Friday, May 26, 2023
This DC resident, is a heroic veteran that is a bilingual director, producer, editor and CEO & Owner of DC-based production company, Rising Fog Productions, that amplifies stories of compassion that challenge our communities.

JOHNNY HOLDER - MAY 2023 Filmmaker of the MonthWashington, DC Washington, DC – Mayor Muriel Bowser and The DC Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) are pleased to recognize JOHNNY HOLDER as the May 2023 Filmmaker of the Month. Johnny Holder is a bilingual director, producer, and editor originally from Nashville, Tennessee and has adopted the District as his new home. Johnny received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Montana State University’s Natural History Filmmaking Program. During his graduate work in filmmaking, Johnny got his first taste of the DMV during a video internship with the Hubble Communications Team at NASA Goddard Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. After eight years of serving his country in the military, including two combat deployments with a camera always by his side, Johnny was inspired to take his passion for the visual arts into the area of documentary storytelling.

"As a recent DC transplant, this city has shown an incredible amount of support in my first year here, and to be recognized by Mayor Bowser's office is a huge honor that will continue to spur momentum for Rising Fog and the upcoming projects."

Johnny produced, directed and edited a short-form experimental documentary, Sonora, that explores the human sensory connection to nature through the mind of Juan Pablo Culasso, a blind birder in Colombia. Sonora was awarded Best Short Film in the Metro Shorts Category at the 2022 DC International Film Festival. The film went on to win a total of eleven festival awards including Jackson Wild's Special Jury Award for Diversity and Inclusion and Santiago Wild's Best Feature Documentary for the category of "Latin America through the Eyes of the World", and recently screened at the DC Environmental Film Festival to wrap up its successful year-long festival run.

Johnny's path of filmmaking has been unconventional, pursuing subjects that challenge preconceived perspectives with philosophical undertones. His short films "Beyond Bars" and "On Clowns and the Mysterious Keys of Laughter", about creative outlets for inmates in maximum security prisons, and clowns that work in refugee camps respectively, also garnered award-winning recognition.

"Johnny Holder is a true visionary and a master of his craft - his films are not only captivating and thought-provoking, but they also showcase the incredible talent and creativity that he brings to the table. As a veteran and CEO of his own production company, he has paved the way for countless aspiring filmmakers and has made a significant impact in the film industry. Congratulations on being named May Filmmaker of the Month - your contributions to the art of filmmaking are truly remarkable and inspiring!" Says Director LaToya Foster

For his future projects, Johnny recently started his own DC-based production company, Rising Fog Productions, which he hopes will enable collaboration for not just his own, but other DC-based filmmakers to pursue documentaries that can inspire compassion and challenge how we navigate our communities.

He is currently leading two exciting projects that are to include robust impact campaigns. The first will continue to work with Juan Pablo Culasso, this time by going to the Brazilian Amazon in a feature-length documentary to implement blind-accessible nature trails for education and accessibility while taking a sound first approach to documentary storytelling by working with Bomba Estereo's Simon Mejia. Johnny is working on another project with Aeigis Trust and the Tillman Foundation to reveal how US military veterans can learn from the Rwandan genocide survivors' reconciliation process via a therapy-structured process of forgiveness and compassion.

Film Credits:

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Sonora Trailer

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Sound of the Lake

Director / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor / Sound Design:

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: On Clowns & The Mysterious Keys of Laughter

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Covid Reel

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Production Reel (2018)

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Tule River Indian Reservation

Director / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor: Cobbler Shoppe Process Short

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: NASA Thermal Blanket Technicians

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: A Memory (2018)

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Ridgetop to Ridgetop (2022)

Director / Cinematographer / Editor: Featured Artist: Jim Dolan

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Personal Bio (2018)

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Featured Artist: Ledania

Cinematographer / Editor: Stewardship with Vision

Director / Producer / Cinematographer: Igmu’s Tipi Dream

Relevant Websites:


Social Media:

FB: @johnny.holder.87

IG: @johnnyholder_87



Want to learn more about Johnny Holder and his 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), an award-winning District of Columbia Government agency, leads the city’s extensive efforts to build and support a sustainable film, music, and entertainment creative economy and labor market. Additionally, OCTFME serves as the city’s cable television service provider regulator and as the customer service hub for cable subscribers.


OCTFME’s extensive portfolio includes:

§ The District’s government cable access channels District Council Channel (DCC), the District of Columbia Network (DCN), and the District Knowledge Network (DKN)

§ DC Radio (96.3 HD4), OCTFME’s owned and operated digital radio station, in partnership with Howard University’s WHUR.

§ District of Columbia Entertainment Network (DCE), OCTFME’s 24-hour streaming platform available worldwide on ROKU, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV as well as iPhone and Android mobile devices (download the DCE Network App or at DCENetwork.com).


For more on OCTFME: (202) 671-0066 or www.entertainment.dc.gov. Follow OCTFME on Facebook.com/entertaindc, Instagram.com/entertain_dc, Twitter.com/entertain_dc and TikTok/entertain_dc.