Elizabeth Westrate is a documentary filmmaker, based in New York City. She has over twenty-five years of production experience in feature documentaries, episodic television, music videos and commercials.
Westrate is Producer of the feature documentary, ANONYMOUS SISTER, with Marilyn Ness of Big Mouth Productions. Spanning over three decades, this film is director Jamie Boyle’s intimate expose of her own family, which was swept up in the largest man-made epidemic in U.S. history. The film premiered at DOCNYC in 2021 and is currently screening at festivals across America.
Westrate is currently in preproduction as Series Producer for a new ten-part documentary series for children featuring musical artist, Ben Folds, for Fred Rogers Productions.
Westrate is the Series Producer of I CONTAIN MULTITUDES, a series of short films for PBS Digital featuring science writer, Ed Yong. She was recently Line Producer for Academy Award winning director Roger Ross Williams’ personal essay, AMERICAN JAIL, for CNN Films, as well as for THE HUMAN FACTOR by Oscar nominated director Dror Moreh. THE HUMAN FACTOR premiered at Telluride in 2019 and was released by Sony Pictures Classics. The film features insights from the key American diplomats who strove to broker peace between Israeli and Palestinian people. The LA Times calls THE HUMAN FACTOR “as significant as it is fascinating, and it is drop dead fascinating”.
Westrate was Director and Producer of the JAMES WOLFENSOHN TRIBUTE FILM. This project explores the remarkable life of philanthropist Jim Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank, Middle East Peace Envoy, and Chairman of both Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Previously, Ms. Westrate worked with Director/Editor Thom Zimny on numerous film projects for Bruce Springsteen. She is Line Producer of the feature documentary THE PROMISE: THE MAKING OF DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, which premiered to acclaim at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast on HBO. She is Line Producer of the Springsteen concert film DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN, an intimate performance that was filmed at the historic Paramount Theater, and BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND: LONDON CALLING – LIVE IN HYDE PARK. Westrate also Line Produced the music videos WE TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN and THE WRESTLER for Columbia Records, as well as the documentary WORKING ON A DREAM: A SUPERBOWL JOURNAL, a look behind the scenes of Springsteen’s performance at the Superbowl XLIII Halftime Show for Thrill Hill Productions and the NFL.
Ms. Westrate has also consulted on feature documentaries for Fork Films, David Grubin and the CNN film, UNSEEN ENEMY, from 2017,about the urgent need for nations to prepare for the threat of a global pandemic.
Westrate was the Series Producer of E2 , a multi-part PBS documentary series about the economies of being environmentally conscious. The three installments of the series: E2 DESIGN, E2 ENERGY and E2 TRANSPORT chronicle global efforts to solve ecological challenges with a combination of policy, technology and ingenuity. Produced by Kontentreal, these thirty episodes were filmed internationally and narrated by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. The E2 series was later rebroadcast on Sundance Channel.
Westrate is the Producer and Director of A FAMILY UNDERTAKING, a documentary film that follows several families as they forgo a typical mortuary funeral to care for their loved ones at home. This project was broadcast to critical acclaim on the PBS series P.O.V. in 2004 with an encore airing in 2006 and a coordinated broadcast on the Public Radio International program, The Next Big Thing. The film was broadcast internationally on the series True: Stories, Life in the U.S.A. It screened at festivals and art museums across the country, and was funded by ITVS.
Westrate was the Producer and Director of the award-winning short documentary A DAY WITH THE STANLEY CUP, which was made for Discover and the National Hockey League and aired on NBC during the 2011 Stanley Cup Final Games. She also served as Supervising Producer for Conde Nast on the television series, INSIDE THE VAULT in 2011. During this production, Westrate collaborated with editors from Vanity Fair, New Yorker, Details, Wired magazines, and others.
Westrate is also the Producer and Director of PASSING ON THE GIFT: HEIFER INTERNATIONAL’S MISSION TO END HUNGER. This film celebrates the 60th anniversary of the humanitarian organization, Heifer International, which provides food and income-producing animals and training to millions of resource-poor families around the globe. For this project, Westrate filmed in Tanzania, Cambodia, Ecuador, Romania and the Navajo Nations in collaboration with director Emma Wilson. PASSING ON THE GIFT screened at the United Nations, and has been distributed free of charge to over 350,000 World Ark magazine subscribers and through public schools, libraries and churches around the world.
Westrate also produced and directed segments for the SUNDANCE CHANNEL series Festival Dailies. These pieces included stories about festival founder Robert Redford; Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri and his controversial feature LILA SAYS and director Andrew Wagner. All three stories were produced and broadcast during the week of the Sundance Film Festival. The previous year, Westrate followed experimental filmmaker Jake Mahaffy and his debut film WAR, for the program Right Now! At the Sundance Film Festival. Other Sundance Channel projects include segments for the series Aftereffect, as well as 24 Frame News.
Previously, Ms. Westrate was the Associate Producer of the THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES starring Eve Ensler for HBO, which John Leonard in his New York Magazine review described as “not to be missed under any circumstances”. She was also the Associate Producer of OUR HOUSE: A VERY REAL DOCUMENTARY ABOUT KIDS OF GAY AND LESBIAN PARENTS. This ITVS production, directed by Meema Spadola, was broadcast on public television and won the “Best Documentary” award at both the New York and Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festivals.
Ms. Westrate was the Associate Producer for the Simon & Goodman Picture Company from 1996 to 1999. While there, she received a Cable Ace Award for “Best Documentary Special” for her work on HEART OF A CHILD, an HBO documentary which follows the emotional story of a child in need of a heart and lung transplant. The following year, 27TH AND PROSPECT: ONE YEAR IN THE FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS, was broadcast as part of HBO’s “Faces of Addiction” series.
Elizabeth Westrate was also the Associate Producer of THE TELEPHONE, an American Experience special, and SABA: THE LIFE OF TED ARISON, the biography of an international philanthropist with production in Europe, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. Previously, Westrate worked on BUCKMINSTER FULLER: THINKING OUT LOUD, a Simon & Goodman production for American Masters on PBS.
Performing arts projects include THE PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY REPERTORY PRESERVATION PROJECT for which Ms. Westrate was Associate Producer and Editor. This five-year project was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to record and archive 28 major works by choreographer Paul Taylor. Ms. Westrate also helped produce a short film for the NEW WORLD SYMPHONY’S 10th Anniversary, which premiered at Lincoln Center. Earlier, Ms. Westrate worked closely with choreographer Bill T. Jones and video artist Gretchen Bender on STILL/HERE, a KTCA/Alive TV production of the award winning modern dance piece by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
Westrate holds a degree in Film & Television Production from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.