As president and principal filmmaker of Burning Heart Productions, Director Lauralee Farrer is the creative energy behind the award-winning documentary Laundry and Tosca and the feature-length documentary The Fair Tradelaunch film for the Film Baby, Ryko, and Warner series of “Powerful Films.” She was coproducer for Lovestruck Pictures’ award-winning feature romantic comedy The Best Man in Grass Creek and has been writing and producing professionally for over thirty years.
As writer/director Farrer is currently in preproduction on the narrative feature Praying the Hours (2010); in development on two completed scripts on the story of Auguste Rodin and the Burghers of Calais; in script development on the romantic comedy Not That Funny (screenplay by award-winning playwright Jonathan Foster and starring Tony Hale) and in development with partners Tamara Johnston-McMahon and Grace Oh on several other productions under the Burning Heart Productions banner.
Farrer’s first personal film project was Laundry and Tosca, which investigates the life of soprano Marcia Whitehead, and explores the idea of whether simply following a dream can be enough to build a meaningful life. An event combining the film screening, Whitehead singing, and Farrer speaking has been presented in the years following its completion, and, similarly, her documentary The Fair Trade has continued to have a rich life beyond normal festival and distribution. Events with various combinations of film screenings, music, social activism awareness, and Farrer’s public speaking have been presented in recent years at film festivals, panels, conferences, colleges, summits, churches, and professional and private environments which has increased the occasion for her public speaking.
Much of the material from which her directing and screenwriting voice emerges comes from Farrer’s freelance work for humanitarian organizations. This work took her to Spain when Franco died, to Kenya during the droughts of 1981 and 1991, to Somalia when the war broke out, and to Uganda to write about early outbreaks of AIDS and the plight of its orphans. She wrote of the Sisters of Charity in Ethiopia, was in Moscow when the 1991 coup took place, and when Leningrad became St. Petersburg again. She was in East Germany before and after the wall went down, in Mexico City to write about cultures of poverty, and in U.S. cities like Philadelphia, Houston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Boston to write about American life. She lived in a Benedictine community in Denver, Colorado for three yearsa providential experience that formed much of the basis for her current book (under the title Light and Shadow, Cascade Books, Fall 2009) and feature film, Praying the Hours. She is the editor of journal Theology, News & Notes of Fuller Theological Seminarya graduate institution for the study of theology, psychology, and intercultural studies.