Claire Aguilar, Director Programming & Policy, International Documentary Association
Claire Aguilar Claire Aguilar is an award-winning film curator, film festival director and public television commissioning editor and broadcaster, bringing compelling creative documentaries and innovative content to audiences around the world. In 2017 she was appointed Director of Programming & Policy at International Documentary Association (IDA). At IDA she oversees IDA's professional development, education, mentorship and training initiatives and works in tandem with IDA's Filmmaker Services team and the recently announced Enterprise Documentary Fund to build a suite of support services for documentary makers. She sets strategy around IDA's policy and advocacy work supporting filmmakers around a range of issues. She serves as the primary programmer for IDA's biennial "Getting Real" conference. Claire is the former Director of Programming and Industry Engagement at Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the leading festivals for documentary and digital media. Claire curated and directed the film programme for Doc/Fest 2015 and 2016, programming over 350 films and working with over 200 filmmakers and media creators. Doc/Fest 2016 generated the highest attendance in Doc/Fest history from delegates and public alike. The festival highlights included films by Michael Moore, DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, Tilda Swinton, Ken Loach, and a retrospective of films by Chantal Akerman. At the Independent Television Service (ITVS), she served as Executive Content Advisor and Vice President of Programming, working on program content and strategy for the organization, including commissioning programming from international and U.S. independent producers. She co-curated the Emmy and Peabody awarded series Independent Lens, a prominent showcase of independently produced programs on PBS. She has shepherded award-winning films to public television, including The Interrupters, The Invisible War, At Berkeley, The House I Live In, Goodbye Solo, Detropia, Waltz with Bashir and Last Train Home. She served on the Editorial board of the international public television series Why Democracy? At public television station KCET/Los Angeles, she programmed the station's schedule and managed programming acquisitions. Prior to KCET she was a film programmer at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, one of the leading exhibition venues for international, documentary and classic Hollywood films. She has curated film and media exhibitions for the American Film Institute, the Los Angeles Asian American Film and Video Festival, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. She has served as a programming consultant and panelist for the Ford Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Rockefeller Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and many other media and funding organizations. A second-generation Filipina American, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies and a Master of Arts in Film and Television Studies from UCLA. She is Vice President of the Board of Women Make Movies, and serves on the Executive boards of Firelight Media, European Documentary Network (EDN) and the Why Foundation.


Pamela A. Aguilar, Senior Director of Programming and Development PBS, General Audience Programming
Pam Aguilar Pamela A. Aguilar is Senior Director of Programming and Development for PBS. In this role she identifies, develops and oversees the production of original content and acquisitions for PBS Primetime in the genres of science, history, natural history, culture, and independent film. She works closely with Executive Producers of PBS' documentary series POV, Independent Lens and LPB's VOCES; national content producing stations like WGBH, WNET and TPT, as well as co-producing partners NHNZ, VOX and the BBC. Prior to joining PBS, Aguilar worked as a writer, producer, director and executive producer creating innovative content on race relations, education, social justice, pop-culture and health. Some of her credits include, AMERICA BY THE NUMBERS, about the impact of America's changing demographics, THE GRADUATES/LOS GRADUADOS, about the high school dropout crisis, and BETWEEN TWO PLATES, a satirical telenovela she created, on healthy eating. She's a graduate of The New School University in New York.


Raney Aronson-Rath, Executive Producer, Frontline
Raney Aronson-Rath Raney Aronson-Rath is the Executive Producer of FRONTLINE, PBS' flagship investigative journalism series, and is a leading voice on the future of journalism. She has been internationally recognized for her work to expand FRONTLINE's reporting capacity and reimagine the documentary form across multiple platforms. From the emergence of ISIS in Syria to the hidden history of the NFL and concussions to the secret reality of rape on the job for immigrant women, Aronson-Rath oversees FRONTLINE's acclaimed reporting and directs the series' evolution and editorial vision. She has developed and managed nearly 30 in-depth, cross-platform journalism partnerships with outlets including ProPublica, The New York Times and Univision. Under her leadership, FRONTLINE has won every major award in broadcast journalism and dramatically expanded its digital footprint. Prior to FRONTLINE, Aronson-Rath worked at ABC News and The Wall Street Journal. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and her master's from Columbia Journalism School.


Phil Bertelsen, Producer & Director, Realization Pictures
Phil BertelsenPhil Bertelsen is an Emmy and two-time Peabody award-winning filmmaker based in New York City. Most recently, he produced and directed a feature-length documentary special about the presidency of Barack Obama for Viacom. Prior to that, he made "School of the Future", a film that looks at how science and technology are transforming the way students learn and teachers teach. It was produced for the PBS science documentary series NOVA.

Additionally, Bertelsen produced and directed multiple episodes of the Columbia-DuPont Award winning documentary series The African Americans--Many Rivers To Cross, hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and several episodes of Finding Your Roots. Also hosted by Dr. Gates, the PBS series traces the genealogy of celebrated Americans.

Currently, he is producing and directing a documentary special for MSNBC about the press and the civil rights movement.


Maida Brankman, Founder, Genuine Article Pictures
Maida Brankman Maida Brankman founded Genuine Article Pictures, which supports a vibrant US documentary film industry via grants to film support organizations and production grants directly to films. She is the executive producer of THE SEND-OFF (Sundance '16, SFFS, SXSW, AFI FEST) and co-producer of THE RABBIT HUNT (Sundance '17 and Berlinale). She is the producer of PAHOKEE, a feature film directed by Patrick and Ivete, currently in production. In addition, Maida is executive producer on several films in production: A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY, THE HOTTEST AUGUST, QUEEN OF THE BATTLING BUTTERFLY BRIGADE, AND FORGIVENESS. Prior to her work in documentary, Maida spent 15 years in the field of education, first as a high school English teacher and then as Program Director at a national K-12 public education foundation.


Caty Borum Chattoo, Director, Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), American University
Caty Borum Chattoo Caty Borum Chattoo is Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI), an innovation lab and research center at American University that creates, showcases and studies media designed for social change; and Executive in Residence at the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C. She is an award-winning communication strategist and documentary film/TV producer working at the intersection of social-change communication, research, documentary and entertainment storytelling.

