Beth Harrington (2016) - Cre8con - Portland Creative Conference

Beth Harrington (2016)

Beth Harrington - 2016 Portland Creative Conference speaker

Beth Harrington

Documentary Film Producer, Director and Writer

Beth Harrington is an acclaimed independent producer, director and writer, born in Boston and transplanted to the Pacific Northwest. Her work most often explores American music, history and culture.

Harrington’s independent production Welcome to the Club – The Women of Rockabilly, a music documentary about the pioneering women of rock and roll, was honored with a 2003 Grammy nomination and has been seen on public television and at film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. This and other work reflects a long-standing love of music. She is a rock & roll singer and guitarist, currently playing in the Portland-based band Spiricles but perhaps most noted for her years as a member of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers on the Warner Brothers’ Sire Records label.

Her most recent work The Winding Stream The Carters,The Cashes and The Course of Country Music is also a music and performance film, featuring members of the Carter and Cash families and including one of the last interviews with the legendary Johnny Cash. This film premiered at 2014’s SXSW film festival and went on to appear at over 30 other festivals worldwide, winning numerous awards. It has also screened in theaters across North America and recently had its digital and DVD launch on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and many other platforms.

Through Boston’s flagship PBS station, WGBH, she has worked as a line producer and associate producer on various national documentaries, among them programs for NOVA, Frontline and The Health Quarterly, as well as two PBS specials. These shows have received a number of awards, including a Peabody (Dating in the Age of AIDS) and two National Emmy nominations (In the Path of a Killer Volcano, and Apollo 13: To The Edge and Back).

Harrington enjoys a steady and productive relationship as an independent contractor with Oregon Public Broadcasting, producing, researching, and developing shows for national air. She performed producer/director/writer duties for the popular PBS series History Detectives as well as Digital Television: A Cringely Crash Course, one of PBS’s first HDTV offerings. She also served as co-producer/writer of Aleutians: Cradle of the Storms for PBS and Natural History New Zealand.

Harrington is the producer of Kam Wah Chung – the story of two Chinese men living in Eastern Oregon during the Gold Rush. This program aired as part of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s series “Oregon Experience.” Also for that series, she produced, directed and wrote Searching for York, the little known story of an enslaved man who served as a valued member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Both of these programs were honored with two sets of Northwest Emmys – for Best Historical and Cultural Program and for Best Writing. Two other of her OPB programs Beervana, a look at Oregon beer culture and history, and Zigzag, an innovative environmental public affairs show have also received Northwest Emmy nominations.

Her critically acclaimed autobiographical documentary, The Blinking Madonna and Other Miracles aired on national public television and screened at numerous film festivals. Both this film and Welcome to the Club were produced in association with the Independent Television Service.

She is active in various film communities, having served on the board of Film Action Oregon as well as the Oregon Media Production Association. She is a past President of Women in Film/New England and a former Vice President of Women in Film/Seattle. She is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. She has been a media instructor at Washington State University, Lewis & Clark College, Bunker Hill Community College, New England School of Photography, Boston Film/Video Foundation, the Northwest Film Center and the Olympia Film Society as well as an artist-in-residence at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Communications from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in American Studies from University of Massachusetts – Boston.