Another busy academic year is almost behind us. The sixteen MFA students in the program are thriving and making wonderful films, as always. Their work has been exhibited and awarded at many festivals including Sesuchte (Potsdam), the IDA Wolper Awards, the Student Academy Awards, Big Sky, Full Frame, and SilverDocs, among others. I have been editing my film about altruistic organ donation and hope to finish it sometime in the near future. But true to "documentary" form, the narrative is stalled because of unexpected events in the lives of my characters. The film awaits an ending. I just returned from the INPUT public television conference in Budapest. It was a wonderful trip and I was able to immerse myself in marathon screenings and discussion for four days. As always, we hope to see some of you at our year-end screenings on June 11 (8 first-year films) and June 12 (8 thesis films). Please visit our website for details about the projects.
Heading towards the end of my third year teaching at Stanford, I'm no longer surprised, but still amazed, at the quality of the student films. I've been busy working with our first year students this quarter, but am also rolling out the educational release of my last film, a short called La Caminata, through New Day Films. I've already met a bunch of wonderful Stanford grads in the New Day Cooperative and look forward to meeting more. Meanwhile I'm in the research phase of a fiction/documentary hybrid film I hope to shoot next year in Lagos and Morocco, and in production on a new documentary I plan to turn into a feature. Looking forward to seeing some of you at the end of year screenings.
Kris Samuelson ('73)
Greetings everyone. John (Haptas) and I are almost at the halfway point of our five-month arts fellowship in Japan. We're working on our film about crows in Tokyo and expanding the project in a couple of other directions, so we've been busy researching in new areas. We're also continuing our Japanese language classes, though it is difficult and progress is slow. I was thrilled to actually succeed in booking a hotel room over the phone the other day! Thankfully, we have a couple of great bilingual fixers to assist us with contacting subjects and interpreting. We're encouraged by our fellowship sponsors to learn as much as we can about Japanese art and culture so we are also viewing films, attending art exhibition and concerts, and traveling. Just got back from small towns along the western coast, followed by a visit to Hiroshima and the Inland Sea.
Johnny Symons ('97)
I’ve spent a good part of the past year teaching at Stanford while Kris has been on sabbatical in Japan. Instructing and learning from the outstanding doc students in the MFA program has been fantastic, and has further honed my teaching skills, which I’ve also been developing through work at the Art Institute of CA-SF. My most recent doc, Ask Not, has made new traction through the recent attention in DC to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and screened last month on Capitol Hill (see http://asknotfilm.com/screenings). Meanwhile, I’ve been freelancing on other projects (including one about former detainees from Guantanamo, http://witnesstoguantanamo.com, which has taken me to Palau and Bermuda), developing new projects of my own, and serving as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee at New Day Films (http://newday.com).
Class of 2009
After graduation I went to S. India for sixth months. There, I lived, filmed and taught at a home/school for ex-street kids. The program started when a couple took in kids who came to them for help. Now they have 40 kids and still live like a big family. I taught basic filmmaking to the older children, and art to the younger ones. I also shot footage that I'm currently editing into a trailer, with the goal to return and complete a feature length film. Currently I'm living in VT, teaching documentary film courses at a community college, and at the University of Vermont and developing an iPhone application.
I'm now living in Seattle so my wife can attend a graduate program at UW. In Seattle I've been working on a series of educational documentaries for Seattle Children's Hospital on living with cancer in adolescence.
My thesis film, Famous 4A, was nominated for the IDA's David Wolper Award and played at the Sebastopol Film Festival. My spring film Mr. Mack's Kitchen just played at the San Francisco International Film Festival and won the "Best of the Northwest" award at the Children's Film Festival Seattle.
My Stanford fall film, A Different Color Blue featuring artist, Charles Curtis Blackwell was just invited to air on POV with a broadcast date coming soon. My Name is Sydney has screened at True/False & Big Sky and was nominated for a David L. Wolper Award and a Student Academy Award. In the Bay Area I’ve been freelancing on a variety of projects as Associate Producer, Production Coordinator and Assistant Editor while working in education and curriculum development part-time. Highlights over the past few months have included work on Christie Herring’s ('05) upcoming feature length documentary following the “No on Prop 8” Campaign, Coordinating on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week series, and working as Associate Producer on an international documentary series about naturalized Chinese citizens in the US. Recently Leaving Paradise: The Jews of Jamaica has generated interest for development into a feature length film and I’ll be on the east coast (NYC!) and Kingston, Jamaica starting in July in order to explore my first feature. Looking forward to a return to New York and to future returns to San Francisco.
Things have gone great since graduation! Right out of school, I was hired by the Stanford Cochlear Implant Center to do a documentary fundraising film about their summer program for low-income families with deaf children. The film inspired generous donations, so they hired me to do some follow ups and shooting with the families over the summer. Since that time, I've worked on various projects for foundations and non-profits, mostly together with Peter Jordan ('08). In the summer of 2009, we made a documentary and some web videos for Civic Ventures, a Bay Area non-profit working to expand a program called Encore Fellows to a national level here in the USA. After that, we were hired by CREST (The Center for Responsible Travel), a non-profit based in Stanford and Washington, D.C., to travel to Costa Rica and make a 30 minute documentary about the impact of tourism on the Pacific Coast. The whole thing was done in less that two months and it was really amazing. The film is called Cracking the Golden Egg. It has an investigative journalism angle and gives a voice to the local people from the villages who are being strongly impacted by residential and grand-scale tourism (vs. eco-tourism). The film has been quite controversial in Costa Rica and is generating a lot of conversation in political and environmental circles. We are hoping it will influence policy-makers and also be used in the educational system.
This spring and summer, I am working on my first feature films. Currently, I am editing a feature doc about the National Senior Olympics for the Documentary Foundation. It's an inspiring and humorous story of 90+ year old swimmers, a 100 year old tennis player, 85+ track and field athlete, and some others, that addresses aging, love, family, history, sports, and death. Finally, later on this summer, I will be working as a DP with director Signe Taylor ('94), on her film Telling My Story: A Documentary, about Ivy League students and female prison inmates working together to write and perform a play about women in prison. Very exciting! So that's it for now! My calendar is open again come September, and if it stays that way, I have some ideas for my own first feature film. Oh, and as for my thesis film, Danza del Viejo Inmigrante, it has done very well at the festivals where it has been accepted. It won the Audience Award at Short Escape in Brussels and Best Short Documentary at Big Sky, and I've been invited to perhaps talk and show it on TV at Univision. Cheers!