Borum Chattoo's social-change storytelling, strategy and research work has been featured in USA Today, NPR, Businessweek, The Huffington Post, and PBS MediaShift, and her social justice documentaries have aired internationally and nationally on Netflix, the Sundance Channel, Pivot, NDTV (India), PBS World, Link TV, KCET, DirectTV and theatrically. She has produced two documentary feature films (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price and The After Party), a TV documentary and transmedia series (Stand Up Planet, starring Hasan Minhaj from "The Daily Show"), a multi-part documentary TV series focused on global poverty (ViewChange), a seven-part environmental justice documentary TV series (Sierra Club Chronicles), and PSA campaigns designed for social change on issues ranging from global poverty to climate change to HIV. At CMSI, her current research, creative and strategy work focuses on audience effects of documentary storytelling, nonfiction industry race and gender diversity, audience effects of entertainment storytelling across platforms, and the role of comedy in social justice.

Previously, she was senior vice president in the social marketing practice group at FleishmanHillard International Communications in Washington, D.C., focused on social-change programs. In Los Angeles, she was a longtime collaborator with legendary TV producer and philanthropist/activist Norman Lear as a founding director of Declare Yourself, a national youth civic engagement organization; and special projects director & senior producer at the USC Norman Lear Center, a research and public policy center that examines the social impact of entertainment on society. She also served as the program officer in the Kaiser Family Foundation's Entertainment Media & Public Health program; project director at the Center for Media Education; and fellow in civic journalism at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Borum Chattoo holds an M.A. in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania (The Annenberg School for Communication), and a B.A. in Communication Studies (summa cum laude, In Honors, Phi Beta Kappa) from Virginia Tech.


Dan Cogan, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Impact Partners
Dan Cogan Dan Cogan is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Impact Partners, a fund and advisory service for investors and philanthropists who seek to promote social change through film. Since its inception in 2007, Impact Partners has financed more than 80 films, including Otto Bell's Eagle Huntress, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed by Sony Pictures Classics in October 2016; The Cove, which won the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature; How to Survive A Plague, which was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature; The Hunting Ground; The Queen of Versailles, which won the U.S. Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and Hell and Back Again, which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Awards at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award® for Documentary Feature.

Cogan co-founded Gamechanger Films, which launched in September 2013. Gamechanger Films is the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women. Gamechanger's first film, Land Ho!, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. Gamechanger's films have premiered or screened at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Los Angeles, Locarno, Toronto, and London; have been named on "best of the year" lists; and won numerous awards including a Film Independent Spirit Award.

Cogan received his B.A. from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude, and attended the Film Division at Columbia University's Graduate School of the Arts. In 2014, he was awarded the Leading Light Award at DOC NYC alongside filmmakers Albert Maysles and D.A. Pennebaker, as well as the America Abroad Media Award in Washington, D.C.


Jax DeLuca, Media Arts Director, Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts
Jax DeLuca Jax Deluca became Director of Media Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in January 2016. In this position, she manages the NEA's grantmaking activities for arts organizations across the country working in media arts, which includes film, video, audio, interactive, and other electronic media. Her field experience includes twelve years working at the intersection of arts and community-building as an artist, administrator, and educator. Prior to joining the NEA, she was executive director of Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center, an artist-run organization in Buffalo, NY.


Whitney Dow, Filmmaker, Veterans Coming Home, POV "Whiteness Project"
Whitney Dow Whitney Dow's directing credits include: Two Towns of Jasper, I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v Board of Education, Unfinished Country and When the Drum is Beating. His's producing credits include, Freedom Summer, Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks out of Town in America, and The Undocumented, Toots, and Among the Believers. His his work has been recognized with the George Foster Peabody Award; Alfred I. duPont Award; Anthony Radziwill Documentary Achievement Award; and the Duke University Filmmaker Award as well as many film festival honors. He is the creator of the Whiteness Project a multi-platform interactive media project and Story Director for Veterans Coming Home a public media digital initiative designed to help bridge the military/civilian divide. He is a Research Scholar at Columbia University's Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics and teaches filmmaking and interactive storytelling at Hunter College in New York City.


Melissa Fondakowski, Program and Development, The Redford Center
Melissa Fondakowski Melissa Fondakowski has been part of The Redford Center team since 2014, providing Program and Fund Development for their original productions and grantmaking efforts. Melissa has more than 20 years of development experience with various nonprofits, including social service and environmental organizations, as well as impact films. Melissa received a degree in Psychiatry and Religion from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York with a Certificate in Nonprofit Administration, and an MFA from Mills College in 1997. Melissa's fundraising writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Follow her on Twitter.


Mitch Gelman, Chief Technology Officer, Newseum
Mitch Gelman Mitch Gelman brings a range of journalism and technology experience to his role as Chief Technology officers at the Newseum. As a reporter at New York Newsday, he was part of a team that earned a Pulitzer Prize for spot news coverage, and later served as editor-in-chief at and as senior executive producer at, helping those organizations grow their digital properties. Recently, he was vice president, product at Gannett Digital, where he led that company's industry-leading work in virtual reality storytelling. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, 13-year-old son and a variety of dogs, cats and horses.


Morgan Givens, Host, Dispatches
Morgan Givens Morgan Givens is a storyteller and performer based in Washington, DC. He has performed at Story District's Top Shelf, Creative Mornings DC, Little Salon and a host of other storytelling events throughout the city and along the East Coast. Morgan is the creator and host of the podcast Dispatches on the Goat Rodeo Network, and uses his podcast to explore the intricacies of identity, culture, and the complicated nature of human interaction.



Gaspar González, Director, HAVANA HOUSE
Gaspar Gonzalez Gaspar González has produced documentary programming for the BBC, PBS, ESPN, and others. His credits include the national PBS release Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami, the Grantland short doc Gay Talese's Address Book, the ESPN 30 for 30 Short The Guerrilla Fighter, and Havana House. His work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the American Cinematheque. He is the founder of Hammer and Nail Productions.


Tamara Gould, Senior Vice President, National Productions and Strategic Partnerships, Independent Television Service (ITVS)
Tamara Gould Tamara Gould is the Senior Vice President of National Production and Strategic Partnerships at ITVS. Tamara has served as the Production Executive for over 200 ITVS-funded documentaries and series and spearheaded the Global Perspectives Project, an international documentary exchange program between U.S. and global filmmakers with major support from philanthropic and government partners.

