Kate Brooks is a world renowned photographer who has chronicled conflict and human rights issues for nearly two decades. She first began working as photographer in Russia while documenting child abuse in state orphanages. The resulting photographs were published worldwide and used by the Human Rights Watch to campaign for orphans’ rights.
Kate then proceeded to dedicate herself to covering the post 9/11 decade through to the beginning of the Arab Spring; she is widely known for her extensive work across the Middle East and in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Kate’s photographs are regularly published in magazines, such as TIME, Newsweek, The New Yorker and Smithsonian. She also exhibits her work in museums and galleries across the globe.
In 2010 Kate was as a contributing cinematographer on the multiple award-winning documentary The Boxing Girls of Kabul. Her introspective collection of essays and photos In the Light of Darkness: A Photographer’s Journey After 9/11 was selected by PDN as one of 2011’s best photography books. Kate was then awarded a 2012-13 Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan. There she began researching wildlife trafficking and the pan African poaching epidemic for the documentary film The Last Animals. Kate’s drive and passion for this project comes from the fundamental belief that time is running out and that we are at a critical moment in natural history.@katebrooksphoto
Mark Monroe is a journalism graduate from the University of Oklahoma. Monroe began his television career in Atlanta as a CNN news writer for Headline News and Newsnight. Monroe has since transitioned his writing talents to documentary film. His theatrical writing credits are many and include The Tillman Story, Chasing Ice and Fed Up. Monroe was also the writer for the 2009 Academy Award winning documentary The Cove. In The Cove, renowned dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry and a team of activists infiltrate a Japanese cove to expose the annual slaughter of innocent dolphins. Most recently, Monroe reteamed with the director of The Cove, Louie Psihoyos, for the documentary Racing Extinction.
Stephanie Soechtig is an award-winning writer, producer and documentary film director. Her most recent film, FED UP premiered at Sundance where it was acquired by Radius/TWC and became the second highest grossing documentary of 2014. A New York Times Critic’s Pick, many have likened FED UP to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth for the way we eat; it spotlights our addiction to sugar and the ensuing obesity epidemic, and succeeds in bringing the issue into the mainstream.
Stephanie’s directorial debut documentary, Tapped focused on the high cost — to both the environment and our health — of the bottled water industry. Hailed by critics as “stunning” and “whip-smart,” Tapped swept film festivals across the country while picking up six awards for Best Documentary Feature.
Dubbed by Fortune Magazine as one of the “Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink,” Stephanie has also directed political campaign commercials, short films and viral videos for nonprofit groups including Environmental Working Group and Food and Water Watch.
A graduate of New York University, Stephanie began her career in television, producing documentaries for 20/20, Primetime Live, The O’Reilly Factor, and VH1. She joined forces with Michael and Michelle Walrath in 2008 to start Atlas Films.
For over a decade Laurie David has brought her passion and dedication to a variety of important environmental and food issues, from global warming to America’s overconsumption of sugar.
Laurie was a producer on the Academy award-winning An Inconvenient Truth and executive producer on Fed Up, a feature-length documentary that examines the surprising truth about how our food is making us sick. She is executive producing The Last Animals, a documentary currently in production, that delves into the wildlife trafficking crisis that is pushing our majestic African elephants and rhinoceros towards extinction.
The author of five books, Laurie has received numerous awards and honors, including the Producers Guild of America’s Stanley Kramer Award, a Humanitas Prize Special Award and a Gracie Allen Award. Laurie has been honored with the Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award, the Feminist Majority’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award and the NRDC Forces for Nature award.@laurie_david
Mari Snyder Johnson is a business executive/CEO and an executive producer for both feature and documentary films. She is a passionate activist and philanthropist for the World’s Oceans, global environmental consciousness, and human dignity and equality.
In January 2015, Mari was an engaged advocate for the High Seas Alliance during the groundbreaking United Nations conference where member countries agreed to develop a global treaty to protect marine biodiversity beyond territorial ocean waters. In October 2015, she was an NRDC envoy at the United Nations’ 2015 “Our Ocean” conference in Chile. Mari also serves on the Board of Directors for Defenders of Wildlife, which is focused on addressing climate change, biodiversity and upholding the Endangered Species Act.
Mari is actively involved with the National Democratic Institute, whose work focuses on global democratic development and advancing women’s political leadership, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Women’s History Museum.
A Board Trustee of Marlborough School, a rigorous all girls school in Los Angeles, Mari is passionate about the benefits of athletics and is particularly devoted to the advancement of women in sports. Mari has been instrumental at both the collegiate D1 and California CIF levels.
Regina K. Scully is a 30-year veteran in the combined fields of journalism, public relations, brand marketing, and media literacy. She is the Founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to developing and promoting media, education and the arts that transform our culture.
Ms. Scully is an Emmy award winning and Academy award-nominated producer. Her films include the Academy award-nominated The Invisible War, Fed Up, Newtown, Alive Inside, MissRepresentation, Under the Gun, Anita Hill: Speaking Truth to Power, and Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. She is also an Academy-nominated producer of “Til it happens to you”, the theme song for The Hunting Ground performed by Lady Gaga.