Since graduation, I have been busy getting settled in San Francisco. The alumni network has been serving me well and I have been doing work on a number of alumni projects, including a two new films on nanotechnology by Ruth Carranza ('86) and Pam Walton ('88); a doc feature called The History of Wonder Woman, which is being produced by Kelcey Edwards ('08); and Tanya Sleiman's ('09) new film on street photographer Helen Levitt. My thesis film, Aftershock, premiered in May at the Maryland Film Festival (where we were introduced by Ramona Diaz ('95) ) and was a finalist for the Regional Student Academy Awards. I recently produced a minidoc on trumpeter Dave Douglas for Stanford Lively Arts and have begun teaching production in the Digital Film and Video Program at The Art Institute of California, San Francisco.
After wrapping coursework in 2009, I launched the first documentary film course offered through Brown University's summer Leadership Institute. The inaugural course, "Documentary Film for Social Change," met in July & August 2009 in an intensive program for pre-college students. The Brown seminar discusses theory and practice of documentary traditions, encouraging young filmmakers to develop creative storytelling voices. The program culminated in a public screening of eight student films, and was very well received, so I'm delighted I was asked by Brown to teach again in summer 2010. The course is already full!
For summer 2010, I will be on the road with teaching as well as two seminars. In June, I travel to New York state to participate in the annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar on the theme "Work" curated by Dennis Lim. After the 2010 student film screening at Brown, I will board a plane for Istanbul to present a paper at the international documentary conference "Visible Evidence" held this year in August in Istanbul. I am discussing innovative sound design in documentary. The paper "Creating Noise through Silence" explores Russian director Pavel Medvedev’s Svadba tishiny/Wedding of Silence (2003), a vibrant portrait filmed among a deaf community in St. Petersburg, Russia.
For my film projects, I'm finishing an epilogue to my thesis film on Iraqi refugee stories. And, I'm creating a portrait film on Helen Levitt, an artist who began photographing with a handheld Leica in the streets of New York in the 1930s. She enjoyed a seven-decade career, during which time she worked in film as well as photography. She died aged 95 in March 2009 in New York. I'm building a website www.tazafilms.com to share updates. So stay tuned!
Class of 2008
I've spent the past year writing my second book for Klutz and traveling with my thesis film. The Klutz book is called The Klutz Book of Animation, and it teaches simple stop motion techniques for 9-12 year-olds. It comes with a block of clay and some animation software as well as some sound effects and googly eyes.
My thesis film Nutkin's Last Stand aired on POV last summer, and I traveled with it to festivals in Berlin and Singapore, among others.
I'm currently starting work on a short film about a sculptor based in Los Angeles.
My recent activities, aside from parenting a very adorable and active toddler, include working with Tim O'Hara (’08) on a film about the nursing profession. We've received a lot of support from the University of Washington School of Nursing, though the project is still a bit slow getting off the ground. We're hoping to have made some major headway by this summer. We've also started doing some commercial (i.e. paid) work around town and are in the process of starting a small production company: briggsoharamedia.com. The Seattle contingent has managed to get together on a few occasions over the past couple of years for a bbq or a 'doc night'. Last winter, Tim and I showed our thesis films to fellow Seattle alums Serena Down ('05), Howard Shack ('94), and Andy Schocken (’04), and then engaged in a critique session that would have made Kris and Jan proud.
Two years out of the gate, and I'm still loving Brooklyn. I'm into my second year of producing The History of the Universe as Told by Wonder Woman, a documentary feature by director Kristy Guevara-Flanagan (Going on 13). The film looks at the history of fiction's longest running superheroine as part of a larger conversation about the possibilities and contradictions of women as popular action heroes. We were recently awarded a generous production grant from the California Council for Humanities, and we were thrilled to have been the sole documentary-in-progress selected to present at TAA On Track at Tribeca Film Festival 2010! We look forward to completing our remaining production schedule this summer. www.vaquerafilms.com/wonderwoman
I've also freelanced for a broad range of productions over the past year--from camera operating for History Channel's Monster Quest to field producing a series of non-profit web videos for Heidi Reinberg (producer of Cynthia Wade's ('96) documentary Shelter Dogs). I've recently come on board as a producer at Winton duPont's New York office, thanks to a referral by Davina Pardo (’05), and I have to give a big shout out to Ben Wu (’06) as well for throwing work my way when he could. You guys rock!
Finally, in a serendipitous turn of events, what began as a corporate video gig turned into a long-term relationship with a center for developmentally disabled adults, where I've been teaching documentary filmmaking courses for the past nine months.
Right now, I'm in Guatemala making some films for a women's empowerment group. Earlier this year, Charlene Music ('09) and I made a film about the impacts of large hotel chains on Costa Rica's pacific coast. The film, which has been controversial, gives voice to local villagers marginalized by development, and bootleg excerpts were shown on the national news and shared by thousands on the internet. My thesis film received the IDA Wolper Award and will be part of the upcoming American Documentary Showcase organized overseas by the State Department. I also was able to make a film for a Bay Area group called Vida Verde that provides free outdoor education opportunities for kids who otherwise wouldn't get a chance. The film inspired their two largest donors to quadruple their commitments, which is probably the happiest thing that's ever happened in filmmaking for me.
Class of 2006
After almost three years of living and working in Switzerland, I feel like I am slowly breaking into the industry here. My 50-minute doc about immigration through marriage is finally finished--juggling motherhood and filmmaking has not been a piece of cake!--and I am currently waiting to hear back from TV/festivals. In the meantime, I have started working with an amazing producer. She is almost 70, has more energy than a 20 year-old and seems to be a walking encyclopedia of European cinema. If all goes well, we will be making a feature length film for theatrical release--a kind of love story about the US seen from abroad...very Varda-esque, I hope. It has been great keeping in touch with some of my fellow alums---and finding a moment here and there to get together and catch up. I am also proud to announce that I now officially have a Stanford buddy on this side of the pond. Leigh Iacobucci ('06) has moved to Geneva, and we are currently concocting a plan to found a production company together that will house our smaller projects and freelance ideas. If any of you are interested in joining us, the more the merrier!
It's been three years in the making, but my first feature-length documentary Tales of the Waria (www.thewaria.com) is nearing its end. The film follows several members of a transgender community in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, as they search for romantic love and intimacy. Edited by Carla Gutierrez ('04) and shepherded into existence by fellow LA alums Sally Rubin ('04) and Marisa Pearl ('04), the film is being funded by ITVS and was recently featured at Tribeca All Access, where it won an Honorable Mention Creative Promise Award. We'll be turning the film into ITVS this fall, after which I'll be taking a nice long vacation. www.kathyhuangfilms.com
The highlight of my year was reconnecting with follow Stanford Doc Folks! A week-long teaching gig in Lugano, Switzerland this past December allowed me to visit Jasmin Gordon (’06) in Bern and Leigh Iacobucci (’06) in Geneva. Last month, I shared many good times with fellow Stanford grads at Full Frame Film Festival (you know who you are!). As for work, I am freelance editing, shooting and editing campaign spots for a New Mexico gubernatorial candidate, teaching at the Santa Fe Community College, and making films with high school students through the community-based non-profit, Little Globe. I am also gearing up for the second summer of Fresh From the Farm: Film Nights, where I’ve gotten together with local farmers, hang a big screen from a tractor, and screen documentaries under the stars amidst the corn, garlic and sunflowers. www.rotationfilms.com
This past year has been both a transitional and adventurous one. I continue to travel a lot, working as a producer/shooter on a new show for the Lifetime Channel, several documentary style shows on MTV, and as a shooter/editor for several non-profit endeavors. I recently traveled to Nigeria with Ben Wu ('06) to do some human rights advocacy pieces. In my personal life, I got married this winter and now officially reside in Geneva, Switzerland. I am looking forward to collaborating on various documentary projects with Jasmin Gordon ('06) and tapping into the Swiss coffers for support as soon as I'm eligible. If anyone should need a French-speaking, European-based producer/shooter/editor, I can be contacted at email@example.com. My C.V. is posted on my website, www.trotroproductions.com.
