Vermont filmmaker Bess O’Brien to speak at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon Commencement May 19

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Vermont filmmaker Bess O’Brien to speak at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon Commencement May 19

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 3:43pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Award-winning Vermont documentary filmmaker and theater producer Bess O’Brien will deliver the commencement address at 11 a.m. May 19 at Northern Vermont University-Lyndon.

“Bess O’Brien’s commitment to issues that affect our communities is incredible. Her many films have covered a large number of issues that face our world—addiction, returning home after serving time in prison, growing up in foster care, body image, and more,” said NVU President Elaine C. Collins. “Her words at NVU-Lyndon’s commencement will inspire our graduates as they go out into the world to start their careers and to contribute to their communities.”

NVU-Lyndon’s 107th commencement ceremony will be held under a tent on the campus soccer field. The event is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and tickets are not required. The ceremony also will be broadcast live for public viewing at NVU’s Alexander Twilight Theatre. Free parking and a shuttle service will be available on campus. 

Known for her films on social and mental health issues, O’Brien co-founded Barnet-based Kingdom County Productions with her husband, Jay Craven, in 1991. Her latest documentary, “Coming Home,” focuses on people returning to their Vermont communities from prison, highlighting an innovative re-integration program, Circle of Support and Accountability.   

O’Brien’s film “The Hungry Heart,” about Vermont’s prescription drug use crisis, won an outstanding media award from the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Former Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin recognized the film as a catalyst for opiate addiction awareness in the state. Other films by O’Brien include “All of Me,” about body image and eating disorders; “Ask Us Who We Are,” about foster care in Vermont; and “Journey into Courage,” about Vermont women who survive domestic violence and sexual abuse.    

For more information about the commencement, visit For more information about O’Brien, visit

Northern Vermont University is a two-campus institution of higher education that combines the best of our campuses' nationally recognized liberal arts and professional programs. At Northern Vermont University, our goal is to guide curious, motivated, and engaged students on their paths to success and their places in the world. NVU Online offers flexible, affordable, high-quality options for learners pursuing their bachelor's degree. Learn more at

Source: LYNDON, VERMONT — Northern Vermont University-Lyndon