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DC Film Office Honors Eidolon Films Co-Founder Tessa Moran as Filmmaker of the Month

Friday, August 1, 2014
Award-winning filmmaker honored for her independent broadcast documentaries and local non-profit work

The District of Columbia Office of Motion Picture and Television Development (MPTD) is pleased to honor Tessa Moran, experienced documentarian and executive producer, as the August 2014 Filmmaker of the Month.

Tessa and her husband, Ben Crosbie (June 2012 Filmmaker of the Month) put their creative passion for filmmaking together by co-founding their own production company, Eidolon Films. Eidolon Films produces long-form independent documentary films for public television broadcast and documentary-style videos on commission for non-profit organizations seeking to inspire, educate, and inform. The definition of Eidolon is “an image of an ideal”, a name consistent in meaning with what they do: telling stories about the human condition that celebrates difference, shatters preconception, inspires change, and leads to a better, kinder world. Eidolon’s client and independent films have been broadcast widely on PBS, before members of Congress and in theaters and museums around the world, raising money and awareness for a variety of critical social issues.

After graduating from Georgetown University with a B.A. in American Studies and English, Tessa began her career in Washington as a reporter covering health care policy for Kaiser Family Health Report and later economics for Thomson Reuters. All the while, she produced short films, including Barberin, a short portrait of a U Street Barber shop where the stylists learned their craft in prison. The film premiered at the DC Shorts Film Festival, and encouraged her to pursue making a feature length film. Her first feature length film, entitled Keeping the Kibbutz, told the story of the people left behind after an Israeli kibbutz changed from a socialist commune to a capitalist community. The film aired on PBS WORLD in 2012, won a Telly Award, and screened throughout museums, Jewish Community Centers, synagogues and small theaters throughout the United States and Europe.

Tessa is drawn to stories about communities in transition. She's interested in how people identify themselves through communities and what happens when those communities disappear or are fundamentally altered. She continued her study of this theme with Fate of a Salesman, a documentary about the struggles of suit salesmen at a 60 year old store in gentrifying Washington, DC.  The film aired nationally on the PBS series America Reframed in 2014, and it won numerous awards including the 2013 Capital Area Emmy Award, the Audience award at the Annapolis Film Festival and the Juror's Choice Award at the Black Maria Film Festival.

She's presently working on a new documentary film titled Las Vigilancias (The Guardians) about an indigenous community in Mexico fighting to preserve the forest home, which they share with the threatened monarch butterflies. Tessa also currently serves on the Board of the Directors of Docs In Progress, a local arts non-profit that supports documentary filmmakers.

Tessa and her husband currently reside in Ward 6 of the District of Columbia.

MPTD launched the Filmmaker of the Month initiative to feature a District-based filmmaker who exemplifies the vast amount of talent and creativity based here in the nation’s capital. The Filmmaker of the Month initiative is part of MPTD’s mission to elevate the national and international profile of the city’s most talented filmmakers. Previous filmmakers honored include Multomedia founder St. Clair DuBois; award-winning Partisans of Vilna producer Aviva Kempner; Emmy award-winning filmmaker and founder of Video/Action Robin Smith; and MPTD Director and From the Rough co-writer, producer and director Pierre Bagley.

You can visit the Filmmaker of the Month section to learn more about Tessa and previous Filmmaker of the Month recipients.