkens (À La Fontaine) starring Sara Montpetit and Paul Doucet. In this film, Philippe revisited a traumatic moment from his youth, when one of his friends committed suicide. His goal was to unpack and analyze the various steps of absent grief, the psychological chaos that often results in deep emotional numbness. His next project, entitled Accroche Tes Patins!, a documentary about the culture of amateur hockey is currently in production.

photo of Philippe Berthelet

Kristin Cantu & Chad Ervin – Connected

Kristin Cantu and Chad Ervin are a filmmaking team based in Montpelier, where they make documentaries focused on social issues.

photo of Kristin Cantu & Chad Ervin

Susan Chasen – A Shadow Tale

Chasen is a filmmaker in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She makes small-scale, idiosyncratic art and animated films that often feature documentary elements. Each film is an experiment, a search for new ways of expressing things. She studied art, film, and semiotics at Brown University and worked for many years as a journalist and editor before pursuing animation studies at Lesley University. Her films have appeared in numerous festivals, winning numerous awards.

photo of Susan Chasen

Michael DiBiasio – Yorkie Werewolf

Michael DiBiasio-Ornelas is an award-winning writer and filmmaker currently residing in St. George, Vermont, whose latest film The Yorkie Werewolf (his fourth and wildest feature film), is screening at MHFF. His previous feature, The Sleepless, was named “Best U.S. Feature” by the 2020 New York Independent Cinema Awards, “Best Drama” at the 2020 Alternative Film Festival, and “Best Experimental Feature” at the 2020 Montreal Independent Film Festival.

photo of Michael DiBiasio

Marianne Dimascio – Audishun

Marianne writes for Stealing from Work, a Vermont based sketch writing troupe. She is also part of the Vermont Screenplay Incubator.

photo of Marianne Dimascio – Audishun

David Dufresne-Denis – Huguette: A Story In Hifi

David has traveled the world and its backroads with a camera and a microphone for over 15 years. His journeys led him all across Eastern Canada, Europe and Africa. He now lives in Trois-Rivères, Qc with his family, making films, podcasts and TV news. He’s influenced by the work of Florent Tillon, Vincent Moon, Sarah Polley and Jim Jarmusch.

photo of David Dufresne-Denis

David Finkelstein – Exhumation

Finkelstein is a Guggenheim Fellow in film/video. His work has been featured in numerous film festivals around the world and has won awards at 28 of them. In 2013, he was an invited artist at the Traverse Vidéo Festival in Toulouse, France. His two feature films premiered at New Filmmakers in New York. He has had solo screenings of his films in many major cities inEurope and the USA. His work has been funded by The Fund for Creative Communities, The Field, Movement Research, Meet the Composer, The Brooklyn Arts Exchange, BACA, and other sources.

photo of David Finkelstein

Meagan Frappiea and Bryant Naro – Sara’s Circus

Meagan and Bryant, a married couple, own and operate their own production company, Slate Roof Films, LLC. In 2016 they released their first feature documentary, Brew Hampshire, about the rise of craft beer in the Granite State. In 2017 their film No. 7 on the List won “Best NH Short Documentary” at the New Hampshire Film Festival. Also in 2017, their 30-minute short film A Living Memorial, produced for the NH Veterans Cemetery, was aired on New Hampshire PBS stations. Prior to forming their company, Meagan and Bryant both honed their documentary skills working for Ken Burns’ Florentine Films for 9 and 4 years respectively, working on such films as The National Parks, Central Park Five, The Roosevelts, and others.

photo of Meagan Frappiea and Bryant Naro

Rémi Fréchette – The Dam

Rémi Fréchette is a director, screenwriter and editor who specializes in fiction, more specifically in genre cinema. His most notable projects, which have traveled the world, are Les Jaunes (2013), L'étrange province (2015), Montréal Dead End (2018) and Première vague (2021), which was released theatrically.

photo of Remi Frechette

Sarah Furie – Weight, What?