I have taken a step away from film for a bit to start a company selling my fine art prints inspired by college mascots. Most mascots have unique cultural, religious, military, environmental, and or just plain wacky stories, which I incorporate into the artwork. You can see more at www.mascotgallery.com, and yes, there is a "Cardinal" inspired by the Beijing Olympics. Like a documentary, each piece requires a good deal of research, production time, finishing, and distribution. It has also given me a chance to see some adjustments I'd like to make when I return to the filmmaking process. I have learned how to run a self-sustaining small business that has accomplished some great things in the past couple months. All of this has happened just in time for the "Biz (Elisabeth Haviland James ('03)) and Rev" wedding!
Class of 2005
It's been a busy year! I'm plugging away, working on my film about the campaign against Proposition 8 (The Campaign: www.thecampaigndocumentary.com). The film recently received a grant from Chicken & Egg Pictures, and we're hitting the editing room this summer to work on the rough cut. I also just finished several short films for Breakthrough Collaborative (http://www.breakthroughcollaborative.org) and the Mississippi Center for Justice (http://www.mscenterforjustice.org).
I am living in Brooklyn and completed several harm reduction-themed public health videos in the last year. One called Health and Hope was made for the New Mexico Department of Health and documents the struggles of current and formerly incarcerated people to overcome addiction and Hepatitis C. Erin Hudson ('06) recorded the sound, and it was awesome to hang out with her in towns across New Mexico.
In March at NYC's docuclub, I saw a rough cut of Ramona Diaz's ('95) The Learning, which I shot over 2006-2007, and it was really exciting to see it up on the screen!
Over the last year I've also been shooting Decade of Fire, which tells how the politics of neglect burned down the South Bronx in the 1970s. (I'm also co-producing the film with community organizers Vivian Vazquez and Julia Allen)
I can't believe it's been five years since we graduated! As part of our 5-yr anniversary, alumni Lila Place (’05), Gretchen Hildebran (’05) and Erin Hudson (’06) met at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC. We also met graduates Purcell Carson (’00), Hope Hall (’00), Anne Alvergue (’00) and Kristen Nutile (’00). It was an inspiring weekend, bouncing from film to food to film to food. We're thinking True False next year! I live in Seattle and work as a producer for an interactive agency called ZAAZ. I just launched the most beautiful window and door website ever (heee!). Check it out if you're in the market for windows: www.pella.com. I still keep my toes in the documentary film world. I’ve organized two film festivals at ZAAZ which was very gratifying. It seems like everyone has a film in the cupboard to show. I volunteer as a mentor for Reel Grrls, an organization that teaches filmmaking to teenage girls. I moderate panels after documentary screenings at the Northwest Film Forum. I recently finished a short audio piece, where I interviewed bartenders on the topic of love, each story included the making of a specific cocktail. I also started hosting monthly film nights with friends--so far, I’ve screened Benjamin Smoke and Mc5 - A True Testimonial. I'm busy, I'm good. I wouldn't be where I am now, without the experience of Stanford Doc film program. I made some of my best friends at school and love them dearly!
When I wrote in last year, I was working on Minka, a film about a farmhouse in Japan, and expecting a baby. Now, I'm working on Minka, a film about a farmhouse in Japan, and mother to 9-month-old Phoebe! It's been a wonderful year. I've been doing occasional producing jobs, and look forward to getting back to work full force this fall.
My most recent experimental work-in-progress is a collaboration with my wife Paulina, and his name is Deco Grey Berczynski-Seely, born October, 2009. We are still raising funds for the post-production and outreach for this long-term project, which has so far been infinitely rewarding! In more mundane news, I recently finished post-production on The Most Distant Places, a 35-minute film (4 years in the making!) about an innovative mobile hospital project and rural health care program in Ecuador. John Kane ('08) edited the film, and Romi Chiorean was a cinematographer on the piece. Both were a pleasure to collaborate with. It's now available through New Day Films, the educational distribution collective. I'm excited to be a part of the organization, and it's nice to see a few familiar Stanford faces in there (Johnny Symons ('97), Jamie Meltzer and Pam Walton ('88) to name a few). Over the past year, I have continued doing camera work, and the occasional sound gig, partnering with the likes of Christie Herring ('05), Ashley Tindall ('06), and Melanie Levy ('09). I am currently living in Lodz, Poland for the rest of 2010 on a Fulbright scholarship, making three short documentaries--each one loosely based on a different style in the Polish documentary tradition. Although we miss the Bay, this trip is proving to be a great way to experiment with docs again (a la sub-basement), and I am meeting a lot of interesting people working internationally in film.
Class of 2004
I'm still based in Los Angeles editing, but hoping for a move back to the East Coast in the next year. Last year, a film I edited, She Is The Matador, aired on POV. It also won the Tribeca Film Festival All Access Program's "Best Documentary In Progress" Award. Another film I edited, Surviving Hitler: A Love Story, just premiered at Full Frame, where it won the Inspiration Award. I'm currently cutting the ITVS-funded doc Tales of the Waria, directed by fellow Stanford alum Kathy Huang (’06). The film was accepted to the Tribeca Film Festival All Access Program. A 30-minute trailer I cut for Cesar Late Fast, was awarded funding from the Sundance Documentary Grant. My latest production is a son, Pablo, born two weeks ago.
I recently completed Deep Down, my current feature-length documentary about mountaintop removal mining in eastern Kentucky (more at www.deepdownfilm.org). Deep Down will broadcast on the 2010-2011 season of Independent Lens, reaching over one million viewers. In April of 2010, the film premiered on PBS in Kentucky, on Kentucky Educational Television, hitting over 20,000 homes. The project received LINCS funding from ITVS and was showcased at BAVC's Producer's Institute last June, and at the PBS Producer's Academy. With funding from ITVS Interactive, co-director Jen Gilomen and I created a 3D mountaintop mine in virtual reality, as part of a larger outreach campaign for the project focused on education through new media. Prior to Deep Down, I co-produced and edited Without a Home, a feature-length documentary about homelessness, edited Beer Wars (in theaters now), Riverwebs (PBS) and Iraq for Sale (with Carla Gutierrez ('04)), as well as associate producing David Sutherland's Country Boys (Frontline). I am currently a full-time assistant professor of documentary film at Chapman University, where I am working to develop an MFA program in documentary to allow many more young people to join this wonderful field. When I'm not working, you can find me hanging out with a gang of women documentary filmmakers based in LA. Known as the "Shuttergrrlz," the group includes Kathy Huang ('06), Carla Gutierrez ('04), and Marisa Pearl ('04).
