Beth Murphy

THE LIST to screen at the Woods Hole Film Festival


On Sunday July 29, THE LIST will be screening in the hometown of director, Beth Murphy, at the Woods Hole Film Festival. We asked her a few questions on the dawn of her return home for the screening, about the upcoming festival and what comes next. Where does the Woods Hole Film Festival stand in terms of some of the other festivals you’ve been to? My favorite festivals are ones that have great market potential, the opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with audiences, and the chance for a fantastic filmmaker experience. What really is home is the Woods Hole Film Festival, a gem of a festival, and one that really cares about independent filmmakers. One way they do that is through an exciting new initiative with the online international news site GlobalPost. This collaboration supports documentary works-in-progress, and THE LIST was the first film selected for this initiative…. LEARN MORE

An Interview with Kevin Belli


Recently, we sat down with our Director of Photography & Senior Editor, Kevin Belli to pick his brain on how he got his start at Principle Pictures and all that he wishes to accomplish. What inspired you to get involved in documentary filmmaking? Seeing documentary films for the first time, films like Don’t Look Back and Crumb and Gimme Shelter, made me view documentaries as an actual art form. Not only did the films really inspire me, but I realized it was the avenue to see more of the world and be able to film real stories, and that was a lot more appealing to me than creating something fictional or from a script. The truth is stranger than fiction, right? How did you begin to work with Principle Pictures? Ten years ago when I was working as a news editor, Beth was looking for an assistant editor. When the… LEARN MORE

IndieWire Highlights Female Directors at Tribeca Film Festival

Associate Producer Nathan Tisdale reflects on the importance of female directors. I was glad to see Melissa Silverstein’s article on IndieWire pick out the films directed by women at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Reading her recent posts about the stagnant growth of female directors in film, I am proud to see Beth Murphy and her fellow female directors featured. These women bring a unique voice to documentary and narrative filmmaking. Melissa identified a solution to reverse the trend of underdog women directors – start talking about them and championing their films! Tribeca will be a good place to start.

Riding, Remembering, Recovering

Beyond the Bike

Biking through the streets of Boston yesterday on the final leg of the 3-day ride from Ground Zero, I rode through Kenmore Square feeling like it was 1994, and I was navigating from one of my grad classes at Boston University to my tiny studio apartment in Beacon Hill. As a little girl I had dreamed of studying at BU; it was my Dad’s alma mater, and some of my best memories as a child are of traveling there from our home in Connecticut to watch my Dad play his trumpet in the alumni band. While he practiced, my Mom and I enjoyed the school and the city. One year that meant picking through all the treasures at a tag sale being held in the Music Department. There was a luxurious red snow fox stole—with glass eyes, four legs, feet and a tail—that for $1.50 was clipped around my neck… LEARN MORE

A Reminder

I just arrived at the Club Quarters Hotel overlooking Ground Zero in New York City. In about 12 hours, my husband, Dennis, and I will join 43 other bike riders for a 270-mile journey back to Boston to support Beyond the 11th, an organization borne out of the tragedy of 9/11 and focused on healing the wounds from that day. Towering near the hotel is One WTC — a structure that continues to climb 84 floors. Below, construction vehicles buzz around the haunting crater where the World Trade Center towers once stood. I can hear the jackhammers and loader engines in my room as I catch up on emails: forms for fiscal sponsorship need filling out; a meeting for our Executive Producer at the Toronto Film Festival needs confirming; licensing fees need to be worked out with Brazil’s largest TV network. Everything needed. Needed now. Distracting me from connecting with… LEARN MORE

Principle Voices: Alyssa and her passion for film

I was a really big theater geek in high school, and have always been into still photography. At some point during my senior year, I realized that film was a great way to combine these two passions. The ability to tell someone’s story through film appealed to me and I really liked the artistic aspect of filmmaking. So I decided that I wanted to pursue filmmaking at Boston University, and eventually I realized that documentaries appeal to me the most. I spent about a year and a half in Chicago and moved back to my hometown of Plymouth about two years ago. That same week my alumni high school director told me about a producer at a documentary production company right in downtown Plymouth who was looking for interns. I contacted Sean, sent him my resume, went in for an interview and within two weeks I was interning at Principle… LEARN MORE

