infinity fashion forever 2018 Break the Chain
Director Laura E. Swanson
Credit – McShane Photography
Laura E. Swanson is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, professional speaker, sexual assault survivor/advocate, and human rights activist currently residing in Michigan. Her work is heavily rooted in building awareness for important, yet misrepresented, issues of social justice using a non-sensationalized and victim-centered artistic approach. Swanson’s entrance into the film world began in 2014 after working several years in a sexual and domestic violence crisis clinic – helping survivors receive support and resources while also healing from her own experiences with rape and relationship violence. Feeling empowered and inspired by the hundreds of people she encountered, she attempted her first documentary film about sexual assault in 2014 in which she appeared alongside 17 other male and female survivors.
After receiving a national grant from the Robin McGraw Foundation and appearing on a special segment of the Dr. Phil show, she was able to tour the Midwest with the film in 2015 to research how various colleges were addressing the sexual assault epidemic.
Since then, Swanson has found her passion in creating documentary films that not only empower her survivor subjects, but encourage greater understanding and empathy among audiences. Break the Chain is her second feature-length documentary film about survivors of sex and labor trafficking and has been independently produced with the help of Michigan-based task force agencies, law enforcement, shelter homes, and non-profit organizations.
Director Tamlin Hall
Credit – Barbara Beneville Photography
Tamlin Hall is an award winning writer, filmmaker and founder of IAMHOLDENON, a progressive grassroots 501(c)(3) that uses interdisciplinary arts, education and humanities to absolve mental health “othering” and prevent teen suicide.
A recipient of the prestigious Humanitas Prize for television writing, Hall received his MFA in screenwriting from UCLA. After graduating, Hall went on to make his directorial debut, Holden On, a true story social impact teen drama about Hall’s childhood friend, Holden Layfield. The film won numerous awards around the country and was nominated by the Georgia Film Critics Association for the Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema.
Hall is a 2018 Georgia General Assembly honoree for his work in Advocacy and the Arts. He currently serves on the Dramatic Writing Academic Review Committee for the Georgia Department of Education and has recently been attached to co-write a film adaptation of the #1 New York Times bestselling book, A Child Called “It”, for the Emmy-winning, Oscar-nominated production company, FOR GOOD.
Director Pamela Tom
Credit – Ildiko Laszlo
Pamela Tom is a writer, director and producer whose work includes documentary and narrative film and television. Tom’s feature infinity debut, Tyrus, premiered at the 42nd Telluride Film Festival and had its national broadcast premiere on PBS’s American Masters. The film has won nine awards, including best director at the Cinetopia Int’l Film Festival. Tom’s award-winning narrative short film, Two Lies, tells the story of a divorced Chinese woman who has plastic surgery to make her eyes rounder. Exploring issues of identity, beauty and intergenerational conflict, it screened at hundreds of film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, the Smithsonian Institution, and aired on numerous PBS stations. In 2017, she directed Sir Sidney Poitier, a one-hour documentary commemorating Poitier’s 90th birthday, which aired on Bahamas national television.
Tom also served as a production executive at KCET where she was a post-producer on the BBC/PBS national series WW2: Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, The Nazis, and the West and producer on Wired Science; the field producer on Becoming the Buddha in Los Angeles, a PBS pilot for a series on religion in America; and the Senior Associate Producer on the ABC documentary special, The Story of Mothers and Daughters.
She is currently in post-production on Through Their Own Eyes, a one-hour documentary that tells the story of four foster youth living in Los Angeles. The film will premiere on PBS in the fall/winter of 2018.
Man on Fire
Director Joel Fendelman
Credit – Alec Ploof
With roots in Miami, Austin, and New York City, Joel Fendelman has written, produced and directed a number of award-winning narrative and documentary films. Fendelman strives to embrace socially conscious stories that deal with religion, social class, minorities and communicates the underlying connection between us all.
In 2011, Fendelman completed his first dramatic narrative feature, David, a coming of age story about identity and friendship between a Muslim and a Jewish boy in the ethnic neighborhoods of south Brooklyn. The film screened at the Rome and Montreal World Film Festival, which awarded the film its prestigious Ecumenical Prize, and at many other venues around the globe. His second narrative feature film, Remittance, which follows the story of a Filipino mother who travels to Singapore to work as a maid in order to bring a better life to her family back home, won many festival awards including Best Actress and Best Screenplay at the Brooklyn Film Festival and is currently being distributed worldwide. Last year, Fendelman’s short film Game Night, a film about aging and unfulfilled dreams, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Super Short at the Savannah Film Festival. Man on Fire is Fendelman’s third feature film.
From the Second Wave to the Tidal Wave and NextStepRun!
Director Pam Maus
Courtesy of the Filmmaker
It wasn’t until Pam Maus started making films that she realized she had always been in the business of storytelling. Filmmaking started for Maus in 2009 with the opportunity to work with an independent filmmaker to complete her three films projects. She discovered documentary film as a way to bring her voice and passion to breaking down barriers to social justice for women and other marginalized groups.
After growing up in Arkansas, she moved to Maine from Boston where she earned a Master’s degree in Organizational and Career Development from Northeastern University. She put her skills to work at Polaroid, where she found a team of colleagues invested in making storytelling instantly accessible.
Maus’ additional life and career pursuits took her throughout the U.S. and Europe, and included stints at the Harvard Business School, as a private chef in the South of France, owner of a bed and breakfast on the coast of Maine, and a political campaigner where she worked to complete the unfinished business of gender equality.
Director Daresha Kyi
Credit – Naylor Mitchell
Daresha Kyi writes, produces, and directs film and television in Spanish and English. After graduating with a degree in Film & TV from New York University, she wrote, directed, and co-starred with Isaiah Washington in his screen debut in the award winning short, Land Where My Fathers Died. In 2011, Kyi was Executive Producer of Emmy winning writer Kevin Avery’s short comedy, Thugs The Musical starring Margaret Cho and David Alan Grier. In 2016, she produced a satirical take off on The Wiz called The Whizz, starring an all white cast (almost) for Fusion Comedy and the web series, How Not to Pick Up Asian Women with Kristina Wong.
In 2017, Kyi, together with Catherine Gund, co-directed and co-produced the feature-length documentary, Chavela, which won the 2nd place Panorama Audience Award at the Berlinale, Audience Awards at ten national and international festivals, as well as Jury Awards for Best Documentary at four festivals including Outfest. Kyi also co-produced Dispatches from Cleveland for Aubin Pictures in 2017.
Kyi has produced television for FX, WE, AMC, Oxygen, E!, Telemundo, Bravo, and FUSE, among others and is a fellow in the Firelight Media Documentary Lab.
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