Heather Connell

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Heather E. Connell
Heather Connell.png
Born Massachusetts
Residence Los Angeles, CA
Alma mater Salem State University
Occupation Film director
Notable work Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children
Website http://www.displacedyankee.com

Heather E. Connell is an American film director. She is best known for directing the award winning feature documentaries Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children (2008) and Forget Us Not (2013).

Early life and education[edit]

Heather Connell was born and raised in Massachusetts. She attended Salem State University where she studied screenwriting and theatre arts.[1]

Directing career[edit]

In 2001, Connell relocated to Los Angeles where she founded Displaced Yankee Productions, an independent film company dedicated to using film as a platform for raising social awareness and activism through entertainment.[1]

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Connell made the short film Choosing Your Course (2002).[2] A couple of years later she directed another short titled Black/White (2004).[3]

In 2008, Heather Connell wrote, directed and produced her first feature documentary Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children. Narrated by Connell's close friend, actress Megan Follows (well-known star of the Anne of Green Gables television series),[1] Small Voices documents the struggles of several street children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, many of whom live and work at the local garbage dump, on their journey to get an education.[4] The documentary won several awards including the 2009 Gold Medal Award at the New York International Film and Video Awards[5] and 2nd place Best Documentary at the Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2008.[6]

In 2011, Connell set out to make her second documentary feature Forget Us Not, which follows the stories of some of the five-million non-Jewish Holocaust survivors including renowned artist Ceija Stojka and is narrated by Golden Globe winning actor Ron Perlman. The film was released on the festival circuit in August 2013 and has won eight awards to date including Best of Festival at Vancouver's Columbia Gorge International Film Festival,[7] Feature Documentary and Editing Awards Of Merit from Accolade Film Competition, Helping Hand International Humanitarian Award from the Rhode Island International Film Festival,[8] Mark Of Distinction Film at the New York Independent Film Festival and Best Narration and World Peace Impact Award from the Artisan World Peace Hamptons Film Festival[9] and Feature Documentary Audience Award at the First Glance International Film Festival Los Angeles.

Other work[edit]

Along with being the Executive Producer and director of Displaced Yankee Productions,[10] Heather Connell is currently Board Chair of the Lineage Dance Company, a contemporary dance company dedicated to raising support and awareness for nonprofit organizations and to making the arts accessible to audiences of all demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds.[11]

Shortly after filming Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children, Connell founded the Safe Haven Medical Outreach Program.[12] Safe Haven is a non-profit educational and therapeutic outreach program for disabled children in Siem Riep, Cambodia. Safe Haven's mission is to provide a safe environment for children with disabilities, allowing them the opportunity to have access to the educational and therapeutic resources that they need in order to reach their full potential and their highest level of personal independence.[13]

In 2013, Heather Connell was one of GO Magazine's "100 Women We Love".[14]


Year Film Role Notes
2002 Choosing Your Course Director/Writer/Producer
2004 Black/White Director/Writer/Producer
2008 Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children Director/Writer/Producer

Gold Medal Award at the New York International Film and Video Awards(2009)
2nd place Best Documentary at the Rhode Island International Film Festival(2008)

2013 Forget Us Not Director/Writer/Producer

See also[edit]

List of female film and television directors


  1. ^ a b c "Special Screening: Small Voices, Wednesday, 3/4, 4-6pm". The Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College - Columbia University. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Choosing Your Course(2002)". IMDb. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Displaced Yankee Productions - Short Films". Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children". New Orleans Film Society. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  5. ^ "New York Festivals". Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Rhode Island International Film Festival 2008 Award Winners Announced". Fest21. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Columbia Gorge International Film Festival - Official Selections Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  8. ^ "2013 RIFF Awards". Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "2013 Artisan Festival International Hamptons Awards". Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Anand, Rohan (1 December 2006). "SIBC fundraiser dinner benefits Cambodia". The Observer. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Lineage Dance Company". Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Pari Project". Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Safe Haven Medical Outreach". Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  14. ^ Go Magazine - 100 Women We Love. Retrieved 7 July 2013.

External links[edit]