November 6-8, 2009 · Madison, Wisconsin
2009 Speakers A-Z
Xan Aranda is a freelance director and producer based in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to her work with Kartemquin Films, Aranda is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Short Film Brigade, a non-profit organization presenting intimate community screenings of local and international short films in the Midwest. Ms. Aranda is directing a feature documentary film titled Mormons Make Movies, as well as the first feature-length concert film for acclaimed singer-songwriter Andrew Bird. She has served on competition juries for the Chicago International Film Festival, Hugo Television Awards, and Illinois Humanities Council. Ms. Aranda is a frequently featured lecturer at both Columbia College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Programming Director, Tales from Planet Earth
Introduced Yes Men Fix the World, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 7:30 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater; Introduced The Black Stallion, Fly Away Home, and Duma
Peter Boger is earning his Ph.D. in environment and resources from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and worked as a student programming Tales from Planet Earth in 2009, 2012, and 2013. He has since been hired full-time as the programming director for Tales. He first became involved with Tales in 2007, when his student film, In a Badger State of Mind, was one of the festival trailers. This film was later featured as part of a workshop at Seattle's Hazel Wolf Film Festival in 2008 and as part of a visual studies conference co-sponsored by Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Laboratory in 2013. In addition to his work on Tales, he has served as a volunteer programmer for the Wisconsin Film Festival and guest curated for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's Rooftop Cinema Series. He also co-created the Taking Animals Apart conference for the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies in 2011 that brought together scholars and artists from five countries for an interdisciplinary discussion of animal studies. His dissertation looks at the impact of animals on film on real-world wildlife conservation -- with a focus on penguins, elephants, and wolves.
From 2001 to 2008, Marjora Carter was Executive Director of the non-profit she founded: Sustainable South Bronx - where she pioneered green-collar job training and placement systems in one of the most environmentally and economically challenged parts of the US. This MacArthur "genius" is now president of her own economic consulting firm, a co-host on Sundance Channel's The Green, and host of a new special public radio series called The Promised Land.
Ian Cheney grew up in New England and received both a bachelor's and master's degree from Yale University. After graduate school, Ian co-created and starred in the feature documentary King Corn. King Corn was released theatrically in 50 citieis and broadcast nationally on PBS. Ian also directed the short film Two Buckets, broadcast on WGBH-Boston in 2006. Currently at work on a feature documentary about light pollution and the disappearance of dark night from the earth The City Dark, Ian is also the outreach producer for Kaiulani Lee's film about pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson, A Sense of Wonder, and was a contributing cinematographer on the award-winning lyme disease documentary Under Our Skin. He founded Wicked Delicate Films with Curt Ellis in 2005.
Scott is a feature and documentary film director and producer whose award-winning films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the De Young Museum in San Francisco, and at film festivals and exhibitions nationally and internationally. His documentary Boneshop of the Heart on outsider artists from the South received honors from both the American Anthropological Association and the American Folklore Society.
Beadie Finzi has worked in documentaries since 1994. Credits as a director include a three-part documentary series Gifted, on child prodigy Julian Bliss, plus the dance series The Rough Guide To Choreography for Channel 4 Television. In 2002, Beadie joined forces with fellow film maker Rupert Murray to co-direct the curious Outsiders documentary on a cult lo-fi music scene in the US, followed by the drama/performance hybrid This Was My War, based on the build up to the last Iraq War. In 2005, Beadie and Rupert made their first feature length documentary, Unknown White Male, about a young amnesiac rediscovering his life. It was selected for Sundance and made the Oscars Shortlist in 2006. Finzi is also one of the founding directors of The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, dedicated to reinventing funding and distribution models for British documentary filmmakers.
Jen Gilomen is a San-Francisco based filmmaker and cinematographer. Her 2005 documentary In My Shoes: Stories of Youth with LGBT Parents won the Audience Award for Best Short at the Frameline Film Festival and is now distributed to classrooms and communities nationwide. In 2007, she was the Director of Photography for Delta Rising, a feature length documentary about the blues starring Morgan Freeman and several well-known blues musicians. Her films have screened in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, France, England, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Spain, and Italy.
