Team and Advisors
Sascha Rice is an award-winning filmmaker, public speaker, teacher, and the granddaughter of California's former Governor Pat Brown. Ms. Rice's documentary California State of Mind recently garnered a Grand Jury Prize for Cinematic Vision and her celebrated feature romantic comedy Mango Kiss enjoyed national and international broadcast, screened internationally at over 80 venues, and received numerous honors including the "Director's Choice Award: Gold Medal for Excellence" at the Park City Film & Music Festival. Ms. Rice is President and Co-Founder of Fire of Life Films. She serves on the Board of Advisors of the Pat Brown Institute (a non-partisan public policy Institute based at Cal State LA.) Additionally, Ms. Rice is the program director and a mentor for the Young Writers Workshop at Ivanhoe Elementary, a Los Angeles public school. Ms. Rice has appeared on television, radio programs, and her writing has been published online.
Hilary Armstrong—Executive Producer
Hilary is Executive Producer of the award winning film, California State of Mind — The Legacy of Pat Brown. The feature documentary screened at dozens of film festivals and prestigious venues across the nation and is currently airing on public television (www.patbrowndocumentary.com). Hilary is also Co-Founder of Fire of Life Films and Development Director for "My California Now." Hilary Armstrong serves as a member of the California Film Commission. Hilary serves on the board of trustees of The California Museum, which curates the California Hall of Fame awards. Hilary is also a senior marketing consultant and advisor to Rally.org, which raises awareness and funds for causes that matter. Hilary is also a blogger for the Huffington Post.
Julia post produced and associate produced the theatrical documentary Soundtrack for a Revolution, about the civil rights movement, which premiered at Cannes and the Tribecca Film Festival. The film was nominated for Writers Guild, Producers Guild, and International Documentary Association Awards, and was short-listed for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature 2009. Mintz post produced the acclaimed feature documentary Nanking, which won Peabody and Emmy® Awards, winning the Editorial Award at its national premiere at Sundance. Nanking was theatrically released by THINKFilms and HBO Documentary Films. Mintz has produced programs for NASA, PBS and NHK. She has worked as Post Production Supervisor for Discovery Channel, National Geographic, THINKFilms, and Miramax. Recent projects include A Son's Sacrifice, winner IDA 2007 Short Documentary Film Award; The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo, Emmy® Award nominee; The Killer Within, Emmy® Award-winner, and Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life, Emmy®Award-winner for best documentary. Mintz's feature documentary about the Jewish Partisans of World War II is currently in production. Julia is an award winning creative director and an accomplished multi-grant recipient for her work in the visual arts. Julia has taught seminars on filmmaking and digital post-production at numerous workshops worldwide. She has held an adjunct faculty position at LIU in NYC. Mintz is co-founder of Full Res Productions, a high definition and film production company, which focuses on the integration of creative story telling using new technologies and integrated design for films.
Erin O'Malley—Associate Producer
Erin O'Malley is a producer for television and film, producing the critically acclaimed and award winning television series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and also "Da Ali G Show" for HBO. For both of these she received Emmy® nominations for Best Comedy Series.
Katherine Ripley Frisoli—Co-Producer
In addition to her feature work, Katherine produces and directs short documentaries. Her short Rhena, about a young girl's struggle with Spinal Muscular Atrophy can be seen on Current TV. She served as associate researcher on Bhutto and Countdown to Zero, both of which premiered at Sundance 2010.
Writer Laura Nix recently produced festival hit The Yes Men Fix the World. Previously, she directed and produced numerous non-fiction presentations at Automat Pictures, which she co-founded. Her award-winning narrative feature The Politics of Fur played at 65 film festivals internationally. Her work has been shown on HBO, IFC, and the History Channel.
Anne Etheridge—Director of Photography
Anne Etheridge's recent credits include the feature Duck, starring Philip Baker Hall, Bill Cobbs and the AFLAC ducks. She currently photographs shows for MTV, The History Channel, The Food Network, and The Learning Channel. Numerous award-winning short films include South of Ten, which opened the 2006 New York Film Festival.
Lauren Giordano was Senior Editor at Imaginary Forces and Prologue Films, and has edited shows at Fox, Universal, Paramount and Disney. Film work includes NewPort South, Titus, and Mango Kiss. Lauren worked on the Reality-TV show, "Bands on the Run," which was nominated for an Emmy® for best editing.
Doug Blush has worked in documentaries as a director, producer, editor, writer and cinematographer. Feature credits include the crossword-culture hit Wordplay, the Academy Award® shortlisted I.O.U.S.A., and Outrage, about hypocritical closeted politicians. He is currently co-directing a documentary feature on new understandings of bipolar disorder entitled Of Two Minds with his wife Lisa.
Claire Chandler's feature documentary credits include the festival hit The Yes Men Fix the World, The Light in Her Eyes (in production,) and Long Way Home: The Loving Story. She was Associate Producer and Assistant Editor on BBC World's Egypt: We are Watching You, which aired in 180 countries, and served as Associate Producer of Content for the Pangea Day Film Festival.
