Sundance Ignite Fellow & independent filmmaker

During Leah's time at Ithaca, she was named one of Variety Magazine's "110 Students to Watch in Film and Media" for their April 2015 issue.  After graduation she worked at the Ithaca-based Photosynthesis Productions as an associate producer working on a variety of documentaries.  Then she was named a 2017 Sundance Ignite Fellow which is a year long competitive program that offers mentorship and industry experience to emerging filmmakers. She was also the inaugural Sally Burns Shenkman Women Filmmaker Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she completed Death Metal Grandma.

Roughly a year after its debut at the SXSW Film Festival, “Death Metal Grandma,” took home the award for best documentary at the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. The film follows nonagenarian Holocaust survivor Inge Ginsberg as she turns her poetry into heavy metal music and auditions for “America’s Got Talent.”

Leah's documentary, The Provider, screened at SxSW, follows the story of an abortion doctor, Dr. Shannon Carr who travels in order to perform services in restrictive parts of the country. The Provider also screened at Palm Springs Short Fest, and won awards at the Student Emmys, National Film Festival for Talented Youth, and Visions Film Festival. Past projects have included a documentary film about prison rehabilitation and re-entry, Beyond the Wall, that has screened across the country.

She is currently freelance filmmaker living in NY specializing in directing, producing, editing and assistant editing, and creation of non-profit videos.

"Death Metal Grandma"

Death Metal Grandma

Leah Galant’s  documentary, “Death Metal Grandma, " debuted at the SXSW Film Festival and can be seen on the New York Times website, follows the 96-year-old Holocaust survivor as she turns her poetry into heavy metal music and auditions for “America’s Got Talent.”

“I wanted to show that beyond the spectacle of ‘Death Metal Grandma’ lies an incredible, resilient and fierce woman named Inge Ginsberg,” said Galant, who studied documentary studies and production at the college’s Roy H. Park School of Communications. “Throughout the filming process, I was privileged to be the recipient of so much of her wisdom — much of which ended up in the film. I also wanted to highlight the importance of intergenerational relationships, which Inge and I both benefited from enormously.”

Galant was not the only IC alumna working on the film. Stephanie Khoury ’15 was credited for cinematography and editing. Galant and Khoury previously collaborated on another documentary, “Kitty and Ellen,” which screened at Doc NYC in 2017. Pete Quandt ’15 and Leroy Farrell ’15 also received cinematography credits on “Death Metal Grandma,” while Caleb Oaks ’15 was credited as a composer.