Sitting at God's Table

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: In Distribution


5 religious leaders + 1 filmmaker + a 7-hour dinner + a myriad of controversial questions = a full-length documentary that pushes boundaries and leads to the understanding of why we do what we do in the name of religion.



     5 religious leaders + 1 filmmaker + a 7-hour progressive dinner + a myriad of controversial questions = a full-length documentary that pushes boundaries and leads to the understanding of why we do what we do in the name of religion. It is my mission to seek answers to the most controversial questions of our day from the leaders of multiple faiths. It is through acknowledging what we have in common as well as appreciating our differences that can lead to understanding, appreciation, and tolerance.

So far I have financed the production out of my own pocket, but now I need your help. My goal is to raise the remainder of the money through IFP tax deductible contributions so that the documentary can move to a high-tech post-production facility for color correcting, music composing, sound mixing, subtitles, closed captioning, graphics, and more. 

As a professional documentary filmmaker, I wanted to be the 'fly on the wall' when distinguished religious leaders sat down together and tackled the most controversial subjects of our day. Not just polite politically correct rhetoric, but their personal views, challenging questions, intimate stories, and remarkable insight.

Even better, I decided I wanted to be the one to ask the questions, the questions that I wanted the answers to. So in searching for my own spiritual and religious answers and needing to facilitate this 'coming together,' I invited five religious leaders from different denominations to dinner (Catholic, Baptist, Episcopal, Muslim, Jewish) to tackle the most challenging ethical, moral, spiritual, and religious questions of our day, from heaven and hell to everything in between.

Please consider making a contribution to this documentary. Thank you, Ellen Shepard



I really believe this documentary can make a difference. It can open up dialogue between religious leaders; it can give us the confidence to ask the questions that we need the answers to; it can help bridge the divide so that negative thoughts and actions based on religions can be healed. And it can help us to understand our own spiritual and religious journey. Ellen L. Shepard, Producer/Director


Ellen L. Shepard - Producer/Director

 Ellen L. Shepard, a native of Los Angeles, is a professional documentary filmmaker and screenwriter. She served as Sr. Producer/Director of Documentaries and Educational Media at UCLA; her documentary "My Parents Are Growing Old and So Am I" won First Place at the North Carolina Film Festival. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Film at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, NC, where she developed their BA degree in Film. She has a vast background in film including four years as Contract Manager in Distribution and Marketing at 20th Century Fox Studios. She has also produced/directed documentaries for Saint Augustine's University, including "12 Hours that Changed the World," a documentary that captured the 2008 Presidential Election on their campus, as well as marketing films for outside clients. She has been a judge for numerous film festivals, including NextFrame, Asheville Film Festival, and the UFVA Carole Fielding Grants. She was recently a juror on the North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Panel. Ellen is also a screenwriter, member of the WGA; she has developed screenplays for Universal Pictures, Blake Edwards Entertainment, and Par Par Productions.


 Sam Griffin has an impressive body of work on the Discovery Channel, HBO documentaries, news coverage for 20/20, Nightline, plus regional and National commercials.


 Eric Barstow recently earned his MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts at Duke University, Durham, N.C. His documentary "Bi-Racial Me" won First Place at the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival in Georgia.  


Connect With The Filmmakers:


IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2018
Honorable Mention from Northern Virginia International Film Festival


UPDATE - May 06, 2016

   On Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 at 3pm the North Carolina Museum of History will present the Screening of "Sitting at God's Table" and panel discussion, featuring distinguished religious leaders Rabbi Lucy Dinner, Dr. David Hailey, and Shakil Ahmed, plus the filmmakers.

UPDATE - March 13, 2015

 "Sitting at God's Table" will have its World Premiere on Sunday, April 26, 2015 at  Raleighwood Cinema in Raleigh, NC.

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