• SPEAKERS & FILMMAKERS • 2008 •
FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ is President of Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 1936 and Secretary-Treasurer of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council. Francisco has traveled frequently to Oaxaca in the last several years and has connections with members of the Oaxaca teachers' union.
ROGELIO MARTINEZ is Migrant Counselor at Pajaro Middle School and a Site Representative and member of PVFT 1936. Rogelio has closely followed Mexican politics and the events in Oaxaca City for many years. He recently returned from Mexico City and will speak about current events there.
DAVID WINTERS is a professional musician, officer in the American Federation of Musicians, Local 153, and long-time coordinator of the Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival. He has performed at Reel Work events since its inception.
ALMUDENA CARRACEDO trained in film production in Madrid and Paris and worked as a television director in Spain. She came to the U.S. as an international scholar to work on her doctoral dissertation on U.S./Mexico border documentaries at UCLA Film School. Her documentary on Tijuana as a border town Welcome, A Docu-Journey of Impressions received the Sterling Award for Best Short Documentary at Silverdocs Documentary Festival and screened in numerous national and international festivals. Five years in the making, Made in L.A. is her first feature documentary. Almudena is a recent fellow of NALIP's Latino Producers Academy.
ROBERT BAHAR is Director and Co-Founder of Doculink, a grassroots organization for documentary filmmakers, and sits on the Board of Directors of the International Documentary Association. He has produced and directed award-winning PBS documentary and independent films. He is co-producer of Made in L.A. He produced and directed the award-winning documentary Laid to Waste, which aired on Philadelphia PBS stations, and has line-produced and associate-produced several independent films including ITVS' Diary of a City Priest, which premiered at Sundance and Pittsburgh, which premiered at Tribeca. He holds an M.F.A. from The Peter Stark Program at the USC School of Cinema-Television.
TOM HOPKINS was a co-founder of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance and currently serves as its President. The VWA, founded in 1999, is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect, preserve and restore the wilderness qualities and biodiversity of the public lands within California's northern Santa Lucia Mountains and Big Sur coast. Tom was the leader of the VWA's successful Willow Creek Restoration Project in which sixty volunteers backpacked over 10,000 pounds of trash and abandoned mining equipment from the Silver Peak Wilderness Area that had been left by squatters and illegal mining operations. The Willow Creek Project is the subject of Ed Schehl's moving documentary Return to Wilderness. Among other current projects, Tom is leading the cleanup and restoration of harvested marijuana grow sites on the public lands of the Ventana backcountry.
ALAN SNITOW & DEBORAH KAUFMAN produce and direct films on contemporary social issues. Their work includes Blacks and Jews (1997) and Secrets of Silicon Valley (2001) which have been widely screened and broadcast in the US and Europe. Thirst is their third film.
PENNY LITTLE started her career in entertainment as a performance artist and has taught songwriting, filmmaking, and multi-media. Her documentation of the environmental disaster at Ground Zero resulted in her film, 911 Dust & Deceit. She currently is Coordinating Director of People to People TV-a grassroots media alliance.
DANIEL "NANE" ALEJÁNDREZ spent his childhood following the crops with his family; "home" was a tent in a labor camp. The senseless violence he experienced as a draftee in Vietnam led him to dedicate himself to peace. His story of personal transformation, from heroin-addicted gang banger to social activist and youth advocate, is closely tied to that of Barrios Unidos, which he co-founded. Nane has met regularly with officials from Venezuelan, who have aided his organization.
BRADLEY STUART is a contributor to Indymedia and graduate student at UC Santa Cruz. For the past five years he has been documenting efforts to raise awareness of local and global movements that resist institutionalized forms of violence. Bradley's role as a documentarian goes beyond being an "embedded reporter." Rather, he is an open and active participant in the anti-corporate globalization movement. Bradley's photos appear on Santa Cruz Indymedia and his personal website: BradleyStuart.net.
CLAIRE ELIZABETH HARBAGE is a graduate student at UCSC enrolled in the Social Documentation Graduate Program. Her film, Together We're Stronger, will premiere at Reel Work.
ELISSA MOON is a graduate student at UCSC enrolled in the Social Documentation Graduate Program. Bad About Being Korean is her first film to screen at Reel Work.
LAURA FISHMAN is a Community Studies major at UCSC. She chose to make the film, The Writers Guild of America Strike, because she wanted to give the working class a voice in their ongoing struggles for better working conditions and fair wages. While she was living in Burbank during the Fall of 2007, the WGA strike particularly sparked her interest when she saw firsthand how masses of people coming together can influence giant corporations. Laura wants to continue making films that inspire social change and give voice to the people that have a story to be told.
NEIDI DOMINGUEZ is an undergraduate student and a Community Studies major with an emphasis on immigration. She came to UCSC in ’05 and will be graduating this year in June ’08. She is the subject of the film Overcoming Adversity which will premiere at Reel Work.
PEDRO JOEL ESPINOSA, an undergraduate majoring in Community Studies, facilitated the making of an “observational documentary” entitled SIN Verguenza (Without Shame).
JIM BROWN, a three-time Emmy Award winning producer/director, is responsible for some of the most popular and critically acclaimed programs on American music in the last three decades. Pete Seeger: Power of Song is his fourth documentary feature film. His previous features are The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time!, Musical Passage and, most recently, Isn't This a Time!
