Bestor Cram, Producer/Director
Bestor Cram has more than 20 years of experience as a director, producer, and cinematographer. He founded Northern Light Productions in 1982 and has built it into one of the premiere documentary production companies, producing works ranging from broadcast documentaries to historical, dramatic, and educational media. His independent film, Unfinished Symphony, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in the documentary competition in 2001 and has won top honors at film festivals around the world. A recent independent project, The Special — about the song “The Orange Blossom Special” — premiered at the Nashville Independent Film Festival and was selected to screen at AFI’s SilverDocs Festival.
As a cinematographer, Bestor’s credits include the theatrically released feature documentaries After Innocence; Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner; the Emmy-nominated Discovery Channel special Mysteries of the Sea: Freak Waves; the HBO special, Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case For Reasonable Doubt?; the PBS/BBC series China in the Red; the 1995 Documentary Academy Award-winner Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision; and the American Experience on Eleanor Roosevelt.
Bestor holds a BA in economics from Denison University, pursued graduate studies at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Guildford, England, and has taught film at MIT and the Maine Film & Television Workshops. He is a Vietnam veteran.
Judy Richardson, Producer/Director
Judy Richardson is a senior producer with Northern Light Productions in Boston, where she produced two History Channel documentaries (including the 2-hour Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters) and other films. Previously she worked on Blackside’s Academy Award-nominated 14-hour PBS series Eyes on the Prize from its first incarnation in 1978 and was Blackside’s education director for the series. She was also co-producer of Blackside’s American Experience biography, Malcolm X: Make It Plain.
Richardson brings to her filmmaking a long-time involvement with social justice issues: as a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) staffer in the early 1960s on its projects in Mississippi (during 1964 Freedom Summer), Alabama, and Southwest Georgia; as office manager for Julian Bond (then SNCC’s communications director; now chair of the NAACP) during his successful first campaign for the Georgia House of Representatives; as a founder of the largest African American bookstore in the late 1960s; as the director of information for the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice; and more. She lectures nationally, and conducts professional development workshops for teachers, all focused on the civil rights movement and its relevance to the issues of today. She has been published in several academic journals and is also one of six editors of Hands on the Freedom Plow, the SNCC women’s anthology, chronicling the courageous civil rights activism of more than 50 women in the Southern freedom movement during the early 1960s.