I love my new home in Brooklyn, and have had the pleasure of working recently with alums such as Liam Dalzell ('04), Elisabeth James ('03), Charlotte Lagarde ('96), Sam Ball ('95), Nicole Newnham ('94), and Justin Schein ('94). Thankfully, hauling equipment up and down from a fourth floor walkup has compensated for my insatiable appetite for corned beef, so my handheld shooting has yet to be jeopardized. I was a cinematographer and co-producer of The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary short category and will air on HBO.
Class of 2003
Elisabeth Haviland James
Life is great in Durham, NC…Fifteen months after moving here, Revere La Noue ('06) and I have settled in and are enjoying the slower pace of life that the South has to offer. Our biggest news is that in June we will make it official and get married! On the professional side, I'm producing and editing The Loving Story: A Long Walk Home, a doc about Richard and Mildred Loving and their US Supreme Court battle to be legally married as an interracial couple. If you are so inclined, you can check out our website: www.lovingfilm.com Perhaps less exciting, I've been doing lots of corporate freelance work, both photography and video, for a variety of clients local to the region and in NYC. I'm enjoying teaching classes and workshops at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke. Finally, Revere and I had a blast at Durham's own Full Frame Film Festival, hosting Purcell Carson ('00) and Hope Hall ('00). Again, we apologize for the behavior of our dog. We enjoyed meeting up with so many other amazing Stanford Doc Film alumnae, all while cramming in a multitude of screenings. Hopefully it can become an annual pilgrimage...
Class of 2002
Adam Burgess and his production company Burgess Productions are launching two new TV series after the successful Odyssey: Driving Around the World TV series. The World Cup Trek departs Berlin for Cape Town on May 17th. This production will follow a team of six adventurers as they drive across Africa in three dilapidated cars for the World Cup 2010.
After attending MIPTV, The Trabant Trek has interest from seven broadcasters worldwide. Burgess Productions has completed the pilot promo for Trabant Trek. This series follows an international group of young travelers who set out to prove that The Times was correct: the Trabant was the "worst car ever built". Three plastic cars and seven people head from Germany to Cambodia. 320 breakdowns and half the cars later, they battle their way to the Far East.
I am working as a Fulbright Fellow in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia on a photography project that uses large-scale portraiture to explore the theme of memory in narratives of recent social transformation in the South Caucasus. The resulting collection will be exhibited in galleries in each of these countries, as well as in the United States. As part of my project I've also been hosting cinematography workshops for industry professionals in the region, including an eight-week intensive production course at the Rustam Ibragimbekov International School of Cinema in Baku, Azerbaijan. Alongside the production course, I also developed, with support from the BBC World Service Trust, a photography program at the Baku Slavic University, the first of its kind in Azerbaijan.
I've had the opportunity to shoot for some local directors and producers in the South Caucasus, and the experience has been very rewarding. Film production was very robust in these countries during Soviet times but has been struggling to get back on its feet since the collapse of the USSR 20 years ago. We're just now starting to see the first signs of life in the film industry here and it's very exciting to be part of this. www.thomasburns.net
Michelle Cabalu Zaslav
For the past three years, I've been working in production and as an Assistant Editor on Shrek Forever After at Dreamworks Animation, and as the marketing blitz will indicate, the movie is finally coming out on May 21st! Both my husband Peter and I worked on this film and are really happy with the way it turned out. Since this is the first CG animated, 3-D film I've ever worked on, it was definitely a great learning experience from an editorial perspective. Maybe one day in my future I'll bring CG animation and 3-D technology to the documentary world?? We'll see. In the meantime, hopefully all of you will take yourselves and a loved one to see Shrek 4 on opening weekend (since these opening weekend box office numbers do mean a lot). Since finishing Shrek Forever After, I was busy with a couple Shrek-related DVD specials and the movie soundtrack, and now I've started work on a new Dreamworks film, Puss in Boots, as an assistant editor.
For the last three years I’ve been the Supervising Producer at Absolutely Productions here in LA. We just recently wrapped the fifth season of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, a sketch comedy show for [adult swim] on the Cartoon Network. Last week we premiered the first episode of a spin-off series Check it Out! With Dr. Steve Brule featuring John C. Reilly.
Currently, we’re in pre-production on a feature film which is being co-produced with Funny or Die (Will Ferrell and Adam Mckay’s production company). Principal photography will begin late summer. We also keep busy with commercial spots (check out the recent Old Spice ads) and producing sketch content for HBO.
And a personal note: my wife Casi and I are looking forward to the arrival of our first child in late August.
Besides all that, I keep myself occupied by following the global travels of the peripatetic Thomas Burns. He gets around!
Class of 2001
I've been the Vice President of Marketing at Virgin America since '07. In addition, I am an Executive Producer on Fly Girls, a docu-series featuring Virgin America that airs on the CW Network.
Two recent projects I shot and edited have won Cine Golden Eagle awards. Sponsored by the Sunpower Foundation, we made an around-the-world journey to profile people using solar power in innovative ways. The story of a community group using solar cells in glass bulbs to power home lighting in Niamey, Niger, and the story of a school on an island near in Manila, Philippines took the gold. The distinction of these projects has led to work for Intel Corporation for whom we will be producing mini-docs telling stories of young scientists who are addressing world challenges such as securing safe drinking water for all, securing world energy resources as well as speaking with current tech leaders such as Bill Gates and Bill Joy to help us understand how technology can address our top ten global challenges with sustainable solutions. Just moved to Brooklyn and loving it.