Renowned editor William Haugse has been nominated for an Oscar® (Hoop Dreams) and an Emmy® (The Last Days of Kennedy and King), and received the American Cinema Editors' Eddie award. He has edited over 50 hours of documentaries for HBO, PBS, The History Channel, and others. His work includes the award-winning Sunset Story, and Unprecedented, about the 2000 presidential election.
Irish-born Kim Carroll was awarded a Sundance fellowship in 2009 and his credits include the thriller The Colony (Gold Medal at the Park City Music Festival), the popular web series "Hellholes," the 2009 Sundance feature The Horse Boy, and the crime drama Across the Line (starring Andy Garcia, Aidan Quinn, Gina Gershon). He currently lives and works in beautiful Topanga Canyon, California.
Zora A. Wolter—Line Producer
A native of Berlin, Zora Wolter has worked on numerous features, documentaries, TV series and short films. Her recent feature film work includes Dark Streets and Shortcut to Hollywood. The short film Transport, which she line produced, was screened at the Berlin Film Festival 2004, and won the German Camera Award.
Sarah Feinbloom—Educational Outreach/Curriculum Writer
Sarah is an award-winning producer, director and editor whose work includes documentaries, dramatic narrative, web commercials and fundraising videos. Her work over the past 20 years has focused on diversity, young people, education and community engagement. Her company SarafinaProductions works with select filmmakers to bring their documentaries to audiences in the educational market, designing curriculum and strategies to maximize impact and reach. She is the recipient of a California Council for the Humanities Grant, The Paul Robeson Grant for Independent Media, and the Pacific Pioneer Award for her documentary What Do You Believe? - the religious and spiritual lives of American teenagers which aired on PBS stations and has been screened nationally and internationally. She authored an accompanying curriculum guide and led workshops on interfaith dialogue and diversity. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College, Columbia University and an M.A. in Education from Tufts University.
Board of Advisors
Mark Jonathan Harris
Mark Jonathan Harris has written, produced and/or directed a multitude of award-winning documentaries, including The Redwoods, Oscar®-winner for Best Short Documentary; The Long Way Home, about the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, which won the Academy Award® for Best Feature Length Documentary; and Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, which also won an Academy Award®. He received an Emmy® nomination for his writing on Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives, which premiered at Sundance and aired on HBO. His recent film Darfur Now, a feature documentary he produced with Cathy Schulman and Don Cheadle, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In addition to filmmaking, Harris also writes journalism and fiction, and has taught filmmaking for over 20 years.
California State Librarian Emeritus and Professor of History at the University of Southern California, Kevin Starr has written or edited 14 books, including his multi-volume series "America and the California Dream." His writing has earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, membership in the Society of American Historians, and the Gold Medal of the Commonwealth Club of California. His most recent book is Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge 1990-2003. In November 2006 he was awarded a National Humanities Medal.
Maxine Isaacs has been on the faculty of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government as an Adjunct Lecturer since 1994, teaching "Foreign Policy, the News, and American Public Opinion" and "American Presidential Campaigns and Elections 1960-2004." Isaacs received her PhD in Policy Studies from the University of Maryland in 1994. Her dissertation was on the relationship between elite and mass American opinion. Isaacs has worked in the White House, U.S. Senate, and U.S. Congress. She was Walter F. Mondale's press secretary and Deputy Campaign Manager from 1983-1984.
Van Gordon Sauter
Former President of CBS News and former President of KVIE-TV (Sacramento's public television station), Van Gordon Sauter has enjoyed a far-ranging media career. After pursuing an MA in journalism at the University of Missouri, he covered civil rights and urban affairs for the Detroit Free Press and Chicago Daily News. In 1968 Sauter joined CBS, and held a variety of jobs from news anchor to Executive Vice President. He has since been an advisor to nonprofit organizations, a consultant on public policy, crisis management and media/image relationships, and has taught ethics at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC, Berkeley.
Mark Baldassare is the President and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California. He also holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy and directs the PPIC Statewide Survey – a large-scale public opinion project designed to develop an in-depth profile of the social, economic, and political forces at work in California elections and in shaping the state's public policies. His most recent book, A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World, examines the beliefs, concerns, and public policy preferences of Californians and how their distrust of government has shaped the state's political climate. He is the author of eight other books, including California in the New Millennium: The Changing Social and Political Landscape (2000), When Government Fails: The Orange County Bankruptcy (1998), and Trouble in Paradise: The Suburban Transformation in America (1986).
Rita Schmidt Sudman
Rita Schmidt Sudman is Executive Director of the Water Education Foundation, an impartial and non-profit organization whose mission is to promote a broader understanding of water issues and the resolution of water resource problems in the West through educational programs. She directs the development of Western Water magazine, the Layperson's Guide series, the foundation's Colorado River program, public television programs on water, poster maps, tours, press briefings, and school programs. Sudman is a former radio and television reporter and producer and received her MA in telecommunications from San Diego State University.