Maggie Betts

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Margaret Betts
New York City, NY
Notable work
Novitiate (film, 2017)

Margaret Betts (born New York City) is an American filmmaker. Her debut feature Novitiate was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and received a Jury Award for her direction.[1]


Her father is Roland W. Betts, who had a close personal relationship with former president George W. Bush. The themes of her films are largely inspired by the social consciousness she developed through interactions with former first lady Laura Bush[2] and the work she has done with various United Nations organizations such as UNICEF.[3]


Though she recently signed with CAA, she is also represented by Brillstein Entertainment Partners.[4] She earned her BA in English from Princeton University.


The Carrier[edit]

Betts gained renown following the debut of her 2010 documentary, The Carrier,[5] at the Tribeca Film Festival.[6] This film was largely inspired by her experience fighting to eradicate AIDS in South Africa. The documentary was also selected for festivals such as Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (2012), Documentary Edge Film Festival (2012), One World International Film Festival (2012), Sedona Film Festival (2012), Women's Film Festival (2012), Minneapolis St. Paul Film Festival (2012), Lone Star Film Festival (2011), Zurich Film Festival (2011), The 15th Annual Docu Weeks, and Watch Docs Human Rights Film Festival (2011).[3]


Betts wrote and directed the film, Engram (2014),[7] a 25-minute short film featuring Isabel Lucas. This film focuses on the story of two elderly strangers attempting to re-discover a mutual memory as they waited to board a subway train.[8] Betts claimed that the original inspiration for Engram was derived from the experience her mom had as a survivor of a hit-and-run accident in her youth.[2]


Betts also served as the writer and director[9] of the film Novitiate (2017).[10] After participation in the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, this film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.[11] It explores the story of a young woman who struggles to understand her newly selected religion as she strives to become a nun.[10]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Director (2017), Sundance Film Festival for Novitiate[1]
  • Nominated, Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award (2017), Gotham Awards for Novitiate[12]


  1. ^ a b Debruge, Peter (28 January 2017). "Sundance winners: 'I don't feel at home in this world anymore,' 'Dina' top festival awards". Variety. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b Bernstein, Jacob (2014-04-02). "Maggie Betts: Socialite Turned Filmmaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  3. ^ a b "The Carrier". Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  4. ^ "'Novitiate' Director Maggie Betts Signs With CAA (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  5. ^ Betts, Margaret (2000-01-01), The Carrier, retrieved 2017-03-04
  6. ^ "Meet the 2011 Tribeca Filmmakers | "The Carrier" Director Maggie Betts". IndieWire. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  7. ^ Lucas, Isabel; Ackland, Oliver; Epstein, Alvin; Patton, Lucille (2000-01-01), Engram, retrieved 2017-03-04
  8. ^ "Maggie Betts's New Film Engram Is an Experiment in "Orgasmic Imagery"". Vogue. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  9. ^ Kang, Inkoo. "Margaret Betts to Direct Melissa Leo in Nun Drama 'Novitiate'". IndieWire. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
  10. ^ a b Agron, Dianna; Saylor, Morgan; Qualley, Margaret; O'Hare, Denis (2017-01-20), Novitiate, retrieved 2017-03-04
  11. ^ Agron, Dianna; Saylor, Morgan; Qualley, Margaret; O'Hare, Denis (2017-01-20), Novitiate, retrieved 2017-03-04
  12. ^ Luers, Eric (19 October 2017). "Nominations announced for 27th annual IFP Gotham awards". Independent Feature Project (IFP). Retrieved 10 November 2017.

External links[edit]