ALICE FEST 2016 SALUTES Women Film Pioneers


This project began as a search for silent cinema “women film pioneers” who challenged the idea of established great male “pioneers of cinema.”  Researchers found more women than anyone expected to find.  They discovered that more women worked at all levels inside and outside the Hollywood film industry in the first two decades of the 20th century than at any time since. The high incidence of women workers, however,  was not limited to the U.S. It was a global phenomenon.

Learn more about the history of women in film HERE.   The Women’s Film Pioneers Project is an online resource and ongoing research endeavor based at Columbia University in NYC.




In 1979, Lucy Zastrow became the first woman deputy in the Durham County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Office. During a 30-year career in law enforcement, she was promoted to lieutenant, captain and then major. Formidable even as a child and dubbed “The Shark” by her colleagues, she proved herself to be tough but fair.

As part of ALICE FEST SALUTES, we will screen That Deputy Sheriff Might Surprise You, a short biographical documentary film about Major Lucy Zastrow, directed by local filmmaker Kimberly Best.


Lucy Zastrow

Because she was a woman, Lucy Zastrow’s normal duties as a law enforcement officer were initially restricted. But she went on to have an exceptional career with the Sheriff’s Office, while inspiring and mentoring other women.

Under her leadership, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office became the second sheriff’s office in North Carolina to have an accredited training division. During her career, she received: advanced law enforcement certification; distinguished expert handgun qualification; crisis/hostage negotiation training; a private pilot’s license, and law enforcement teaching certification. She also was the second law enforcement assessor in the state for international accreditation.

“Some of my most rewarding work was as a Training Director because it gave me the opportunity to see things on a state and national level, and then bring ideas home to my local level,” she says. “Examples were introducing national accreditation to the Durham Sheriff’s office, using instructor certification to develop staff, and writing – after the Rodney King incident — the first ethics lesson plan for law enforcement for the State of North Carolina.”
Zastrow also guided — in the early 1990s — development of the Sheriff’s Office’s personnel evaluation program. She wrote the evaluation process, developed the process form, and created the plan to teach the process to the agency.

Working under contract after retiring in 2008 from the Durham Sheriff’s Office, she rewrote the State of North Carolina’s basic certification capstone test for law enforcement certification, and wrote a manual on court house security for the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association.


Lucy Zastrow

Working through the Department of State at the American Embassy in Bangladesh, Zastrow assisted the Bengali government in law enforcement training, with an emphasis on human rights.

Zastrow has held seats on many boards. These include: North Carolina Basic Law Enforcement Training Revision planning; local chapter of Keep America Beautiful; Alcoholic Beverage Control; State PAC for International L.E. Accreditation, and the Mayors Appointment for Housing Appeal’s Board.

ALICE FEST SALUTES  Major Lucy Zastrow, a trailblazer who has achieved professional success in a field that men still dominate — overwhelmingly.   Coming up through the ranks, Major Zastrow gained the respect of her peers and became a role model for other women interested in a career in law enforcement.

About the Filmmaker

Kim Best worked for 20 years as a science/medical writer and editor for daily newspapers and an international nonprofit. She earned her Certificate in Documentary Arts from Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies in 2010. In short videos, she shares the work and successes of international nonprofits; highlights worthy causes and individuals; and tells off-beat tales. Links to more of her work can be found at:


ALICE FEST 2014 SALUTES ELLIE (ELEANOR) KINNAIRD – political activist, former NC State Senator, former Mayor, Carrboro, NC


Ellie Kinnaird has been involved in civic and community activities since joining the League of Women Voters in 1964. She has been active in politics since 1987 when she was elected as Mayor of Carrboro, North Carolina and served four terms as a popular leader for the environment, arts, downtown vitalization and neighborhood restoration.

In 1997, Kinnaird went to the North Carolina State Senate as an advocate for the environment, education, social justice and campaign finance reform. She served as a Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly representing the state’s 23rd Senate district until her resignation in 2013, opting for a role far from the Legislative Building, in grassroots advocacy, working with a project to make sure everyone in North Carolina has the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

Learn more at:


As a tribute to Kinnaird, ALICE FEST will screen The Honorable Ellie Kinnaird, a biographical documentary by Chapel Hill filmmaker Martha J. Moore.   The film follows Ellie Kinnaird’s remarkable journey from life as a 1950s suburban housewife and mother to her role as a nationally known progressive political voice in the South.

Empowered in the 1970s by the women’s liberation movement, she became a prominent attorney and a courageous advocate for the environment, education, social justice, and campaign finance reform, serving four terms as mayor of Carrboro and eight terms as a North Carolina State Senator.

Moore’s documentary follows her in what would become her final, tumultuous year in public office.

About the filmmaker:  After a two-decade career as a media producer in Nashville, Tennessee, family ties brought Martha Moore back to her native North Carolina to pursue professional development at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. Moore relishes harnessing the power of media to uplift, inspire, and cultivate progressive change.


Kinnaird will be recognized at the festival and will speak briefly after the screening of the film about her current efforts and the importance of women as agents of change in their communities.


