Kathlyn Horan has been working as an independent director, producer and photographer for over 15 years. Her passion for social justice has led her to use the documentary medium as a way to bring stories to light that elevate awareness, connect communities and ignite discussion. She specializes in working in an embedded journalistic capacity with her subjects in order to allow the viewer an intimate journey into often unseen worlds.
Tackling the rate of female incarceration, which has grown more than 700% in the last three decades, Horan’s current documentary, “The If Project” explores the reasons behind these staggering numbers. The film follows a group of inmates incarcerated in a maximum-security women’s prison who are part of a writing workshop co-created by a Seattle police detective and a repeat offender serving a nine-year sentence. These stories serve as a launching off point to follow three of the women in the program as they are released, reunited with their families and faced with life on the outside. Most astoundingly, they do all of this with a police officer by their side every step of the way. Challenging our common perceptions, we watch as a lasting bond is formed and this unlikely partnership between cop and convict unfolds.
The film has won numerous awards on the festival circuit, including the Lena Sharpe Award and a special Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival. Hollywood Reporter’s review states, “The If Project’s portrait of people-focused policing is not just inspiring but an urgent lesson in communication across a widening divide.” The Huffington post called the film “An important piece of media that every American should see as soon as possible”.
Her latest music based film, One Lost Day, follows Grammy winning duo Indigo Girls as they head to Nashville to record with a young and untested music producer, Jordan Hamlin. This film offers us extraordinarily intimate access into the world of these notoriously private artists, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. Filmed over the course of a two week recording session, we look into how they work together, their history and their deep connection to music. The film premiered at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
Horan co-directed a feature length film entitled “A Voice for Choice”, documenting the pro-choice “March for Women’s Lives” that took place in Washington DC on April 25th, 2004. The documentary includes interviews with some of the nations leading politicians, activists and artists such as Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, Sheryl Crow, Bill Maher and more. Horan also produced and directed a short documentary, “What is Zen?”, which examines the lives of four Zen Buddhist monks in different stages of their practice.