Catherine Gund, founder of Aubin Pictures, is an Emmy Award-nominated producer, director, writer and organizer. Her media work — which focuses on arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, and other social justice issues — has screened around the world in festivals and theaters, on PBS and the Sundance Channel, at community-based organizations, universities, and museums. Gund's productions include Motherland Afghanistan (AFI Fest Official Selection; PBS broadcast); A Touch of Greatness (Best Documentary Award, Hamptons Film Festival, Ohio Film Festival, and Denver International Film Festival; PBS broadcast; Emmy nomination); Making Grace (theatrical release); On Hostile Ground (Sundance Channel broadcast); Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance (Best Documentary Award, Chicago Underground Film Festival); When Democracy Works; Positive: Life with HIV; and Keep Your Laws Off My Body.
Director, Cooked and Everything's Cool
Discussed Cooked, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 5:30 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; Animating Science Panel, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 2 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Award-winning filmmaker, educator, field-explorer and social entrepreneur, Judith Helfand is dedicated to building the field of social justice through film. She co-founded -- co-designed, branded and helped launch -- Working Films, a national leader in linking non-fiction filmmaking to cutting edge activism and Chicken & Egg Pictures, a hybrid foundation/production entity that takes risks with the women filmmakers it supports through strategically timed grants matched by "hands-with" mentorship. She has taught documentary filmmaking at NYU, New School University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her films include the ITVS supported Uprising of '34, which she co-directed with George Stoney and was broadcast on POV in 1995 and the crowd-pleasers A Healthy Baby Girl, funded by ITVS and broadcast on POV in 1997, and its Sundance award-winning sequel and "toxic comedy" Blue Vinyl. Recipient of a 2007 United States Artists fellowship, Helfand is currently in production on Cooked, a feature documentary exploring extreme heat, poverty and the politics of disaster. She has participated in and helped to co-create the previous two editions of Tales from Planet Earth.
Discussed Lighting the Seventh Fire and Native Peoples Resource Issues Panel, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 2 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater
Nick Hockings is a Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe elder leader of the pro-treaty group, Waswagoning. In his efforts to extend education and advocacy about historical treaty rights, he recreated an 18th century traditional Ojibwe village, where teachers can learn how to teach about Ojibwe history, culture, and sovereignty in accordance with Wisconsin State Statute 31, which mandates teaching Wisconsin Indian history, treaty rights and sovereignty as part of K-12 education.
Sadie Rain Hope-Gund loves to read, travel and eat ice cream. She is in the 7th grade at a New York City public school and lives in Soho with her three little brothers, Kofi, Rio and Tenzin. She is a vegetarian and has genetically-linked high cholesterol which she controls through diet. Her favorite sports are fencing and figure skating.
Animating Science Panel and Retrospective of John and Faith Hubley Animation, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 2 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Emily Hubley makes short animated films and creates sequences for television and film. She provided animation for John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch and, with Jeremiah Dickey, inserts for various documentaries including Blue Vinyl (2002) by Judith Helfand and Dan Gold and What's On Your Plate? (2009) by Catherine Gund (the latter of which is playing at Tales from Planet Earth). Hubley's first feature film The Toe Tactic (2008) is released on DVD by Kino International and is airing on Sundance Channel.
Chair, GLIFWC Voigt Intertribal Task Force
Discussed Lighting the Seventh Fire and Native Peoples Resource Issues Panel, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 2 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater
Mic Isham is a dynamic, passionate speaker, who experienced the boatlanding violence depicted in Lighting the Seventh Fire first hand. In his role as Chair of the Voigt Intertribal Task Force, he works on environmental initiatives of importance to the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC): Wild Rice re-seeding, fish stocking, wildlife ecology, and remediation efforts in 11 Ojibwe communities in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. He is also a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Council.