ALICE FEST 2013 SALUTES  BRYANT HOLSENBECK – environmental artist

Bryant Holsenbeck

Bryant Holsenbeck

“For over a decade now, I have been documenting the “stuff” of our society that we use once and throw away. Americans continue to create more garbage, per capita, than any other culture, yet we are blind to our waste. I believe this is a function of our wealth, and the vastness of our country. We have the room to hide our waste, and the money to make more. I collect many things, among them, bottle caps, credit cards, plastic bags, straws and lids, beach plastic and chop sticks. I use these everyday items to make work, which transforms the objects and surprises us. I am an environmentalist, receiving great joy from the natural world. This makes me aware of how we take what we have for granted. We are used to using “stuff” once and then throwing it away. We may throw it away, but my work makes me aware of its continual impact.”  (-Artist’s Statement)

ALICE FEST 2013 is proud to salute environmental artist Bryant Holsenbeck.  Through her art and activism, she inspires others to see the impact we have on our planet.   At ALICE FEST 2013, we will screen “BLACKBIRDS, BOTTLE CAPS, AND BROKEN RECORDS: ENVIRONMENTAL ARTIST BRYANT HOLSENBECK AT WORK.  Directed by Marjorie Morales and produced by Jeanette Stokes and the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South, this short documentary film illuminates Holsenbeck’s philosophy and art work.  The artist will attend ALICE FEST and participate in a short Q & A following the film.

Bryant Holsenbeck began her arts career as a basket maker. Since that time she has evolved into an environmental artist who makes large-scale installations that document the waste stream of our society. She has shown her work and taught throughout the United States. She has been the recipient of 2 North Carolina Arts Council Fellowships, a Project Grant and an NEA Arts and Learning Grant that she worked on in collaboration with the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission. She is currently attempting to live one year with out disposable plastic and writing a blog about it entitled THE LAST STRAW: A RELUCTANT YEAR WITHOUT DISPOSABLE PLASTIC.” Most recent past projects are STUFF: Where Does It Come From and Where Does It Go?, The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC and STREAMING: New Art Out of Old Bottles at the Gregg Museum of Art and Design.  In both of these installations the artist worked with hundreds of students and the greater community. She is a community artist who likes to work with groups of people to make large-scale installations using the “stuff” of our society. She is also an independent studio artist who makes books, birds, and sculptures out of recycled materials.

More about Bryant Holsenbeck at



ALICE FEST 2012 salutes two women who are using the power of media to make women visible by documenting the lives of women, past and present.

BARBARA LAU,   The Pauli Murray Project

*SONYA WILLIAMS HARRIS is an EMMY award-winning television producer.  Currently she is the Senior Producer of the EMMY award-winning “In the Garden with Bryce Lane,” an NC State University gardening series/distance education class that airs on UNC-TV .             TAR-HEEL-TALK_Sonja-Harris_200

In addition to her work at NCSU, Sonya has been the producer and host of Tar Heel Talk, a half-hour public affairs program, for over twelve years.  Tarheel Talk airs on North Carolina’s WRAZ Fox 50 on Sundays at 6:30 a.m.  Over the past year, Sonya has featured a wide variety of topics on her show:  small business start-ups for women; postpartum education and support; breast cancer detection, treatment and support; and guests from WomenNC, a nonprofit organization working on progress in gender equality and human rights for women in NC and around the world;  Interact, a non-profit agency that provides safety, support, and awareness to victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault; the Pauli Murray Project, Golf for Promise, Communities in Schools, Carolina Donor Services, DurhamCares, Soroptimist International of Raleigh, and ChathamArts Sustainable Cinema Series.  Sonya has featured individual local women filmmakers and promoted their film screening events.

Using the medium of television, Sonya has done an outstanding job of  supporting and advocating for women by illuminating the accomplishments and contributions by women in our community.

A native of Nash County and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sonya began her career as a producer at WCTI in New Bern.  Later she moved to Greenville as a reporter/anchor for WNCT and then to WSOC in Charlotte as a producer.
As a political correspondent and anchor for UNC-TV, she covered the State Legislature and served as co-anchor of UNC-TV’s weekly political program, Legislative Week In Review.

* * *

*BARBARA LAU is the director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center in Durham, NC, where she connects her commitment to justice with her belief in the power of community organizing. The Pauli Murray Project uses a collaborative exploration of history and storytelling as a way to open and strengthen cross-community ties, promote reconciliation, and stimulate work for positive change. The project’s goal is to empower Durham’s residents to see their “whole past,” as Pauli Murray suggests, not as something to hide, but as a powerful tool for shaping the future.

lauPauli Murray was a champion for civil and human rights who grew up in Durham. Her insights and vision continue to resonate powerfully in our times.  As a historian, attorney, poet, activist, teacher and Episcopal priest, she worked throughout her life to address injustice, to give voice to the unheard, to educate, and to promote reconciliation between races and economic classes.

From producing To Buy the Sun, an original play about Pauli Murray to her coordination of the “Face Up: Telling Stories of Community Life” mural project, Barbara weaves artists and arts projects into much of her work. In her successful career as a folklorist and arts administrator she has also recently co-curated two traveling exhibits about local history, the Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project and Durham Historic Black Wall Street. She has also curated two major exhibitions about Cambodian American traditions and her 2003 children’s book, Sokita Celebrates the New Year: A Cambodian American Holiday, the recipient of the National Association of Multicultural Education’s Children’s Publication Award.

She is the co-recipient of the 2011 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for humanitarian service at Duke University.

Barbara earned a BA in Sociology/Urban Studies from Washington University in St. Louis (1980) and an MA in folklore at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2000). From 1999 to 2009 she held the position of Community Documentary Projects director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.  ~

1 thought on “ALICE FEST SALUTES

  1. Pingback: On Thursday, the City Will Pilot a Program of Local Films in Local Parks - Raleigh Agenda

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