POSTMORTEM is a documentary feature that is at once personal memoir, true crime and family history as director Marilyn Ness confronts a legacy of secrecy and trauma using the communal power of theater and film.
About the Filmmakers
Marilyn Ness is a two-time Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont Award-winning filmmaker and works as a director and producer and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Most recently, she produced the Netflix Original documentary BECOMING, about former First Lady Michelle Obama nominated for four Primetime Emmys. Ness also produced DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD (dir. Kirsten Johnson), which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, won the Special Jury Award for Innovation in Non-fiction Storytelling, was shortlisted for the 2021 Academy Award® - Best Documentary Feature, nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, the PGA Award for Best Documentary, and four Cinema Eye Honors. The film won two IDA Awards and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature. She directed CHARM CITY which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, was shortlisted for the 2019 Academy Award® - Best Documentary Feature, broadcast on Independent Lens on PBS, and was nominated for an Emmy. Before that, she produced CAMERAPERSON (dir. Kirsten Johnson), which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, was released by the Criterion Collection, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Awards® - Best Documentary Feature. Ness produced TRAPPED (dir. Dawn Porter), which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, received the Jury Prize for Social Impact Filmmaking, broadcast on PBS' Independent Lens, and was awarded a Peabody. She also produced Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman’s feature documentary E-TEAM, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and was bought by Netflix Original, and later earned two Emmy nominations. She directed the documentary feature film BAD BLOOD: A CAUTIONARY TALE that broadcast nationally on PBS in 2011. Ness is a partner at Big Mouth Productions, a women-owned and led documentary production company.
Beth Levison is an Emmy and Peabody-winning producer/director based in NYC. Her most recent producing effort, Made in Boise, premiered at the 2019 AFI DOCS film festival and will broadcast as part of Independent Lens’ 2019/2020 season. Prior to that, Levison produced 32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide, about director Hope Litoff’s efforts to come to terms with the mental illness and suicide of her sister; it premiered at Hot Docs and was broadcast on HBO (2017). Levison’s additional independent producing credits include Personal Statement (2018), a feature-length documentary about three high school seniors who fill the college guidance gap in their under- resourced schools, and The Trials of Spring (2015), a cross-media project including a feature-length documentary and six shorts about women human rights activists in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen. Her documentary directorial debut LEMON (2011) about Brooklyn-born poet and performer Lemon Andersen was shown at some 40 festivals around the world, selected by the State Department’s American Film Showcase and broadcast on PBS. Levison is the founder of Hazel Pictures, a co-founder of the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA), producing faculty with the School of Visual Arts MFA program in Social Documentary Film, and mom to two boys.