Uganda’s Justin Bieber

Alex Ssekweyama lives in the western Ugandan village of Kakumiro. His family’s status in the community comes from his mother’s success – people walk far distances to visit her drug shop where she doesn’t only dispense life-saving medications, she also confirms diagnoses, makes referrals to hospitals and always shares a kind word and gentle touch. The family home is the only gated one on the street, and the property is packed with prized mango, banana and orange trees. Life here serves as the inspiration for Alex’s singing and songwriting. When he heard we were coming to visit, he put on his best suit – a dark, over-sized jacket with pants that nearly matched. He was beaming when he greeted us. My name is Rioman. Well, that’s what I call myself when I sing, he grinned. And I want to be Justin Bieber. He could hardly contain himself while his three… LEARN MORE

What a Bat Reveals

As our car zig-zagged to avoid pothole after pothole on a poorly paved road in Eastern Uganda, we caught glimpses of life: a motorcycle passed carrying two men and a cow (the dead animal was on the very back and the passenger held its legs around his waist); locals dined at a restaurant called God is Good Pork Joint; and two men ambled down the road holding an enormous bat—an outstretched wing in each man’s hand gave the mammal a 4-foot wingspan.We were in a hurry, but never has there been a better reason for a U-turn. We approached the men to get a close-up look and find out what they planned to do with it. “We’re going to eat it,” they laughed. It’s true. Ugandans do eat bats. But Lilian, the health worker traveling with us, wasn’t convinced that’s what these men had in mind. There is a common… LEARN MORE

Millions for Mortenson

When Emmanuel College asked me to be the keynote speaker for their convocation ceremony last September, I just had to accept that I was their back up plan. “We tried to get Greg Mortenson,” they told me with voices trailing off. It wasn’t that Mortenson was particularly hard to get – he just came with a price. A big, big price. He commanded $25k an appearance minimum. He demanded first class airfare. And the limo better be waiting outside baggage claim. So much for Pennies for Peace. More like Millions for Mortenson. Even though my image of Mortenson waned at that time, I still enjoyed reading “Listen to the Wind,” to my 3.5 year old daughter, Isabelle, and marveled at all that he accomplished. Now, the 60 Minutes report that charges “Three Cups of Tea” is a “beautiful lie” and Mortenson’s charity is taking credit for building schools that don’t… LEARN MORE

So, this is what film directors are supposed to do…

We just visited the Taj Mahal! Sort of… Bengali film director Ahsanullah Moni made this decision: spending $58 million is worth it to give those who can’t afford a trip to India the chance to see “the” Taj Mahal. He spent five years building a replica of the 17th century monument in Sonargaon, a small town that will be an hour’s drive from Dhaka when the new highway system around the capitol city is finished in a couple years. But today it took us almost 3 hours. Open for just a short time now, the Banglar Taj Mahal is already considered one of the best spots in the country for couples to get engaged, giving it the Indian reputation of the Temple of Eternal Love even though Moni didn’t build it as a memorial to his wife as Emperor Shajahan did. No doubt there’s something enchanting about this pink-trimmed place–and… LEARN MORE

The New York Times Article

The New York Times‘s very own Nicholas Kristof calls BEYOND BELIEF a “terrific documentary”.

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The International Herald Tribune Article

Read director Beth Murphy’s editorial in The International Herald Tribune, “From Heartache to Afghanistan,” about the making of BEYOND BELIEF.

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Sonoma News Article

Sonoma News highlights BEYOND BELIEF’s Best Documentary Prize at Sonoma Valley Film Festival.

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Time Out New York Article

Time Out New York reviews BEYOND BELIEF with four stars!

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The Villager Article

The Villagers calls BEYOND BELIEF a “remarkable documentary”.

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Slant Magazine Article

Slant Magazine gives BEYOND BELIEF 3 stars.

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Boston Globe Article

Boston Globe writes about the backstory of filming BEYOND BELIEF.

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Boston Magazine Article

Boston Magazine reviews BEYOND BELIEF.

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Boston Globe Article

Boston Globe puts BEYOND BELIEF as a film that “went to places that many others would have avoided”.

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Cape Cod Times Article

Cape Cod Times‘s says BEYOND BELIEF as a “must-see”.

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Boston Globe Article

Boston Globe reviews BEYOND BELIEF as a “moving” documentary.

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Needham Hometown Weekly Article

Needham Hometown Weekly calls BEYOND BELIEF “a striking example of pain, suffering and perseverance”.

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The Falmouth Enterprise Article

Falmouth Enterprise interviews director Beth Murphy about her experiences filming the BEYOND BELIEF.

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Glamour Magazine Article

Glamour Magazine‘s Editor at Large, Suze Yalof Schwartz, is “truly blown away” by BEYOND BELIEF.

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