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Megan Smaker

Megan Smaker

Documentary Film and Video

About

Meg received her BA in Political, Legal, and Economic Analysis (focusing on international analysis) from Mills College. She has conducted field research in Somalia, The Balkans, and North Africa. Meg has presented her fieldwork in Washington DC and was also a guest lecturer at Columbia University. She has traveled to over 40 countries and worked in the Middle East for over half a decade. This wanderlust is what first sparked her interest in documentary films, which lead to an internship at National Geographic Television where she won PichFest 2010. She is particularly interested in documentaries about conflict zones. Meg fused her lust for political economies in war-torn countries with her love of art to create Somalia and The Piracy Bell Curve, an animated academic documentary about Piracy and State Building in Somalia. She also produced Sex, Drugs, & Student Loans, a documentary that explores the growing number of students who are entering into the sex industry to help pay for the rising cost of higher education. This documentary won her the Diamond Award at the 2011 California Film Awards. Meg enjoys using unconventional methods in her films, such as animation or humor, to present heavy topics in the hopes that this will disarm the audience and streamline complex issues to make them more tangible to the masses.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS:

Student Production Grant, The Caucus Foundation for Producers, Writers & Directors, Spring 2014


Boxeadora 

hd video

JUNE, 2014
VIDEO DURATION: 16:03 MIN.

Since Castro’s Revolution, Cuba has won more Olympic gold medals in boxing than any other country in the world.  Although this boxing powerhouse has more than 19,000 male boxers, female boxing is nonexistent on the island – the result of a ban on female boxing put into place after the revolution.  Boxeadora follows Namibia, a Cuban woman who has been training in secret as a boxer for five years, hoping the government would lift its ban.  Now 38, she only has two years left of boxing eligibility.  Journey with Namibia as she tries to leave the island to follow her only dream: to compete as a boxer.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Bronze Award Winner, Documentary Category, Student Academy Award, 2015
Jury Award, Best Short Doc, South By Southwest (SXSW), 2015
Jury Award, Best Non-Fiction, USA Film Festival,  2015
Jury Award, Best Short Doc, Sarasota Film Festival, 2015
The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors Foundation Award, 2014
SF Indiefest, 2016
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival,  2015
American Documentary Film Festival,  2015
Ashland Independent Film Festival, 2015
Bare Bones Film Festival,  2015
Independent Film Festival Boston, 2015
Newport Beach Film Festival,  2015
Little Rock Film Festival, 2015
Cannes Film Festival, 
Los Angeles Film Festival, 2015
deadCENTER Film Festival, 2015
Nantucket Film Festival, 2015
Outfest, 2015
Guanajuato International Film Festival, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 2015
Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2015
HollyShorts Film Festival, 2015
Sidewalk Film Festival, 2015
Portland Film Festival,  2015
Nevada City Film Festival, 
DC Shorts Film Festival, 2015
Milwaukee Film Festival, 2015
LUNAfest, 2015
Iris Prize Competition, 2015
Tacoma Film Festival, 2015
Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2015
Mill Valley Film Festival, 2015
Hot Springs Film Festival, 2015
New Orleans Film Festival, 2015
Savannah Film Festival,  2015
St. Louis Film Festival, 2015
DOC NYC, 2015
IDFA-International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2015


Methel Island 

hd video

JUNE, 2013
VIDEO DURATION: 11:25 MIN.

A meditation on Meth.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

Best Short Doc, Reality Bytes Film Festival, 2014
Nominee for Best Short Doc, USA Film Festival, 2014
Hearts and Minds Film Festival, 2014
Waterfront Film Festival, 2014
Harvard College Film Festival, 2014
SF Doc-Fest, 2014
San Francisco International Women's Film Festival, 2014
Slamdance, 2014
Oakland International Film Festival, 2014
Silver Springs International Film Festival, 2014
Calgary Underground Film Festival, 2014
Grand Rapids Film Festival, 2014


Gender Games 

hd video

Co-directed by Veronica Lopez
MARCH, 2013
VIDEO DURATION: 8:28 MIN.

In sports, it's not about who you were. It's about who you are.

Awards, Festivals, and Screenings

North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, 2014
Milwaukee LGBT Film Festival, 2014
VinoKino LGBT Film Festival -Finland, 2014

Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, 2014
Queer Screen Film Festival, Sydney, 2014
Frameline Film Festival, 2014
Boston LGBT Film Festival, 2014
Seattle Transgender Film Festival, 2014
Gender Odyssey, 2014
San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, 2013


Pistols to Porn 

16mm black and white film

DECEMBER, 2012

An unusual story of urban renewal...oh, if these walls could talk.

 

Events

June 14, 2014

Free and open to the public.

Annenberg Auditorium
June 13, 2013

Free and open to the public

Annenberg Auditorium, Cummings Art Building
March 20, 2013

free and open to the public

Annenberg Auditorium
435 Lasuen Mall
December 11, 2012

Free and open to the public