Sarah Furie, a producer, director, and editor, currently resides in Boston, MA. From honing her craft in New York to her experiences in the TV/film industry of Los Angeles, Sarah's journey has been fueled by an insatiable passion for storytelling. Along the way, she discovered the profound impact of cinema - not just as a source of entertainment but as a medium to challenge perceptions, provoke thought, and evoke deep emotions.

photo of Sarah Furie

Adam Henry Garcia – Fork Man

Adam Henry Garcia is an Emmy, ISA, Webby and Telly award winning Producer, Actor and Editor. This short, made with DP extraordinaire Michael Fisher and a few other trusted friends, is big on fantasy and aaaall the mess that fantasy entails.

photo of Adam Henry

Charles Gourde – The Captain’s Dream

Raised in the small region of Bellechasse (Canada), Gourde relocated to Montreal to pursue studies in cinema. There he developed a keen interest for directing and editing, and for making films in fantastic settings where the emotions remain true.

photo of Charles Gourde

Simon Gualtieri – Friend Of A Friend

Simon Gualtieri grew up on Île Saint-Jean. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in cinema, he directed clips, corporate videos and video-poems. Friend of a Friend is his first film since he finished university. Strongly inspired by personal narratives, he is currently writing an autofiction short film script.

photo of Simon Gualtieri

Guillaume Harvey – The Last Rhino

Writer, director and teacher, Guillaume Harvey has been exploring dramatic comedy since his film studies at UQAM in Montréal, working in short format as well as web series. After A Bomb, Waiting for Pascal and Beaten Paths, The Last Rhinoceros is his fourth short film.

photo of Guillaume Harvey

Paula Higa – The Migrant Body

Higa is a Brazilian-born American choreographer who has been making dances, teaching and performing for more than 30 years. Her work has been performed nationally and internationally.  She is the recipient of the NEFA – New England Dance Fund Grant, UVM – Coor Collaborative Fellows Award, Vermont Community Foundation’s Artist Grant, Vermont Arts Council among others. Her film works have been shown in many festivals.

photo of Paula Higa

Lukas Huffman – Bloodroot

Huffman is an award-winning writer and director. Huffman’s narrative feature film, When The Ocean Met The Sky (2016), won more than a dozen awards worldwide. He has been commissioned to create films for networks and organizations such as The New York Times, Vice Media, ESPN, The Boston Globe, The National Wildlife Federation, and more. His digital series Dear Future (2018), won a Webby Award. Bloodroot is his most personal and ambitious short film yet. 

photo of Lukas Huffman

Seth Jarvis – Clear Results and Audishun

Seth has directed actors, puppets, and pets, sometimes on screen.

photo of Seth Jarvis

John Killacky – Stillpoint

My videos have been screened in festivals, galleries, museums, hospitals, and universities world-wide and are in the collections of numerous libraries and universities. My work has been televised locally in Houston, Minnesota, and Vermont, and nationally on Free Speech TV, PBS, and Cultura24 in Holland.

photo of John Killacky

Kélyna N. Lauzier (producer)  – A Shit Day(Jour De Merde)

Kélyna is an award-winning producer of films and music videos based in Montreal. 

photo of Kélyna N. Lauzier

Gordon Lepage – Dragon Agents-Wreckers Of Boston And Today We Climbed A Hill

LePage is a writer and animator of stop motion films. His films include Chloe and the Five Elements, A Change of Song, Dragon Poets of Boston, A Natural Force. Screenplays include The Invisible Monster and Love in the Time of Heat Death. A novel, In Another County was released in 2023. Gordon lives on a farm in western Maine. His studio is a one person operation (including armature and puppet fabrication, as well as animation using traditional stop motion techniques).

photo of Gordon Lepage

Nadia Louis-Desmarchais – World is Ours

photo of Nadia Louis-Desmarchais

Matteo Moretti – Cicada

Matteo Moretti is a Northeast based documentary and commercial cinematographer with a passion for capturing compelling place-based stories that delve into the intersection of people, culture and the environment.

