• Welcome to FlatCoatFilms, LLC

    Created in 2000, FlatCoatFilms, LLC has produced award-winning and critically acclaimed independent films for almost two decades.

    Hope of Escape - In Production

    Hope of Escape is a non-fiction feature (part documentary, part reenactment) that follows the story of Diana Williams, her daughter Cornelia, and her daughter’s sweetheart, William, as they plan their own emancipation from slavery in Wilmington, North Carolina. Time is running out. Diana and Cornelia are terrified of being sold and separated forever. William discovers a window of opportunity to break free, but he's overwhelmed by timing and logistics that are more complicated than he could have imagined. Filmmaker Amy Gerber, who is a direct descendent of Diana, Cornelia and William, brings her forebears to life from their own memories, that come into view as flashbacks. Hope of Escape recasts the history of enslaved persons pursuing freedom and highlights the trials and triumphs of one family determined to make a better life and a better country. Check out our website at hopeofescapemovie.com


    We seek out stories off the beaten path and give voice to people and topics that traditionally tend to be ignored by the mainstream.

    Narrative Storytelling

    Our engaging and provocative stories ask the viewer to look at the world from different perspectives and experiences. We have particular interest in showing the extraordinary story within the ordinary character, setting, or theme.

    Art Films

    Not afraid to explore new ways of expressing thought-provoking ideas and concepts, we strive to experiment, re-examine, and reinvent approaches to film as art.

  • Filmography

    • Hope of Escape (current project) Feature documentary drama. Now in production.
    • Do Cell Towers Dream of Morse Code (2019) Experimental short, digital video. Click here for more info.
    • Russia Was A Woman  (2018) Feature screenplay, historical drama, animation.
    • The Truth About Trees: A Natural and Human History (2015) A PBS three-part documentary series in collaboration with The James Agee Film Project, dir. Ross Spears
    • Ass Backwards: A Virginia Story in Reverse (2013) Experimental short, digital video.
    • My Grandfather Was A Nazi Scientist: Opa, von Braun and Operation Paperclip (2011) 60 min. documentary. Distribution by Amazon.com
    • Public Memory (2004) Documentary feature, digital video, live action. Distribution by The Cinema Guild.
    • The Prophet of the Plains (2002) Documentary short, digital video, live action.
    Other prior credits include:
    • Birds In L.A. (1999) Experimental documentary, Digital video, live-action
    • Made In L.A. (1996) Documentary short – 16mm, live-action; Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
    • Modern America, Modern Sculpture (1995) Documentary short – 35mm, live-action; Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
    • Your Race Is Doomed (1993) Experimental documentary short – 16mm, live-action, animation; California Institute of the Arts.
    • The Pacific Rim (1993) Documentary short, digital video, live-action, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
    Here are some more details about past projects:

    Do Cell Towers Dream of Morse Code?


    Do Cell Towers Dream of Morse Code? offers a brief view from an observer at a unique vantage point. High above a city street, a collection of stories unfold as we experience a witness’ fixed perspective of events that occur on a supposed benign street corner. Who is the witness? And what is the witness’ connection to the lone souls below, parked in cars and affixed to their smartphones? Do Cell Towers Dream captures a linear moment in time, exploring the ideas of connection and isolation, detachment and engagement that sometimes occur simultaneously in our modern world.

    My Grandfather Was a Nazi Scientist: Opa, Von Braun and Operation Paperclip


    Filmmaker Amy Gerber accidentally stumbles upon her grandfather's secret past, including his work on Nazi science that the Allied victors raced to obtain at the end of WWII. Her grandfather, Dr. Eduard Gerber, joined hundreds of other Nazi scientists brought into the U.S. under the classified and controversial government program called OPERATION PAPERCLIP. The most famous of these scientists was rocket expert Wernher von Braun. My Grandfather follows a granddaughter on a personal journey, who with her dynamic German interpreter, Julia, investigates old FBI and CIA files that they discover at the National Archives. As Gerber begins to retrace her grandfather's history and find out more about his 'other life', larger historical questions arise as she pursues many unknowns about this early Cold War period that still remain classified by the U.S. Government. Distribution by Amazon.com

    Oklahoma City Bombing, 1995

    Public Memory: A Film About American Memorials


    Public Memory encourages Americans to think more deeply about the importance of memorials on our landscape. Surrounding the September 11th memorial design in New York, the film asks the greater public to rethink meanings and motivations behind building a memorial of historical significance. Why do some memorials move us? Why are others forgettable? What do they mean? Are they still important to us today? The film covers a specific group of memorials—including the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Pan Am Flight 103 Memorial Cairn, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and plans for the first African-American lynching monument, among others—in an attempt to answer these questions. Public Memory, through its provocative examination of what we can learn from controversial memorials and the many complex issues that involve memorializing crimes against humanity, breaks new ground by taking a fresh look at how and why the public remembers. Distribution by The Cinema Guild.