Among Tamara';s credits include: TED TALKS LIVE, a three part television series in partnership with TED TALKS and PBS, HALF THE SKY, a four hour television special for PBS based on the best selling book, and AMERICAN GRADUATE LATINO, a bilingual television program. In addition, Tamara has developed numerous distribution partnerships for short form content and long form documentaries and is currently serving as production executive for StoryCast, a new digital channel developed in partnership with PBS Digital Studios.

She has directed and produced multiple films including the award winning HELL OF A NATION and NOBEL: VISIONS OF OUR CENTURY. Prior to joining ITVS Tamara served as an Executive Producer in Television at KQED and as Executive Director of the Bay Area Video Coalition.

Tamara holds a Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and Film, where she graduated with honors from Brown University. Tamara also earned a Master's Degree in Cinema and Social Change from the University of California at Santa Cruz.


Emmalee Hackshaw, Director of Community Engagement, Georgia Public Broadcasting
Emmalee Hackshaw As Director of Community Engagement at Georgia Public Broadcasting, Emmalee Hackshaw oversees the strategy, planning and execution of all of GPB's community engagement efforts and initiatives. Designed strategically to reach a broad segment of Georgia's diverse and evolving population, GPB's initiatives under Emmalee's leadership have included public film screenings, panel discussions and workshops for both adults and children across all age groups. Emmalee has extensive experience in the arts, education and international development, and leverages her contacts and relationships throughout Georgia's nonprofit network to build a robust portfolio of initiatives that continually serve and educate the people of Georgia.


Chris Hastings, Executive Producer and Editorial Manager, WORLD Channel and
Chris Hastings Chris Hastings is 15-year veteran at WGBH, which began with the children television's program ZOOM and eventually evolved to his New England Emmy award-winning work at the WGBH Lab, an innovative incubator for up-and-coming filmmakers. He joined the WORLD Channel in 2011 as interim managing producer. Hastings is now the Executive Producer and Editorial Manager of Content for WORLD Channel and He oversees content development, acquisition, and production, as well as executing the day-to-day operations of the channel under the leadership of the general manager. As Executive Producer he is co-curator of the award-winning documentary program "America Reframed," and "Local, USA" and "DOC WORLD."


Cassandra Herrman, Lead Artist AFTER SOLITARY
Cassandra Herrman Cassandra Herrman is a producer/director who has worked with PBS, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, MSNBC and National Geographic. Her films have screened­ at numerous film festivals, including SXSW and Sundance, and have been nominated for three national Emmy awards. She is currently producing and directing immersive journalism experiences for Emblematic Group, with special focus on a multi-film collaboration with PBS' FRONTLINE supported by the Knight foundation. She co-directed After Solitary, which premiered at the SXSW film festival and won the Jury Award for Room Scale VR, as well as the Imperial Crown in competition at the World VR Forum. Her Al Jazeera documentary Death In Plain Sight was the basis for Emblematic Group's VR film Kiya, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was a NYT Op-Doc selection.


Hunter Holcombe, Executive Producer, AJ+
Hunter Holcombe Hunter Holcombe is Executive Producer at AJ+, looking after the production and commissioning of current affairs documentaries, virtual reality short films, and experimental storytelling.


Ann Hornaday, Movie Critic, The Washington Post
Ann Hornaday Ann Hornaday grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and graduated cum laude with a degree in Government from Smith College. After working at Ms. magazine as a researcher and editorial assistant, she became a freelance writer in New York City, where she eventually began to write about movies for the New York Times Arts & Leisure section and other publications. In 1995 she became the movie critic at the Austin American-Statesman in Austin, Texas, where she stayed for two years before moving to Baltimore to be the movie critic at the Baltimore Sun. She left the Sun in 2000 and began working at the Washington Post in 2002. She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism in 2008. Hornaday is the author of Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies (Basic Books, June 2017).


Lynn Hughes, Co-Chair, Women's Impact Network, Producers Guild of America
Lynn Hughes Lynn Hughes is an award-winning producer, writer and director whose career creating media spans more than 20 years.  Her work has aired on networks across the globe, including NBC, PBS, Discovery, History Channel, BBC, Channel 4, MTV and Showtime. Her expertise in developing non-fiction programming includes recent series on both Investigation Discovery and OWN. As a member of the Producers Guild of America, she serves as co-chair for both the Documentary Committee and Women's Impact Network (WIN), where she is responsible for programming for Guild events in the DC metro region, as well as curating the PGA's local Doc Club screening series. WIN is currently focused on Unconscious Bias in the media and is building a best practices document for the industry. In early 2018, WIN will be hosting a summit on the topic in DC. Lynn is the co-chair of the Board of Gandhi Brigade Youth Media, an organization that works with young people from underserved communities, teaching them how to use media to empower, engage and transform.  As a part of her commitment to young people, she has also established a formidable track record creating educational media. Projects include the eight-part In Search of the Novel for Annenberg/CPB as well as an award-winning Media Literacy series for Discovery Learning Alliance.


Imraan Ismail Imraan Ismail is a writer, director, and visual artist who creates stories for the soul. His films have been shown in film festivals around the world including at Sundance, Tribeca, and Cannes. He has directed and/or shot more VR/360 projects for clients like The United Nations, The New York Times, U2, Samsung, Conservation International, Ardbeg Scotch Whiskey and others. He was recently awarded The Cannes Lions Entertainment Grand Prix, The AICP Most Next Award, The World Press Photo Award for interactive storytelling, and was nominated for two Emmys for a VR film he made in conjunction with the New York Times, entitled The Displaced — a film that was shot in the war zones of Syria, Ukraine and South Sudan, that has received the widest known release for a VR/360 film. Imraan most recently worked on the National Geographic Channel VR documentary film 'The Protectors, Walk in the Ranger's Shoes', co-created with Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker). The film exposes the dangerous and grueling reality faced by rangers protecting African elephants from ivory poachers. 'The Protectors, Walk in the Ranger's Shoes' premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.


