Master storyteller, career technologist, and filmmaker Lauren Speeth has taken Elfenworks Productions LLC from a noted early elite boutique webdesign consultancy serving the music industry to today’s award-winning cutting-edge multimedia company, “bringing light to what is right.” Leveraging a musical ear and leadership skills as an entrepreneur, team builder, and strategist, Speeth has assembled a committed “dream team” willing and able to tackle any project with aplomb. This year she is excited to be finally launching three projects that took many years of effort: the documentary Exploring Hope, the novel Thread for Pearls, and the podcast Ribbons & Bows, celebrating American women in violin history.
Speeth’s musical performance career began early, as a light lyric soprano/soloist with the invitation-only youth choir, Singing Angels. She studied music theory at Mills College, received vocal coaching from Eleanor Cohen and Faith Winthrop, and studied piano, flute, violin and guitar training from notable artists including Virginia Sanseau, Josh Workman, Betty Haag, Chris Kranyak, Joseph Gold, Jeremy Cohen and Aaron Rosand. As a violin soloist, Speeth premiered the Suite for Strings by Jeremy Cohen and has performed on the international stage, in church offertories, at weddings, and at the side of the road for passengers in a broken-down bus. Among her compositions are: songs with a social conscience, songs for children, and musical works for film. A proud member emerita of the First Violin section of the Peninsula Symphony and co-founder of the band Commodore Callahan, she takes great joy from artistic collaboration. Successful collaborations include: participating on team songwriting efforts, acting as Executive Producer for Quartet San Francisco’s Grammy® nominated crossover CD Látigo, and spearheading filmmaker Chris Speeth’s vintage film restoration project, beginning with the ’70s cult horror classic Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood that went on to take Best Unearthed Film at the Eerie Horror Fest. Speeth especially enjoys encouraging and facilitating the success of student artists/ songwriters / musicians/ filmmakers and social entrepreneurs of all ages with the life-affirming message, “never underestimate your ripple.”
Speeth’s films often interweave music with message, finding hope for tomorrow in lessons from the past. They build on each other, and you’ll find echoes of her 2008 documentary A Concert for Hope — a concert she co-produced to celebrate the launch of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality — in her most recent film, Exploring Hope for Better Times. Her singular focus has been rewarded with multiple Official Selection laurels, plus wins including Best Music Video (Indie Gathering), Best International Documentary Short (Calgary Fringe), Silver Lei (Hawaii International Film Fest), Best 3D Documentary (Los Angeless 3DFF), Best Woman Director, and Best Documentary Feature (Hollywood International Moving Picture Film Festival) A full list is available on our Selected Recognition page. Two of Speeth’s documentaries are available to educators on the Kanopy platform, and we are always seeking wider distribution.
Speeth feels that much of her success in film-making — her works began garnering critical acclaim over a dozen years ago — traces back to guidance, coaching, and direction from her late uncle, filmmaker Chris Speeth, to her many mentors, and to working with such an outstanding crew. She gives all the glory to God, from whom all inspiration arises. Her 2018 film, Exploring Hope, is dedicated to her uncle’s memory, and she has rededicated herself to passing the torch forward.
Dr. Speeth is an apt educator and engaging public speaker who enjoys the free exchange of ideas. Though the DEC computers she once programmed in Macro-11 and C for a Fortune-50 bank in the early ’80s are now behind stately red-velvet rope at the Computer History Museum, Speeth is still highly sought after as a facilitator, panelist, keynote, and judge of media content, and she has been named one of the 40 Women of Influence by Saint Mary’s College of California. She holds a BA from Mills College, an MBA from St. Mary’s, a DBA from Golden Gate University, a DMin from BGU Seattle, and an Advanced Computer Security Professional Certificate from Stanford, where she also completed an Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders and her CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education). An ordained Baptist minister, Certified Classical Homeopath (CCH) and Registered Homeopath (RSHom(NA)), Speeth also holds an International Homeopath Certification (IHC). She was also honored with both an honorary J.D. from GGU and an honorary doctorate from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.