Lucia Small • Founder, Director, Editor, Producer
Lucia Small is an award-winning 25-year veteran independent filmmaker best known for her daring, boundary-pushing, first person non-fiction work. Embracing the notion of personal as political, artist as responsible participant, Small tackles complex political and social issue themes on gender, race, class, and the environment with rare intimacy, nuance, and humor.
In 2001, Small formed small angst films inc., a name that spoke to the interplay between art and life and the absurdity of taking oneself too seriously.
In 2002, Small launched her directing career with My Father, The Genius about her visionary green architect father fighting for “dreams for a better world in the face of reality”. The film premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival and received two awards -- the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary and Best Editing (edited by Karen Schmeer). After a successful festival tour, garnering additional top festival awards, including a First Appearances nomination at International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA), My Father, The Genius was distributed by CS Associates and New Yorker Films. It was broadcast internationally and in the US and on the Sundance Channel in 2003.
In 2005, Small teamed up with seminal documentarian Ed Pincus of Black Natchez (1966) and Diaries: 1971-1976 and author of The Filmmakers’ Handbook, to co-direct, edit and produce The Axe in the Attic (2007), a story about the Diaspora of Hurricane Katrina and filmmaker as witness. Blending traditional social issue documentary with first person non-fiction form, The Axe in the Attic was considered one of the most controversial and provocative films about Katrina. Supported by the Sundance Documentary Institute and the LEF Foundation, the film had its world premiere at The New York Film Festival in 2007 and screened at festivals worldwide, including the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, Cinema du Reel, and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. It was distributed by Cinema Guild and IndiePix, and broadcast on the Documentary Channel.
Small and Pincus were invited as fellows to the Sundance Institute Documentary Story and Edit Labs in 2013 for their final collaboration One Cut, One Life (2014). Described as a bookend to Ed's ground-breaking Diaries: 1971-1976, the film begins after Lucia loses two close friends to sudden, violent deaths and Ed is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Experimenting with two points of view, the film follows the journey of the filmmaker friends striving to capture life's beauty in the face of death while also grappling with the moral dilemma of making the film against Ed’s wife’s wishes and his strong desire for final artistic expression. Shortly after Ed’s passing, Lucia screened the film at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Independent Film Festival of Boston, and The New York Film Festival. In 2015, One Cut, One Life opened theatrically (First Run Features) to rave reviews and multiple critic’s picks.
Small is currently directing and producing Girl Talk (formerly The Debate Film) about high school debate, focusing on the experience of the girls finding their voice in the age of Trump.
When Small is not making her own films, she works as an editor and story consultant for others. Credits include: Brittany Huckabees’ After Fire (2016) which premiered at DOC NYC, Gerald Peary’s Archie’s Betty (2015) which premiered at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival, and Lyda Kuth’s Love and Other Anxieties (2010) which premiered at Camden International Film Festival. She is currently cutting The Rabbi Goes West by Amy Geller and Gerald Peary.
With a background in environmental activism and art, Small got her media career start in public radio. Most notably, she helped launch and worked at NPR’s first environmental news magazine program Living on Earth. When Small switched to film, she worked in both fiction and nonfiction, quickly gravitating to the role of producer. Small has produced several award-winning projects for ITVS, PBS, and American Public Television, including Beth Harrington's The Blinking Madonna and Other Miracles (1995), Laurel Chiten's The Jew in the Lotus (1997), and Katrina Brown’s Traces of the Trade (2008).