Brandon Kramer, Director THE MESSY TRUTH
Brandon Kramer Brandon is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of the DC-based production company Meridian Hill Pictures. Brandon is the director of the award-winning feature documentary CITY OF TREES, which played at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, was nationally broadcast on PBS' America Reframed and is now streaming on Netflix and iTunes. Brandon directed the Webby Award-winning documentary series THE MESSY TRUTH WITH VAN JONES, released on Van's Facebook page and just before the 2016 election to over 4 million viewers. Brandon is the winner of the Best Director award at the 2016 Chesapeake Film Festival and Indie Capital Awards, received the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 American Conservation Film Festival and was a 2015 DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities Individual Arts Fellow. Since 2010, Brandon has directed and produced over 30 short documentaries commissioned by government agencies and nonprofits including the AARP Foundation, the US Institute of Peace and the International Baccalaureate. Before starting Meridian Hill Pictures, Brandon served as a staff teaching artist for the John F. Kennedy Center's national media education program. Brandon holds a bachelor's degree in film production and cultural anthropology from Boston University.


Terry Lawler, Executive Director, New York Women in Film & Television
Terry Lawler Terry Lawler has been the Executive Director of New York Women in Film & Television since 1997. She is a Vice President of the Board of Directors of the New York Production Alliance and serves on the Board of Directors of the Katahdin Foundation. Prior to joining NYWIFT, Lawler was Director of Development and Production at Women Make Movies and National Director of Film and Videomakers Services at the American Film Institute. She has been a media consultant for foundations and nonprofit groups, including the MacArthur Foundation, the Astraea Foundation, the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Goethe Institute, among others. She was a production executive on several network television specials and was Executive Producer of Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography (1992), which won Best Documentary awards from the American Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics Circle, and Hollywood Mavericks, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.


Sheila Leddy, Executive Director, The Fledgling Fund
Sheila Leddy Sheila Leddy is the Executive Director of the Fledgling Fund, a small private foundation driven by the belief that powerful visual stories can spur action around issues that affect the most vulnerable. Through its grant programs, labs and special initiatives it explores, supports, and deepens the role of documentary film and other forms of visual storytelling in larger social change efforts. Sheila has worked with the fund since its founding, where she's been integral to the development of the organization's overall strategy, collaborating with President and Founder Diana Barrett and their Board of Directors. She continues to play a leadership role shaping Fledgling's strategy, operations, grant-making and other initiatives. In addition to her work with Fledgling, she serves on the executive board of the Milton Foundation for Education and lives just outside of Boston with my husband and three children.


Jefferi K. Lee, General Manager, WHUT TV
Jefferi Lee @whuttv Jefferi K. Lee currently serves as the General Manager of WHUT-TV on the campus of Howard University in Washington, DC. Previously, Jefferi was the President of Black Entertainment Networks and Executive Vice-President of BET Holdings, Inc. a cable programmer specifically targeting the African American community. During his 17-year career with BET, he was responsible for overseeing all phases of the networks. He was instrumental in transitioning the network from a 3-hour, one-night a week cablecast to a 24-hour, seven-day a week network. Jeff has been recognized for his outstanding work in the cable and television industries by the National Association of Black Journalist, the National Association of Minorities in Cable (NAMIC), and the National Association of Broadcasters. Jeff is a member of the FCC Federal Advisory Board on Diversity. He is an active member and Elder of the Olive Branch Community Church and serves as the Co-Founder of The Brandon Carrington Lee Foundation. Mr. Lee was born in South Boston, Virginia and grew up in Alexandria, Virginia where he attended T.C. Williams High School. He attended Missouri Valley College before transferring to the University of Maryland where he studied Radio, Television, and Film. He currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife Tina and their son, Jefferi II, a web developer.


Eliza Licht, VP Content, Strategy, and Engagement, POV
Eliza Licht A longtime member of POV's senior management team Licht works closely with POV's executive producer and other senior staff to set priorities and direction for the series and with POV's programming team on series selection. Licht is an industry leader in developing and implementing community engagement strategies to maximize the impact and visibility of documentary films. She builds and oversees broad program strategies through engagement, communications, digital, station relations and fundraising. Licht has spearheaded engagement campaigns for over 200 films, including American Promise, Food, Inc. and Last Train Home. She works with public television stations, educators, and community organizations to present screenings of POV films and to develop and distribute accompanying educational resource materials to audiences nationwide. Through her work, she has built a national network of over 8,000 organizations committed to leveraging the power of documentary film as a tool for dialogue and engagement. Since joining POV in 2001, she has expanded POV's community activities by nearly 400% and increased POV's educational efforts by over 600%. Eliza frequently represents POV at conferences and festivals. She has appeared on panels at AFI Docs, IFP Film Week, Tribeca Film Institute, DocEdge Kolkata and DMZ Docs.


Loira Limbal, Vice President, Firelight Media
Loira Limbal Loira Limbal is an Afro-Latina filmmaker and DJ interested in creating nuanced and complex portrayals of working class women of color. Her first film, Estilo Hip Hop, was a co-production of ITVS and aired on PBS in 2009. She is currently the Vice President and Documentary Lab Director at Firelight Media. Firelight is committed to making films about pivotal movements and people in American history. Recent productions include: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Summer, and Freedom Riders. Firelight's flagship program – the Documentary Lab – is a fellowship that provides mentorship, funding, and access to emerging filmmakers of color. Loira is currently directing Through the Night, a feature documentary about a 24-hour daycare center in New Rochelle, NY. Additionally, she co-produces and helms the popular monthly #APartyCalledRosiePerez. For over 15 years, Loira has worked in the nonprofit sector with a focus on cultural production, access, and representation. Loira received a BA in history from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel's Film and Video Production Training Program. She lives in the Bronx with her two children.


Wendy Llinas, Associate Director of Programming and Development PBS, News and Public Affairs
Wendy Llinas As Associate Director of Programming and Development for PBS,Wendy Llinas manages the daily production process and resources for new and existing programs and series in the News and Public Affairs category. She works with PBS Newshour, Newshour Weekend, Washington Week, Independent Lens, POV and national content producing PBS member stations and independent producers.

Llinas is an experienced writer, producer and journalist whose work has appeared on NBC News, ABC News and PBS. She earned her M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and her B.A. in Latin American Studies from Barnard College.


