Dan Parris is an award-winning filmmaker and owner of Speak Up Productions, a St. Louis based film production company. He’s the director of the feature length documentaries When the Saints, Show Me Democracy and the award-winning film What Matters? Speak Up Productions' mission is to make films about what matters. He is also co-founder/director at Speak Up Studios which focuses on non-profit videos working with clients like Parents as Teachers, Deaconess Foundation and the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis. Dan was awarded Biola University's 2012 Distinguished Young Alumni of the Year Award for his work in film and activism and was the closing speaker at the 2014 TEDxGatewayArch City 2.0 event. Most recently, Dan co-founded the non-profit, Continuity, whose mission is to expand diversity in media production.

Dan Parris, founder of Speak Up Productions, has spoken to hundreds of colleges, churches and community organizations.

Topics include:

Carnahan High_SMD screening.JPG

Screening + Q&A with all Speak Up Productions films  

All of Speak Up Productions films are available for community screenings & Q&A with the filmmakers and/or subjects of the films. Dan and team are represented by Contemporary Issues Agency for What Matters? and Show Me Democracy film presentations.


How can I make a difference?

How to Turn Apathy into Action

In his talk, Dan Parris explains that we can make a difference in the world through our time, talents, and treasure. The reasons we should make a difference is because something about this world breaks our heart, and how we should make a difference is by doing what makes us come alive. These create your Y2Q (Your 2 Questions) and by intersecting those answers, there you will find how you should make a difference in this world. However, he ends by warning us what can keep us from making that difference by taking us through the "5 Stages of Activist Grief."



Dan has given talks at film classes across the country on all aspects of filmmaking with a particular emphasis on documentary, distribution and how to make an impact with your film. You can see other topics that can be covered in presentations or in consulting here. Dan is a frequently requested speaker for the VLAA.

Dan and family.jpg

Faith & Film

Dan’s personal testimony that touches on his radical conversion to Christianity, his journey as an activist filmmaker, being a plane crash survivor and now a family man and business owner.