Ms. Scully sits on the Boards of Stanford University Board of Philanthropy and Civil Society, CA; Project ALS, NYC; Harvard Women’s Leadership Board; V- Day Board; TheRepresentationProject.org; Women’s Media Center, NYC.; and the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security.
An ocean and environmental philanthropist, Shannon’s boards include Mission Blue, working with Dr. Sylvia Earle, WildAid, with Founder Peter Knights, the Funders’ Collaborative Oceans5, and Compassion for Addiction, which supports the work of Dr. Gabor Maté. An advocate for the power of storytelling, filmmaking and photography, Shannon is Executive Producer of the documentary “Mission Blue”, available on Netflix; Executive Producer on “The Last Animals” and “Franca”; and Associate Producer of “Chasing Coral” which won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, where she supports the Climate Program. Films currently in production include “Sharkwater Extinction”, “Ghost Fleet”, and “Anote’s Ark”.
Shannon grew up in rural Michigan and studied at UC Boulder and the National Holistic Institute, Berkeley. After college she traveled with the Grateful Dead and was blessed to live for three years in the New York home of Robert Rauschenberg, where, immersed in the visual arts, dance and creative innovation, she was inspired by his belief in the power to create change through impactful media. She now devotes herself to environmental work with a focus on climate/ocean issues and education. An avid diver and photographer, Shannon lives in Marin County, California.
Nikita Kahn is a dedicated animal advocate. She has worked closely with the California Wildlife Center, participating in fundraisers to protect, rescue, and rehabilitate sick, injured, or orphaned animals. She is also a Peninsula Humane Society & SPCABoard Member, assisting in the organization’s events and fundraisers to help find homes for animals in need of loving caretakers. Kahn also supports the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Rhino Rescue Center, which is helping to bring the species back from the brink of extinction through new reproductive technologies and innovations.
Geralyn Dreyfous has a wide, distinguished background in the arts, extensive experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector, and participates on numerous boards and initiatives. She is the Founder of the Utah Film Center, a non-profit that curates free screenings and outreach programs for communities throughout Utah. In 2007, she co-founded Impact Partners Film Fund with Dan Cogan, bringing together financiers and filmmakers so that they can create great films that entertain audiences, enrich lives, and ignite social change. In 2013, Geralyn co-founded Gamechanger Films, the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women.
Geralyn’s independent executive producing and producing credits include the Academy Award winning Born Into Brothels; Emmy nominated The Day My God Died, Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning The Square, Academy Award nominated and Peabody Award winning The Invisible War, and multiple film festival winners such as Miss Representation, Meet the Patels, Anita, In Football We Trust, The Hunting Ground, Dreamcatcher and Alive Inside. Her works in production include: Wait for Me and Be Natural. Geralyn was honored by the International Documentary Association with the Amicus Award in 2013 for her significant contribution to documentary filmmaking. Variety recognized Geralyn in their 2014 Women’s Impact Report highlighting her work in the entertainment industry.
Tiffany Schauer is the founder and executive director of Our Children’s Earth (OCE), a San Francisco based non-profit, which she founded in 1998. The maverick public charity is recognized for its effectiveness in environmental/conservation advocacy campaigns and litigation. www.ocefoundation.org Tiffany served as executive producer or supporter for many compelling films addressing global conservation concerns including, Garbage Dreams, The Island President, Total Denial, The E-team, and How to Change the World.
Annalisa Shoemaker discovered her passion for filmmaking and wildlife conservation at an early age. Her first encounter with wildlife was raising two baby squirrels that had fallen out of their nest in her banyan tree. While an undergraduate at the University of Miami, she made her first short documentary Alpha Malewhich featured the matrilineal hierarchy of rhesus macaques. Annalisa began her career at the specialty film studio Focus Features. During her time there, she cultivated a robust knowledge of theatrical distribution, international distribution, and finance. In 2016, Annalisa took her knowledge of the film distribution world to Amazon Studios where she now works managing the company’s distribution strategies and exhibitor marketing of their dynamic slate of original feature films.
Rebecca Hardin’s PhD is in anthropology from Yale University; she has taught at Yale, McGill University, the Sorbonne and the University of Michigan. She has also been a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral scholar at Yale’s Center for International and Area Studies, and an Academy Scholar of International Area Studies at Harvard University. Her research blends ecological methods for the study of wildlife with ethnography of human resource use, including historical anthropology and political ecology approaches.
Rebecca lived for six years in the Central African Republic, and speaks three of that country’s languages, in addition to fluent French. She has completed field projects spanning several years in both South Africa and Kenya. In her capacity as Board Member of the independent documentary film production company Interlock Media, she raised money, edited treatments, and obtained/reviewed archival footage for several human rights and conservation related films. Rebecca was Kate’s advisor at the University of Michigan.