Andi McDaniel, Senior Director Content and News, WAMU 88.5
Andi McDaniel Andi McDaniel is Chief Content Officer at WAMU, Washington D.C.'s NPR station. She oversees the station's national and local news, talk programming, podcasts, and new content, including the NPR-distributed programs 1A with Joshua Johnson and The Big Listen. Since she joined the station in fall of 2015, its audience has grown bigger, younger, and more diverse.

Prior to joining WAMU, Andi served as Director of Content Strategy and Innovation for Twin Cities PBS, where she led the creation of Rewire, a cross-platform unit focused on bringing public television to life for digitally native audiences through digital video, live events and interactive broadcast experiences. A graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and an experienced journalist and storyteller, Andi's background spans traditional and emerging media. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times Magazine, PRI's The World and Mother Jones.


Kate McLean, Director GUT HACK
Kate McLean Kate McLean (Co-Director/ Producer) is a filmmaker and producer living in San Francisco. She has co-directed a number of short documentaries: "The Caretaker" (Cannes Film Festival, New York Times OpDoc, POV Broadcast), "Marathon" (New York Times OpDoc, POV Broadcast), and "Gut Hack" (SWSW, New York Times OpDoc). Kate is producing Jamie Meltzer's documentary "True Conviction," which was supported by Sundance, Tribeca and the MacArthur Foundation, and tells the story of a group of exonerated men who form their own detective agency. The film premiered this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won a special jury prize. It will be broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens next year. She is also the producer of Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado's film "Bill Nye: Science Guy," which premiered this year at SXSW. She also produced their previous film "The Immortalists," which screened in competition at SXSW, BFI, and CPH: DOX in 2014. Kate is a 2015 Sundance Creative Producing Summit Fellow, a San Francisco Film Society KRF Grant winner and an SFFS Film House Resident. She has a master's degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.


Andrea Meditch, Executive Producer, THE CAGE FIGHTER
Andrea Meditch Andrea is founder and president of Back Allie Entertainment, which provides creative production services to filmmakers, festivals, media companies, and universities. Her films have won Oscars and Emmys; premiered at major international festivals, including Sundance and Toronto; and enjoyed successful theatrical and broadcast runs. She won an Emmy in 2015 for Dangerous Acts; executive-produced Oscar-winner Man on Wire; Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World by Werner Herzog; and Oscar short-listed BUCK. She also exec'd or produced Grizzly Man, In the Shadow of the Moon, The Killer Within, Doubletime and The Flight That Fought Back, among other films. Two new films. The Sensitives and The Cage Fighter, premiered in 2017 at the Tribeca and San Francisco film festivals respectivelly. She regularly conducts workshops and master classes on story development, creative producing, pitch training, international film financing and release strategies. Before starting her own company, Andrea held executive and creative positions at Discovery, where she launched the first Discovery Films. She also created a model for a creative non-fiction storytelling center at Michigan State University. Andrea serves as a film expert for the U.S. State Department and is a mentor for creative producers at Sundance Producer Labs and Points North non-fiction filmmakers retreats. She has juried numerous festivals, including Sundance and Tribeca and holds a mayoral appointment to the Santa Fe Film and Digital Media Commission, which works to bring media jobs to New Mexico. She splits her time between Washington, D.C. and Santa Fe, NM.


Lauren Mucciolo, Lead Artist, AFTER SOLITARY
Lauren Mucciolo New York-based Lauren Mucciolo has directed and produced films for PBS Frontline for six years that straddle the worlds of investigative journalism and character-driven storytelling. Most recently she co-directed and produced Frontline's 2-hour "Last Days of Solitary" (2017), in which she spent three years inside a solitary confinement prison unit. She has won two RFK Journalism Awards and been nominated for two News and Documentary Emmy Awards. Her films have also aired in the UK on the BBC series This World and Storyville. Lauren's award-winning independent film work has screened at worldwide film festivals.


Justine Nagan, Executive Producer, Point of View (POV)
Justine Nagan Justine Nagan is the Executive Director of American Documentary, Inc., and an Executive Producer on its two signature series, POV (PBS) and America Reframed (World Channel in partnership with WGBH). POV is the longest running independent documentary series on television. She is a strong believer in the important role of public media in a democracy; diversity and independent voices in popular culture and of documentary as a tool for civic dialogue, new thinking and social change.

Prior to coming to AmDoc, Justine led Kartemquin Films as Executive Director for seven years, as well as being an Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer on all KTQ films including Life Itself and The Interrupters by Steve James and The Trials of Muhammad Ali by Bill Siegel. Justine successfully transitioned to the ED role in a historic founder-led organization, and under her leadership the organization significantly expanded its programs to assist documentary filmmakers and saw unprecedented levels of production and financial growth. During her tenure over 20 projects had world premieres including the ambitious Dupont Award-winning six-hour series Hard Earned for Al Jazeera America. She left the organization with a robust production pipeline and a strong financial footing including $1M in support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and Sage Foundations.

With Kartemquin, she also directed Typeface, an award-winning documentary on American typography and graphic design and the doc short Sacred Transformations.

Justine has a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Harvard Business School, and a Masters from the University of Chicago in the Humanities/Cinema and Media Studies. She is active in the media community and was one of the founding board members of Good Pitch Chicago. Justine lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Matt and two young sons.


Steve Nelson, Director of Programming, NPR
Steve Nelson Steve Nelson is NPR's director of programming, where he oversees existing shows and creates new ones with some of the most creative audio talent in the world. In more than 20 years of experience he's helped to launch radio programs (Studio 360), radio stations (89.3 The Current in Minneapolis) and a podcast network. He spent 9 years as a program director with Minnesota Public Radio and started his professional career as a morning show co-host at an alternative rock radio station in the 90s.



Lauren Ober, Host, The Big Listen
Lauren Ober Lauren Ober is the host of WAMU & NPR'S The Big Listen. Before taking the helm, she was an award-winning radio producer for WAMU's weekly newsmagazine, Metro Connection. Her stories have been heard on public radio shows like NPR's All Things Considered and Morning Edition, Here and Now and Latino USA, as well as podcasts like Criminal, 99% Invisible and Gravy. Previously, Lauren served as producer of PRX's podcast about the cosmos, Orbital Path. In 2015, Lauren was a recipient of the French American Foundation Immigration Journalism Fellowship and traveled to Russia to report on LGBT immigration. Currently, Lauren is a board member of the Association of Independents in Radio (AIR). She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, American University and the Transom Story Workshop. A proud Pittsburgh native, Lauren has a deep and abiding love for pierogi.


