One Day in Boston

Profile Spotlight: Beth Balaban

Son of Saichi (1-minute trailer) from Beth Balaban on Vimeo.

1. Who are you and what is your profession?
My name means Beth, "To Serve Bread with Honey" in Turkish. I'm a non-fiction filmmaker.

2. Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
My academic background is in psychology, philosophy and creative writing. My cultural background is Midwestern. 

3. What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I can't say I have any sort of miracle narrative for how I arrived at being a filmmaker. At my own peril, I wandered toward it - like walking into the light even though the voices are screaming "Don't do it!" It's just the thing I love doing the very most, and I can't imagine doing anything else.

4. Who or what do you most admire?
I admire intellectual rigor and ferocity and I admire people who have arrived at their own Truth.

5. What do you love about Boston?
I know it's dorky, but Boston to me feels like the home of documentary and that's why I'm here. Some of the greats started here and really pioneered the art form...and the lingering effect is an ongoing conversation about craft and storytelling on a large scale. That's hard to find everywhere else.

6. What do you fear most for Boston?
My biggest fear for my city is gentrification. Admittedly, I might be part of the "problem" - but there's a great depth of beautiful cultural heritage in the Boston area and if housing/development keeps going in the direction it is now, we're going to wash it all out of our diverse city.

7. What do you hope for Boston in the next 20 years?
As Boston continues to grow over the next 20 years, I hope that city planners take human interests into account and design a future city where quality of life trumps commerce and cars.

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