Lady Bountiful

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Lady Bountiful is a look inside the world of 85-year-old artist Joan Von Briesen, aka Joanie. The film starts with beauty shots of Joanie’s house in the Cole Valley, San Francisco. Joan is sleeping in her bed. Then, her sister Asha talks about Joanie.

Joanie goes through her object finding routine out in the city and then she goes through her storage garage. One of her boarders, Tara, talks about first seeing Joanie’s house.

Joanie talks about her love for discovering objects and bikes around the SF. We see her discover a fake breast and continues rummaging through her found objects.

Asha discusses their childhood and how Joanie loved gathering objects as a child. There’s a montage of the house and Joanie is interacting with her tenants. Joanie is seen painting a nude model and discusses her thoughts on portraiture.

Joanie and Asha reminisce over old photos in Joanie’s home.


Eric, Joanie’s partner, is introduced and they discuss the story of when Eric first said “I love you”  to Joanie and their relationship.

Joanie is seen in baker beach and recounts how her mother asked her to drink beer at the beach in her honor after she passed away. Joanie discusses her relationship with her mother and she recites a poem that her mother had written prior to her death. The film concludes with Joanie discussing life and a shot of her swimming in San Francisco Bay.


Filmmaker Bio:

Ethan Goldwater is a filmmaker and founder of Hover Pictures, a production company dedicated to making an explorative documentary and narrative work and supporting directors to bring new films to life.

His work as a filmmaker builds on his prior careers as a journalist in San Francisco, and as a public school teacher in NYC. He spent two years in Brazil learning Portuguese and working with music and street theater and then moved to NYC, where he received a Masters in Education and spent three years teaching ESL to public middle school students.


While working as a teacher he also began making short films, and was soon making videos full-time for organizations such as BRAC, IMEU, UNICEF, Dell Innovation Foundation, Drug Policy Alliance, and KIPP, and teaching workshops in Bangladesh, Palestine, Uganda, and Ghana aimed at empowering people to use filmmaking as a tool for telling their stories.


His short film, The Last Waterman of Wittman, was selected as a Vimeo staff pick and played at the Chesapeake film festival and Camden film festival. He’s currently in post-production on his first feature documentary, Cura.




Joan Van Briesen

Asha Greer

Andres Ramirez

Tara Sadooghi

Jonah Bay

Eric Festin




Directed & Produced by Ethan Goldwater

Cinematography: Ethan Goldwater, Max Basch, Tyler Pakstis, Ken Fisher

Sound Recordist: Jan Midelfort

Editor: Jake Gervich


Assistant Editors: Mindy Lee, Elea Wilder

Associate Producers: Elea Wilder, Sam Neeley

Original Music: Lathan Spaulding Dave Maholey

Colorist: Begonia Colomar

Sound Mix & Design: A Voz Do Brasil