Diane Mason and her films:
Writer, director and producer Diane Mason, founder and owner of HOPE Films, is an award-winning filmmaker specializing in documentaries. The Sarasota, Florida, resident is also the author of four books, founder of HERS Newspaper, and an award-winning journalist specializing in feature writing, commentary and investigative reporting.
Her most recent feature film, Bullfrogs On My Mind, is co-produced with her daughter, Ann Mason. The film follows this mother/daughter duo to Kentucky on the search for the truth of a family legend. Was their ancestor responsible for introducing the bullfrog to Kentucky?
The quest takes them back to northern Kentucky to the old family farm, on breathtaking trips through miles of lush Kentucky green pastures, hillsides and woods, on late-night frog hunts with seasoned giggers (not to gig them, just to film them), and to ponds in search of their “ancestral” bullfrogs. They listen to the bullfrogs’ sweet summer night calls and meet a few up close and personal.
Bullfrogs On My Mind is alight-hearted and beautifully filmed documentary that is a creative mix of tall-tale, tongue-in-cheek humor, hardboiled detective work, and wonderful local folks. The result is a truly American tale intertwined with the music of acclaimed country troubadour Rob McNurlin. For more about the film, go to www.bullfrogfilm.com
Penguins for Change, a short film, premiered at the 2009 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival in Sarasota, and was screened at the International Wildlife Film Festival, where it won two awards.
Penguins for Change was filmed in Antarctica on the day of the U.S. presidential election, as the news of results reverberated across continents. At the bottom of the world, the reaction of thousands of penguins to the promise of change is captured on film. A lighthearted, funny, whimsical look at election day in Antarctica, Penguins for Change also speaks to the changes global warming may have on this exquisitely beautiful land and its spirited inhabitants.
Mother’s Day, a feature documentary, chronicles women activists and grieving mothers heeding Julia Ward Howe’s 1870 hallmark call to action as they gather on Mother’s Day 2006 to voice a message not found on any greeting card – “Mothers say NO to war!” The 40-minute documentary weaves the historic origins of Mother’s Day into a contemporary exploration of women united to end war. As thousands join with actress Susan Sarandon and activist Cindy Sheehan for the Women for Peace vigil, Howe’s eloquent proclamation resonates with a force undiminished by time.
Mother’s Day premiered at the 2007 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival in Sarasota, and was screened on the Education Channel’s Independent’s Film Festival in Tampa, Florida. The film was screened at the 2007 Moondance Film Festival in Los Angeles, where it won the Columbine Award. Mother’s Day has been screened at dozens of public and private events throughout the U.S.
Bring Them Home, produced in 2006, is a stirring short documentary about the September, 2005, march on Washington, D.C. which drew nearly half a million people who came to protest the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
In July, 2005, Mason premiered a short documentary entitled The Last Refuge: One Woman’s Glimpse of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which takes on and opposes the issue of oil drilling in this pristine wilderness, then under attack by the Bush administration. She and her daughter, Ann Mason, traveled to Washington, D.C., and with the help of volunteers, delivered the film to all 535 members of the U.S. House and Senate. The Last Refuge has had numerous screenings, including the 2006 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival and 2006 International Wildlife Film Festival, where it won an award.
Condemned, a documentary about public housing, premiered at the Sarasota Film Society in December, 2004, and was screened at the 2005 Sarasota Film Festival. The controversial film examines the decades-long controversy over public housing in the U.S. as it exposes the politics of poverty in an African-American section of a Southern town where segregation continued to define boundaries long after legal barriers were dissolved. Screenings before three sold-out audiences at the Sarasota Film Festival and dozens of subsequent public and private screenings shook Sarasota to its roots. The documentary set off a groundswell of community outrage, forced changes in local government and triggered unprecedented action by the federal government. Condemned was screened at over 20 local and national venues, and is used in several university courses.
Shortly before the invasion of Afghanistan, Mason produced a film entitled Faces Of Peace about the growing peace movement in Florida. Three Khmer Flowers, about the adoption of Cambodian orphan girls, was screened at the 2004 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival and Burns Court Cinema in Sarasota. Her documentary music video entitled Florida Breeze was screened at the 2002 and 2003 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival and Burns Court Cinema. She also produced A Woman Who Runs with the Wolves, a film about a scientist in New Mexico who lives with and studies wolves, which was shown at the 2001 Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival and the Florida Wildlife Film Festival.
Most recently, Mason produced a number of short films on social and environmental issues, including Letter to a Grandson, Let the Dolphins Free, A Polar Bear Moment, The Bottom of the World, and Atlantis Launch Party, which can be viewed on this website.