Cynthia Cottes Griffiths
Director of Photography
“Cheers of JOY” is the story of a group of special young women in search of inclusion, dignity and respect. It is an intimate portrait of team JOY, the Special Olympics cheerleading team from Montgomery County, Maryland, the dedication and commitment of its head coach, and the impact these athletes are having within Special Olympics as they bring the sport of cheerleading to the world stage.
Although cheerleading is relatively new to Special Olympics and not yet recognized as an official sport, this activity has quickly proven to be as athletic and challenging as any sport. Led by former Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader Meaghan Smith for the past 4 years, this team has grown from 12 to 52 cheerleaders of all ages and different needs.
In their pursuit of excellence Team JOY campaigned for the opportunity to appear at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. Following their win at the 2014 Maryland State Games, the JOY cheerleaders were thrilled to learn that they would, in fact, be among the first cheerleaders to go to the World Games.
We invite you to join us as we follow this amazing and inspirational group of special young women in their search for inclusion, dignity and respect.
Marcie began working in television production at Montgomery Community Media in 2013. She became certified in all production areas and took on many volunteer projects at the studio. She won two 2014 Winning Technician Monty Awards and the 2014 Bill Randolph Award for working the most volunteer hours.
Marcie currently works for Montgomery Community Media as a Teaching Assistant and weekend Facilities Technician. She is a member in good standing in the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians.
Marcie is also very active in the disability community. In addition to having a disability herself, she earned her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education/Special Education in 2004 and has served as a Commissioner on the Montgomery County Commission on People with Disabilities since 2007. In January 2015, she was elected to serve as Vice Chair of this commission. Marcie is also a member in good standing in the Council for Exceptional Children.
Nancy began her filmmaking and television production career following two successful careers in immigration consulting and equestrian retail product merchandising and sales. In 2012 she was Associate Producer of a documentary about the Wounded Warrior Horsemanship Program, and in 2013 she co-produced four episodes of a reality-based series on paranormal investigations. Nancy is a Montgomery Community Media certified field producer and field camera technician. In 2014 Nancy won a Monty Award as Winning Technician for the PSA “Gaithersburg H.E.L.P.", and in 2015 for the series "Lip Gloss And A Sander" and in 2016 for "On the Edge of Time". Nancy was honored at the 2015 Monty Awards with the prestigious Bruce Adams Award for exceptional volunteerism in the community.
Nancy is a member of the International Documentary Association, the Film Collaborative, and the Washington, D.C. chapter of Women In Film and Video.
Cynthia Cottes Griffiths is an active volunteer at Montgomery Community Media, working behind the scenes and in front of the camera on both studio and field productions.
Dawit Nida is a field technician and producer currently freelancing for different media agencies. Dawit has worked as a field producer, researcher and photographer in his native country, Ethiopia. He is involved in many documentaries including:
Make Me a New Face by Abigle Priddle (BBC Production 2010) as a field producer and researcher and photgrapher
Power Rules_Ethiopia by Peter Greste(BBC Production,2009 ), as field producer and researcher.
Ethiopia’s Agony by Inigo Gilmore,(Channel 4 production, 2006), as field producer
Africa’s Great Hope-Ethiopia? By Olivia Rousset (CBS production, 2005) as a field producer and researcher.
Currently Dawit is filming on a documentary “How Religion Shapes Identity” about immigrant youths who are going through identity crises.
Robert Snip is an award winning Field Producer and Field Director at Montgomery County Maryland Public Access Television (www.mymcmedia.org). His full hour musical production “Handel’s Messiah at First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg” was awarded an Honorable Mention for an inspirational production in 2012 and his full hour musical production “The National Christian Choir” was awarded Honorable Mention for Musical Production. Robert also received Winning Production Monty Awards for Viewer’s Choice Field Productions in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also received the 2014 Monty Award for best educational show for "Lip Gloss And A Sander".
Robert Has worked on several productions as Director, Camera Technician and Editor FCP at Montgomery Community Media, such as the Hometown Awards winning show “Burgundy & Gold Magazine” by Mike Richman and “Fantastic Forum” by Ulysses Campbell as well as his own award-winning DIY production “Lip Gloss & A Sander”.
Currently Robert is producing and directing the documentary “On the Edge of Time” about a woman and her fight against cancer. Robert is also involved with the new children’s series “Kids with Learning Power” as a Producer and Director.
Carolyn Raskauskas is the host and sideline correspondent of DCHL's Featured Game of the Week hockey broadcast, and co-producer, host, field technician, and editor of The Edge, an outdoor show that will begin airing Summer 2015.
A graduate of Univeristy of Colorado, Boulder, Carolyn is an artist, designer, and experienced event and sports photographer. She hand crafts functional art using reclaimed materials for her company, DesignSea, and has photographed Vail Valley Foundation's American Ski Classic in Vail, Colorado, and Jose Cuervo's Beach Volley Ball Series in Manhattan and Hermosa beaches.
Carolyn became involved with Montgomery Community Media in 2015, and she has since become an active volunteer on both studio and field productions. She earned her certifications as field producer and technician, editor and studio technician through MCM, and is currently working towards her studio producer certifiction.
Molly Riley is an award winning freelance photojournalist based in Washington DC. covering a broad range of news, sports and entertainment for multiple editorial clients. Some of her favorite assignments have been the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, NHL playoffs, Triple Crown horse racing, Presidential Inauguration, Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup, U.S. Papal visit. Molly worked on staff for Reuters for 14 years, where she was first introduced to video and multimedia production while working as part of a team documenting the Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders for a year for the production “Ravens Rule the Skies.” Molly has photographed the Joy Cheerleaders competing in the SOMD Summer Games for the past 2 years.
Combining her knowledge of boating and photography, molly has taught students in the DC Sail community sailing summer camps, and produced a series of beginner sailing instructional videos for the organization.
Molly’s photography career began after she served in the Peace Corps in Zaire where her love of photography turned into a necessary tool to illustrate and share her experiences.
Participant: Eddie Adams Workshop, IT team and Black Team member, 2013, 2014
President, Women Photojournalists of Washington – 2010-2012
Team Leader: DC Shoot Off, 2015
Award recipient of 2015 and 2012 NPPA Northern Short Course and 2012 WHNPA in multimedia and still photography
Two-time winner of the Nikon Jerry Frutkoff Preakness Photo Award, 2002, 2005
Graduate of The Kalish multimedia workshop – 2009