BETH LEVISON is an independent producer/director currently producing AWAKENING (working title), a feature-length documentary about the role of women in the Arab uprisings. Still in pre-production, the film is in association with New York City production company Fork Films.
Prior to joining Fork, Levison spent almost five years working on her award winning, independent documentary debut LEMON, about ex-con turned spoken word artist Lemon Andersen. Executive Produced by Impact Partners (How to Survive a Plague, The Cove) and Russell Simmons, and directed/produced in partnership with Laura Brownson, the film screened at some 40 festivals worldwide, aired on PBS as part of the national Latino-themed VOCES series, was selected for Independent Film Week’s “Spotlight on Documentaries” showcase in 2009, and was made possible with a NYSCA grant and Ford Foundation funds.
Simultaneous to completing LEMON and seeing it through the festival circuit, she was the Supervising Producer of video for Etsy, a dot-com located in Brooklyn, New York. Responsible for every aspect of the development, production, post and distribution of documentary shorts about makers and their creative process, the videos received millions of views, were re-posted all over the web, and were nominated for the 2012 Vimeo Awards and the 2013 Webby Awards.
Before her time at Etsy, Levison was the Producer of two children’s specials for HBO. The animated program A Child’s Garden of Poetry received the 2011 national Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Programming, introduces young audiences to classic works of poetry, and features the voices of Claire Danes, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julian Moore, Liam Neeson and others. In Don’t Divorce Me, kids share their stories about the heartache and pain of divorce – it had its television premiere in the fall of 2012. Levison was also one of the producers of the Emmy Award winning Classical Baby series for HBO – an animated journey through masterpieces of visual art, dance, and classical music.
Levison was the Senior Producer and a Director of e2, a multi-part PBS series about the economies of being environmentally conscious. The three seasons of e2 Design (2005 – 2008) featured the architects, designers, technologies, and policies behind a new generation of green buildings in which we can live and work, while the premiere installment of e2 Energy chronicled international efforts to mitigate climate change through innovative – and sometimes ingenious – energy solutions. The 24 programs were shot in locations around the world, and were narrated by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.
A highlight of Levison’s career was the three years spent as one of the primary creators and the Story Editor of EGG the arts show, a weekly, theme-driven, national PBS series on the contemporary visual and performing arts. The program featured stories about artists “high and low” – contemporary icons, self-taught painters, celebrated playwrights, and small modern dance companies. At EGG, Levison directed shorts about Vanessa Beecroft, an installation artist who uses real women as material, John Schabel, who photographs people through airplane windows, and the phenomenon of Sibling Harmony groups in pop music. EGG had a cult following, was a favorite amongst critics and audiences of all kinds, and received a 2002 George Foster Peabody Award, four 2002 national Emmy Award nominations, and five 2001 New York Emmy Awards.
Earlier in her career, Levison was the Associate Producer of the HBO special Goodnight Moon and Other Sleepytime Tales, which received the 2000 national Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program and the 2000 George Foster Peabody Award. She was also the Series Associate Producer of The Long Journey Home, a four-part PBS series on the history of the Irish in America. She got her start in the business at National Geographic Television, and has also worked for NBC’s Peacock Productions, ABC News, MTV, and on other documentary features, as well.
Levison grew up in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, graduated from Middlebury College, and lives in downtown New York with her husband and two boys, Ben and Gabe.