Class of 2000
After almost a decade of blithely ignoring convention, I am making the big, bold move to first-person singular for my alumni newsletter entry. In other news, I continue to be a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and photographer. After the best job ever-- making propaganda for Obama--it's pretty easy to keep focused on the good stuff. It's all about who I work with, and to that end, I have been very happy working alongside many wonderful friends from my cohort and making big plans to work alongside others. I have continued to work with people inside and outside The Beltway, most conspicuously for the new media whiz kids, now called Bluestate Digital, who showed the world what online organizing looks like. Everybody wants them to organize their online campaigns (including me), but our best client award goes to the U.S. bid committee for the World Cup (2018!). Soccer is really, really fun to shoot! I have also been shooting on some upcoming features: Green Bananas (Purcell Carson ('00)); How to Grow a Band (Mark Meatto); Semper Fi (Rachel Libert); and Racing Dreams (Marshall Curry). I continue to balance out the verité work with music shoots: MTV's Unplugged, NYC's takeawayshows (OneTakeNewYork), and music videos for Gil Scott-Heron and for The National. I'm now making annual pilgrimages to artist residencies so I can work on my own, secret, personal, not-for-general-consumption work. This September-October I will be at LKV in Trondheim, Norway, where I will have my first solo exhibition. Come visit and help me set up a gallery-sized camera obscura! Cheers! Hope
I'm still living in Brooklyn, New York and editing independent documentary films. This past year, I edited Every Day Is a Holiday by Theresa Loong and Invitation to Dance by Simi Lintion and Christian von Tippelskirch. I have a co-editor credit on The House of Suh by Iris K. Shim, which recently premiered at Hot Docs. And, I am currently editing a film on Cuban architecture--huge thanks to Gabriel Rhodes ('00) and Blair Foster ('00)! I've also been editing some fiction, including One Thousand Cranes directed by Zach Carver and written by Jennie Allen.
This past fall I edited The Tillman Story, a film about football player Pat Tillman, who left his NFL contract to join the Army and fight in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004, he was killed by his own troops, and the government tried to cover up the fratricide. The film tells the story of his family's attempt to wrest the truth out of the military. It premiered at Sundance in January and will be released theatrically by the Weinstein Company on August 20th. Right now, I'm putting the finishing touches on four short profiles about the hardest working Americans for Maysles Films. I'm also currently raising money for my own film called The Cure. It tells the story of Anthony Holland, a music composer, who believes he's discovered a long-lost cure for cancer. That's it!
I'm the owner/executive producer of Sorkin Productions LLC, a full-service production company based in the Washington, DC area, serving predominantly nonprofits and associations on a host of public policy issues from foreign affairs and civil liberties to health care and drug policy reform. While not focused on my day job, I toil away on my quaint American screenplay (infused, of course, with allegiance to documentary integrity) about exurban sprawl, religious fundamentalism and crystal meth. In the meantime I had a chance to produce and edit the Flex Your Rights Foundation's new dramatic educational video, 10 Rules for Dealing with Police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmrbNLt7Om8. Currently, I'm producing and editing a promotional video for the Drug Policy Alliance: http://www.drugpolicy.org/homepage.cfm, among other projects.
Class of 1999
We now own our own production company, Impact Productions, where I direct music video clips for unique and talented musicians as well as develop my own projects. And, I still write for Israeli children's television as well as children's theatre.
I have recently signed a contract with Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir (כנרת זמורה-ביתן דביר הוצאה לאור), the biggest publishing house in Israel. They will publish my next children's book that will include a CD featuring renowned Israeli musician, Shlomo Gronich. Once the book is published, we are hoping to create an animated film based on the book. Other than that, I am working on a novel, and I’m about halfway there.
Family has been the production I’ve been most committed to these past several years. My son Jonah will be heading to kindergarten in the fall, and my daughter, Maya is three. After several years producing docs in New York for cable broadcast, my wife Aviva and I returned to the ‘burbs, settling in the Chicago area. I’ve been teaching TV production and history at the high school level, and I’ve been committed to making films on the side. I’m heading into post on a film I’ve been producing and shooting for the past year (nights, weekends, and during the summer). It explores the decline of print journalism, with a Chicago focus. In Mashed Newspaper (working title), we visit bloggers, independent publishers, “hacker journalists”, and social media mavens working in the trenches of Chicago, providing a rare intimate look at the future of journalism now. None of them provide one clear avenue to survival, much less a return to high margins. In the end, these journalists represent a pioneering spirit to tackle risk and venture into the unknown as the “mass media” has been replaced by the “mashed media”. I am hoping to bring the finished product to local PBS stations and the festival circuit.
After eight long years, the documentary I shot, wrote, co-directed and co-edited - The Insular Empire: America in the Mariana Islands - is now airing across the country on PBS. Making this film has been, in many ways, like getting a PhD in documentary, and I'm now learning even more as I wade into the ever-turbulent waters of self distribution. Like most doc makers, I'm finding this long-awaited success isn't translating into financial prosperity, and I'm torn between the desire to use all the knowledge gained on this project to make another, better film, and to throw in the documentary towel to apply my media skills toward some more lucrative end (i.e. one that comes with an actual paycheck). In the meantime - because it seems I always need to be working on something - I'm directing and co-producing (and, until we get financing, co-editing) an adventure travel show for families, Hit the Road, that just got nominated for a Webby Award!
Class of 1997
I received my PhD in Educational Communication and Technology from NYU in May 2009 and am currently a post-doctoral fellow in a training program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. My research entails using computer-based video to educate underserved populations about public health issues in non-traditional settings, such as hospital emergency departments. And, I continue to enjoy living in my native New York City.
Yuriko Gamo Romer
I have just begun editing Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful, about 97 year-old, highest ranking woman judo master, Keiko Fukuda. Last fall, PAWMA hosted a martial arts demonstration/fundraiser for the film, and there is now a big community interest in seeing this film completed. I also had an amazing opportunity to travel to Japan last October with Keiko Fukuda. It was ten long days, with lots of good food and great opportunities documenting Fukuda’s first trip back to Japan in 26 years, at age 96, and as the honored guest of the very organization that had held her back because she is a woman.
I’m also doing a job for the Episcopal Church which will live on the web. This is my first web-based project, and I am enjoying a new way to look at filmmaking.
I’ve also been keeping busy at home in San Francisco, with my husband Bill and 11-year old, much taller-than-me son, Niko.
Class of 1996
I just finished editing Circo, a film about a traveling family circus in Mexico. It’s premiering at LAFF in June. I also just completed directing a music video for the band La Strada, whose members include Stanford doc alum Daniel Baer (’96) on violin. I’m now working on figuring out my next thing. www.meteorfilms.org
For the last three years, I have been producing Deann Borshay Liem's In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee. A follow up to First Person Plural, it chronicles Deann’s journey to find her “double” while also exploring identity, memory and the ethics of international adoption. Supported in part with funding from the NEA, ITVS, Sundance Documentary Fund, the Center for Asian American Media and the Rockefeller Foundation, the film premiered at the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival and won the Audience Award. It was selected at Full Frame and won Best Directing and Best Editing at Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee is scheduled to broadcast on PBS/POV September 14th., 2010.
I am also getting back in the director chair with a documentary on poet activist June Jordan. I am directing and producing the film with Carrie Lozano (Utopia In Four Movements, Reporter Zero, The Weather Underground). We are in the research and development phase.
It is now my sixth year teaching film history and production at the Lycée Français in San Francisco.