Dan O'Meara, Vice President, Special Projects & Documentary, NEON
Dan O’Meara DAN O'MEARA is the VP, Special Projects & Documentary at film distribution company, NEON. He consulted at RADiUS on social action campaigns for all their documentary releases including FED UP, THE HUNTING GROUND and Academy Award winner CITIZENFOUR; for distributor The Orchard and A&E Indie Films on their film CARTEL LAND and THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS. He managed the social action campaign for Michael Moore's WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, and consulted for IFC Films on their Sundance award-winning documentary, WEINER. Dan's producing credits include the documentaries BY THE PEOPLE: THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA, FREAKONOMICS, and PRINT THE LEGEND.


Laura Poitras, Co-Creator & Executive Producer, Field of Vision; Director RISK
Laura Poitras Laura Poitras is a filmmaker, journalist, and artist. CITIZENFOUR, the third installment of her post-9/11 Trilogy, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary, along with awards from the British Film Academy, Independent Spirit Awards, Director's Guild of America, German Filmpreis, Cinema Eye Honors, Gotham Awards and others. Part one of the trilogy, MY COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY, about the U.S. occupation of Iraq, was nominated for an Academy Award. Part two, THE OATH, focused on Guantanamo and the war on terror, and was nominated for two Emmy awards.

ASTRO NOISE (2016), her first solo museum exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art curated by Jay Sanders, is a series of immersive installations and new work, including: ANARCHIST; O'Say Can You See; Bed Down Location; Disposition Matrix; November 20, 2004; and Last Seen.

Her latest film RISK premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Her collaboration with Henrik Moltke, PROJECT X, screened at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Her reporting on NSA mass surveillance based on Edward Snowden's disclosures won the George Polk Award for national security journalism, and shared in the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

In 2006, the U.S. government placed her on a secret watch list and, through 2012, she was detained and interrogated at the U.S. border each time she traveled internationally. In 2015, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. government to obtain her FBI and other government files. Over 1,000 pages have been released.

She has received many honors for her work, including a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital grant, and a Peabody Award. She has attended the Sundance Institute Documentary Labs as both a Fellow and Creative Advisor. She is on the board of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, and is Co-Creator of the visual journalism project Field of Vision.


Carlo Guillermo Proto, Producer & Cinematographer, RESURRECTING HASSAN
Carlo Guillermo ProtoRaised in Quillota, Chile and Mississauga, Ontario, Carlo Guillermo Proto is a Quebec/Chilean filmmaker whose work focuses on the unique interplay between identity and human experience in relationship to issues of geography, ethnicity and perceived disabilities. Carlo's first feature length documentary, El Huaso, screened in over 30 international film festivals and was broadcast on CBC's Documentary Channel and Tele-Francophone Ontario (TFO). His second feature length documentary, Resurrecting Hassan, received the grande prize for Best Canadian Documentary at the 2016 Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) and the Special Jury Prize at 2017 Hot Docs International Documentary Festival. Carlo is currently developing his third feature length documentary and writing the screenplay for his first fiction feature length film.


Frank Popper, Director, GENTLEMEN OF VISION
Frank Popper Independent filmmaker Frank Popper's feature documentary debut CAN MR. SMITH GET TO WASHINGTON ANYMORE? (2006) won the AFI Docs (Silverdocs) Audience Award; was an International Documentary Association Finalist, Best Feature; made the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Short – list for documentary feature; won a Special Jury Prize at the International Human Rights Film Festival of Paris, and aired on PBS Independent Lens. Popper filmed the feature documentary EROICA! (2003) which also aired on Independent Lens. GENTLEMEN OF VISION is his third documentary feature.


Su Rynard, Director, MOSQUITO
Su Rynard Su Rynard is known for her diverse range of media work often inspired by science, ecology, and the human relationship to the natural world. Rynard's recent documentary THE MESSENGER received multiple awards, screening at international film festivals, in theatres across North America, and on television in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA. MOSQUITO, a Yap Films Production produced for Discovery Channel, narrated by Jeremy Renner and directed by Su Rynard has its World Premiere at AFI DOCS. Mosquito will be released in 220 countries under the Discovery Impact banner on July 6, 2017. Su Rynard is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and was a Director Resident at the Canadian Film Centre.


Hanna Rosin, Co-Host, Invisibilia
Hanna Rosin With Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin co-hosts Invisibilia, a show from NPR about the unseen forces that control human behavior—our ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and thoughts. Invisibilia interweaves personal stories with fascinating psychological and brain science, in a way that ultimately makes you see your own life differently. Excerpts of the show are featured on the NPR News programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The program is also available as a podcast. Rosin comes to NPR from the world of print magazines. Most recently she was a national correspondent for The Atlantic, where she wrote cover stories about various corners of American culture. Her favorite stories are dark but reveal something humane about the way we live now, "The Craigslist Murders," "The Overprotected Kid," and "The Suicides in Silicon Valley." She is a longtime writer for Slate and host of the DoubleX Gabfest. She has been on the Daily Show and the Colbert Show when they were both shows and so fun to be on. Rosin has headlined a TED conference and was part of a team at New York Magazine that won a National Magazine Award for a series of stories on circumcision. She is also the author of two books, including the End of Men. She likes men, though, and she really likes learning radio from her fellow Invisibilia hosts.


Christa Scharfenberg, Head of Studio, Glassbreaker Films, Center for Investigative Reporting
Christa Scharfenberg Christa Scharfenberg is head of studio at The Center for Investigative Reporting. She helped launch "Reveal," CIR's Peabody Award-winning national public radio show and podcast, and now oversees the show's long-term growth and business goals. She is part of the team developing a new documentary film strategy and manages Glassbreaker Films, an initiative funded by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation to support accomplished and emerging female filmmakers. She joined CIR in 2003 as communications manager, served as acting executive director in 2007 and associate director from 2008 to 2015. She has been an executive or senior producer of documentaries for CIR, including FRONTLINE co-productions and the independent film "Banished," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Scharfenberg was a 2014 fellow in the Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at the Columbia University Journalism School. Prior to joining CIR, she was associate director of the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco.


