Support from Start to Finish: Big Voice

September 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Support from Start to Finish

BIG VOICE is a musical feature documentary directed by award winning filmmaker Varda Hardy and produced by Marina Viscun, Deb Love and Karen Lavender. BIG VOICE is a LiveTribe Production. With BIG VOICE, Varda maintains her commitment  to create meaningful work that will both delight and inspire audiences.

This uplifting documentary explores the lives of the top-singing students of the award-winning Santa Monica High School Choir, and its visionary choir director.  At a time when drastic budget cuts endanger both the quality of our public schools and their arts programs, this determined high school music teacher strives to create a thriving vocal music program that ignites in his students a passion for music, a sense of belonging, and the value of working hard to achieve their dreams.

Santa Monica High School’s Jeffe Huls is “larger than life” choir teacher with a passion for teaching and an edgy sense of humor.  His talented students practice diligently to pass the highly competitive auditions, meet daily to learn and sing challenging music, and perform both for their local community and in venues around the world.  But why is Mr. Huls so moved by the power and artistry of the human voice? Why has he dedicated his life to teaching teenagers how to sing? And what does it take for Mr. Huls’ students to rise to his high standards? Why do they dedicate so much of their time and resources to singing? What critical life lessons do they learn and how does singing in the choir affect their artistic and academic dreams as 21st century teenagers?

BIG VOICE will follow Mr. Huls and his teenage students interweaving interviews and concerts with ‘slices of life’ footage. It will explore what it means to be a teenager facing an unknown future, and an accomplished artist creating great art in the context of a public school.  In addition, this visually stunning documentary will include original songs created for and by the students with the assistance of Grammy-winning artists*.

BIG VOICE reveals the challenging journey of an extraordinary teacher who overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles to educate and transform students to step into adulthood as powerful contributors to a world that needs them. BIG VOICE will entertain you, touch your soul and uplift your spirit.

To see the BIG VOICE Promo Video and find out more about this musical documentary please visit:

Varda Hardy- Writer/Director/Producer

I confess. I love making movies. I want to make beautiful, truthful work that will engage and inspire. You may have seen some of my short films…Window starring Louis Gossett Jr. that screened at Cannes and aired on cable networks across the U.S.? Or Race To The Sky which aired during the Grammy Awards? Maybe you caught What Kind Of Planet Are We On? It received the “most innovative” non-profit video on YouTube & went viral with over half a million unique views. Or Ode To Los Angeles which recently won the Grand Prize from NewFilmmkers LA/LA INC? I treasure each of these films and the challenges my crew and I experienced making them. And now we are embarking on another incredible challenge, BIG VOICE! It takes a huge amount of effort to create meaningful films, but it’s worth it. I’m deeply grateful to my family, friends & community for supporting my efforts to use my creativity, skill and filmmaking ability to create good works.

Episode Forty-One: Ivana Todorovic & Larry Laboe

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under episodes

Ivana Todorovic

Ivana is a self -proclaimed video street fighter from Belgrade, Serbia. She has shot, directed and co-produced three short social documentary films in Belgrade and New York City on low-to-no-budget, with the aim of both helping the people she filmed and producing social change.

In 2006, Everyday life of Roma children from Block 71 about Roma children living in shanty town in Belgrade. In 2009 A Harlem Mother about a mother who after losing her only son, she decides to fight despair by organizing her Harlem neighborhood against gun violence. In 2008, Rapresent about 19 year old homeless man, Bojan, who is a passionate graffiti artist and hip hopper surviving on the streets in Belgrade.

Her documentary films have been shown in over 40 International Film Festivals around the world, and have been used in educational settings for high school and university classrooms, including NGOs, in order to bring awareness to social issues. Films have won acclaim at the Mixed Messages Film Festival in New York, the Ethnographic Film Festival in Belgrade and the Human Rights Film Festival in Montreal.



Raprasent & A Harlem Mother
Ivana Todorovic on Facebook
Newfilmmakers LA Website

Larry Laboe- Producer/Executive Director

Larry Laboe has been working as part of the professional media industry for over 8 years, in a truly collective experience of various mediums; film, TV, radio, print advertising, new media and most recently film exhibition. While in New York City, Mr. Laboe was employed on TV, print and radio campaigns by the world’s most prestigious marketing and advertising firms, including McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Publicis Groupe, J. Walter Thompson (JWT) and Arnold Advertising Worldwide.

After Relocating to Los Angeles Mr. Laboe began consulting with key entertainment venues, promoting their properties through corporate media events. These events included film premieres and television series launch parties for such networks as Showtime and CBS. After working on numerous narrative short and feature film productions, Larry began producing television and new media projects with international production and distribution company SXM. The first network series was NBC’s ‘Ctrl’ starring Tony Hale and Steve Howey. Larry more recently began work as a producer on Comedy Centrals newest network web series ‘Matumbo Goldberg’ starring Anthony Anderson, Directed by Oscar nominated Rob Pearlstein and NBC’s ‘FCU: Fact Checkers Unit’ starring Jason Alexander, Jon Heder, Donald Faison, Dave Navarro and more.

Larry co-founded NewFilmmakers Los Angeles in 2007 with partner and Program Director Susie Kim. In an effort to bring opportunity to filmmakers, film goers and entertainment industry professionals in Los Angeles Larry is working as Executive Director of the organization and coordinating film screenings on a monthly basis, along with on-camera interviews with MovieMaker Magazine for each filmmaker selected as part of the festival at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood.

Soonami Productions