For the last year, since coming back to work after the birth of my second child, Blaise, I've been executive producing and producing with Witness the Way We Live, a strategic documentary agency. We've just finished a documentary for AT&T and a photojournalistic radio documentary for Del Monte. We also launched the Dilemmas Project, a social experiment about the dilemmas that exist in our lives today. Check it out at http://thedilemmasproject.com.
On the homefront, Judah is 4.5 (when did that happen?) and Blaise is 19 months and they amaze and inspire me everyday.
Class of 1995
I am finishing up an ITVS, Sundance, CAAM-funded doc about Filipino teachers recruited to teach in Baltimore City. The film has just been invited to the Story and Edit Lab at Sundance this summer. I'm hoping to lock picture sometime in August and finish by September/October. Please visit us on FB - the film's title is The Learning.
I am also in post on another doc that we wrapped last year about the 70's band Journey and their new lead singer whom they discovered through YouTube. We followed his first year with the band - check out promo on www.everymansjourney.com. We are hoping to deliver this film sometime next year.
And if all goes well, I start shooting another doc (a sports doc - not everyone has signed off so I can't really be more specific) in December/January. More on this next year.
Ooops, on the personal front, still living in Baltimore with the hubby who works for the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Hopkins, and the kid who is now 13 and thinks she has life all figured out - at least until she's in her early twenties when she'll find out I was right after all. Till next year, folks...
I continue to make my home in San Francisco and work part-time as a freelance editor, writer, and producer. One highlight this year is that a film I worked on for several years as co-producer and editor, Music Makes a City: A Louisville Orchestra Story, is at long last, finished! The film is directed by Owsley Brown and Jerome Hiler, narrated by Will Oldham, and features among other things, several long music sequences which were fun to work on. The premier will be this spring in Louisville, Kentucky, and there will be screenings in the Bay Area this fall. www.musicmakesacity.org
The last few months I've enjoyed taking a break from work and spending a lot more time with my two sons, Alex (8) and Sean (4), family, and friends, while taking on some short format projects and trailers. I also have been serving as a mentor for Citizen Film's New Jewish Filmmaking Project with Sam Ball ('95). I continue to produce and edit promos for Independent Lens each summer and am always looking to connect with other interesting projects! Namaste... ;-) www.anneflatte.com
I just finished directing two documentaries. Born Sweet (28 minutes) is about a Cambodian village that has been poisoned by arsenic-laced well water, and focuses on a 15 year-old boy who dreams of karaoke stardom in spite of his grave illness. I originally heard about arsenic in the ground water in Asia from an NPR story and pitched the film idea to an independent foundation. In 2009, I traveled to Cambodia three times, and after much travel, found the village and the child that I wanted to be the focus of the film. I lived in a traditional bamboo house with the crew, translators, drivers and two cooks as we made this film in the intense heat and mud during monsoon season. We used jibs and 35mm lenses on HD cameras to give the documentary a more stylized and dreamy look. The film is on the festival circuit and has won Honorable Mention at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize for Short Film at the Boston International Film Festival, Best Documentary at Aspen ShortsFest, Best Short Documentary at Atlanta Film Festival, and Best Short Documentary at Ashland Independent Film Festival. Trailer at: www.bornsweetfilm.com
The second documentary I directed is completely different. Living The Legacy (73 minutes) is a feature-length film airing now on the Sundance Channel. It is about the Milton Hershey School, a 100-year-old residential school for at-risk children in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I followed children through the course of the school‚ its centennial year, exactly 100 years after Milton Hershey, unable to have children of his own, donated his entire wealth to create a school for poor and orphaned children. The Hershey school, which now serves 1800 students ages 5-18, was remarkably brave in letting me tell a real story--one that is gritty and complex--as opposed to just making a promotional film.
My family is well, and we are planning a move from NYC to Los Angeles later this year.
Class of 1994
When Medicine Got it Wrong, an ITVS/KQED coproduction by me & Laura Murray ('99), airs on PBS through May. www.whenmedicine.org
I produced Steve James' documentary, No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson, which premiered this spring at SXSW and had a whirlwind tour of festivals including Full Frame, where I saw Hope Hall ('00), Purcell Carson ('00) and a slew of Stanford alumni. No Crossover aired on ESPN Film's "30 for 30" series in April.
I am still working in documentary though I desperately miss shooting in film and find myself doing more and more fiction these days. A narrative short I shot and produced called Mosquito just premiered at Slamdance, where it won the Spirit of Slamdance prize. Always fighting the uphill battle to use film, I've also been lucky enough--after winning the Sundance cinematography prize for Imelda--to work closely with Kodak, appearing in films, panels, articles, and as one of only a handful of female cinematographers in their "On Film" ad campaign for American Cinematographer. I have also been writing a good deal more. My first narrative script, "Evie's Garden," was a semi-finalist for last year's Nicholl Fellowhip, and my husband Robert Edwards ('96) and I have a script out called "Thirteen Feet." We are also prepping Bob's new film Trust which I am co-producing, and we are at work on a new documentary called The Last Laugh. Lastly, I was one of three cinematographers who contributed to Alex Gibney's sumo wrestling segment of the Freakonomics documentary, which premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival closing night gala.
After spending almost 2 1/2 years as the Senior Producer at KSTW Television here in Seattle, I am back in the freelance world as a producer and cinematographer. In the past few months, I've had the pleasure of working on a four-part series for Discovery about the future of energy as well as producing a series of talks by one of the rising stars of the environmental movement, Alex Steffen of worldchanging.com. I am always interested in collaborating with the Stanford documentary community, and I look forward to many more adventures with those of you I know and those I have yet to meet.
After four years plus in the making, I am finally finishing Circus Dreams, a feature doc about the only traveling youth circus in the States. To be truthful, I actually color corrected and sound mixed last spring, and then a distributor suggested that if I incorporated a teen character narrator, she thought she could sell the film. I am now in the process of editing in the narrator, and she's making the doc everything I hoped it would be. It's been a wonderful experience to be able to realize a vision that I thought would not be possible to achieve. I look forward to reporting next year that I really finished the film and that hopefully audiences somewhere saw it! The doc was beautifully shot by Stanford grad Erin Hudson (’06) so I hope many viewers will be able to enjoy her great DP work. This summer I am starting on a new doc titled Telling My Story: A Documentary. This will be an hour-long film about Dartmouth students working with female inmates to write and perform a play about women in prison. By capturing this unlikely collaboration, we believe the film will offer a riveting first-hand exploration of class differences, poverty, addiction and incarceration and will model collaborative ways to combat these social ills. The film will be shot by Charlene Music ('09), another Stanford shooting star. I'm looking forward to working with her and reporting next year that I actually finished a film in one year's time instead of five!
