Filmmaker Bess O’Brien on incarceration, addiction and teen angst

Bess O’Brien is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has changed the public discourse on issues ranging from addiction to incarceration. Her film The Hungry Heart, about the prescription drug crisis in Vermont, impacted the state’s drug policy. All of Me shone a light on eating disorders and her latest, Coming Home, focuses on ex-prisoners returning to their Vermont communities. O’Brien is currently producing The Listen Up Project, a musical based on the lives of Vermont teens. She is the founder of Kingdom County Productions with her husband, filmmaker Jay Craven. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said, “Every state in the Union should be so lucky to have Bess O’Brien working for them in support of children and families.” (November 20, 2019 broadcast)

Bess O’Brien, filmmaker

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Filmmaker Bess O’Brien shines spotlight on eating disorders

Award-winning filmmaker Bess O’Brien is the director All of Me, a new feature length documentary film focused on the lives of women, girls and some boys who struggle with eating disorders. Bulimia, anorexia, binge eating and other eating disorders are among the most difficult addictions to treat and to cure. The percentage of young girls who start dieting as young as 10-12 years of age has risen dramatically over the last fifteen years. The film will premier in September and tour throughout Vermont this fall (tour dates here).

Bess O’Brien is also the director/producer of the documentary film The Hungry Heart, about prescription drug crisis in Vermont and the compassionate work of Dr. Fred Holmes. The film became as a catalyst for opiate addiction awareness in the state of Vermont. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said, “Every state in the Union should be so lucky to have Bess O’Brien working for them in support of children and families!” (August 24, 2016 broadcast)

Bess O’Brien, filmmaker