Executive Director/Programmer/Co-Founder: Gorman Bechard
Festival Director: Katherine Germano-Kowalczyk
Media & Operations Coordinator: Tony Sudol
Festival Supervisor/Head Juror, Student Competition: Lindsay Thompson
Festival Supervisor: Samantha Bechard, Karyl Evans
Committee Members: Karyl Evans, Michael Morand, Tony Sudol,
Fiscal Sponsor: The Arts Council of Greater New Haven
Our Philosophy: NHdocs was created to bring filmmakers and film lovers together, to build a community, an appreciative audience for documentary films and the people who make them. We are a place where filmmakers from the area and beyond can meet and see each other’s work. We screen films that have been shown at prominent International Film Festivals, as well as documentaries by local filmmakers whose efforts have not found the kind of recognition they deserve. We are resolutely democratic in our embrace of the documentary tradition on the local as well as the international level. We love film. And if you’re reading this, ap- preciate that you, as an audience member, do as well.
Our Origins: NHdocs came together in 2014 when four filmmakers from New Haven, Gorman Bechard, Jacob Bricca, Lisa Molomot, and Charles Musser, gathered together for the first time . . . in Missoula, Montana. That’s right: The Big Sky Documentary Festival in Missoula. And despite being from the same town, a few of us had never met before. It made us realize how desperately New Haven needed a film festival that could bring filmmakers together and help build community.
Gorman Bechard (executive director/programmer/co-founder is the director of 17 feature films, including the acclaimed animal rights documentary “A Dog Named Gucci,” the critically acclaimed rock documentaries “Color Me Obsessed, a film about The Replcaements,” “What Did You Expect? The Archers of Loaf live at Cat’s Cradle,” “Every Everything: the music, life & times of Grant Hart,” “What it Takes: film en douse tableaux,” and “Who is Lydia Loveless?,” as well as the indie features “Broken Side of Time” (2013), “Friends (with benefits)” (2009), “You Are Alone” (2006), and the horror comedy cult-classic “Psychos in Love” (1986). He is also the author of six novels, including the beloved “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told.” The prolific Bechard’s latest is “Pizza, A Love Story,” which tells the history of the three greatest pizza places in the world: Sally’s, Pepe’s, & Modern, all in his hometown of New Haven, CT. He is currently completing four other features, including: “Seniors,” a documentary that celebrates the brains, energy & sass of some of the coolest senior dogs on this planet and the people who love them, , “Normal Valid Lives,” which looks at a horrible case of bullying in a Minnesota school district which led to a civil rights lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law center, and “Where are you, Jay Bennett?’ which tell the story of a genius musician who left us way too soon.
Katherine Germano-Kowalczyk (Festival Director) is a photographer/painter/installation artist. She started her worked in large format photography before moving to 35mm format filmed and homemade viewfinders. Creating compositions of 20-40 prints that make murals of inter-relational images to tell a story, her print photography is a narrative immersion experience. Early in her career, Katherine created performance and installation pieces focusing on the damage that violence does, from war to verbal abuse and how it leaves visible and emotional scars. The performance “This Will Shock You a Little” 1990, included a discussion of the damaged of verbal abuse as she walked on broken glass. The project “Nothing But a Pile of Sand” included installing household furniture on top 3 tons of sand in a gallery flooded with heat lamps during the Persian Gulf War as a reminder of the many families that were being bombed in their homes. As she developed her body of work, she moved on to oil painting. As an obsessive cinephile, she spends her time seeking out quality documentaries. She also, continues to shoot 35mm film photography. When Katherine is not running a film festival, she has another career, raises a family and is an animal rescuer.
Karyl Evans (festival supervisor) is a six-time Emmy Award winning director/producer/editor/writer of historical documentary films. In 2016 Ms. Evans won the National Academy of Television Arts and Science’s Outstanding Director Emmy Award for her work directing the one hour documentary, “Letter from Italy, 1944: A New American Oratorio” narrated by Meryl Streep. Her most recent film, “The Life and Gardens of BEATRIX FARRAND” chronicles the career of 20th century landscape architect Beatrix Farrand, the niece of Edith Wharton, whose commissions included those for the White House, the Rockefellers, and Yale University. Ms. Evans, owner of Karyl Evans Productions LLC in North Haven, CT, has produced many historical documentaries over the past 30 years about Connecticut history including “The New Haven Green: Heart of a City”, narrated by Paul Giamatti, the history of the Yale School of Medicine, as well as a series of documentaries for public television including the History of African-Americans in Connecticut and the History of Connecticut cities. Ms. Evans was a full-time Professor at Southern Connecticut State University for two years and she is currently a Fellow at Yale University. For more information about Karyl Evans visit her website at: karylevansproductions.com