Festival Guests

Pearl Gluck

Pearl Gluck’s work has been part of the Sundance Lab, and played at the Cannes Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and PBS. Her first documentary feature film, Divan (2004) was a Sundance Institute project, opened theatrically at Film Forum in NYC, was broadcast on the Sundance Channel, and played across the country and internationally at festivals. Pearl’s first narrative short, Where Is Joel Baum (2012), won prizes such as Best Actor at the Starz Denver Film Festival and Best Film at the Toronto Female Eye Film Festival. Her short film, Junior (2017), deals with racially motivated police violence through the story of one mother struggling with a new normal after her son was shot by an off-duty police officer. The film has won awards at numerous festivals including the International Black Film Festival of Nashville and BronzeLens in Atlanta. She continues to make both documentary and narrative films that explore themes of class, gender, and faith, such as her short film Summer (2018) and her narrative feature debut, The Turn Out (2018) about sex trafficking at truckstops. Pearl teaches Screenwriting and Directing at Penn State University and is currently developing a documentary project based on her research for The Turn Out exploring specialty courts that offer an alternative, treatment-oriented approach for victims of sex trafficking.

Film(s):
Assumed Identity

Katharina Rohrer

Katharina Rohrer founded GreenKat Productions in 2002, while she was still studying at The School of Visual Arts in New York City. Since, Kat has directed and produced more than ten short films, music videos, documentaries, and a wide variety of industrials and commercials. Some of her bigger clients include: Roland Foods, Österreich Werbung, Die Zweite Bank, Personal Basis.

Her short film The Search won Best Short at the 2005 LA Femme Film Festival. Her 2011 short Film Wantless was selected for the 2011 Hamptons Film Festival. Kat has also worked as DP on various feature length documentaries including Larry Flynt: The Right To Be Left Alone for Midtown Films, which screened around the world and has been aired on IFC.

Her last documentary, Fatal Promises, deals with human trafficking and has been shown across the United States and Europe in film festivals, anti-trafficking and fundraising events, as well as college campuses.

Film(s):
Back to the Fatherland

Judy Kreith

Judy Kreith is a professional dance educator and choreographer. She received her MA Degree from Stanford University. Her mother, Marion Finkels Kreith, is the key inspiration for this film. Judy has extensively studied Cuban dance and while in Cuba, began research into the Jewish refugees’ diamond polishing industry that flourished in Havana during the Second World War, working on-site with Cuban historians. Judy contributes her research and knowledge, along with her personal connection and passion for this project and its potential impact. She has spoken on this topic to many groups, including a conference at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Film(s):
Cuba’s Forgotten Jewels: A Haven in Havana

Aaron Rotenberg

Aaron Rotenberg is a Toronto-based image-maker, whose work explores the role of identity through re-worked digital and hand-processed images and techniques. His work has screened recently at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, the Toronto Palestine Film Festival, the UK Jewish Film Festival, Lund International Architecture Film Festival and Dance Made in Canada Festival. He completed an MFA in Film Production from York University in 2015.

Film(s):
Drawing Borders

Aaron Weinstein

Called “the Groucho of the violin” by Tony Bennett and “a perfect musician” by jazz guitar legend, Bucky Pizzarelli, Aaron Weinstein “is rapidly establishing himself as one of his instrument’s rare jazz masters.” (Don Heckman, International Review of Music).  As a featured soloist, Aaron has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, the Blue Note, and abroad at jazz festivals in England, France, Switzerland, Iceland, and Israel.  Aaron has performed and recorded with an array of jazz icons including: Les Paul, Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Dave Frishberg, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross as well as musicians as varied as New York Pops conductor, Skitch Henderson and rock guitarist, Jay Geils.  He has written arrangements for vocalists including Christine Ebersole, Linda Lavin, and the Manhattan Transfer’s Janis Siegel.  Additionally, Aaron is a respected mandolinist, widely regarded as one of the instrument’s leading exponents in the jazz idiom.  He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, a bow tie rights activist, and is also lactose intolerant but can find at least one agreeable item on any restaurant menu, a feat he’s called, “my greatest talent.

Film(s):
Drawing Borders

Randall Christopher

Randall Christopher is an award-winning filmmaker and artist best known for his cartoon project Kleeman and Mike and the experimental YouTube animation series “Skate Sketch.”  His newest film, The Driver Is Red, was selected for the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was hailed as “an artistic triumph” by The Independent. In addition to his animated film projects, Christopher has been a college professor of art in his hometown of San Diego since 2005.

