Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir Biography

SUSAN MUSKA is a freelance cameraperson and producer who specializes in social issue and public health documentaries. Her feature documentary debut, THE BRANDON TEENA STORY, garnered international accolades, including Best Documentary at the 1988 Berlin Film Festival, and inspired the Oscar nominated feature film, “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Muska graduated from Duke University in 1981 with a degree in Botany and Political Science, and went on to study Eastern European economics and politics at the University of Copenhagen, Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design, documentary film and video at the New School, and has a MA degree in French Studies and Anthropology from New York University. Muska is currently working on two feature-length documentaries, “Women & Genocide” and “Through the Lens.”

GRETA OLAFSDOTTIR is a professional photographer who works in fashion and the fine arts. In addition to being a documentary photographer, Olafsdottir graduated from The School of Visual Arts with a BFA degree in Photography in 1988. Her education also includes a year of French Studies at the University of Montepellier and a BA in Women’s Studies from the New College of California.

For her feature film debut, Olafsdottir collaborated with Susan Muska on THE BRANDON TEENA STORY. Her work has been published in several magazines and her photographs from THE BRANDON TEENA STORY have been featured in The New Yorker magazine. She is currently working on an exhibition from that body of work.

“I think one thing that was interesting to us was the motivation for murder. We did go into the project as examining a hate crime. But it became complex because of the rape of Brandon Teena. It was obviously hate-motivated, their attitude was ‘this is a person we can intimidate and pick on.’ Other people are not going to stick up for her because she’s different. But then it was all turned around. Brandon went and reported it to the police. The murders were a result of Lotter and Nissen completely freaking out that they were going to have to go back to jail. We spent a lot of time thinking about the logic behind it, and it is so hard to understand. But honestly, we haven’t been in prison, in which it might make complete sense.” – Susan Muska