Filmmaker Feature: Liz McGregor

Who are you? (where are you from, where do you live, why did you get into film, whatever you want to tell us really)

My name is Liz McGregor. I grew up in Connecticut. I was a Theatre major in college with a focus on directing, but I was always more interested in film. While in college, I did a Semester in Patagonia with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) which got me hooked on Chile. After I graduated, I started working in film in NYC. So, film and Chile became my two obsessions. I find both to be endlessly interesting. My family and I live most of the year in midcoast Maine and seasonally in Futaleufu, Chile. 


How many times have you attended?

I have never been, and I am so sad about that! Hoping for 2025!


How many films have you had in the festival?

I have had two films in the festival. My first full length documentary LIFE OF THE RIVER was in the very first W&S and my short CHICAS AL AGUA was in the 2024 festival. Yay! 


When was your first Wild & Scenic?

Well, first inclusion of a film was the first year of the fest… 2002 was it? 


What makes Wild & Scenic Film Festival special or unique?

I have been a HUGE fan of Wild & Scenic since its inception. It is special for so many reasons, but in particular… the fact that the Wild & Scenic is an extension of an active non-profit, SYRCL, is just so cool… it provides a committed platform and powerful medium to get the critical messages across. And! Wild & Scenic created the John De Graaf Environmental Filmmaker Award. SO wonderful to see John receive this recognition as one of the most prolific and important environmental filmmakers of our time.


What inspires you to make films? What are your favorite stories to tell?

For me, the story inspires the film and my favorite stories to tell are inspirational, environmentally focused and heartfelt. 


What are your biggest challenges in making films?

I find that the biggest challenges to making films are finding the funding and finding the time. 


Do you have any projects you are currently working on?

Yes! Thank you for asking. We are currently in post-production on our second NRS sponsored short called BETWEEN THE LINES – a meditative deep dive into class V fly fishing in Chilean Patagonia.


Filmmaking is a laborious job, so what keeps you motivated?

Well, to me, filmmaking is the most fun EVER. I love everything about it… even the sloggy, painful parts like writer’s block and not having all the shots that you need. I love finding the flow. I love knowing when I have found a gem of a sound byte as it is being spoken in the interview. I enjoy troubleshooting when needed and figuring out how to put the puzzle together even if you don’t have all of the pieces. I love concept to creation… that’s the best feeling. 


What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?

I am currently reading a manual – no joke. I listen to way too many NPR podcasts… like all of them. And I recently watched THE ARC TO OBLIVION by Maine based filmmaker Ian Cheney and it has me considering different approaches to the craft and life.


What is on the horizon for you in 2024 and beyond? 

Our next short will hopefully be starting its life in the festival circuit by the end of 2024. And 2025 is looking like 2-3 new shorts from BoonDocs – one story from Chilean Patagonia and two stories from Maine.


How can people learn more and keep updated on what you are up to moving forward?

For anyone interested in keeping up with BoonDocs, feel free to follow us on Instagram or check out our sometimes up to date website.