Winner of the MHFF 2024 Audience Favorite Award!

photo of Matteo Moretti

Bess O’Brien – Just Getting By

Bess O’Brien from Kingdom County Productions has been producing and directing films for 25 years. Some of her past documentaries include Coming Home, The Hungry Heart, Ask Us Who We Are and All of Me to name a few.

photo of Bess O'Brien

Cedar O’Dowd – I Have Something To Get Off My Chest

Cedar O’Dowd (they/them) first became interested in film at age 9 when they saw a behind-the-scenes of the movie Ghost Rider (2007) starring Nicolas Cage and thought going up in a crane with a camera looked fun. Almost two decades later, they are still making movies and have not yet seen Ghost Rider.

photo of Cedar O’Dowd

Bryan Santiago-Grafton – Grafton

Santiago is a writer, director and producer who has created in various disciplines including dance, theater, and multimedia. Though this is Santiago’s first standalone film, he has included video installations in many of his stage productions. Grafton is slated to be the first installation of a series of shorts and/or a series.

photo of Bryan Santiago-Grafton

John Schlag – M. T. Nestor

John is the screenwriter / filmmaker behind Infinovation Film. His first directorial effort is Party for One. A former VFX guru, his experience includes Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, Star Trek Generations, The Matrix Reloaded and Watchmen. John has also worked as a consultant, manager and software engineer at Google, Adobe, Sony, Nvidia, Esc and elsewhere. He appears in the documentary Jurassic Punk as himself.

photo of John Schlag

Viki Simone – Baile de los Diablos

As a one woman film crew, I create passion pieces that try to spotlight voices of the world otherwise unheard. Currently I wish to expand my resources and be able to provide more professional content while maintaining the intimate integrity of my work.

photo of Viki Simone

Sarah Toussaint-Léveillé – Larsen

Sarah is an author, musician and director. In all of their work, they create introspective worlds where poetry, realism and the surreal intersect. They explore the themes of mental health, vulnerability, empathy, human interaction, the hidden spaces where we relegate our desires, the disorientation of daily life and gender identity.

photo of Sarah Toussaint-Léveillé

Travis Van Alstyne – Love Of The Land

Travis owns Travis Animates, a one-man production company based in Burlington, VT. The company has the goal of bringing Vermont stories to life through animation and focuses on partnering with artists with a Vermont connection.  Travis is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design animation program.

photo of Travis Van Alstyne

Dien Vo – An Occurence

Dien Vo is an independent filmmaker and professor of film and media at Bard College at Simon’s Rock (Great Barrington, MA). He previously taught at the University at Buffalo and Virginia Tech, where he co-developed the filmmaking program.

photo of Dien Vo

Christopher Wiersema – Rough Blazing Star

Christopher Wiersema (he/him) is a media artist, educator, and arts administrator, based in Vermont (the unceded land of the Western Abenaki people), working in experimental film and video, documentary practice, and community media. He is the founder and director of the award winning Vermont Youth Documentary Lab.

photo of Christopher Wiersema

Yuan Zha – The Captain’s Dream

Writer, director and graduate of the University of Montreal, Zha’s interest relies mostly in fiction cinema that explores the human condition and day to day life. From Chinese origin, but having grown up in Quebec, Canada, his work tends to link two cultures in which he has a conflictual belonging.

photo of Yuan Zha

This free festival is made possible with support from...


National Life Group logo
Hotel Vermont logo
John M. Bissell Foundation, Inc. logo
Quebec logo
DELTA Hotels logo
PCC Pediatric EHR Solutions logo
Northfield Savings Bank logo
South Side Inn logo
Driven Studio B Corp logo
Lake Champlain Chocolates
maine public film series logo
Media Factory logo
Twincraft Skincasre logo
Vermont Production Collective logo
Vermont Creative Network logo
City Market logo