The District of Columbia Office of Motion Picture and Television Development (MPTD) is pleased to recognize Liz Norton, documentary filmmaker and founder of Stone Soup Films, as the February 2013 Filmmaker of the Month. Her nonprofit film collaborative has produced more than 20 short films, which have been donated to local worthy nonprofit organizations for promotional and community-building purposes.
Liz Norton founded Stone Soup films in 2008 with a goal to give established film and television professionals an opportunity to volunteer their skills to produce high-quality short films highlighting the efforts of worthy community based organizations. With the help and dedication of these producers, editors, shooters, graphic designers, production assistants and film students, these films can be professionally produced at no charge to the nonprofits. Under her direction, Stone Soup has recruited the assistance of more than 350 local filmmakers and has produced projects for a number of organizations around the city including Bread for the City, Urban Alliance, The Avalon Theater, Martha’s Table, Historic Woodlawn Cemetery, DC Greenworks, Teens Run DC, and Compass DC.
A recently completed film highlighting the work of Hope House, an innovative camp-based program connecting children with their incarcerated fathers (run by local hero Carol Fennelly), will be shown not just to potential funders but also to wardens and other officials in a position to implement these programs in more prisons. Using these films to expand programming options, raise critical funds, and increase awareness of these issues is the primary mission of Stone Soup Films.
The contributions of Stone Soup Films to the community have been recognized by the substantial support they receive from the Meyer and Cafritz Foundations, as well as awards and commendations from organizations such as Bread for the City, Sinai House and the DC Department of Health.
Liz started her career in the policy world, first as a researcher on federal campaign finances for a non-partisan lobbying organization and then serving as a research director in the White House Office of Communications during the Clinton administration. She also served as a freelance television producer for more than ten years, with a focus on public policy issues. Those programs included several Fred Friendly Seminars for PBS and a piece for MTV News, educating teens on crime-related issues such as gun control.
For more than 25 years Liz has been a director of the Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation in Washington, DC and she serves on the Board of the Environmental Film Festival of Washington, DC. She is a third-generation Washingtonian and currently lives in Ward 3 with her husband and two children.
The DC Film Office launched the Filmmaker of the Month initiative to feature a District-based filmmaker who exemplifies the vast amount of talent and creativity based here in the nation’s capital. The Filmmaker of the Month initiative is part of its mission to elevate the national and international profile of the city’s most talented filmmakers. Previous filmmakers honored include award-winning writer and director of Vivian, Aimee Dixon; Ben Crosbie, award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Eidolon Films; Tendani Mpulubusi El, creator and director of documentary People Past and Present: Hillsdale; and Lance Kramer, documentary filmmaker and a co-founder of Meridian Hill Pictures.
You can visit the Previously Featured Filmmakers section to learn more about Liz and other Filmmaker of the Month recipients.