Contributor

Johanna Demetrakas

Filmmaker

With her first documentary, Womanhouse, about a ground-breaking feminist art installation, Demetrakas won the AFI Independent Filmmakers Grant, a place in the Whitney Museum’s New American Filmmaker Series, and international recognition at festivals such as the Venice Biennale, Paris and New York. Her second art documentary, Right Out of History: The Making of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, was broadcast on PBS and the BBC after acclaim at the London and Berlin Film Festivals. Her art documentaries have been in many museum shows, including the major exhibit, “Los Angeles 1955 – 1985,” at the Pompidou Museum in Paris, 2006. The Pompidou recently bought a print of Womanhouse for their permanent collection. Since winning the Discovery Program Award and making the dramatic short Homesick in 1989 (Sundance, Houston Fest winner, Showtime broadcast), Demetrakas has turned her energies to writing and directing dramatic fiction as well as documentaries. Her credits include LA Law, Doogie Howser, MD, and the Lifetime television feature Out of Line, starring Jennifer Beals. In 2004, Demetrakas produced, directed, and edited a two-hour special Biography of Richard Gere for A&E. It was the first A&E Biography without a narrator. Well known for her editing prowess, her credits include The World According to Sesame Street and Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony. That epic documentary, edited by Demetrakas, won both the Audience and Freedom of Expression Awards at Sundance, 2002, and was nominated for five Emmys, including editing for Demetrakas. She co-directed and edited Busrider’s Union with the legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler. She has collaborated with Renee Tajima-Pena on several films, including My America, or Honk if You Love Buddha, the PBS special My Journey Home, and the P.O.V. film, Calavera Highway. Demetrakas has served on several awards juries including the Director’s Guild of America, the IDA, the Student Academy Awards, and the Greek Film Festival. She taught writing and directing at Cal Arts and is now on
the faculty at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

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