Bethesda Film Fest Selected Films

Bravery with GraceBravery with Grace (7 minutes)
Film by Nthanze Kariuki

Grace Imhoff’s story is one of triumph, not tragedy. The American University senior has channeled her personal challenges into her work, using business and entrepreneurship to empower herself, and those around her.

Director Biography
Kariuki is a Kenyan-born filmmaker with a background in public relations and digital media, she worked in corporate public relations and ran her own digital media company in Kenya. Kariuki’s experience includes writing and directing fiction films and social justice documentaries.

Breaking FreeBreaking Free (12 minutes)
Film by Michael J. Grundmann

At a Virginia stable where equine therapy is practiced, veterans with PTSD process their trauma through largely nonverbal and tranquil means. Horses can read people, and the rapport that develops often allows veterans to make amazing progress.

Director Biography
Mike Grundmann is an associate professor of journalism at James Madison University in Virginia. He has independently produced, shot and edited 10 documentaries, most of them national award winners broadcast by PBS affiliates. He was also a reporter and editor for a dozen newspapers culminating at the Los Angeles Times.

The Rage of EvilThe Rage of Evil (16 minutes)
Film by Carolyn McCulley and David Ehrenberg

T.J. Stevens always knew that one day he would need to stop hiding and start talking about his past. After the 2018 Parkland school shooting, T.J. was compelled to finally go public about the day in 1982 when he attempted a school shooting. His memories of what led to the shooting are woven with news footage of that event, his sentencing, and an unusual appearance in Washington, D.C. In this personal meditation on what motivates mass shooters, T.J. asks viewers to consider the reality of evil.
Director Biography
Carolyn McCulley is a director, producer, writer and editor who founded Citygate Films in 2009. She has produced nearly 200 social good and branded content films for nonprofit and corporate clients since then, which have earned numerous awards (CINE Golden Eagle, Telly, Women in Film & Video). She is also an author, podcast producer and conference speaker. This is her first independent short documentary.

Through Chinatown's Eyes: April 1968Through Chinatown's Eyes: April 1968 (25 minutes)
Film by Penny Lee and Lisa Mao

The civil disturbances and street violence after the assassination of Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a profound impact on all of Washington, D.C. It had no less an impact on D.C.’s Chinatown, which found itself caught between the black and white struggle. This film is a look at how the Chinatown community viewed that iconic moment of history.
Director Biography
Penny is a producer, director and film/video editor. She started her career as a television editor and today, with more than 25 years of editing experience, she has completed long and short form documentaries, feature films, reality television, promotional infomercials and educational videos. Lee’s passion for storytelling continues to drive her to create content highlighting the immigrant experience in the United States, with a primary focus on the Chinese-American voice.

Zsudayka's JourneyZsudayka's Journey (5 minutes)
Film by Lawrence Ray Green

Zsudayka Nzinga is an acrylic artist from Denver, CO. She currently lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, James Terrell and three children. Her work is largely composed of messages regarding the experience of the black woman in America. Its aim is to start creating pieces that are definitive around the culture of “black” America as a tribe of new American African people. 

Director Biography
Lawrence Green graduated from Temple University’s Film and Media Arts and African American Studies programs. After graduating, he held video production, television programming and communication positions at various companies. In 2010, Lawrence founded Time Traveling Media Inc. to produce original content and provide visual solutions for clients. Lawrence is pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Media Arts at American University.