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Sitar Stories

Meridian Hill Pictures

The Sitar Arts Center-Meridian Hill Pictures youth documentary program and partnership began in 2011 with the production of Life as a Collage, a 24-minute documentary about beloved local art teacher Tim Gabel. Life as a Collage demonstrated exceptional artistic and storytelling craftsmanship, as it explored a reflexive portrait of a dying artist, his philosophies on life, art and his impact on the community. The film received local and national accolades, including being named as an Official Selection at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in Seattle, WA. Life as a Collage won the award for best student documentary in Washington, DC by Our City Film Festival (Washington, DC) and was recognized by American Film Institute’s School Docs Festival (Silver Spring, MD).

“The overwhelming power of the students’ creativity, voice and strength of Sitar’s sense of community surpassed our wildest expectations for the project” remarked Meridian Hill Pictures Co-Founder Lance Kramer.

In 2013, the Documentary Film Class produced Doing It For Me, a film about the high school dropout crisis starring the student director Precious Lambert. The film also received critical acclaim and was screened at the Bethesda Film Fest, Annapolis Film Festival, and West Chester Film Festival, Reel Independent Film Extravaganza, as well as the U.S. Department of Education.

In 2014, Lance Kramer received the Mayor’s Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

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