Charles Hobson is founder and artistic head of Vanguard Documentaries, whose distinguished career spans four decades and who has worked extensively with PBS and the BBC. Charles is winner of an Emmy Award, the Japan Prize 'Special Citation,' and the CINE Golden Eagle Award; has been ranked one of the fifty top producers in the film and television industry by Millimetermagazine; and was a Fulbright Scholar (Germany) in 1996. Among his many credits are From Jumpstreet: A Story of Black Music (a 13-part PBS series), The Africans (a 9-part series co-produced with the BBC), the Emmy Award-winning television series Like It Is (WABC-TV), Global Links (a 6-part series on international development, co-produced with the World Bank for PBS), and Spaces (a 6-part science series, funded by the Department of Education). Work | vanguarddocumentaries.com
Andy Abrahams Wilson
Director and Principal Cinematographer Andy Abrahams Wilson, CEO of Open Eye Pictures, heads the camera crew in our principal filming location. A multi-award winning, Emmy-nominated producer and director of creative non-fiction films, Andy received a BA in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University, and an MA in visual anthropology from USC, where he also studied at the School of Cinema. His recent production, THE GROVE, was broadcast on PBS and inspired the mobile app Tributopia, for which Andy serves as project director. His acclaimed film UNDER OUR SKIN received 7 best documentary awards at international film festivals and recognition as an Academy Award semifinalist. Work | openeyepictures.com
Consulting Producer/Director of I-Documentary
Few documentary producers have received as many honors: the 2008 National Emmy for “exceptional merit in nonfiction film making;" 2010 Motion Picture Academy “short list” for best doc shorts—one of ten Richter-related films honored by the Academy; three duPont Columbia Broadcast Journalism awards (TV’s Pulitzer Prize); the Distinguished Science Reporting Award from AAAS (American Academy for Advancement of Science); Peabody Awards; many US and international film festival awards; critical acclaim in the New York Times and other major papers. Robert Richter directs, produces, writes, Executive Produces and distributes documentaries on the human dimensions of the vital issues of our time. His documentaries have been telecast in prime time on HBO, PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, TBS, Discovery, BBC and many other major overseas television outlets. Work | richtervideos.com
Retired judge and author Lise Pearlman wrote the multiple award-winning books The Sky’s the Limit: People v. Newton, The Real Trial of the Century? and American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton that complement our documentary project, which she is also co-producing. She was an undergraduate at Yale University in its first class to include women. Most recently, she authored an award-winning biography of Newton lawyer Fay Stender (Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender.) Pearlman moved to the Bay Area in 1971 for law school at U. C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall. She has spent most of her adult life in Oakland where the 1968 murder trial of Huey Newton took place. In 1975, Pearlman clerked for California Chief Justice Donald Wright, then taught for a year at Stanford Law School before a 13-year career as a litigator. In 1989, the California Supreme Court selected Pearlman as the first Presiding Judge of its new State Bar Court. Since 1995, she has been a private arbitrator and mediator with Alternative Resolution Centers (arc4adr.com). In 1998, she chaired the Oakland Public Ethics Commission. A past President of Women Lawyers of Alameda County, Pearlman also served on the statewide Board of California Women Lawyers. Pearlman has previously served as an executive producer of two films by videographer Abby Ginzberg on pioneering minority women judges. Work | www.lisepearlman.com
Abby Ginzberg has, since 1983, produced and directed over 30 documentaries focused on character-driven stories, racial and gender discrimination and social justice issues shown in festivals and broadcast on public television nationally and internationally. A lawyer by training, Berkeley Film Foundation President Abby Ginzberg focuses mainly on trailblazing women and minority judges. Her award-winning work includes Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa; Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice and Soul of Justice: Thelton Henderson’s American Journey. She is currently completing Agents of Change about the struggle for black and ethnic studies. Work | www.AbbyGinzbergFilms.com
Eva Ilona Brzeski
Editor Eva Ilona Brzeski is the writer, director and editor of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning films This Unfamiliar Place, 24 Girls and China Diary (911) and the producer, director and editor of the underground sensation LAST SEEN, written and co-produced by Holiday Reinhom. Eva edited the documentary feature Under Our Skin as well as the TV shows The Real World, The Simple Life and many documentary and narrative films. Her latest project is Kindness—the movie. Work | www.evapix.com
Consulting Editor Lewis Erskine Emmy-award winning film editor Lewis Erskine is best known for his film editing work on Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006), Now (2002), Freedom Riders (2010); Free Angela: And All Political Prisoners (2012) and The Murder of Emmett Till (2005). He was editor of numerous episodes of Bill Moyers American Journal over a three-year period (2006-2009) and has worked with Director Bob Richter before on a Discovery Channel documentary project with Walter Cronkite.
Work | linkedin.com/lewis-erskine
Composer John Lissauer is an award-winning composer who has agreed to provide original music for our documentary. His prior work includes producing and arranging the original version of Leonard Cohen's song, "Hallelujah," featured in the hit movie,"Watchmen." In the past 25 years, Lissauer has scored more than 20 feature films, and has arranged and orchestrated even more films including Seven and That Thing You Do. His score for La Tete de Normande St. Onge won a Canadian Academy Award for "Best Original Score in a Motion Picture." John has completed scoring the Harvey Keitel film The Last Godfather as well as the Eric Roberts family drama, So This Is Christmas. He is now putting the finishing touches on the gothic thriller Dark Disciple, and beginning work on an epic space drama Resilient 3. Work | www.johnlissauer.com
Associate Producer Amy Kessler is a freelance producer and documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She recently completed two short fundraising videos for Homeboy Industries called Project Missing Ink, dedicated to helping gang members transform their lives in positive ways. Currently, Kessler is producing and directing a documentary about how a cafe near the largest army base in the U.S. transforms ex-soldiers into peace activists. In prior years, Kessler worked with Robert Richter in New York to produce, edit and distribute independent social impact documentaries on nuclear disarmament and chemical weapons, global peace activism, the IMF and World Bank policies, the infamous School of the Americas, women’s rights, children’s rights, culture and economy
Interactive Media and Brand Consultant
Interactive Media consultant Joor Baruah is an audiovisual artist and acclaimed new filmmaker interested in using his art for social change. His creative work revolves around borderland spaces and race relations. His 2016 documentaryAdi | At The Confluence, about an indigenous community in the border of India and China, was very well-received by festivals internationally and was also selected for the PBS POV Digital Lab 2016 in San Francisco. Joor recently completed his MA in Social Documentation at UC Santa Cruz which he adds to his MBA from Central University, India. In addition to his work for the film, Joor is also a partner of Stratedge consulting where he promotes social/creative projects and non-profits. All of Joor’s work is inspired by the folk songs of his mother Rose Baruah and the work of his uncle Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, a revolutionary, singer, filmmaker and peace-maker.