Film(s):
Drawing Borders

Lisa Ades

Lisa Ades is a documentary filmmaker who has produced and directed films for PBS and cable television for more than 25 years. Her acclaimed film, Miss America, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before its broadcast on the PBS series American Experience in 2002. Previously, she produced award-winning films with Ric Burns, including New York, a ten-hour series (PBS, 1999, Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award), The Way West (PBS, 1995), and The Donner Party (PBS, 1992). Prior to that, she was a producer at WNET/Thirteen on The 11th Hour and Metroline. Documentaries for cable television include Beauty in a Jar (A&E, 2003), In the Company of Women (IFC, 2004), and Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema (IFC, 2006).

Film(s):
GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II

Maia Harris

Writer Maia Harris has written and produced documentaries for PBS for many years and has received two Emmy awards. Her previous work includes The Italian Americans (PBS, 2013), No Job for a Woman (PBS World, 2010) and and Banished (PBS, 2008), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Other credits include The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo (PBS, 2005); Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel (AMC, 2001); Storyville: The Naked Dance (PBS, 1998) and Listening to Children: A Moral Journey with Robert Coles (PBS, 1995).

Film(s):
GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II

Amanda Bonavita

Producer Amanda Bonavita has worked in commercial television, and documentary and narrative film for the past fifteen years. Her previous documentary work includes 40th Anniversary of Stonewall (PBS, 2009) and Waiting for Hockney (Tribeca Film Festival, 2008).

Film(s):
GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II

James Young

James E. Young is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, former Chair of Judaic & Near Eastern Studies, and Founding Director of the Institute for Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the author of five books on the Holocaust, memorials, and national memory, including: The Texture of Memory (1993), which won the National Jewish Book Award; At Memory’s Edge (2000); and The Stages of Memory (2016), which won Book of the Year Award from the National Council on Public History. His 200 articles and reviews have appeared in dozens of academic journals and newspapers, and he has served on several memorial design competition juries, including Berlin’s “Denkmal for the Murdered Jews of Europe,” and New York City’s National September 11 Memorial design competition.

Film(s):
GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II

Roberta Grossman

Roberta Grossman is an award-winning filmmaker who has written, directed, and produced more than 40 hours of film and television. Grossman’s 2012 Hava Nagila (The Movie) uses the song “Hava Nagila” as a portal into 150 years of Jewish history, culture, and spirituality. Hannah Senesh: Blessed Is the Match, Grossman’s 2008 film, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, aired on PBS, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.

In 2014, Grossman completed Above and Beyond with producer Nancy Spielberg, about the Jewish-American WWII pilots who volunteered to fight in Israel’s War of Independence. Most recently, Grossman teamed with Sophie Sartain to co-direct the Netflix documentary Seeing Allred, which premiered to great acclaim at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

She also produced Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning500 Nations, and Homeland: Four Portraits of Native Action.

Film(s):
Hannah Senesh: Blessed is the Match

Rana Abu-Fraiha

Rana Abu-Fraiha was born in Tel Sheva, a Bedouin, Muslim and very religious town in southern Israel. She is a curator, editor and director who graduated from the Bezalel Academy’s Screen Arts Program. In Her Footsteps is her first feature-length documentary and garnered her the prestigious Van Leer Award for Best Director of a Documentary at the 2017 Jerusalem Film Festival.

Film(s):
In Her Footsteps

Safa Aburabia

Safa Aburabia is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Anthropology department at Harvard University; she was Fulbright fellow for 2016-2017 and Israel Institute Fellow for 2016-2018. Her research examines Bedouin collective memory and representations of 1948 and the subsequent struggle over land from a gender perspective. She was a faculty member and Leadership program director at the Mandel Center for Leadership, a lecturer at Ben-Gurion University and Sapir College, and a social activist in the Naqab.

Film(s):
In Her Footsteps

Joshua Arnow

Joshua Arnow is a member of Ben-Gurion University’s Board of Governors and serves on the Board of Directors for American Associates of BGU where he focuses his efforts on scholarships and academic support services for Bedouin students. Josh also co-chairs the Social Venture Fund for Jewish Arab Equality and Shared Society and is an active member of the Interagency Task Force on Arab Israeli Issues. Over the past decade he has devoted much of his time to continuing his father’s legacy of supporting development and education within the Negev Bedouin community in Israel.

Film(s):
In Her Footsteps

Florian Frerichs

Florian Frerichs started making films at an early age and founded his company Warnuts Entertainment with his former history teacher Dr. Stephan Warnatsch. After producing many short films, music videos and commercials and working as a line producer he directed the fake-trailer Alex that gives the impression as if a science-fiction reboot of A Clockwork Orange was in the works. With his films Phoenix and In the Ruins he continued creating dystopian sci-fi worlds. His short films won more than 30 prizes and awards at international festivals and his first feature film The Last Supper (Das letzte Mahl) was finished in late 2017.

