Friday, October 21, 2022
This District based award-winning filmmaker has traveled the globe creating content for the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the Discovery Channel.

Washington, DC – The District of Columbia Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME) is pleased to recognize SARA BARGER as the October 2022 Filmmaker of the Month.

Sara Barger is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in Washington, DC who specializes in creating short form non-fiction content. Sara has traveled the world making documentary films as a director, producer and editor, creating content for the U.S. State Department, USAID, Discovery Channel, and think tanks. Her work has taken her to Iraq, Congo, India, China, Tibet, El Salvador, and Honduras.  

Sara first became interested in filmmaking Sara at a young age where she had access to an audiovisual and television studio program her public high school. From there, Sara studied Visual Media at American University here in the District of Columbia, where she worked in the editing lab as a work-study assignment, honing her editing skills even more. As a sophomore at AU, the ad agency GMMB hired her as an intern, where she was able to gain on-set experience and learn the ins & outs of a real production company. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Sara got a master's in journalism from American University.

Ten years after receiving her masters, Sara returned to school to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in film from the Vermont College. Her thesis film “Little but Fierce” was nominated for a 2020 student Academy Award, as well as numerous other accolades. All of these educational experiences (and many more) helped shape Sara into the storyteller she is today.

Some of Sara’s most notable filmmaking credits include producing The Southern Ladies (2018) about the struggles of being gay in Pittsburgh and The Good Candidate (2020) which focuses on the old “big tent” ideal of the Republican party in light of a 2020 Congressional Republican primary in Virginia where the incumbent officiated a same-sex wedding. Sara also directed the experimental short film Brothers (2019) and Little but Fierce (2020) about Madison Davis, a nine year-old girl battling a rare form of brain cancer and her search for traditional and alternative treatments for her rare condition. 

Sara is currently working on a short documentary on the DC Zebras, as well as another short documentary titled "Blue" about an aging father, his daughter, and a very old Chevy. 

"In a male-dominated industry, we must do better to elevate and support female voices in the media and all arts. Thank you OCTFME for recognizing my work and the work of all female artists in the District.” 

In addition to her own filmmaking work, Sara has been committed to “giving back” and sharing her experiences and filmmaking talent with the next generation of filmmakers and content creators. Since 2017, Barger has taught filmmaking and career development courses for various universities in the National Capital Region, including American, George Washington, George Mason, and Old Dominion Universities.  She also guest lectured at Harvard University’s workshop titled "Collecting the Stories in Your Neighborhood: Social Justice Storytelling & Community Impact" and was recently the keynote speaker for the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources’ Women’s History Month event. 

Sara currently serves as the head of video production for the Defense Health Agency (DHA), Sara leads a full-time broadcast operations team to produce videos on a weekly basis for use at various levels throughout the Military Health System. Prior to joining DHA, Sara ran a successful production company, producing videos for clients across the globe. She has created films on social issues in developing countries such as Iraq, Congo, India, Tibet, El Salvador and Honduras. In addition, Barger developed the production departments for two of the most influential national public policy think tanks. 

Sara also currently serves as President of Women in Film & Video (DC). During her leadership of the regional media professional organization Sara has launched several programs to support the careers of media-makers in the MidAtlantic Region, including a Mentorship Program, a Narrative Feature Fellowship Program, the DC Student Film Festival, a local monthly filmmaker showcase, the Media & Monuments Podcast, plus many more. 

To learn more about Sara and her work check out her her professional website: https://www.sarabarger.com.


Sara's Filmmaking Award & Recognition 

DC Arts & Humanities Fellowship, 2020 

  • Awarded a DC Arts & Humanities Fellowship Grant for outstanding work as a filmmaker. 

Little but Fierce, 30 min. documentary (2020)            
  • 2020 Student Academy Awards Finalist 
  • Best Student Short Documentary, 2020 Breckenridge Film Festival 
  • 2020 Telly Award, Bronze  
  • Spotlight Documentary Film Awards Gold Winner 
  • Independent Shorts Awards Finalist 
  • New York International Film Awards Finalist 
  • Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival Semi-Finalist 
  • Presented at the University Film & Video Association 2019 Conference 
  • Pitched at the Double Exposure Film Festival and AFI Docs Film Festival 

Brothers, 9 min. experimental documentary (2019)                                                               

  • Official Selection of the Magikal Charm Experimental Video & Film Fest 

18 Mornings, 30 mins. narrative short (2019)                                                                  

  • Premiered at the Richmond International Film Festival 

Joy, experimental film (2019) 

  • Premiered at the Suns Cinema Local Filmmakers Night presented by WIFV 

The Southern Ladies, 12 min. documentary (2018) 

  • Premiered at the 2019 Pittsburgh Underground [Queer] Film Festival 
  • Screened at the “I Have a Dream” Indie Film Showcase in Arlington, VA 
  • Official Selection of the 2020 Women in Film Pittsburgh film festival 

Welcome to San Pedro, 3 min. documentary short (2014) 

  • Best Interview Video, PR Daily 

Alternative to Foreclosure, documentary series (2012) 

  • Communicator’s Award, International Academy of Visual Arts   

Sara's Film Credits:  

Director, Editor: Little but Fierce (2020) 
Producer: The Good Candidate (2020) 
Director: Brothers (2019) 
Editor: 18 Mornings (2019) 
Producer: Joy (2019) 
Producer: The Southern Ladies (2018) 
Producer: Welcome to San Pedro (2014) 
Producer: Alternative to Foreclosure (2012) 


Sara's Social Media Handles: 

IG: @honeybarger 


Sara's Relevant Websites:  



Want to learn more about Sara Barger 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.