BETH LEVISON is an independent producer/director based in New York City, currently producing an independent, feature-length documentary about women and the Arab uprisings.
For the past four years, Levison has been directing and producing an independent feature documentary called LEMON, about ex-con turned spoken word artist, Lemon Andersen. The film is completed and now enjoying a robust film festival run. 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 was selected for Independent Film Week’s “Spotlight on Documentaries” showcase in 2009, was made possible with a NYSCA grant and Ford Foundation funds, and has now won a number of awards in festivals here and abroad.
Simultaneous to completing LEMON and seeing it through the festival circuit, she was the Supervising Producer of video for Etsy, an internet startup 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 invited to screen on television and film festivals, as well.
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 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) feature the architects, designers, technologies, and policies behind a new generation of green buildings in which we can live and work, while the premiere installment e2 design chronicles international efforts to mitigate climate change through innovative – and sometimes ingenious – energy solutions. The 24 programs were shot in locations around the world and narrated by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. The series was rebroadcast on Sundance Channel in 2009.
Levison was a Producer of HBO’s Classical Baby series, a whimsical, animated, three-part series designed to introduce young audiences to masterpieces of classical music, the visual arts and dance. It was honored with the 2005 national Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Programming and a George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. The series is available on DVD at a store near you.
In 2004, Levison was the Senior Producer, On-Air at Sundance Channel where she ran all aspects of development, production, and post-production of AfterEffect, a weekly series of short-form segments that followed documentary premieres on the channel’s “DocDay”. She managed producing teams all over the world in addition to a New York staff. While at Sundance, Levison also supervised the editorial direction and content of 24 Frame News, a monthly ½-hour show that chronicled newsmakers in independent narrative and documentary film.
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 in feature films.
Levison is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and a creative consultant to the educational website that encourages global citizenry, ProjectExplorer. She 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.