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Heather Courtney

Heather Courtney won an Emmy, the Independent Spirit Award, and a SXSW Jury Award for her film WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM. The film has won awards at festivals around the country, including Best Documentary Feature at the Philadelphia Film Festival, and the Founders Award for Best U.S. Documentary at the Traverse City Film Festival.  The film received rave reviews in the New York Times, the Washington Post and others during its theatrical release in Fall 2011, and was broadcast nationally on the PBS program POV.  It made several Top 10 film of 2011 lists, including Salon and the Austin American Statesman.


WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM was supported by many grants and fellowships during its production including from ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Fund, the United States Artists Fellowship, and the Austin Film Society. Heather was also a fellow at the Sundance Edit and Story Lab. 


Prior to WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM, Heather Courtney directed and produced several documentary films including award-winners LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE, and LOS TRABAJADORES, and was a co-director on Roger Weisberg’s documentary CRITICAL CONDITION.  LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE was broadcast on over 60 PBS stations.  LOS TRABAJADORES won the Audience Award at SXSW and the International Documentary Association David Wolper award, and was broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens.


Prior to receiving her MFA in Film Production, she spent eight years writing and photographing for the United Nations and several refugee and immigrant rights organizations, including in the Rwandan refugee camps after the 1994 Rwandan genocide.   Heather is from the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and is proud to call herself a Yooper.