March is Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories. The City of Roseville is recognizing influential women who are doing exceptional work and changing our community’s narrative for the better.
Amanda Becker became a filmmaker because she wanted to tell stories that “create connection.” That’s what also inspired her to serve as a Roseville commissioner.
“I joined the City of Roseville’s Human Rights, Inclusion and Engagement commission because it resonated with me in terms of connecting with other people in the community,” Amanda said. “If there’s anything we are missing right now, it’s that sense of true connection.”
Amanda was born in Minnesota but her family moved around for her father’s career as a physician. She returned to Minnesota for high school and college. Amanda majored in philosophy and women’s studies at Macalester College but was drawn to the storytelling and framing she learned about in her film classes.
She graduated and spent two years teaching English in a small town in Russia as part of the Peace Corps. She returned home and worked various jobs, including cooking and driving a school bus. In 2005, she decided to pursue her passion and attended the Vancouver Film School in British Columbia.
Amanda has produced, written, or directed more than three dozen short films, including documentaries and fiction. She has worked professionally as a film writer, producer, and director but primarily pursues her passion in her free time.
“I love talking to people and hearing their stories,” Amanda explains. “I try to use those small stories to connect to bigger ideas or emotions.”
Most recently, Amanda has shared the stories of the professional boxers turned coaches and the children and teens they mentor at the Northside Boxing Club in north Minneapolis.
Her films often broach sensitive subjects.
A young visual artist shares his experience of going blind in “Tunnel Vision.” An African American WWII veteran from Minneapolis describes the anguish and anger of returning home to a segregated America in “One in a Million: Nelson Peery.”
In her short film “Joy// Pure State,” Roseville residents may recognize the wetlands and woods a group of children are exploring on a dazzling summer day. It’s the boardwalk at the Harriet Alexander Center in Roseville’s Central Park, just blocks from Amanda’s home.
Inspired by her work on the Human Rights Commission, Amanda wants to create a series of short films sharing the stories of Roseville residents.
She draws parallels between compelling film making and building strong community connections.
When people are honest and share their vulnerabilities, we realize, “Wow, we are a lot alike.” Amanda said.
Watch Amanda Becker's work at https://vimeo.com/amandabecker.