Fighting to be Free

'Fighting to be Free' documents the the heroic stories of young female freedom fighters in Ethiopia during the 20th century. These women left their families and homes to join the struggle to bring freedom, peace and democracy to their country. They serve as role models for leadership and courage for women.

  • Cheryl Halpern
    Director
  • Mitchell Stuart
    Director
  • Mitchell Stuart
    Writer
  • Cheryl Halpern
    Writer
  • Alex Dolginko
    Editor
  • Onree Gill
    Original Music
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 15, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Ethiopia
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - Cheryl Halpern, Mitchell Stuart

Director-Producer-Documentarian, Cheryl Halpern, is a co-founder and partner of HQ Creative LLC, an Emmy Award winning production company and branding agency serving clients around the world.

Mrs. Halpern has a long record of public service in broadcasting, education and international affairs.

Mrs. Halpern was nominated to serve on the boards of America’s national and international broadcasting organizations by Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In 1990, she was confirmed as a member of the Board for International Broadcasting and as a director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). From 1995 through 2002, Mrs. Halpern served on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) overseeing Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, RFE/RL, Worldnet, Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Iraq. While serving on the BBG she helped create Radio Sawa, a new American Arabic radio voice to the Middle East. In August, 2002, she was confirmed to serve as a director of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). She was subsequently elected by her peers as chairman of the CPB and served the two term limit.

In addition, Mrs. Halpern was a Public Delegate of the United States, with the rank of Ambassador, to the 63rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. During the Obama Administration she has been a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Mrs. Halpern has also chaired the character education program of the Words Can Heal organization. This national campaign to curb gossip, fight verbal violence and promote the healing powers of ethical speech received bipartisan support from the US Congress as well as from diverse ethnic and religious groups. In her capacity as a Presidential-appointed US delegate to the OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism, Mrs. Halpern addressed the plenary on children’s programming and textbook development. As the current chairman of the Queen of Sheba Foundation she has partnered in the development of “Midako”, an illustrated children’s book publishing initiative to promote literacy in Ethiopia.

As a documentarian, Mrs. Halpern has produced several commissioned as well as independently produced documentaries. Most notably, the government of Ethiopia commissioned Mrs. Halpern and her HQ Creative LLC team to produce a memorial documentary to the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi. A special tribute to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was also produced for screening at the 50th Anniversary of the African Union.

Mrs. Halpern’s independently produced documentaries have provided compelling historical and cultural information to her audiences. Her films have focused on embodying the spirit of achievement and thereby providing positive visual images and messages for all; regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.

Mrs. Halpern’s documentaries have received awards from film festivals around the world. They have been screened by colleges and universities and have been included in Museum exhibits and archive collections.

Mrs. Halpern has an M.B.A., with a concentration in finance from New York University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Fred.


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