Martha started her directing career in journalism, where she directed both full length, and short-form documentaries on such diverse topics as the influx of Haitian refugees to Florida; the demise of the family farm; and the inception of the Special Olympics. Her work was nationally recognized by her peers, garnering her two Columbia DuPont Awards; several Emmys and Emmy nominations; and a Robert F. Kennedy Foundation Award, among many national and international accolades.
She transitioned to the world of dramatic directing, under the tutelage of Oscar-winner Jon Avnet, shadowing him on the film UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, while also providing some video inserts on the film. That was followed by the film VOLCANO, where, as a department head, she wrote and directed all the news elements in the film. She shadowed, and worked on other films such as ENEMY OF THE STATE, and THE NEGOTIATOR, before being accepted to the American Film Institute’s prestigious Directing Workshop for Women.
Her AFI DWW short, GLORY GIRL, was produced with the generous assistance of Dreamworks. It was critically well-received, and won the award for Creative Excellence from the Telluride Indiefest, which qualified it for Academy Award consideration.
She has stayed busy working as an executive, while also keeping her hand in, doing short films. Her latest, 1 Zer0, was shot entirely on an iPhone, and premiered at the Cairo Mobile Film Festival in late September (she didn’t enter it, they asked for it!). It played at Cannes and Singapore as well.
She has several potential feature films in the works. A project she spent a year raising the money for, got shut down right before production, because of the pandemic. So – Martha wrote a few other scripts and is prepping another short. She also got the rights to a terrific 15-book series, which she is working to adapt as a limited series.
She is active at the DGA, and served as a co-chair for activities, for the Women’s Steering Committee for over six years. Martha was honored to be chosen as one of fifty people chosen for the Directors Development Initiative, and during the pandemic, she’s become a Zoom addict, networking and getting to know other DGA colleagues while continuing education in her craft.
She is also active in the Producer’s Guild, where she was an inaugural western co-chair of the Women’s Impact Network, and a mentor on the guild’s Diversity Committee, which also produces the Media Access Awards.