June-July: Filmmakers Leslie & Thompson

bannerOur first filmmakers-in-residence,  Bronwyn Leslie and David Thompson  will be filling the studio at Surel’s Place with pre-production work for their feature film Lyda. The film will tell the story of Lyda Trueblood, America’s first highly publicized female serial killer who was raised in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Between her arrival to Idaho in 1906 and her imprisonment at the Idaho State Penitentiary during the 20s-40s, Trueblood had charmed her way into six marriages. Leading up to her trail, Lyda allegedly spent her time baking blueberry pies laced with arsenic to poison four husbands, a brother-in-law, and her daughter. Lyda never confessed to the crimes she was accused of, quickly becoming a glamorized figure in the tabloids. The story of her alleged crimes captured the nation’s attention, while she charmingly and calmly claimed to be innocent.

Thousands of Idahoans and tourists have been introduced to Lyda Trueblood through visits to the Old Idaho Penitentiary.  Lyda’s story is a riveting and mysterious tale, posing relevant questions about social justice, gender inequality, and the universal human experience. This film will tell her story in it’s entirety, while exploring themes of gender, criminal justice, delusion, media, innocence, guilt, and the exploration of freedom.

In addition to pre-production work for the feature film, Leslie and Thompson are working on a concept trailer for Lyda, which they will shoot this coming fall. In doing so, they hope to garner more support throughout the state of Idaho and nationwide for the feature film, Lyda.

David Elliot Thompson graduated with honors from Chapman College’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts with a degree in Film Production with an emphasis in Documentary.  He has experience doing production work for major networks include HBO and The Discovery Chanel, and his films have had regional broadcast on PBS.  Thompson’s work brings light to social issues, and his films have been shot in Singapore, Mozambique, the UK, and India, in addition to American locations.  You can view his films here.

Bronwyn Leslie graduated from Boise State University in 2011, with a BA in Mass Communications/Journalism, and an emphasis in Cinema/Digital Media. Alabama native, Leslie is a multi-dimensional artist, with kudos for her work as an actress, writer, producer, director, musician, and installation artist. Leslie has been committed to the Boise film scene for several years, dedicating her time to the success of her peers’ work, as well as her own. She was involved in the production of Mandrake Estate, by Zach Voss; Smoke, The Film, an adaptation of Alan Heathcock’s short story; The Road To Treefort Series, 2013; Dawn Golden’s All I Want official music video, directed by Tyler T. Williams; among various production work. Leslie also works with Treefort Music Fest as Production Designer (2013-2014), tours around the country as a musician, and designs custom, handmade bead work.

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During their time at Surel’s Place, Bronwyn Leslie and David Thompson, in partnership with licensed social worker Victoria Thompson, will be offering an intensive film making workshop for teen girls called The HIVE.  The public is invited to a premiere of these films:

The HIVE Films
Sunday, June 29th

doors 6:30 // screening 7pm


The Lyda project is supported by the Idaho Film Office; this residency is supported, in part, by The Boise Weekly, thanks to the cover art auction grant Surel’s Place received this year in support of the local artists we are serving.  Thank you!

The HIVE is supported by a FEAST grant from Boise’s Charm School and private donations.  If you would like to donate in support of this residency or project directly, please contact Becky at rebecca@surelsplace.org.

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