“It Takes Courage” is now live on YouTube

We are thrilled to announce the launch of It Takes Courage (2023) on Towson University’s official YouTube and Vimeo pages!

Produced by the Department of Electronic Media and Film, in partnership with the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, It Takes Courage is an educational docudrama about the campus sexual assault crisis, the Title IX process, and resources provided to survivors of sexual misconduct by Towson University.

Logline: A Towson University student wrestles with what to do when her best friend discloses that she was sexually assaulted by a fellow classmate. What results is a journey of discovery about the resources and support offered to survivors by the university.

Directed by Joseph Kraemer and Chung-Wei Huang
Written by Marc May
Produced by Carol Appleby and Joseph Kraemer
Starring Kendra Hyater, Frankie Marsh, Grant Scherini, Eddie Stockman, Travon Hutton Jr., Gina Nicole Brown, Chris Wargo, and Erica Arrington
Cinematography by Bethany Michalski
Production Design by Leslie Gray
Edited by Chung-Wei Huang
Sound Design by Adam Schwartz
Musical Score by CK Barlow
Color Correction by Stephen Schuyler

Saul Zaentz Innovation Fellowship

I was fortunate to be selected as a 2022 Fellow with the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund to support my newest feature film project, The White Deer. From October 28-30th, 2022, I participated in their Story Lab, where I was paired with industry mentors and peers to workshop my story’s pitch and gain insights on creative development. The program is described as such:

Through candid discussion and structured working sessions, StoryLab brings together creative leaders and experienced storytellers with Saul Zaentz Fellows to encourage human-based storytelling and boundary-pushing, to help identify and solve production challenges, and to foster community and collaboration.

Since 2016, the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund has given voice to those who have been denied filmmaking opportunities. The fund has emboldened diverse filmmakers to write, design, produce, and distribute a wide array of visual content, from narrative film to immersive media. The fund is a force for equality and diversity in the film industry, a voice for facts, and an equal playing field for the underrepresented.

UFVA Conference 2022, Fredonia NY

Attended the University Film and Video Association‘s national conference in Fredonia, NY from July 25th to 29th, 2022. A return to in-person events and a chance to reconnect with colleagues, peers and mentors throughout the organization. Presented my work-in-progress screenplay, Shy Bladder: A Love Story, during a script workshop where we did a table read and discussion of the work. The screenplay was previously awarded Best of Conference (1st Prize) in the Short Script Competition at the 2020 UFVA conference.

UFVA is described as:

“One of the premier U.S. academic organizations dedicated to the study of media. UFVA is an international organization where media production and writing meet history, theory and criticism. UFVA members are makers and artists, teachers and students, archivists and distributors, college departments, libraries, and manufacturers.”

Official Selection, Maryland Film Festival

All of This is Somehow True is screening at the 2022 Maryland Film Festival, as part of the Pandemic Therapy program. It’s an honor to screen for the first time at my adopted hometown’s premiere film festival, alongside a great cohort of local and international filmmakers. The screening occurs on May 1st, 2022.


The program is described as such:

Over the span of our last two virtual festivals we have been intensely curious to see how filmmakers would deal with creating work in lockdown, engaging with pandemic material, and finding inspiration and tenderness in the hopelessness of Covid-19. This year we started to see more of the cinematic products of this unprecedented situation, and we have been surprised, delighted and impressed with what filmmakers all over the world have created. Whether therapeutic through form or in content, these shorts show the humor, challenges and profundity of our common experience from March 2020 till now.

Maryland Film Fest Laurels

Artist Residency at Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts

Kraemer at Hambidge

I completed my second and final artist residency for my Fall 2021 sabbatical at the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts. The residency is described as follows:

The oldest residency program in the Southeast, Hambidge provides a self-directed program that honors the creative process and trusts individuals to know what they need to cultivate their talent, whether it’s to work and produce, to think, to experiment or to rejuvenate. Residents’ time is their own; there are no workshops, critiques, nor required activities.

From November 16-28th, 2021, I continued work on my feature film screenplay The White Deer, while in the company of a cohort of fellow artists and creatives. Dividing my time between working in solitude in a cabin amidst the natural splendor of their 600-acre campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains and discussing the creative process over shared communal meals, the residency was an inspiring and restorative experience that will be a cherished memory.

This artist residency was supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council (https://www.msac.org/msac.org), which provided me with a Professional Development Grant to help fund my travel, room and board.

Maryland State Arts Council logo

Artist Residency at La Macina di San Cresci

Kraemer in Residence at La Macina di San Cresci

From October 18th to 31st, 2021, I was an artist-in-residence at La Macina di San Cresci, based in Greve in Chianti, Italy. The residency, established in 2001 on the site of the ancient Pieve di San Cresci in the hills of Tuscany, is a member of RES ARTIS, describes itself as follows:

Our mission is to encourage the mobility of artists interested in exploring their ideas in a well appointed studio far from home; to develop a cultural exchange at local, national and international levels through the involvement and participation of foreign institutions, both public and private; to be a laboratory of experience where artist-teachers and young artists can work together.

For two weeks, I worked on my feature film screenplay, The White Deer, focusing on the beat sheet and outline, and conducting research. Meanwhile, the culture, history, art, and landscapes of the Tuscany region and Italy served to restore and inspire me. To travel again was an inspiring and humbling experience in and of itself. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” — Saint Augustine

That’s a wrap on “It Takes Courage”

On September 13th, we successfully wrapped our latest production, It Takes Courage, a Towson-University branded educational film about the campus sexual assault crisis and  resources offered by the university for survivors of sexual misconduct. Produced by the Department of Electronic Media and Film, in partnership with the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, with funding support from the Towson University Foundation, the film seeks to educate the campus community about the Title IX reporting process.

We worked with a cast and crew that included a mix of current Towson University students, alumni and professionals from the greater-Baltimore community. Built around the apprenticeship model of the industry, the production also provided current students and recent graduates with an experiential learning opportunity and networking opportunity. The film now enters post-production, with an expected release in 2022.

Kendra Hyater-Davis as Drea
Frankie Marsh as Taylor
Grant Scherini as Sean
Eddie Stockman as T.J.
Travon Hutton as Nick
Gina Nicole Brown as Professor Jones
Chris Wargo as Counselor Grey
Erica Arrington as Title IX Officer Erica

Directed by Joseph Kraemer and Chung-Wei Huang
Written by Marc May
Produced by Carol Appleby and Joseph Kraemer
Director of Photography Bethany Michalski
Production Designer Leslie Gray
Assistant Director Edmund Savage
Production Coordinator Ariana Garvin
Steadicam Operator Andy Schwartz
Gaffer Nathan Airey
Sound Mixer Zach Trees
Accountant Trish Roger