Amy Shaw, Senior Vice President of Engagement and Content, Nine Network of Public Media
Amy Shaw Amy Shaw is the Senior Vice President of Engagement and Content at the Nine Network of Public Media, the public television network serving the St. Louis, MO region. Shaw oversees Nine's content creation, digital, and community engagement priorities. She is recognized as a national leader in community engagement and public media. Shaw leads the station in groundbreaking work that leverages on-air, online and community engagement for measurable impact around important and complex issues facing communities.

Shaw leads a team of talented producers, project managers, and evaluators to create sustained community dialogue around issues that matter to the St. Louis. Shaw is also leading the Nine Network in American Graduate, a national/local initiative to rally the community to improve outcomes for youth.

In 2015, Shaw was selected as one of ten inaugural Eisenhower Zhi-Xing Fellows. The Fellowship engaged ten outstanding American mid-career leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to advance bilateral dialogue and understanding between the China and the United States.

Shaw serves on numerous local and national boards and is deeply committed to the power of public media and the strengthening of communities across the country.


Jennifer Shoemaker, Senior Director of Visual Storytelling, Conservation International
Amy ShawJennifer Shoemaker a science communicator and visual storyteller with 20 years of experience interpreting science and conservation through television, digital video, live event media, and now virtual reality. She is the Senior Director of the Visual Storytelling Team at Conservation International, and served as producer on Under the Canopy, CI's most recent virtual reality film. Prior to Conservation International, she was a television producer and Director of Science and Exploration Media at National Geographic. In addition, she worked as an Earth science video producer NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, and created the National Park Service's first video podcasts while working at Yellowstone National Park. Her video work builds upon a previous career as a park ranger at a number of parks across the American West, including Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University.


Liana Simonds, Show Runner, Invisibilia
Liana Simonds Liana Simonds had a roundabout introduction to the world of podcasting. She worked in DC as an event planner in the public and private sectors for five years before joining the Invisibilia team in the beginning of 2016 as the project manager for Season 2. In that role, she coordinated logistics for the launch of the second season and managed all listener engagement. For the upcoming third season, she's taken on a new role as show runner, creating and maintaining the production calendar, managing staff and assigning tasks, and coordinating within NPR to ensure Invisibilia is meeting both its editorial and financial goals. She's originally from Minneapolis and graduated with a B.A. from Mount Holyoke college.


Shane Smith, Director of Programming, Hot Docs
Shane Smith Shane Smith is Director of Programming at Hot Docs, North America's largest Festival and Market for documentary film. Smith previously worked at the Toronto International Film Festival as director of Special Projects, and director of Public Programs. Prior to TIFF he was Executive Producer, In-Flight Entertainment, Spafax, overseeing all entertainment on Air Canada, Director of Programming at Channel Zero Inc, Director CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival, Short Film Programmer for Sundance Film Festival, Programmer for Inside Out LGBT Film Festival. Smith has served on juries, or participated on panels at festivals and events around the world including Sundance, Cannes, Sheffield Doc Fest, DocNYC, IDA, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Guadalajara International Film Festival, Sao Paulo and Rio Short Film Festivals, Encounters Film Festival Bristol and Bangkok International Film Festival.
He is not the guy from Vice.


Alix Spiegel, Co-Host, Invisibilia
Alix Spiegel Alix Spiegel has worked on NPR's Science Desk for 10 years covering psychology and human behavior, and has reported on everything from what it's like to kill another person, to the psychology behind our use of function words like "and", "I", and "so." She began her career in 1995 as one of the founding producers of the public radio program This American Life. While there, Spiegel produced her first psychology story, which ultimately led to her focus on human behavior. It was a piece called 81 Words, and it examined the history behind the removal of homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In January 2015, Spiegel joined NPR Science Reporter Lulu Miller to co-host Invisibilia, a series from NPR about the unseen forces that control human behavior – our ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and thoughts. Invisibilia interweaves personal stories with fascinating psychological and brain science, in a way that ultimately makes you see your own life differently. Excerpts of the show are featured on the NPR News programs Morning Editionand All Things Considered. The program is also available as a podcast. Over the course of her career in public radio, Spiegel has won many awards including a George Foster Peabody Award, a Livingston Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, a Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Spiegel graduated from Oberlin College. Her work on human behavior has also appeared in The New Yorker magazine and The New York Times.


Naomi Starobin, General Manager, WHYY Radio, editor for "Keystone Crossroads"
Naomi Starobin Naomi Starobin is the Radio General Manager at WHYY in Philadelphia. She was the founding editor of Keystone Crossroads, a collaborative statewide journalism project covering urban issues in Pennsylvania. She hosts the podcast Grapple. She was previously the news director at WSHU Public Radio in Connecticut. She's a board member of PRNDI (Public Radio News Directors, Inc.) and a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she occasionally teaches. Her most fun job was being a ranger for the National Park Service.


Michael Tuckman, Founder, mTuckman Media
Michael Tuckman

A veteran of the independent film industry for over fifteen years, Michael Tuckman began his career at The Cinema Guild, where he ran the company's theatrical distribution division. Tuckman next served as Vice President of Theatrical Sales for THINKFilm, handling Oscar winners and box office smahes including THE ARISTOCRATS, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD, BORN INTO BROTHELS and TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE.

He now operates mTuckman media, working directly with filmmakers under their own banners. He has released Rory Kennedy's Academy Award nominated LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM; Shane Carruth's UPSTREAM COLOR; and DETROPIA, from Oscar nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Other releases include Frederick Wiseman's last six films and the Academy Award nominee THE SQUARE. His company also provides theatrical booking and consultation services to distributors, with releases including Academy Award nominees BULLHEAD,  WAR WITCH, and THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN as well as the 2015's indie box office hit, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. Upcoming documentaries include Wiseman's EX LIBRIS - THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY and Jennifer Brea's UNREST.

Tuckman is also a member of the faculty at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College, where he teaches a course on distribution and exhibition.


