Happenstance has played a large part in bringing Lizzie Warren to where she is today. While studying English and Art History at Barnard College, she happened to catch the French documentary, “Darwin’s Nightmare,” on the ravages of global capitalism. She was intrigued by how beautifully it was structured. While her fellow students were buying tickets for “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars,” Lizzie was devouring documentaries.
After brief sojourns teaching in the south of France and the north of New York City (aka the South Bronx), Lizzie was hired by Connecticut Public Television where she began to produce and write, working on multiple documentaries, including “The Blizzard of ‘78” which was seen by over 200,000 viewers and “On Deadline” which won an regional Emmy for Best Documentary in 2011.
But happenstance had entered Lizzie’s life again in the guise of The Lonely Soldier by Helen Benedict, a book reporting the experiences of women serving in Iraq. Lizzie wondered what had happened to them as they returned. Then she saw a small item about a zoning board application for a transitional house for women veterans in Bridgeport. Lizzie knew then she wanted to make a documentary about these soldiers and their plight. And so was born “War Zone/Comfort Zone.”
Here happenstance was pushed aside by perseverance. Lizzie needed money to make the documentary. She refused to accept refusals, and asked people to help her. And some did. Lizzie applied for grants. But having never made a movie before, she received a lot of “no thanks, but good luck” rejections. Finally, Jennifer Boyd of Connecticut Public Television stepped in and said she would find the funds for Lizzie to finish the film.
So far, “War Zone/Comfort Zone” has received an Emmy nomination for Best Documentary and was screened at the Arizona International Film Festival. In addition, Lizzie is up for Best Historical Program Emmy as writer and producer of “The 60s in Connecticut.” She has already won two regional Emmys.
This multi-talented filmmaker graduated from Barnard College in 2006. She and her boyfriend live in Brooklyn with their cat, Mochi.
Karen Silverstein is an award-winning filmmaker who first came to public attention with the cult-classic culinary documentary Gefilte Fish.
In addition to making independent films, she has been working in public television as an editor and producer for almost 25 years, on shows such as NOVA, The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman, Zoom and Arthur.
Born and raised in St. Louis, she now lives in West Hartford, Connecticut and works at Connecticut Public Television (CPTV). She edited The 60s in Connecticut and went to to partner with Lizzie Warren to complete War Zone/Comfort Zone which was nominated for a regional Emmy for Best Documentary. She also edits Infinity Hall Live is currently airing nationally through APT. She has another independent film in the works.