Born and raised amidst the Southern California entertainment industry, Paloma Estevez has always had a passion and natural talent for music. From her early beginnings playing trombone in jazz and classical genres, to discovering her innate talent as a drummer, Paloma’s musical dedication is equaled only by her facility, accessibility and personality. An award winning graduate of The Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, the technically superb Estevez is now a respected educator, session musician and performer. As well as her talent behind the kit, Paloma is a well versed producer and composer. She has composed for channels such as ESPN, MTV, TLC, FOX, The Discovery Channel, Access Hollywood etc. and is currently composing for Universal Music Group. Paloma has a wide range of compositional skills from low key background cues to large orchestral scores. Her cues tend to be on the moodier side and carry lots of emotion. As she’s tapped into the spiritual side of music, her scoring has developed a deep sense of calm and an essence of spirit.
From his start in life as a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan in the early 1980s, Emmanuel Jal has come through a huge number of struggles during his life to become a successful and acclaimed recording artist and peace ambassador.
Drawing on his personal experiences and background, he speaks and performs with a strong message of reconciliation and peace, and has addressed the UN, US Congress, the Carter Centre and the very highest level of several governments.
In 2008 a full-length documentary on his life was released. The film, Warchild, won 12 prestigious film festival awards worldwide. In the same year, his autobiography, also called Warchild, was published by Little Brown.
Emmanuel has released five award nominated studio albums: The Key, Gua, Ceasefire, Warchild and See Me Mama. His live appearances have included Live 8, Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Concert and the One Concert for his Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has collaborated and performed alongside artists such as Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Joss Stone, Nile Rodgers and Alicia Keys.
Emmanuel co-starred with Reese Witherspoon in the Warner Brothers motion picture, The Good Lie which tells the story about the journey of four young Sudanese refugees (based on The Lost Boys of Sudan) who win a lottery for relocation to the United States. The film made its debut to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival before being released in October 2014. Emmanuel has also appeared as the adult lead in the major motion picture Africa United; a Pathé, UK Film Council and BBC Films presentation in association with Warner Bros, released in October 2010.
During his career, he has been involved with a number of global charity organisations, including the British Council, the Child Soldiers Initiative, Amnesty International and Oxfam. He has spoken alongside major players in the world of global humanitarianism, including Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-Moon, Martti Ahtisaari for CMI in Finland, Matt Dillon for Refugees International and Angelina Jolie at the ICC for Cinema for Peace. Emmanuel has been invited numerous times to speak at Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite conference on Necker Island on global leadership and philanthropy. He has continued to support and work alongside Amnesty International as one of their main spokespeople and has received numerous awards for his peace efforts in South Sudan including recognition from Ban Ki Moon at the UN.
In 2010, Jal released ‘We Want Peace’, part of a wider campaign of the same name that called for peace, protection and justice for all of Sudan, as well as calling for an end to all conflicts that affect innocent people around the world. This campaign is supported by a number of A-list stars and leaders, including George Clooney, Alicia Keys, Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan. Through social media and fan participation, the campaign has grown in strength and Emmanuel’s message of peace has resonated particularly amongst young people, allowing them to connect to larger social and political issues through emotional empathy. With the support of organizations such as Free The Children, Amnesty International, Ford Foundation and many others, Emmanuel has taken ‘We Want Peace’ on the road and spoken to hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world, touring across Mexico, the UK, the US, Kenya, Zambia and Canada. Often these tours include visits to community centres, youth detention centres and prisons where Emmanuel has been able to speak first hand to young people who have become disengaged with education and society.
For his outstanding commitment to peace building, Jal was awarded the Common Ground Award in 2011, and became part of an elite group of award holders, such as Desmond Tutu and Mohammad Ali. In 2012, he was asked to be a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum, and performed at the G20 summit in Mexico.
Emmanuel is also the creator of Jal Gua, a gluten free super food powder made of organic sorghum and organic moringa, which has 140% iron, 45% Vitamin C and 40% Vitamin B1 of the daily recommended intake. Jal Gua has a distribution deal with Pilling Foods in Ontario, Canada and is currently stocked in major health stores across Canada including WHOLE FOODS as well as online: www.jalgua.org. Emmanuel has also opened his own organic cafe of the same name in downtown Toronto. Emmanuel’s greatest passion is his charity which he founded in 2009 Gua Africa which supports those affected by war and poverty from South Sudan. The charity has trained and educated South Sudanese refugees to becoming first-class professional in medicine, law and education.
Suzie Gilbert is an impact producer, developing strategies to engage the media, policymakers and audiences around social issues and films. She co-produced the Oliver Stone-directed documentaries “South of the Border” and “Castro in Winter”, as well as the documentary series “The Untold History of the United States” and the feature film “W.” about George W. Bush. She has worked on whistleblower defence campaigns, enlisting high-profile international support, as well as a that of a recently released Guantanamo detainee. She consults for global technology firm, ThoughtWorks, around the intersection of social justice and tech. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Cambridge University, an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California Peter Stark Producing Program, and is on the board of Just Foreign Policy.