Kathryn Dietz

Kathryn Dietz

Director

Biography

I have spent my career in the world of filmmaking, as a documentary producer, director and writer, a conference and festival director, an educator, and past executive director of FC. While at FC, Laura Azevedo and I launched the Boston International Kids Film Festival, and in 2014 we got in several great short films about autism. I curated them into a workshop that was a huge hit, judging by the crowds that flooded the room and cheered through the films and presentations. It prompted my new project, STORIES FROM THE SPECTRUM, which I launched the following year.

Tufts University, my alma mater, invited me to come spend three years as Visiting Artist at their Department of Child Study & Human Development. I researched autism, met potential characters, and discovered how fraught with minefields the world of autism is. I decided that the most helpful thing I could do is create many short films profiling teens and adults on the autism spectrum, highlighting the tremendous variety and beauty found in this world. My aim is to tell stories that deepen public understanding, encourage families facing new diagnoses, and give voice to those who often have none.

Films

The Snow Ball (2016)

Role: Director

This first film in “Stories from the Spectrum” features middle and high school boys who plan a dance, as part of a skills and friendship building class. I love the way it encourages “invisible skills” like cooperation and making friends.

[ watch trailer ]

Team of Brothers (2017)

Role: Director

This is the second film in “Stories from the Spectrum.” I was drawn to Jenna’s story because girls on the autism spectrum can easily be overlooked and fall through the cracks. I was also interested in how families with limited means manage, especially when dealing with multiple disabilities.

[ watch trailer ]

Targeting Cancer: The Story of Leukemia (2012)

Role: Producer, Director, Writer

This short is part of a 3-part series on medical strides made over 200 years, created for the New England Journal of Medicine. I produced the whole series with FC filmmaker Nancy Porter, and produced, wrote, and directed this middle film.

[ watch trailer ]

Nasser's Republic, the Making of Modern Egypt (2016)

Role: Executive Producer

I was executive producer and helped write funding proposals for his documentary by FC filmmaker Michal Goldman. It was completed in 2016, and has shown to sold-out crowds on the festival circuit worldwide.

The Adventures of Saul Bellow (2017)

Role: Executive Producer

I am executive producer of this new film by director Asaf Galay, and wrote the NEH application which recently received production funding.

Cartooning America: The Fleischer Brothers Story (2017)

Role: Executive Producer

I am executive producer of this film by director Asaf Galay, and wrote the NEH application which recently received development funding.

Big Little Town: The Story of Needham (2012)

Role: Producer, Director, Writer

I made this film for my town of Needham’s 300th anniversary, and loved my first foray into the world of community access media. It has been broadcast on WGBH Boston numerous times, as a Fourth of July special.

Young & Restless in China (2008)

Role: Producer

A 2-hour film exploring the values, trials and successes of young Chinese professionals, which premiered theatrically and on PBS Frontline in 2008. I produced it while at Ambrica Productions, a company I co-owned with filmmaker Sue Williams for 23 years.

Mary Pickford (2005)

Role: Producer

This 90-minute portrait of the silent era film superstar premiered on PBS American Experience in 2005.

Time of Fear (2004)

Role: Producer

A one-hour film about Japanese American internment camps in Arkansas during WWII, which premiered on Arkansas PBS in 2004 and nationally in 2005.

China in the Red (2004)

Role: Producer

A 2-hour film for PBS Frontline, exploring how ordinary people raised under the “iron rice bowl” were coping with China’s evolving capitalism.

Eleanor Roosevelt (2000)

Role: Producer

This 2.5 hour documentary on the former first lady premiered on PBS American Experience and is still one of their most popular biographical portraits.

CHINA: A Century of Revolution (1989)

Role: Producer

This 6-hour series provide a sweeping and dramatic account of China’s 20th century history. The films have been seen in over 25 countries, have won numerous prestigious industry awards, and are still in educational and home video distribution through Zeitgeist Films in NY. The films of this series are:

China in Revolution (1911-1949)
The Mao Years (1949-1976)
Born Under the Red Flag (1976-1997)