Thursday, May 12, 2022
Yael Luttwak is an award-winning DC-based filmmaker passionate about creating documentaries and films that raise awareness of pressing social issues and highlight the resiliency of the human spirit

Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) is pleased to recognize YAEL LUTTWAK as the “Jewish American Heritage Month” May 2022 Filmmaker of the Month.

Yael Luttwak is an award-winning filmmaker who formerly served as a programming producer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In that role, Yael developed and produced strategic initiatives that leveraged creative content to advance the mission of the museum. She produced live and digital programming to educate about the Holocaust and preserve the memory of those who suffered. Yael concepted and co-produced with colleagues and longtime host and journalist, Bill Benson, the digital pivot of First Person: Conversations with Holocaust Survivors with 30,000 viewers per episode on YouTube.

"I'm deeply humbled and honored to be recognized as OCTFME's Filmmaker of the Month. I feel very fortunate to be able to produce documentaries, television, and films to engage and inspire social change. It is humbling to be recognized alongside such an incredible group of filmmakers. There's a lot of work left to be done. Here's to going from strength to strength!" said Yael Luttwak.

Early in her career, Yael was fortunate to work as Oscar-nominated acclaimed director Mike Leigh's researcher on his production of "Two-thousand Years," a play at London's National Theater. Her first couple of short films have been widely distributed, among them Hans Rausing and Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995, a New Regency production.

Yael has produced and directed six award-winning documentaries that received distribution to engage and create social change. Her first feature, A Slim Peace, explores the relationships between Arab, Muslim and Israeli women in the West Bank. It tells the story of the first-ever nutrition and weight-loss group of Israeli and Palestinian women as a way of showing humanity and the humor in the Middle East. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on the Sundance Channel.

Yael’s recent projects include directing Guest House about the lives of three women as they bravely set out to start new lives coming out of jail and prison, the award-winning documentary Maine Girls, following 13 immigrants and U.S.-born teenage girls as they bridge cultural divides and produced the documentary feature Journey From Evil: Boko Haram for Voice of America.

Yael's Film Credits: 

GUEST HOUSE," Arlington, VA. 2019  
Co-Director and Co-Producer: Independent feature documentary (with Hannah Dweck) about the lives of three women as they bravely set out to start new lives—beyond prison and addiction—through an innovative re-entry program that helps them heal from the past and embrace their present.  
"BOKO HARAM: JOURNEY FROM FEAR," Washington, DC, 2017 
Producer: Feature documentary on Boko Haram and the Nigerians, on their creative and effective campaigns to restore Nigeria from the brink of devastation. Hired for pre-production, production, and postproduction phases. Reported to: Senior Executive Producer, Beth Mendelson. Distribution: Worldwide.  
MAINE GIRLS," Washington, DC, 2017 
Co-Director and Co-Producer: Independent award-winning documentary (with Abigail Tannebaum Sharon) about immigrant teen girls in Maine. Premiered: Camden International Film Festival. Distribution: Kanopy, streaming educational platform.  
• Spearheaded and managed audience engagement and social media campaign with Raben Group to empower audiences to create "brave spaces" for conversation and understanding about prejudice in US communities encouraging welcome and safe places. 
TO STEP FORWARD MYSELF," Washington, DC, 2015 
Director and Producer: Commissioned documentary. Awards: Winner, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Audience Award. Winner, Robinson International Short Film Festival. Distribution: North America (Jewish Film Festivals). National Geographic Entertainment, Washington, DC 2011-2012  Manager of Development and Production: Projects in production and development. Responsible for all aspects of project management, including research, budget oversight, grant applications, legal contracts, and developing and writing new pitches. 
January 2010-2014  Director and Producer: Documentary on influential political conservatives from the prism of a daughter discovering her father and his controversial past. Chicken and Egg Pictures and Third Factory Production. Distribution: North America (Jewish Film Festivals). 
Yael's Upcoming Projects
Producer: for the kickoff episode for doc TV series directed by Sam Feder and produced by Trevor Noah’s production studio, Day Zero, TIME, and Sugar 23 for MSNBC. 
Yael's Social Media Handles
Yael's Websites
Maine Girls on Kanopy platform: https://www.kanopy.com/product/maine-girls  
Guest House on GoodDocs platform: https://vimeo.com/439078979  



Want to learn more about Yael Luttwak and her work? Click HERE to listen to her DC Radio interview.



The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment (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 award-winning content provides resourceful information on government activity, education, current events, history, music, arts, and entertainment. 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 owns, manages, operates, and programs the District of Columbia Entertainment Network (DCE). This 24-hour on-demand streaming network delivers diverse and inclusive – FREE – lifestyle, music, live events, sports, arts, variety shows, talk shows, educational and entertainment programming from the nation’s capital into homes via ROKU, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV as well as iPhone and Android mobile devices by downloading the DCE Network App or at DCENetwork.com.

OCTFME also owns, operates, 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 provides additional support to the Creative community through the Creative Affairs Office (CAO) and Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: 202Creates initiative. CAO showcases and preserves the District of Columbia’s rich creative communities throughout all 8 Wards. CAO builds sustainability in the creative community through policy, programming, and education, further expanding the middle-class pathway for the creative workforce. CAO coordinates public, private, and community partners to accomplish all goals and create equitable and inclusive opportunities for the District’s creatives. Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: 202Creates initiative, administers programs that support the growth and sustainability of the creative industries throughout 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.