Will Villota, Vice President of Brand, Conservation International
Will Villota As Vice President of Brand Marketing, Will Villota leads the creative, video and digital teams at Conservation International and has helped to pioneer new storytelling platforms, including the brand's first two virtual reality films and the award-winning Nature is Speaking film series. These platforms have been viewed over 65 million times in more than 45 countries, including the United States, Brazil, China and Indonesia, and have inspired millions of people to embrace the reality that people need nature to thrive. Prior to joining Conservation International, Will served as CMO of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and held marketing roles at nonprofits in the energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation categories. Before pivoting to the nonprofit sector, Will spent more than a decade in marketing at blue chip brands, including Adidas, where he ran Global eMarketing, and Yahoo! where he helped grow the online dating service business to over $100 million in revenue. Will is a graduate of the Rutgers University School of Business and resides in Washington, DC with his wife, son and two dogs.


Kathryn Washington, Director of Television Content, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Kathryn Washington Kathryn Washington is the Director of Television Content at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) where she is responsible for the oversight of broadcast television, professional development, and community engagement programs. Prior to this role, she served as Project Manager for CPB's Digital Media Strategies and Programming Manager for the Diversity Development Fund at the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Kathryn is an accomplished content strategist with extensive experience identifying and cultivating new talent, shaping projects from concept to implementation, and driving creative excellence across multiple platforms. Her career has reflected a steadfast dedication to the development of programs, content and services that reflect a diverse, inclusive and global society. She volunteers her time to support a variety of media-related nonprofit groups including Docs in Progress, DC International Film Festival and Creative Edge Collaborative.


Steve Weslak, Editor, MOSQUITO
Steve WeslakSteve Weslak is an editor who has been working in the Canadian film industry for over forty years. He has received 7 Gemini award nominations and the films that he has worked on have won major awards around the world. Among the highlights were "Concerto" for Rhombus Media, which won an International Emmy, "The Planets", nominated for a Grammy Award as best long form video and "Tales From the Organ Trade", another Emmy Award nominee. Other films that received major awards are the political documentary "Deadly Currents", winner of the Genie Award and "Narmada" voted best film at the Hot Docs festival. In 2015 Steve won the Canadian Screen Awards "Best Picture Editing in a

Documentary Program or Series" for "Our Man in Tehran". The same year he received the Black Dolphin award in Cannes for editing the HBO feature "Tales From the Organ Trade". It was the only editing award given from the 725 films entered at the Dolphin Film Festival.

Among the theatrical films that he has worked on were "The Last Chase", "The Care Bears Movie", and "The Fly" and "Dead Ringers", the last two with David Cronenberg. He spent 2 seasons on the syndicated series "The War of the Worlds", produced by Twentieth Century Fox.

Steve has also been involved with many international documentary series for television. In 1997 Steve edited "The Fifties", based on the book by David Halberstam and directed by Oscar winner Alex Gibney. Steve also contributed to the documentary series "The Sexual Century", "The Sacred Balance" and the four part series "Empire of the Word".

Last year he spent 5 months in London, England editing "Loretta Lynn: "Still a Mountain Girl" for PBS "American Masters" and BBC "Arena".


Marlon Wharton, CEO/ Founder, Gentlemen of Vision Rites of Passage INC.
Marlon Wharton

Marlon Wharton founded the Gentlemen of Vision Rites of Passage, Inc., to curtail the dropout rate among "proven-risk" high school males. GOV is a total service male mentoring program that has changed the lives of over 400 young men through an innovative model that uses step and intensive mentoring to shapes and mold young men into positive, productive professionals. Marlon's motto for GOV is apt, "Changing the lives of young men, one statistic at a time." Since the organization's inception in 2009, GOV members have maintained a 100% graduation rate.

The Gentlemen of Vision compete nationally and currently holds ten national titles.

Marlon is measurably changing lives within the community through GOV and through his work as a licensed high school counselor at Riverview Gardens High School near St. Louis, MO, and as a loving husband and father.

Marlon holds a Sociology MA in Processional & School Counseling and an M.A. in School Administration.


David Weinstein, Senior Program Officer, Division of Public Programs, National Endowment for the Humanities
David Weinstein David Weinstein is a senior program officer in the Division of Public Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). He manages grants for films, radio programs, museum exhibits, digital projects, and public engagement. David joined the NEH in 2000 after teaching media studies and production at George Mason University. David holds a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Maryland College Park. He is the author of The Forgotten Network: DuMont and the Birth of American Television (2004) and The Eddie Cantor Story: A Jewish Life in Performance and Politics (2017). 


John Yang, Correspondent, PBS NewsHour
John Yang John Yang is an American Peabody Award-winning television news correspondent, commentator, and as of February 2016, a special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour — often reporting live from the White House. 

Prior to joining NewsHour, Yang served as a Chicago-based correspondent for NBC News, reporting for "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," "Today," and MSNBC. Yang was part of an NBC team that reported on "In Plain Sight: Poverty in America," a 2013 George Foster Peabody Award recipient, and his reporting in April 2011 on tornado devastation in Alabama was included in an "NBC Nightly News" broadcast that received an Edward R. Murrow Award for "Best Newscast." 

Throughout his time at NBC News, Yang was a regular contributor to, including during the 2012 presidential campaign, and for coverage including the sex abuse trial of Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, the escape and manhunt of convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat, and the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214. Prior to joining NBC, Yang worked for ABC News, based in Washington and Jerusalem, where he served as weekend White House correspondent and Middle East correspondent, respectively. Yang's career also includes time at The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, TIME, and The Boston Globe.

Follow John Yang on Twitter: @JohnYangTV


Debra Zimmerman, Executive Director, Women Make Movies
Debra Zimmerman Debra Zimmerman has been the Executive Director of Women Make Movies since 1983. For 10 of the last 11 years films from WMM have won or been nominated for Oscars. She is in great demand around the world as a speaker on independent film distribution, marketing and financing. She is a member of numerous Advisory Boards for many media organizations, a jury member for many international film festivals, and regularly sits on foundation and government funding panels. She is the recipient of New York Women in Film and Television's Loreen Arbus Award and the Hot Doc's Doc Mogul Award, given to those who "over the course of their career has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both in his or her country or abroad."


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