  • Bio

    Amy Gerber has produced and directed independent films for over twenty years. Her films have won honors at numerous film festivals and professional venues such as the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Film Forum, Los Angeles, Women in the Director’s Chair, and the Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film. She also has directed art films for the Los Angeles County Museum of art. Her films focus on the intersection of memory, culture, and history. In the 90s Gerber worked as a casting associate on twelve major motion pictures, including Angels In The Outfield, City Slickers, Tank Girl, Goldeneye and The Mask of Zorro and worked for all the major Hollywood studios including Disney, Warner Bros., and Columbia Pictures. Prof. Gerber-Stroh received her M.F.A. in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She chairs the film department at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia where she teaches production, animation, and film studies. Find out more about studying film at Hollins University here. (For Amy Gerber's Hollywood credits see her IMDb page.)

  • Awards & Press


    Annual African American “Ethno-Genre” Film Festival, New York

    Best Shorts Competition

    Blum-Kolver Completion Grant
    Brooklyn Arts Council International Film Festival, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn Historical Society

    Central Illinois Feminist Film Festival

    Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film
    Edinburgh International Film Festival, Scotland
    Film Forum, Los Angeles
    Lucasfilm Ltd. Young Filmmaker’s Award

    Miami International Science Fiction Film Festival (MiSciFi)

    Mill Valley Film Festival, Mill Valley, CA.
    New York Independent Film and Video Festival
    Nuart Theater CalArts Exhibitions, Los Angeles

    The Puffin Foundation Grant

    Richard Von Hagen Scholarship, CalArts
    Rosebud Film & Video Festival, Washington DC
    Stanford University African American Festival
    Wasserman Graduate Scholarship, CalArts
    Women in The Director’s Chair, Chicago
    Women in Media Alliance, Chairperson
    Nominated for the National Princess Grace Award

    University Film and Video Association Conference, Silver Award 2020
    Women and Minorities in Media WAMM Fest

    Winner of the 1993 National Education Film and Video Festival
    Winner of the 1996 National Muse Awards

    For Public Memory:

    "Thoughtful and engaging... makes a significant contribution both to our collective knowledge of past memorials and what it means to commemorate mass death." -- Cineaste

    "Highly Recommended! This program provides an important discussion of memorials in American life, and is useful both for instruction and for leading discussions on the topic. The production values are excellent, and the discussion is clear and well presented. The program would be especially valuable for teaching high school students the importance of our civic memory, and reviewing our thoughts on some of the most important events in our past." -- Educational Media Reviews Online

    "Highly Recommended! Public Memory offers a compelling look at honoring the past while also ensuring that future generations never forget.” -- Video Librarian

    Public Memory covers so much information that students will learn something new with each subsequent viewing. An excellent, thought-provoking film that could be used across the curriculum.”

    -- School Library Journal

    For My Grandfather Was a Nazi Scientist:

    "The story is fascinating, the use of archival footage excellent." -- Tom Nastic, U.S. National Archives


    "A very interesting account of events that are rarely covered in our nation's history. The film chronicles Gerber's personal journey to discover and uncover her grandfather's role in post war America." -- Amazon review


    For Do Cell Towers Dream of Morse Code:

    "The film beautifully captures humanity’s collective cognitive dissonance at the prospect of trying to untangle the borders between real and virtual, connected and alienated, human and non-human." -- Vincenzo Mistretta, University Film and Video Conference

    For Russia Was A Woman screenplay:

    "Really an outstanding job and a wonderful story. So dramatically rich." -- John Sweet, UCLA screenwriting professor and screenwriter of The Affair of the Necklace


    "This is an interesting revisionist take on Ivan the Terrible's wife, and I applaud your ambition, imagination and your creation of two lead LGBT female characters." -- Fresh Voices

    For Made In L.A.:

    "Really an outstanding job and a wonderful story. So dramatically rich." -- The Los Angeles Times


    "This is an interesting revisionist take on Ivan the Terrible's wife, and I applaud your ambition, imagination and your creation of two lead LGBT female characters." -- The L.A. Reader

  • Contact

    Please drop us an email or send us a message below.

    FlatCoatFilms, LLC
    P.O. Box 1011
    Middleburg, Virginia 20118
    Prof. Amy Gerber-Stroh
    P.O. Box 9612
    Roanoke, VA 24020