Friday, March 12, 2021
Gifted storyteller and celebrated DC filmmaker Andrea Kalin is dedicated to producing films and programs with a social conscience.

Washington, D.C. – The District of Columbia Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) is pleased to recognize Andrea Kalin as our March 2021 Filmmaker of the Month.

Andrea Kalin is a celebrated director, producer, writer, documentary filmmaker and the founder of DC based production company, Spark Media.  Spark Media is dedicated to producing programs with a social conscience. She has worked in 25 countries, from disaster zones to remote tropical rain forests, crafting gripping human stories for the screen.

“It’s humbling to be recognized as an OCTFME filmmaker of the month and to be connected to such an inspiring and talented group of peers all vested in the shared goal of making our world a more welcoming place. The collaborative process of filmmaking is a key part of what drives and motivates me. I’ve been able to forge connections in DC that have sustained me and my work for decades. From other indies, to independent production companies and professional groups like WIFV, PGA or TIVA-DC, this is a community that collectively rises-up with a spirit of solidarity. I never take for granted that I started out in this industry as an intern and over the years I’ve come to appreciate that true success is when you reach back and bring somebody along with you. I’m thankful to be in a city that’s cultivated an environment where art meets activism, healing, and purpose and where its filmmaker community has consistently demonstrated that as things get harder, we just get stronger. Here’s to statehood in 2021,” said Andrea Kalin.”

Andrea’s storytelling gifts have earned her more than 100 industry awards and accolades, including Prime Time Emmy, Golden Globe and WGA nominations. She specializes in bringing viewers the emotional front line where lives of courage, perseverance, and dignity persist through seemingly insurmountable hardships. Some of her projects spotlight influential lives that until now have been lost to history. Others focus fresh, inquisitive eyes on contemporary social issues too often left unexamined.

Her twelfth and latest feature-length award-winning documentary, “Scattering CJ,” premiered at the Camden International Film Festival and is the centerpiece of a nationwide initiative to educate about suicide prevention and break the stigma about mental illness.

Kalin’s filmography also includes “First Lady of the Revolution,” which won ten awards on the festival circuit including Best Documentary Feature, three Audience Choice Awards and was selected to tour with the Southern Circuit series. The film premiered on Public Television’s Reel South PBS World in March 2018 and was selected for an encore broadcast in April 2020. “First Lady of the Revolution” is also the inspiration for El 48, a new, genre-defining virtual reality experience that recently premiered in December 2020 at the National Museum of Costa Rica.  

In 2014, Kalin released “Red Lines,” a hard and revealing gaze through the acrid smoke of the Syrian conflict, where she was one of the first US filmmakers to cross that country’s border and capture the humanitarian disaster from inside. The film was awarded Best Documentary at the 2014 Woodstock Film Festival, Most Disturbing Documentary at the 2016 Ramdam International Film Festival, the Humanitarian Award at the Tiburon International Film Festival, and a top-20 audience pick at the 2014 Hot Docs Film Festival. “Red Lines” was also featured in high-profile screenings on Capitol Hill, the US Holocaust Museum, the United States Institute for Peace and at 30 film festivals around the world.

Kalin’s 2013 documentary feature, “No Evidence of Disease” was released by Regal Cinemas in 47 theaters in the U.S. and Canada on World Cancer Day. It aired 2100 times on American Public Television and was simulcast on PBS’ World channel and in Spanish on Vme.  The film has catalyzed the Globe-athon, a worldwide awareness-raising movement on women’s health.  

Other feature-length docs she has directed and produced include: Smithsonian Channel's “Worlds of Sound and Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story,” PBS's “Prince Among Slaves,” “Talking Through Walls,” and The Pact and Comedy concert film “Allah Made Me Funny.” Kalin's 2002 debut documentary feature, “Partners of the Heart,” was named one of NEH’s 50  Best, aired on PBS's American Experience, won the Erik Barnouw Award  for Best History Documentary, and inspired the original HBO movie  “Something the Lord Made,” starring Alan Rickman and Mos Def. 

Andrea Kalin believes that all her films reflect a common spark, an inspired, and inspiring impulse to shine a light on the unexpected and to share stories that become a part of who we are and how we see our world. 

Scattering CJ:  Director, Producer, Writer 
Andrea's Social Media:
Andrea's Social Media Handles: 
@andrea_sparkler, @sparkmediadc, @andreasparkler, @sparkmedia 




Want to learn more about Andrea Kalin and her work? Click HERE to listen to his DC Radio interview.


OCTFME launched the “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative as a vehicle for highlighting the talents and creative contributions of filmmakers that make the District of Columbia their home. The “Filmmaker of the Month” initiative is part of OCTFME’s mission to elevate the national and international profile of the District’s talented filmmakers.

***If you know of a filmmaker that would make a great future “Filmmaker of the Month,” you can send OCTFME your recommendations using this nomination form.





The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (OCTFME) produces and broadcasts programming for the District of Columbia’s public, educational, and government access (PEG) cable television channels and digital radio station; regulates the District of Columbia’s cable television service providers; provides customer service for cable subscribers; and supports a sustainable film, music, and entertainment creative economy and labor market in the District of Columbia.

OCTFME operates and manages the District’s government television access channels: the District Council Channel (DCC), the District of Columbia Network (DCN), and the District Knowledge Network (DKN). OCTFME’s award-winning content provides resourceful information on government activity, education, current events, history, music, arts, and entertainment. OCTFME manages and programs DC Radio 96.3 HD4 digital radio station, the District of Columbia’s first government radio station in partnership with Howard University’s WHUR. It is one of only two full-power, city-managed and programmed radio stations in the country

OCTFME provides production support services that advance film, television, video, entertainment, interactive, multimedia, and digital media content creators. These services include permitting; location scouting; production support; job placement assistance; workforce development; and the DC Film, Television and Entertainment Rebate Fund.

OCTFME supports the creative economy through Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: 202Creates initiative, administering programs supporting the growth and sustainability of the creative industries in all 8 Wards of the District.

For more information, contact the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment at (202) 671-0066, visit us online at: entertainment.dc.gov, and follow us on Facebook.com/entertaindc, Instagram.com/entertain_dc and Twitter.com/entertain_dc.