The Creators


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The Creators


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director: Derek Armstrong McNeill

Over the last two years while creating and filming the award-winning documentary, The Road to Nickelsville, I sought to understand the people and circumstances that lead to the organized homeless encampments around Seattle, Washington. While spending time with members of this homeless community, it became clear there was also a sub-textual exploration of how differently people cope with adversity. This lead to the next two film ideas; one which examines the effect of the Seattle tech boom is having on the cost of living, while the other - now Appleseeds - explores how we can find joy and purpose, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

Although my original goal was to work in fictional narrative film, I discovered while filming The Road to Nickelsville that powerful human stories were in the everyday world around me, and that exploring the human condition through real people, for both myself and audiences, was my true calling.

My background is in still photography, art direction, and music, which brings a slightly different story-telling style to my films. I tend to see the world around me in a dramatic way; seeing the beauty in every day people and experiences. My hope is to show audiences the world I see, and invite them to come with me on my journey of discovery.

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producer: Luann Bice

I have always believed in the power of a story. After a long career in graphic design, I am now an emerging, full time artist living and creating in Seattle, still telling compelling stories that touch people and make them think. Art has the unique and subversive power to incite conversations about challenging topics and to be a compelling force for social change.

My artistic process currently explores the ephemeral but cyclical nature of human existence. Using my personal history as a reference point, I reflect upon realities of growing older and work to disrupt cultural myths. I employ a variety of media – printmaking, sculptural forms, artists books, and recently video – to explore what lies “in-between” external appearance and internal richness. By investigating multiple perspectives of identity, loss and aging, my work initiates conversations about complexity, vulnerability and inevitability, and encourages viewers to celebrate realistic self descriptions and acceptance. 

My social practice uses art to connect people as well as to make spaces where more voices can be heard and I have been active for nine years with Path with Art as supporter, teacher, creative mentor, board member and served four years as Board Chair.