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ABOUT THE FILM

From the streets of Minneapolis, the aboriginal lands of Australia, and the killing fields of Cambodia come the powerful stories of three people who had the courage to step out of the haunting, tragic darkness of the past, risking everything to reach the light of their own compassion.

RISKING LIGHT is a thought-provoking documentary that explores resilience, and the painful process of moving from grief to compassion and forgiveness. Through the unforgettable stories of Mary Johnson, who grieves a murdered son; Debra Hocking, a victim of government-sanctioned genocide; and Kilong Ung, who survived the terror of the Khmer Rouge, RISKING LIGHT challenges us to examine our own beliefs about forgiveness and ask “What would the world look like if we could learn to forgive one another?”

 
 

Award Nominations &

Film Festivals 

 

  • 2018 Cinequest Film Festival
    • Screened in Competition
    • Listed by both the San Francisco Chronicle and Mercury Sun as Top 10 Films of the Festival. Only documentary to make both lists.
  • 2018 Cleveland International Film Festival
    • Screened in Competition
    • Nominated: Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Competition
    • Nominated: ReelWomenDirect Award for Excellence in Directing by a Woman
  • 2018 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival
    • Awarded: Best of Fest
  • 2018 Flyway Film Festival
    • Special Red Wing Screening
  • 2018 Duluth Superior Film Festival (June 2018)
  • More TBA Soon!
 

Filmmakers

From the United States, Cambodia, and Australia.

 
 
 Director/Senior Producer/Editor

Director/Senior Producer/Editor

Dawn Mikkelson 

2015 Emmy Award-winning producer Dawn Mikkelson’s work has been seen on PBS, OUTtv and Free Speech TV, and has screened at numerous international festivals. Festival screenings include: the Galway Film Fleadh, Cambridge Film Festival, Cinequest, DocuFest Atlanta, Cleveland International Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Planet in Focus, and Washington DC Environmental Film Festival. 2010 McKnight Filmmaking Fellow, Mikkelson has completed four award-winning independent feature documentaries: THE RED TAIL, GREEN GREEN WATER, THIS OBEDIENCE, and TREADING WATER: A DOCUMENTARY, which celebrate the power and resilience of individuals who choose to take control of their fate and NOT to be victims of circumstance. A former television news reporter, Mikkelson is a frequent contributor for Twin Cities PBS, winner of the Eric Sevareid Award by the Northwest Broadcast News Association, and creates documentary content for brands and causes around the world. 

 
 Producer

Producer

MIRANDA WILSON

Miranda is an Emmy-nominated producer with a background in radio, television and U.S. politics. Her production work has appeared on Twin Cities Public Television, Food Network and Sundance Channel.

 
 Associate Producer, Cinematographer - United States

Associate Producer, Cinematographer - United States

matt ehling

Matt is a producer, cinematographer and writer who works in both television and radio. His work has aired on PBS, IFC and Bravo. His company, ETS Pictures, produces a variety of work, including material that has been seen on Court TV, PBS and at the Sundance Film Festival. Matt is a founding member and former board member of the Midwest Media Arts Access Center. His original films include ACCESS and FORBIDDEN CITY.

 
 
 Cinematographer (Cambodia)

Cinematographer (Cambodia)

JESSE ROESLER 

Jesse is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker whose work has been screened internationally in venues such as South by Southwest Film Festival and on Current TV. His most recent film, THE STARFISH THROWERS, screened globally at festivals including Hot Docs and the Thessaloniki Doc Fest. Jesse is also the Principal Partner and Creative Director at Credo Nonfiction, a production company creating cinematic impact content for brands, causes and content platforms.

 
 Cinematographer (NSW, Australia)

Cinematographer (NSW, Australia)

emma paine

Emma’s love of film began in a darkroom, developing an eye for light and composition. Since graduating with a Graduate Diploma in Cinematography from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in 2011, she has further specialized in shorts, music video, fashion film and branded content. In 2015 Emma won a NSW and ACT ACS Gold Award for her work on We Will, and a Silver Award in the Web Content and New Media category for INFUSED HONEY.

 
 Cinematographer (Tasmania, Australia)

Cinematographer (Tasmania, Australia)

RUSSELL HAWKINS

Russell is an independent filmmaker and cinematographer working on observational documentaries and natural history films. Russell’s work includes SINCE THE COMPANY CAME and THE LAST VALLEY, earning him awards at Nord-Sud Media Festival (Switzerland), Parnu Film Festival (Estonia) and Okomedia Film Festival (Germany). Russell regularly contributes to community film projects promoting conservation, sustainability and human rights.

 
 
 Editor

Editor

PETER RHODES 

Peter Rhodes is a veteran editor who was trained at the BBC in London. He works in a broad variety of styles ranging from cinema verite, to historic reactions to children’s films and community documentaries, which he also produces and directs. Since moving to the United States in 1986, he has accumulated more than 50 credits for films that have appeared on PBS, the BBC and at major film festivals. His most recent work includes Latino Americans for PBS, which won a Peabody Award.

 
 Editing Consultant

Editing Consultant

doug blush

Blush’s credits include Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Independent Spirit and Peabody Award-winning projects, eight Sundance Film Festival features including one Grand Jury and two Audience Award winners, and three of the top 150 box office documentaries of all time. He is a member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the American Cinema Editors (ACE). He is widely known for his work on: THE INVISIBLE WAR, THE HUNTING GROUND, and TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM. 

 
 Music Supervisor

Music Supervisor

KEVIN BEACHAM

Kevin is a well-known and respected underground Hip Hop educator-activist who has spoken around the world on Hip Hop culture, politics, and history. Lead Marketing Manager at Rhymesayers Entertainment, and former Co-Director of the Institute for Hip Hop Knowledge at Hamline University, and factulty member at the Institute of Production & Recording. 

 
 
 Original Music

Original Music

CHRIS STROUTH 

Strouth’s art embraces complexity and explores the frontiers of sound. To bring his conceptually ambitious work to life, he works in many different media – as a composer, bandleader, filmmaker, writer, producer, designer, experimentalist, culture remixer. As a composer and performer, he has had work at the Walker Art Center, Orchestra Hall, and the Fredrick R. Weisman Museum.

 
 Sound Design

Sound Design

John sims

Sims has been a sound professional in the film and television industry for over twenty years. Working both as a location sound mixer and post production engineer, some of John's film credits include, A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, THIN ICE, and FACTOTUM as well as commercial spots for Medica, Kemps Ice Cream, Famous Dave's, Monday Night Football, and Adidas.

 
 

Kickstarter associate producers 

Charisse Baker

Clyde Cutting