Program Director, Honor the Earth
Keynote Speaker: The Economy for the Next Seven Generations, Preceding Lighting the Seventh Fire and Native Peoples Resource Issues Panel, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 1 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater
Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is an internationally renowned activist working on issues of sustainable development, renewable energy and food systems. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and is a two time vice presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party. As Program Director of the Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on issues of climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice with Indigenous communities. In her own community, she is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, one of the largest reservation based non-profit organizations in the country, and a leader in the issues of culturally based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy and food systems. In this work, she also continues national and international work to protect Indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.
Professor, Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Introduced Lighting the Seventh Fire and Winona LaDuke; Native Peoples Resource Issues Panel, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 1 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater
Patty Loew is a Professor in the Department of Life Science Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also works as a producer for WHA-TV (PBS) and as co-host of In Wisconsin, a weekly news and public affairs program that airs statewide on Wisconsin Public Television. Her interests lie in television documentary production and Native American media, particularly how indigenous people use the media to form identity, reconstruct the past, and assert their sovereignty and treaty rights. She has authored two books -- Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal and Native People of Wisconsin, a social studies text for elementary school children. She has produced a the PBS documentary, Way of the Warrior, which examines the role and cultural meaning of Native American military service in the 20th Century. She is an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe.
Professor, Departments of History of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Opening Remarks, Festival Kickoff, Friday, November 6, 2009, 7 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater; Discussed In the Footsteps of Elephants as part of Climate Change Refugee Panel, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 4 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Gregg Mitman is William Coleman Professor of History of Science and Professor of Medical History and Science & Technology Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. His research and teaching interests span the history of ecology, nature, and health in twentieth-century America across scientific and popular culture. He is the author of The State of Nature: Ecology and American Social Thought, 1900-1950 (1992), Reel Nature: America's Romance with Wildlife on Film (1999), and Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes (2007). He has written extensively on nature and film, and served as the interim director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies from 2008 to 2012.
Professor, Departments of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Discussed Milking the Rhino, Saturday, November 7, 2009, 10 a.m., UW Cinematheque
Lisa Naughton is a Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also serves as the director of UW-Madison's Land Tenure Center. Her research interests center on biodiversity conservation in developing countries, social conflict and land use around protected areas, wildlife ecology in human-dominated landscapes, and property rights to wildlife.
Geralyn Pezanoski, Co-Founder of Smush Media, has 12 years of experience in film and video production and makes her feature directorial debut with MINE. Film producing credits include the narrative short On A Tuesday (Santa Barbara & LAIFF) and Motherland (SXSW), and directing credits include the doc series Firehouse (Sony Pictures Entertainment). She lives in San Francisco with her husband Peter and their dog Nola.
Jennifer Redfearn is a New York-based director, producer, and writer. She has worked on programming for WGBH, WNET, the Discovery Channel, TLC, and independent productions. Most recently, Jennifer co-produced a two hour special for WGBH/NOVA, and she produced a medical series for Discovery. Previous work includes interviewing Islamic leaders and scholars in Jordan during a conference called "Love in the Quran" and embedding with a children's circus in Kabul, Afghanistan. Jennifer comes to documentary filmmaking with a background in environmental and research science. She has conducted research at the world's premiere tropical research station in Costa Rica and the world's second largest coral reef in Belize. She holds a Bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Wellesley College and a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.
Director, Sleep Dealer, The Sixth Section
Discussed The Sixth Section and Papapapá, Saturday, November 7, 2009, 1 p.m., Memorial Union Lounge; Discussed Sleep Dealer, Saturday, November 7, 2009, 9 p.m., Wisconsin Union Theater; Animating Science Panel, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 2 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Alex Rivera is a New York based digital media artist and filmmaker. His first feature film, Sleep Dealer, premiered at Sundance 2008, and won two awards, including the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Rivera is a Sundance Fellow and a Rockefeller Fellow. His work, which addresses concerns of the Latino community through a language of humor, satire, and metaphor, has also been screened at The Berlin International Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, The Guggenheim Museum, PBS, Telluride, and other international venues. He visited Madison for a week in November 2009 as a guest artist of the university.
