Father Figures


When a retired theater director begins creating internet videos featuring deeply intimate conversations with his growing collection of ventriloquist dummies–including several modeled after his Jewish relatives–his daughter attempts to understand his motivations, uncover family history, and repair their fraught relationship— using puppets.

Phase of Support: Production

Project Links

Emma D. Miller

Emma D. Miller - Director, Producer

Emma D. Miller is a documentary filmmaker whose projects have been supported by Sundance Institute, Ford Foundation, Field of Vision, Impact Partners, and Anonymous Content, among others. She produced Iliana Sosa’s Gotham Award-nominated, SXSW award-winning What We Leave Behind (ARRAY Releasing/Netflix), a New York Times “Critic’s Pick,” and directed the short documentary The School of Canine Massage (SXSW 2024). As Development Executive for Nonfiction at Concordia Studio, she worked on Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning films that premiered at Sundance, Tribeca, and Telluride, including Time, Boys State, and Procession. Other credits include Showtime’s Couples Therapy, the Oscar-nominated short Knife Skills (The New Yorker), and the Oscar-shortlisted, Sundance award-winning feature Unrest (Independent Lens/Netflix). Emma is currently producing Elizabeth Lo’s Mistress Dispeller and co-producing a feature for National Geographic Documentary Films. Named one of DOC NYC’s “40 Under 40” in 2022, she is a 2023 Sundance Producers Fellow and 2024 JFI Filmmaker in Residence.

Florrie Priest

Florrie Priest - Producer

Florrie Priest is a documentary producer based in London. She started her career at Rise Films, working in-house on productions including Paul Taylor’s The Art of Political Murder, and Dror Moreh’s The Human Factor. Florrie was an assistant producer for David Osit’s multi-award winning Mayor; associate producer for Jed Rothstein’s Once Upon A Time In Londongrad; and associate producer for Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio’s George Carlin’s American Dream, which won the 2022 Emmy® for Outstanding Documentary. Most recently, Florrie co-produced Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes, the only film ever to have won both the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival. The film received BAFTA and Oscar nominations for Best Documentary, as well as a Peabody Award. Alongside producing, Florrie works as a mentor for Raindance’s Filmmaking MA program and Creative Access, a social enterprise providing support and training to underrepresented groups in the industry.

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.