Kathy is a unique combination of mindful strategist, deep thinker, intrepid activist, wordsmith and artist. A filmmaker herself, she "gets it" from fundraising to community building to impact -- she is there by your side, a comrade, collaborator and deep, generous thinker, always leading with her values and open, loving heart. She asks the most important questions, listens intently, and co-develops strategies, while always keeping the needs of the community, audience and partners in mind. She is a team member and a leader. She will help you turn every community screening into an event, and every pre-meeting check-in, q & a, or debrief into an opportunity to build community and deepen relationships. Kathy has helped me move my ideas, goals and visions into concrete, transformative opportunities for authentic step-by-step change.
- Judith Helfand
Director/producer, Cooked: Survival by zip code
& Impact producer
In COOKED: Survival By Zip Code, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand uses her signature serious-yet-quirky connect-the-dots style to take audiences from the deadly 1995 Chicago heat wave -- in which 739 mostly black, elderly, and poor Chicagoans died during the course of one week-- deep into one of our nation’s biggest growth industries: disaster preparedness. Along the way, Helfand forges inextricable links between extreme weather, extreme disparity, and extreme racism, daring to ask: what if a zip code was just a routing number and not a life-or-death sentence?
I have rarely worked with a producer as professional, compassionate, responsive, effective, and dedicated as Kathy Leichter. She approaches impact in a deeply inclusive way, and excels at building partnerships at the community, local, state, and national levels, extending the life and influence of documentary projects far beyond the screen. For UNLADYLIKE she is developing and implementing an extraordinarily meaningful impact campaign, and is a true partner in helping me bring my vision to life.
- Charlotte Mangin
Series Creator, Executive Producer,
writer and Director, UNLADYLIKE2020
& Impact Producer
UNLADYLIKE is an innovative multimedia series of short, animated documentary films featuring unsung American women from the early years of feminism, and the contemporary women who now follow in their footsteps.
Set to launch in 2020 in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the series will present 31 shorts for the 31 days of Women’s History Month, distributed through a high-profile digital platform, social media feeds, educational outreach campaigns in middle schools, high schools and universities, and civic engagement events across the United States.
Kathy has helped me launch three films. I can't say enough positive things about what Kathy has done to catapult each film in to the places it needs to be. She is a delight to work with and essentially I can't do anything without her. She is AMAZING!
- Victoria Mills
Director and Producer, Like Any Other Kid
Something incredible is happening behind the locked doors of the James Ranch in Morgan Hill, California, the Bridge City Center for Youth in Bridge City, Louisiana, and 162nd St. Sheltering Arms, in the Bronx, New York. Caring and committed staff are using guidance, setting boundaries, and showing unconditional love and compassion to youth offenders.
Kathy has been wonderful to work with as we launched our film out into the world. As a filmmaker herself, she has direct experience with this crucial aspect of making a film. She was very timely in all correspondence and she has great ideas on how to implement and carry out a distribution plan. She coached several teams who were working on our outreach in various countries, and with them she helped create an excellent template for our community screenings.. She is open and listens well to what the filmmaker hopes and dreams for their film. Plus, she is a really nice person and a joy to work with.
- kim shelton
Director, already free
Ordinary people living thousands of miles apart, independently discover an innovative form of Qigong that offers the promise of health, inner peace and true freedom. The practice transforms them in dramatic and profound ways, deeply touching everyone in their lives, and inviting a deep hope for humanity, the Earth and our entwined destiny.
Kathy has been a pleasure to work with, from defining goals and audiences, to venues, to outreach and strategies on multiple platforms. "Thorough" is an understatement! Mindful of time and budget while building on relationships and structures we already had in place, Kathy is accountable in a way that redefines expectations for completed films. We wholeheartedly recommend her as an impact producer!
MUSIC IS LIFE
MUSIC IS LIFE
- Harriet Gordon Getzels
Producer/Director, Writer, Zuzana: Music is life
ZUZANA: MUSIC IS LIFE is the triumphant story told by Zuzana Ruzickova, who lived to be 90, and how she became a world-famous harpsichordist and interpreter of Bach under the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, after surviving three concentration camps during her teenage years. Zuzana Ruzickova’s story is remarkable not just because she returned to Czechoslovakia after the war to fulfill her childhood dream of a career in music; but also in how she navigated Communist and anti-Semitic persecution at home, while becoming a tour-de-force in concerts and competitions around the world.
Kathy helped amplify the reach of our project so we were able to book over 50 screenings nationwide, expand our partner base to include large national networks, and increase the sustainability of the project. She was able to maintain communication with dozens of potential hosting venues simultaneously while making sure every partner’s needs were addressed.
- Julie Winokur
Producer/Director, Bring It to The Table
TO THE TABLE
DEMOCRACY IS FOUNDED ON ROBUST DIALOGUE.
But somewhere along the line, politics replaced sex as the one thing in America we don't discuss in mixed company – even amongst friends and family. Segregating ourselves into political silos is toxic to democracy. Bring It to The Table encourages Americans to stop bickering about politics, examine their own assumptions, and truly engage in civil discourse to help move our democracy forward.
This project is a short documentary, webisode series, online platform, and community engagement campaign aimed at bridging political divides and breaking down partisanship. For people who are tired of hyper-partisanship, pull a chair up to The Table and join us in making politics an acceptable topic for dinner conversation again!
Kathy has been a joy to work with as an impact producer on Alice Street. She provided us with a strong road map to support our distribution goals and has connected us to many helpful resources along the way. She is passionate about her work and has been an extremely valuable member of our team.
- SPENCER WILKINSON
Director, ALICE STREET
In a rapidly gentrifying city, the construction of a luxury condominium threatens a local mural forcing the artists and a neighborhood to rally to protect its history, voice, and land.
"Alice Street shows how the Universal Language mural’s creation and erasure alike catalyzed a multiracial anti-gentrification coalition with significant, ongoing effects on real estate development and city planning in downtown Oakland. Set in just a few city blocks, it’s a story about intractable loss as well as collective refusal, depicting artists’ role in grassroots activism that builds power by bridging communities." - KQED Arts
After some festival runs, I wasn't sure how to market my film. Working with Kathy led me to concrete next steps for getting my film to more organizations, people, and places. She was extremely helpful in crafting messaging and building a strategy for my impact campaign.
- Carrie Hawks, Director
A queer oddball seeks approval from Black peers despite a serious lack of Hip-Hop credentials. This short animated documentary takes you on a quest for belonging and self-acceptance. black enuf* interweaves stories from Hawks’ great-grandmother’s autobiography, interviews of family & friends, and illustrated memories.
It has been a great experience working with Kathy to plan our campaign for No Human Is Illegal. She listened to our concerns about our budget and constantly gave us feedback along the way so that we could make informed decisions about doing the best we could with what we had to spend. Our future success depends to a great degree on our own level of commitment but we feel well-prepared and confident as we prepare to move forward.
- Richard Ledes
Director, Writer and Producer
Completed in 2018 and filmed entirely on the Greek island of Lesvos, NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL is a documentary about what is perhaps one of the darkest and most seminal political historical events of the start of the 21st century: the founding of a zone of exclusion within the Eurozone. The spring of 2018 marked the second anniversary of the European Commission, the ruling body of the Eurozone, radically revising its policy regarding undocumented migrants arriving on the Aegean islands of Greece. At that time the European Commission declared undocumented migrants arriving on the Aegean islands would be sent back to Turkey.