County: King County
GAP 2008, 2012
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John Helde is a director who began his career with the New York documentary-makers Maysles Films. As a film editor he worked with directors and producers such as Alan Rudolph, Robert Altman, Steve James, Julia Sweeney, and Chris Eyre. He has directed several shorts, including the award-winning Hello, starring Eric Stoltz, which is now on Hulu.com. Made in China, his debut feature-length documentary, is currently airing on the Documentary Channel, Hulu.com, and SnagFilms.com. In 2008 he was awarded a Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs’ CityArtist Project, and a new documentary, Field Work: A Family Farm, launched in 2012. Currently he is at work on a new feature comedy/drama, Open Doors, to be filmed in Seattle.
John received 2012 GAP Award funding to cover the expenses of hiring an editor and finalizing a TV version of a documentary film, which will then reach a broader audience with the help of a sales agent. The documentary, Field Work, tells the story of the Swansons, Iowa farmers struggling to remain family-sized in an era of mega-farms. John encounters a cast of determined and individualistic characters as he tries to unravel where that American icon—the family farm—is headed in the 21st century.
John also received a 2000 GAP Award.