Since it has been a number of years since I posted my news, I'll give a broad-brush update. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded me development funding for my film A Bird Flies Like Birds, which, with funding from The Creative Work Fund, eventually morphed into Double Code of Silence, a short film about a gay, deaf survivor of domestic violence. After receiving active interest for my series Zen Brats following screenings at the IFP Market, I put it on hold because I couldn't swallow taking it in the reality-TV-like direction most of the networks wanted. However, I haven't given up on it. Other activities: Consulting producer on Girls Rock! (Shane King & Arne Johnson) and Learning to Swallow (Danielle Beverly); in development on the hour-long doc This Dewdrop World; residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell; produced a national PSA for Consumers Union and a number of corporate marketing pieces. In the last few years, I've put down my camera and worked on climate policy and on projects at NASA.
Class of 1991
For the past two years, I've co-taught a film festival practicum and in the process learned a lot myself. Zhang Wenjie, the primary instructor, is the manager for the Cinematique at the National Museum in Singapore and previous director of the Singapore International Festival. We've had two great classes where the students programmed and executed wonderful festivals. I became so interested in programming that I leaped at the chance to co-curate a multiplatform exhibition for ICA 2010 (an annual communication scholarly conference), hosted here in Singapore in late June. I am part of a curatorial team, which includes Dr. Patricia Zimmerman, a documentary film historian, curator and endowed visiting professor in our school. The exhibition explores the theme of Open Space in SE Asia. Broadly speaking, Open Space works are ones that are participatory, cross borders (this could be literal or conceptual, like across disciplines), use digital technology to interact with their environment in new and interesting ways and engage with issues of interest to the community they address. Some of my favorite online pieces include an art project called Flag Metamorphosis, where users upload animations of one flag morphing into another and two different projects which track animal migratory paths (one grazing cows the other homing pigeons) and then provide visualizations of those paths (animated cow paths and a mapping project which combines GPS positions with literal bird's-eye view photographs).
The online exhibition goes live on Monday, May 24th. Please visit! http://www.ica2010.sg/openspace
In addition to the online and material exhibitions, we’re collaborating on a remix project with a local DJ/VJ group. The Smithsonian’s Asia archives lent us archival material from the region to use for the remix, which will be combined with footage and stills from the region shot by our students in our overseas reporting class, cell phone footage of Singapore, a twitter feed and multi-lingual text. For the sound mix, we’ll combine music and spoken word. I just spent an afternoon in our audio suites recording staff and faculty members speaking in their native or second languages. The diversity is staggering: Urdu, Tamil, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Serbian, German, Thai, Filipino, Burmese, Lao, Malay, Bahasa Indonesia, Malayalam, Hokkien.
All of this has inspired me to revisit a social media project that I developed a few years ago and see if I can get it off the ground (again). Hopefully, next time around, I’ll have something to report on The Exquisite Corpse. Till then, you’ll just have to wonder...
Class of 1989
Hi, all. Just completed another season directing and producing live action for the Jim Henson/PBS children's show Sid The Science Kid. A lovely series if I do say so myself. Otherwise, riding the ever changing and challenging distribution roller coaster with my documentary The Tiger Next Door. A 43-minute cut down version of the film aired on Animal Planet in late March. The editor (Bernadine Colish) and I did the cut down for Animal Planet ourselves, so we had made our peace with the content at half the length, but we were not prepared for what it would be like to see it so short and cut up with five commercial breaks. Rather a shock, I must say! Send donations to PBS. Keep non-commercial programming alive! Meanwhile, the feature version finished its US festival run with screenings at the Woodstock Film Festival, the Margaret Mead Film Festival in the fall and the Big Sky Documentary Festival and the Florida Film Festival this winter/spring. The film has been broadcast in Japan, Canada, Israel, Belgium and Latin America. The foreign sales rights are represented by Jan Rofekamp of Films Transit International, and we are still hoping for some additional foreign sales. First Run Features is handling Home Video distribution, and I am self-distributing the film into academia. That said, I am eager to find professors and programs of animal studies, psych, sociology, philosophy, ethics, vet med, and animal law that might be interested in using the film. It's a good candidate for English classes as well because of the confounding anti-hero. All suggestions welcome. www.TheTigerNextDoor.com
Class of 1988
Pam Walton and Ruth Carranza (’86)
We've been busy with the trilogy of films Ruth is producing with a grant from the National Science Foundation: MEMS and Nanotechnology I & II. They immerse us in fascinating micro and sub-micro worlds. In June Ruth and her crew go to SWeNT, a maker of nano tubes near Oklahoma City for her first nanotechnology shoot. Find out more at Ruth’s website: http://www.siliconrun.com
Pam has finished the 30-minute educational version of Raging Grannies: The Action League which is in distribution to colleges and libraries. It won an Honorable Mention at Big Muddy this year. The Forever Home: Going Green, another short doc we created for Harrell Remodeling, Inc. in Mountain View, CA, has been broadcast on KQED and will air on KCET in LA and WGBX in Boston for Gay Pride month in June. The DVD tells the story of a lesbian couple who were legally married in 2008 and who celebrated their union with a fabulous green remodel of their Portola Valley home. You can find out more at http://www.pamwaltonproductions.com
Pam and Ruth also got married! We are one of 18,000 lesbian and gay couples who are legally married in California, which is both wonderful and ridiculous since Prop 8 has made it impossible for any more lesbian and gay couples to get marrried. We’re hoping the challenge to Prop. 8 goes all the way to the Supreme Court. We recently saw Ellen Bruno ('90), Jane Wagner (86'), Elizabeth Finlayson ('91), Nicole Grindle ('87), Kim Bromley ('84), Wah Ho Chan ('85), Ron Alexander (Faculty Emeritus), and Nancy Brink ('88) at a party at Ellen’s house. Lots of fun. We’re all still alive!
Class of 1987
Nicole P. Grindle
My latest achievement is as associate producer on Toy Story 3 at Pixar Animation studios. The film is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on June 18.
Class of 1986
Jane C. Wagner and Tina DiFeliciantonio ('87)
We are enjoying raising our six-year-old son Luca, who is teaching us more about Manhattan circa 1610 and beavers than we ever thought possible.
Luckily, we recently received grants from the Sundance Doc Fund and the NEA for Seeking Refuge, a film about the survivors of foreign torture who are living here in the U.S. Other recent work includes: a piece on children's art education that was shot in Istanbul; a series of shorts on green energy, which were shot in Abu Dhabi, Bangladesh, Japan, India, Australia and China; and co-producing and co-directing with Tom Shepard on Whiz Kids, a film about kids and science, which will have a limited theatrical tour this summer.
We've also been fortunate for the opportunity to consult with colleagues on such films as Family Affair, which screened at Sundance, and, the 2010 Oscar-winning film Music By Prudence. Both will air on HBO.
Class of 1985
Kevin M. Brooks
I work as a user experience designer for Motorola and as an oral storyteller/performing artist. One day I hope to get back to the wonderful world of film and video.