Film(s):
Last Supper

Bonnie Rich

Bonnie Rich’s passion is telling stories through video and she’s been a director, producer, and writer for almost 20 years. Her work ranges from personal narratives to corporate video, with stories that have heart as the common thread.

Bonnie has produced two documentary web series, as well as videos for websites, online courses, social media, corporate events, and fundraising galas. Previous to launching B. Rich Media, Bonnie held a leadership role in the Office of Marketing at University of Maryland University College (UMUC). As UMUC’s director of video services, she managed the studio, produced TV ads, and developed an online video strategy featuring student, faculty, and corporate partner stories. Her work has won a number of awards.

Film(s):
Life Is Rich

Craig Schattner

Craig Schattner is a documentary filmmaker based in Manhattan. His 6-part original series – Dated – was featured in the Washington Post and later became the first creative documentary project licensed by the media company. His short films have won awards and appeared in film festivals around the country.

Film(s):
Life Is Rich

Inna Koppel

Inna Koppel is the owner of Woodmere Fitness Club in Woodmere NY, the first Starting Strength Gym on Long Island.
Inna holds a degree in social work, a knowledge base she continually calls on in a multi-generational  training milieu in which grandmothers train alongside daughters and granddaughters. Her primary area of expertise is in coaching women, ranging from teens to late-life, and including perinatal training, with a special interest in the frail elderly.  Inna helped to implement- in collaboration with neuroscientists- the first controlled trial of strength training in the dementia population.

Film(s):
Life Is Rich

Aviva Kempner

Award-winning filmmaker Aviva Kempner has been making independent films since 1979.

A child of Holocaust survivor Helen Ciesla and Harold Kempner, a US Army officer, Kempner was born in Berlin, Germany after World War II. Her family history inspired her to produce her first documentary, Partisans of Vilna (1986), focusing on a gripping story of Jewish resistance to the Nazis. Kempner went on to write, direct and produce more films about under-known Jewish heroes. Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009) is an exploration of television pioneer Gertrude Berg, who received the first Best Actress Emmy in history and paved the way for women in media and entertainment. The Peabody award-winning The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (2000) brings to light the life and career of the first Jewish baseball star in the Major Leagues. Facing anti-Semitism in the ’30s and ’40s, Greenberg welcomed Jackie Robinson in his debut in 1947.

Film(s):
Moe Berg: All Star Espionage?

Henry Thomas

Henry W. (Hank) Thomas is the author of “Walter Johnson: Baseball’s Big Train,” winner of the Casey Award for best baseball book of 1995 as well as the SABR Research Award. The subject of his biography, Walter Johnson, is also Thomas’s grandfather. Among his many other baseball credits are the audio edition of Lawrence Ritter’s classic oral history of the early years of the game, “The Glory of Their Times,” which he co-produced and edited. A charter member of the Washington Baseball Historical Society, Thomas has authored numerous articles on baseball history and appears on a number of the MLB channel’s “Prime Nine” episodes. He has served as a consultant on several full-length documentaries, including the PBS series “Baseball” by Ken Burns and Aviva Kempner’s award-winning “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.”

Film(s):
Moe Berg: All Star Espionage?

Richard Willing

Richard Willing is a former journalist and national intelligence officer who works on the headquarters team of a joint CIA, FBI, NSA and Department of Defense component. He covered forensic genetics for USA TODAY, and the White House, the Supreme Court and the NHL for The Detroit News. The first Gulf War and the Irish “Troubles,”and the Smithsonian Human Skull Archive, were among his  beats. His work has been published by the New York Times, Washington Post Style section, the NAACP Current and the Weekly Standard, and broadcast by CBC-Radio Canada, BBC-Belfast, and C-SPAN. Willing is co-author of “G-Men and Journalists,” the Freedom Forum, (2009), and author of “Whose News? CIA and the American Press, 1942-1975,” Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, (2015). He has taught non-fiction writing at the University of Michigan, the Urban Health Media Project, and College Summit’s high school prep program. Willing has written extensively and lectured on legal and cultural aspects of the Lincoln assassination. He is a lifelong baseball fan.

Film(s):
Moe Berg: All Star Espionage?

Ran Tal

Ran Tal is an independent director. His films present a view of Israeli reality through a social and historical perspective. His films won many awards in Israel and abroad.  Among Ran’s most prominent films are “The museum” (2017).

