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New York City, NY
|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.
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 and the work she has done with various United Nations organizations such as UNICEF.
Betts gained renown following the debut of her 2010 documentary, The Carrier, at the Tribeca Film Festival. 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).
Betts wrote and directed the film, Engram (2014), 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. 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.
Betts also served as the writer and director of the film Novitiate (2017). After participation in the Sundance Film Festival in 2017, this film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. It explores the story of a young woman who struggles to understand her newly selected religion as she strives to become a nun.