In April 2010, I released my first book, Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design. Co-written with Whitney Quesenbery and published by Rosenfeld Media, the book targets design professionals engaged in graphic design, web design, product or industrial design and even architectural design. Storytelling for User Experience was written primarily to show professional designers how stories contribute to their work, how they may already be incorporating stories in their work, how to do so with awareness and purpose, and how to craft stories for different media including oral, business presentation, graphic presentation, video and written reports. The book is available at http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/storytelling
In March of 2010, I was chosen to be one of the feature performers at the Northeast Storytelling Conference - Sharing the Fire. It's always an honor to be asked to perform in front of one's peers, and the night was magical. http://www.lanes.org
I seem to be the kind of person who needs periodic radical change in her life. Change number one was right after graduating from the documentary film program. Though I loved making my own films and crewing on those of others in the program, I ended up in a career as a marketing executive in high tech companies (Apple, Palm, to name the better known ones). What I learned in the film program was applicable to the creation of compelling stories in words and images in marketing, too. Major change number two (there were a few medium sized ones along the way) was leaving corporate life and high tech behind completely in 2008 when I bought a small company, Maui by Design www.mauibydesign.com and started a related company, Patch of Shade www.patchofshade.com. I design, source and wholesale tourist souvenirs (tasteful ones!) that are sold all over Hawaii, New York, and San Francisco, and soon also Florida and other tropical vacation areas. People say to me now, “You must love being your own boss!” and I do love all aspects of owning and running the companies, the travel to wonderful places, sourcing items from craftspeople and artists in Bali, China, India, the Philippines etc, the creative aspects of design, the analytical aspects of running the business, the ability to have a positive impact on communities in far away places as well as in Hawaii. Before this entices anyone else to run out and buy or start a company they should understand: I am not my own boss. The company is the boss, and what the company needs, the company gets! :-)
I am humbled and inspired reading about the great things people are doing. This spring, I am finishing two books to be out next year (Everything 101 and Morse Code). I am also enjoying professional travel writing and photography (with my portable video camera, too). 2010 trips include the Northern Lights above the Arctic Circle, exploring the Sea of Cortez in Baja, and upcoming journeys to Papua New Guinea, Bhutan (to explore "Gross National Happiness") and the Galapagos and Amazon of Ecuador. My husband and I continue to run the nonprofit Charity Checks that offers charitable literacy programs in schools and "giving certificates" that can be ordered online as gifts to help any charity the recipient chooses.
Class of 1984
This last year I attended a number of film festivals with my first feature film, a romantic comedy called 16 to Life. We screened 16 to Life around the U.S. as well as in Beijing, Toronto, Berlin, and, next month, Tunisia. 16 to Life has won five Best Feature Awards at festivals in the U.S. and internationally. We are preparing for theatrical release in the U.S. this fall. I also had the opportunity this year to attend the Macdowell Colony, where I completed a draft of my next feature, Brooke & Anabel. I continue to teach in the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Digital Media, where I'm a full professor and head the Graduate Admissions Committee and the first year directing program. I will spend this summer in Cologne, Germany supervising a series of short documentaries made by US and German film students. Our website for 16 to Life is www.16tolifethemovie.org.
Class of 1983
Maggie (Margaret Barnett) Burnette Stogner
Hello to all! Am really enjoying creating films and other media for museum exhibitions. Blue Bear Films: www.bluebearfilms.com, the company I launched in 2005, designs and produces integrative media elements for world-touring cultural exhibitions including: "Tutankamun: The Golden King and Great Pharoahs," which just left San Francisco and opened in a new Times Square venue in NYC. A second "King Tut" exhibit, narrated by Harrison Ford, is currently in Toronto. "Real Pirates,” narrated by Lou Gossett Jr., just opened at the St. Louis Science Center. "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures" is in Ottawa and will soon tour in Europe, and a new exhibition "Ancient Treasure Ships" will begin touring in Asia this summer. Finding ways to use storytelling and media technology to immerse visitors in ancient cultures has become a real passion. Still living and sailing in Annapolis with my husband Carr, adjusting to being an empty-nester and enjoying watching my sons find their creative ways in the world.
Class of 1982
A film I directed and wrote, I. M. Pei, Building China Modern, aired nationally on PBS/American Masters on March 31, 2010. The documentary is streaming on the American Masters website during the month of April.
ITVS has licensed my documentary, Rain in a Dry Land, for PBS broadcast on their Global Voices series, beginning in June 2010. The film was first broadcast as the lead show of POV’s 2007 season and was nominated for an Emmy that year.
During the past year, in addition to fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute and the Guggenheim Foundation, I have received funding for my current project, As Nutayunean - We Still Live Here, about the return of the Wampanoag language, from the Sundance Documentary Fund and ITVS.
Please see my website, www.makepeaceproductions.com, for additional information.
Class of 1979
My latest news is that I have retired after 29 years in local TV news in Honolulu except for a once a week on air movie review. Here is a link to those reviews:
Class of 1973
One August afternoon a young, confused, hungry brown pelican landed by mistake on the roadway of the Golden Gate Bridge, creating a spectacular traffic jam and providing me with the narrative arc I needed for a film-in-progress entitled Pelican Dreams. I followed “Gigi”, named for Golden Gate, from her “arrest” by bridge police, through rehab at a pelican aviary north of San Francisco, to her release back to the wild. Last spring, I filled in her probable life history before that (filming courtship, nesting, chicks, and fledging on the Channel Islands). Do pelicans dream? How well can humans “know” a wild creature? Wildlife rehabilitator, fisherman, biologist, surfer: each helps us begin to understand the mysterious, comical, graceful soaring dinosaur skimming the waves. This is another multi-year documentary project, like The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. If you have any great pelican stories, photos, or funding for this nonprofit movie, please be in touch.
Class of 1971
I recently learned of Clara's (Olaya ('71)) untimely death (from brain cancer) in 2007. While in college in Delaware, her son Sergio worked at the Senate, where Sen. Durbin spoke on the Senate floor about Clara, as seen in this video:
There's also a Facebook page dedicated to Clara's memory, with a photo of her and Sergio.
Class of 1968
I have been focusing on writing since 2004 and my books and articles can be found on my website: www.patriciaedgaranddonedgar.com.
Class of 1966
After 11 years with Paramount Pictures (ending up as VP and Creative Director of their simulation group), I've spent that last five writing and designing simulation games and films for various entities including the US Fire Service and Leap Frog. This summer I'm starting a small simulation project for the Intelligent Systems Technologies and the US Navy. It's designed to train personnel in humanitarian negotiating with people of other cultures.
I've written seven books on interactive design and my latest, End to End Game Development, has just been published by Focal Press. It was co-authored with Terry Borst who also helped write some of my big simulation projects.
I'm also writing novels, though I haven't any published yet. Two completed ones are represented by Courtland Literary Agency.
For those of you who remember me, yes, Ginny and I are still married, and we have 3 (old) kids and 3 grandkids.