“The Garden of Eden” (2012) the film won Jerusalem Film Festival and the Israeli Forum of Creators.  “Children of the Sun”(2007). The film won Jerusalem Film Festival. The Israeli Forum of Creators and the Israeli Academy of Film. “Skin Deep”(1996). “67 Ben Tsvi Road”(1998). “My Dream House”(2005), “Gitay in search of the Carmel”(2009).

Tal Is the Editor of “TAKRIV” a journal of documentary cinema. He teach cinema at Tel Aviv University and Sapir College.

Film(s):
Museum

LeeAnn Dance

LeeAnn Dance is an award winning television producer and groundbreaking investigative reporter who began her career more than 25 years ago. She has worked as a freelancer in East Africa and as a producer with CNN’s investigative and documentary unit. She now has her own boutique production company based outside of Washington, D.C.

Film(s):
My Dear Children

Cliff Hackel

Cliff Hackel has won awards in all three roles and has more than 25 years of documentary experience. Hackel has led international teams, been both an innovator and mentor, and performed nearly every job in television production at the highest professional level. He has edited five shows that were winners of the National News and Documentary Emmy awards. In 2007, as a producer/director/editor, he was awarded a George Foster Peabody award and an Alfred I. DuPont award for CNN’s “God’s Warriors,” hosted by Christiane Amanpour. His shows have appeared on CNN, PBS, ABC, CBS, National Geographic Television and Discovery Channel.

Film(s):
My Dear Children

Fernanda Faya

Fernanda Faya was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She graduated from Faculdade Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP) with a degree in Film Studies and a concentration in cinematography, in 2008. She works as independent filmmaker since 2009. ONE FOR THE ROAD, her first film is a personal reflection on the migration experience as well as affective visual letter. The film had its premiere at DOC NYC, screened at Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Festival Internacional de Documentales de Buenos Aires, and it’s still running festivals around the world. Faya is currently attending the Integrated Media Arts Graduate Program at Hunter College, NY, where she explores issues of identity, memory, and family through personal documentaries. GRAN CIRCO is her first feature documentary, a 10 year old project that reflects those issues as she embarks on a journey through her circus family’s history

Film(s):
One for the Road

Julie Cohen

Julie Cohen has directed eight documentaries on various topics, including African opera singers (Ndiphilela Ukucula: I Live to Sing, New York Emmy winner, 2014), a legendary fish store (The Sturgeon Queens, 2015 Berlin International Film Festival), and a quadriplegic soldier (American Veteran, 2017). She was a producer at NBC News and creator of Court TV’s Supreme Court Watch. She holds a master’s degree from Yale Law School.

Film(s):
RBG

Sophie Sartain

Sophie Sartain’s past positions include executive director of editorial services for MGM Home Entertainment and managing editor of Sony Online Entertainment, where she oversaw a staff of 17 writers, editors and researchers. In 2004, she co-created and co-executive produced the VH1 two-hour special, Fortune Files. As a freelance writer, her clients have included 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, New Line Home Entertainment and ABC Radio Networks. Sartain has collaborated with Roberta Grossman on several film and media projects, including The Rich in America: 150 Years of Town & Country Magazine (A&E) and 500 Nations CD-Rom (Microsoft). She began her career in journalism as a reporter for The Houston Post. In addition to her development work at Katahdin, she is the writer and co-producer of Blessed Is the Match: The Life of Hannah Senesh.

Film(s):
Seeing Allred

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller is a New York-based director and editor of non-fiction TV and films. He has cut shows for Discovery, OWN, A&E, Animal Planet, DIY, History, The Weather Channel & Smithsonian, including the hit shows “Released,” “Yukon Men,” “60 Days In,” and the to-be-released feature documentary, “The Money Stone.” “Standing Up” is his feature directing debut.

Film(s):
Standing Up

Nejemye Tenenbaum

Nejemye Tenenbaum was born in Mexico City in 1967. In 1991, he graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and immediately was hired as a cameraman in Israel’s Channel One. After his stay in Israel he shot more than thirty testimonies for Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Foundation and later formed his company, Documentalia Films, where he has directed and/or shot more than a hundred documentaries. Amongst them is the permanent exhibition at the Holocaust Museum in Mexico City, “Rabin, a Chant for Peace”, “In Abraham’s Footsteps”, The Secret Sabbat, “Infected Mushroom Mexican Tour”, and “The Virgin Mysteries” for Discovery Channel. In the narrative world, Nejemye wrote and directed the short film, “Absent Encounter”, shown in numerous international festivals. In 2016 he directed the avant-garde short film “Waltz of Sand” and in 2017 culminated his documentary feature “The Third Place”. Currently, Nejemye is post producing his documentary short film “One Word: Occupation” and is preparing two narrative features.

Film(s):
Third Place