Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, photographer and University of Massachusetts/Amherst Professor Emerita. She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from the Women's Movement.
During that time she was a member of Newsreel film collective and Bread and Roses, one of the earliest women's liberation groups in Boston. She was also a founding member of FilmWomen of Boston and Boston Film/Video Foundation. She is one of the four founders of New Day Films.
Brandon’s groundbreaking films Sometimes I Wonder Who I Am (1970) Anything You Want To Be (1971) and Betty Tells Her Story (1972) were among the earliest and most frequently used consciousness raising tools of the Women's Movement. Her films, which also include Once Upon A Choice and How To Prevent A Nuclear War have won numerous national and international awards, and have been featured on HBO, TLC and Cinemax. They have twice received Blue Ribbons at the American Film Festival, and have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Tribeca Film Festival and at the legendary Orson Welles Cinema in Cambridge, MA.
Anything You Want To Be and Betty Tells Her Story have been restored with grants from the Women’s Film Preservation Fund. Recent screenings of the restored films include The Barbican Centre in London, Metrograph and UnionDocs in NY, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Glasgow Film Theatre in Scotland, The Royal Institute for Theatre in Brussels, and colleges and universities across the country.
Currently working as a photographer, her still photography credits include Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive (PBS American Masters), Typhoid Mary: The Most Dangerous Woman in America (PBS Nova), Unsolved Mysteries, The Powder & the Glory, Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women (PBS American Masters) and Murder at Harvard (PBS American Experience). Her photos have been published in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal and many other publications, as well as featured in gallery exhibits.
Brandon is the recipient of the Boston Society of Film Critics Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. She has served as a juror for the Emmy Awards, the Evvy Awards, the student Academy Awards and as an education consultant for WGBH -TV. She was named Pioneer Woman Filmmaker by CineWomen of New York.
Brandon’s work has been profiled in The Boston Globe, International Documentary Magazine, Variety, The Chicago Tribune, Film Library Quarterly, Documentary Storytelling for Film, Videomakers and many other publications.
In addition to her role as Professor at the University of Massachusetts, she was the Director of UMass Educational Television which produced award winning, original educational programming for cable/home audiences throughout New England. The twelve original series (50 half-hour episodes) were carried by local and regional cable, and were seen in over 40 cities and towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Actively involved with the rights of media artists, her lawsuit (Brandon v. The Regents of the University of California) won a landmark victory for filmmakers' protection of their titles.
Before becoming a filmmaker, Brandon experimented with several short careers, working as a ski instructor, file clerk, high school teacher and professional stunt woman.
Films by Liane Brandon
Once Upon A Choice is a humorous, original fairy tale in which an unconventional princess faces the conventional dilemma of deciding which prince to marry. Instead, she decides to choose her own fate...
In this fairy tale, the princess decides for herself what it means to live "happily ever after" - and raises important questions about marriage, independence and responsibility.
Anything You Want To Be was one of the earliest and most popular films of the Women's Movement. Made in 1971, this groundbreaking film about a teenager's humorous collision with gender role stereotypes was one of the first to explore the external pressures and the more subtle, internal pressures a girl faces in finding her identity.
In a series of comical vignettes, a bright high school girl finds that, despite her parents' assurance that she can be "anything she wants to be," she is repeatedly foiled by social expectations and media stereotypes.
As a part of the growing women’s movement, this film helped give voice to a generation of women whose expectations, opportunities and career choices were extremely limited.
Anything You Want To Be is a founding film of New Day Films. It was restored with a grant from the Women's Film Preservation Fund and was recently honored with screenings at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, Barbican Centre in London and at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Betty Tells Her Story is the poignant tale of beauty, identity and a dress - and is considered a classic of documentary filmmaking. Made in 1972, it was the first independent film of the women’s movement to explore the issues of body image, self-worth and beauty in our culture - and to explore the ways in which clothing and appearance affect a woman’s identity.
It is the saga of Betty's search for "the perfect dress"- how she found just the right one, felt absolutely transformed, and… never got to wear it. Then Betty tells her story again. This time, her feelings emerge and the story is strikingly different. The contrast between the two stories is haunting.
Betty Tells Her Story has been in continuous active distribution since it was made - used in film studies and communication classes, psychology, sociology, anthropology, women’s studies, and many other disciplines.
How To Prevent A Nuclear War is a refreshingly upbeat and compelling look at the kinds of activities that Americans engaged in to lessen the threat of nuclear war. It is a film about grassroots democracy in action - featuring unforgettable vignettes of people working for peace in their communities.
The film includes a cameo appearance by Tom Lehrer and a spirited cabaret rendition of his satirical ditty "We Will All Go Together When We Go".