Judith Dwan Hallet

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Judith Dwan Hallet (born 1941) is an American documentary filmmaker.

Early life[edit]

Judith Dwan Hallet was born Judith Ann Dwan in 1941 in San Francisco, California. Her father, Robert Dwan, was a radio and television producer, director and writer including for You Bet Your Life starring Groucho Marx (1947 – 1961).[1] Her mother, Lois Smith Dwan, was a restaurant critic for The Los Angeles Times.[2]

Hallet graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she specialized in filmmaking her senior year. While a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia teaching English as Second Language (1964-1966), Hallet co-directed her first hour-long documentary film in French on The Berber Villages of Southern Tunisia.[3] After returning to the United States, she did graduate studies in film at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and married Stanley Ira Hallet, an architect and professor of architecture. Hallet moved to Salt Lake City where she made several short documentary films with her husband. In 1971, she received a Master of Arts degree in French from the University of Utah. Her Master's thesis was a film on teaching French, never done before in the French language department.

Filmmaking career[edit]

In 1971, Hallet's husband Stanley Hallet accepted a Fulbright lectureship to the Department of Architecture at Kabul University in Afghanistan. While there Hallet and her husband made two documentaries, The Painted Truck and The Nomads of Badakhshan. These films are still widely shown and have become classics for the Afghan Diaspora living in the United States and Europe because they depict Afghanistan before recent wars ravaged the country.[3][4][5][6]

After returning from Afghanistan, Hallet accepted a job as a documentary filmmaker and producer/reporter for KUTV, the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah. During her 14 years at KUTV, Hallet produced over 100 short films and 25 long form documentaries. The subjects were extremely varied and included the documentaries Buckaroos, Navajo Hopi Land Dispute, and A Very Special Dance.[7][3]

After moving to Washington DC, Hallet worked for National Geographic Television’s weekly show, National Geographic Explorer, as a Senior Producer supervising over 60 documentaries as well as producing and directing four of her own including The Life and Legend of Jane Goodall, Gauchos, and El Dorado Gold.[4][7]

After leaving National Geographic in 1991, Hallet produced and directed 17 hour-long documentary films through her own company, Judith Dwan Hallet Productions, Inc. Again her films were diverse from The American Buffalo Battling Back to Witness to Hope: The Life and Times of Pope John Paul II to Moby-Dick and Lords of the Garden (on a tribe in Papua New Guinea).[4][7][6][8]

Selected Filmography[edit]

1960s' and 1970s' films[edit]

1980s' films[edit]

1990s' films[edit]

2000s' and 2010s' films[edit]

Awards and General Recognition[edit]

  • Woman of Vision Award for Creative Excellence, 1995, Women in Film & Video, Washington DC[9] (Also known as the Women in Film & Video-DC Women of Vision Awards)
  • Mayor’s Art Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, 2001, Washington DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities[4]
  • Emmy for Outstanding Contribution to the Profession in the Last 25 years, 2008, The National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences[10]
  • Around the World on Film with Judy Dwan Hallet, 2013, Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C.[11]
  • An Evening with Judith Dwan Hallet, 2013, National Press Club, Washington, D.C.[12]
  • March Filmmaker of the Month Award, 2015, District of Columbia Office of Motion Picture & Television Development[13]


Hallet’s films and videos are archived at The University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections.[14] Hallet's papers and journals are archived in the same Library.[15]


  1. ^ "Robert Dwan, 89; Directed Groucho on TV, Radio Show". Los Angeles Times. January 27, 2005.
  2. ^ "Lois Dwan, 91; Veteran L.A. Times Restaurant Critic". Los Angeles Times. March 19, 2005.
  3. ^ a b c "March 2015 Filmmaker of the Month - Judy Hallet | entertainment". entertainment.dc.gov.
  4. ^ a b c d "An Evening with Judith Dwan Hallet". National Press Club. August 14, 2014.
  5. ^ "Silver Circle Inductees". Capital Emmys.
  6. ^ a b "Afghanistan in Times of Peace: A Screening of the Film "Painted Trucks" | The Middle East Center at Penn". www.sas.upenn.edu.
  7. ^ a b c https://dceff.org/filmmaker/hallet-judith/Judith Dwan Hallet
  8. ^ Lords of the Garden: The Treetop People of New Guinea: A Summer Film Special: https://repository.si.edu/bitstream/handle/10088/22336/
  9. ^ "Women of Vision Awards". Women in Film and Video of Washington, DC.
  10. ^ https://www.capitalemmys.tv/goldsilver/silver-circle-inductees
  11. ^ https://www.cosmosclub.org/Club-Activities/Club-Events-Audio/2013-Club-Events-Audio-Archive
  12. ^ https://www.press.org/events/evening-judith-dwan-hallet
  13. ^ https://entertainment.dc.gov/page/march-2015-filmmaker-month-judy-hallet
  14. ^ http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv288573
  15. ^ http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv425750

External links[edit]