Shawn Rosenheim teaches film and literature at Williams College. His writing about film includes work for the New York Times, Film Quarterly, The Persistence of History, and Gothic, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Near Oracle is the first film he has directed. With Errol Morris, he has also written an unproduced screenplay, The Trial of King Boots.
Sally Rubin is a documentary filmmaker and editor based in Los Angeles. Her career has included films for PBS's Frontline, POV, Independent Lens, and American Experience series, as well as several other Sundance and Slamdance favorites, such as WGBH's Africans in America (1996), and David Sutherland's award-winning The Farmer's Wife (1998). In addition, Rubin was the Associate Producer of Sutherland's recent smash-hit, the 6-hour Frontline special Country Boys (2006). Her film The Last Mountain (2004) has aired on regional PBS stations, and Cut (2003) is used in universities across the country. She co-edited the fall 2006 release Iraq for Sale (2006), directed by Robert Greenwald, and three episodes of the ACLU's Freedom Files, Executive Produced by Greenwald.
Stephen Sapienza is an award-winning news and documentary producer who has covered a wide range of global issues, including the HIV crisis in Haiti, sex workers in the Dominican Republic, child soldiers in Sierra Leone, the Cuban military, and landmine survivors in Cambodia. He was co-producer for LiveHopeLove.com, a ground-breaking web project about HIV in Jamaica that won a News + Documentary Emmy in 2009. In 2008, he received the Ruth Adams Award for reporting on dwindling water supplies in Asia. In 2002, he produced Deadlock: Russia's Forgotten War for CNN Presents, winner of a CINE Golden Eagle. He is currently working on the work-in-progress Easy Like Water about the impact of climate change on Bangladesh. More info at EasyLikeWater.com.
Director, How the Myth Was Made and Planning for Floods
Discussed Planning for Floods, Saturday, November 7, 2009, 1 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Discussed How the Myth Was Made, Saturday, November 7, 2009, 3:30 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
George C. Stoney was a professor of film and cinema studies at New York University and a pioneer in the field of documentary film. He directed several influential documentary films, especially in the 1970s, including All My Babies and How the Myth Was Made. He was also considered to be the father of public access television. In 1946, he joined the Southern Educational Film Service as writer and director. He started his own production company in 1950, and has made over 40 documentary films on wide ranging subjects. All My Babies, one of his first films, received numerous awards and was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2002.
Adam Welz has been fascinated by nature in general and birds in particular for as long as he can remember. Born and raised in the rather boring administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria, much of his youth was spent chasing snakes and birds in abandoned urban lots and small, un-famous nature reserves in and around the city. He's enjoyed a variegated career in still photography, ornithology, writing and various other things, and has spent a couple too many years at university in between. His main thing is the interface between so-called 'humanity' and so-called 'nature.' When a very nice Cape Town production company accepted his pitch to make a small movie about the urban hawks of New York and the people that watch them, he was pretty stoked. The result is his first film, Wild New York, which made its U.S. debut at Tales From Planet Earth.
Case Manager/New Programs Developer, Growing Home, Inc.
Discussed Cooked, Sunday, November 8, 2009, 5:30 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Orrin Williams is the Case Manager for Growing Home, Inc. In this position he overseas all aspects of Growing Home's job-readiness program for hard-to-employ women and men, most of whom have been homeless and have been incarcerated. This diverse program includes hands-on learning about urban agriculture, classroom learning about horticulture and nutrition, as well as soft skills learning, including art therapy, conflict resolution, teamwork and communication skills training. Orrin has been instrumental in working with the Englewood community on Chicago's south side in order to promote Growing Home's new Wood St. urban farm. This is Chicago's first permanent year-round farm. He is also the Executive Director of the Center for Urban Transformation (CUT) in Chicago, Illinois. CUT is focused on providing leadership for the creation of sustainable business opportunities in Englewood, in partnership with Teamwork Englewood. Particular interest is given to those enterprises related to urban agriculture, landscape and food processing. He is the author of "Food and Justice: The Critical Link to Healthy Communities" appearing in Power, Justice and the Environment: A Critical Appraisal of the Environmental Justice Movement, MIT Press (2005), as well as numerous additional articles and position papers.