We should say: It’s about time! But we want to say: Thank you. Thank you to the 19 U.S. Representatives–Democrats and Republicans—who have sent a letter to the President with this message: Extend the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) legislation! The SIV legislation is critical to fulfilling America’s moral obligation to the Iraqis who supported our military and government during the war. These Iraqis – considered U.S. allies by us, are considered traitors in Iraq. They are in danger, and without Congressional action the SIV Program designed to help them will expire. Here’s the background: In 2008 the National Defense Authorization Act approved up to 5,000 special visas annually for five years for Iraqi and Afghan nationals. In 5 years, only 22% of the available Iraqi SIVs have been used. It’s even less for Afghans: 12% issued. In our documentary THE LIST and our NYT Op-Doc, we highlight the failure of… LEARN MORE
With the release of NYT Op-Doc FORGOTTEN IN IRAQ — based on our feature film THE LIST — director Beth Murphy writes a director’s statement of her personal experience and questions President Obama’s role in this issue.
“Beth Murphy depicts courage and compassion in her new film, THE LIST,” says Women’s Adventure Magazine in its latest issue. Read Article
CNN interviews director Beth Murphy about our most recent work WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS as the fight for girl’s education in Afghanistan continues. Read Article
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
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
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
Just as we headed out of Kampala yesterday morning, riots broke out across the capitol city. We got bits and piece of news throughout the day: AK-47 fire forced a shut down of all businesses, the U.S. Embassy was on lock-down, and traffic between Kampala and Jinja (the road we were driving) was interrupted. “Oh Uganda!” – the headline we woke up to in the independent Daily Monitor – is right. Outrage with President Yoweri Museveni over skyrocketing inflation (200-percent in the past two months for fuel and food) reached a tipping point this week when a popular opposition leader was violently arrested. Dr. Kizza Besigye had started a “walk to work” campaign to protest the soaring inflation, and the people we’ve met are grateful to Besigye for doing something. “The government just doesn’t care that we’re suffering – that we can’t afford to drive places or feed our families… LEARN MORE
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
Associate producer and asst. editor Beth Balaban is heading to Dhaka I’m really excited for my upcoming trip to Bangladesh. It will be my first trip abroad with Principle Pictures, and the first big shoot I’m a part of. It’s also my first time shooting one of our branded films (for Novartis), and I’ll be using our brand new camera, the Panasonic AF 100. I love this camera! The shallow depth of field, precision focus, and accuracy and saturation of the colors make the pictures gorgeous! When I started at Principle Pictures I had a strong background in theory from Emerson University where I’m wrapping up my MFA, but very little practical knowledge. Over the past year, I’ve progressively learned more and more about each phase of the production process, starting with grant writing and pre-production and eventually moving on to shooting and producing. Now, I primarily edit our branded… LEARN MORE
We’re going through a design overhaul. Please excuse the mess while we set up…
The New York Times‘s very own Nicholas Kristof calls BEYOND BELIEF a “terrific documentary”.
Read director Beth Murphy’s editorial in The International Herald Tribune, “From Heartache to Afghanistan,” about the making of BEYOND BELIEF.
Sonoma News highlights BEYOND BELIEF’s Best Documentary Prize at Sonoma Valley Film Festival.
Boston Globe puts BEYOND BELIEF as a film that “went to places that many others would have avoided”.
Needham Hometown Weekly calls BEYOND BELIEF “a striking example of pain, suffering and perseverance”.
Falmouth Enterprise interviews director Beth Murphy about her experiences filming the BEYOND BELIEF.