AILEEN VANCE is a member of American Federation of Musicians, Local 1000, and the Peoples Music Network. Once a full-time touring singer/songwriter, in recent years she has tried to practice the advice of Pete Seeger, who said, "Think globally. Sing locally!" In addition to performing, Aileen is now a full-time parent, a music teacher and a community chorus conductor. She especially enjoys her work with the Santa Cruz Peace Chorale, leading them in song on street corners and in concert halls, writing new songs and encouraging people to sing out for peace and justice wherever and whenever they can.
STEPHEN ZUNES is a professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco and chair of the board of academic advisors for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict. He is a former choral conductor and a member of AFT local 4269.
MARIA TEREZINHA VAZ came to the United States from Brazil in 1996. She has a degree in Business Administration and taught high school science in São Paulo. Maria studied photography at Cabrillo College and was deeply influenced by Ansel Adams. In her award winning documentary A Convenient Truth and photography exhibit, she shares her visions of the model "green" community of Curitiba, Brazil. Her photographic work may be viewed on her website at mariavazphoto.com.
GIOVANNI VAZ DEL BELLO moved to the United States in 1998 from Brazil. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Film and Digital Media. Giovanni works as a director, editor, videographer and actor of plays and cinema. His award winning films including A Convenient Truth have shown in the Worldfest Film Festival in Houston, Pacific Rim and Santa Cruz Film Festivals, Henry Cowell's 50th Anniversary Event, Cinemar, and the Monterey Film Commission with actors such as Tony Curtis, Betty White and Ken Howard. He served as Board Director of Cinemar and currently works at the Digital Media Factory in Santa Cruz.
PETER WEISS, PHD, is an atmospheric chemistry consultant and scholar in the department of environmental toxicology at UC Santa Cruz. He previously taught and held a post-doc position at University of Washington. Dr. Weiss researches the atmospheric distribution of mercury and its effects on ecosystems, air quality, ozone, carbon monoxide, particulates, greenhouse gases, and climate. As a musician, Peter writes environmental songs that inspire change. He currently performs environmental music at Santa Cruz schools with a band called Peter Weiss and the Earth Rangers. His publications and CDs are listed at www.peterweissmusic.com.
RAY NEWKIRK is co-founder and President of Pacific Biofuel, Inc. Ray is a licensed California building contractor and owner of Building Alternatives. His focus for many years has been on "green" building, encompassing everything from passive solar building design and construction to alternative building materials, from straw bale to bamboo. His extensive research into new alternatives that are healthier for humans and our environment led to his discovery of other problems associated with petroleum products, namely air pollution and associated health risks to humans through burning fossil fuels. His studies and field applications of many renewable energies have helped drive the honest progression of sustainable building and energy production toward mainstream acceptance. Ray's commitment to the health of humanity and our planet has guided his vision to serve as a conduit between investors, producers, distributors and end users of biofuels by founding Pacific Biofuel, Inc. Ray was an advisory member of the Santa Cruz Planning Department's Green Building Working Group, responsible for revising and improving current building codes, while leading with an eye toward a more livable future. He has appeared in numerous radio, television and live events, such as the UC Santa Cruz Earth Summit and Asilomar Conference, educating and promoting the use of biodiesel. View his company's website at www.pacfuel.com.
CATALINA SIRI is a preschool teacher whose main interest is nutrition. Her project, Sprouting focuses on sustaining the environment and embracing a diverse, low-income & bilingual society. Juveniles may fulfill court mandated community service, while developing marketable skills in a green job market. Classes include solar installation, holistic cooking and organic gardening.
DAVID BLUME, Director of the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, has been in the forefront of the alcohol fuel movement since the 1970s when he taught workshops to over 7500 people in fuel production. He is the writer and host of the 10 part PBS series Alcohol As Fuel, author of the new book Alcohol Can Be a Gas, the first comprehensive manual on farm scale fuel production and use. He consults internationally on community scale ethanol production and has appeared 1000 times in radio, television and print media. View his website at www.permaculture.com.
ANN HERSHEY began her documentary film career with the award winning, Never Give Up - Imogen Cunningham about the legendary San Francisco photographer. She produced two other award-winning documentaries, The Awakening of Nancy Kaye, and Positive Women in addition to her recent Tillie Olsen: A Heart In Action. Hershey created the video department of the Shanti Project, a San Francisco AIDS agency, producing 40 training videos and Public Service Announcements over a period of five years. She has also created numerous documentaries for non-profit groups and organizations, maintaining a steady output of professional films and videos through the years.
CHARLIE KING is a musical storyteller and political satirist. His repertoire covers a century and a half and four continents. He sings and writes passionately about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. www.charlieking.org
RICK BURKHARDT and ANDY GRICEVICH of The Prince Myshkins have teamed up since 1995 to sing and play, respectively, accordion and guitar. Humorous political satire is the forte of these proud members of AFM Local 1000, the North American Traveling Musicians' Union. www.princemyshkins.com
LOIS JENSON was the inspiration for North Country. As one of the first women to work in the iron mines of Minnesota, Jenson endured sexual harassment since she was hired in March, 1975. Feeling that there were no options, she chose to fight back battling against the people and the system that threatened her (including women), and won. Jenson's legal battle began Oct. 5, 1984, when she filed charges of sexual harassment with the Minnesota Human Rights Department and ended December 28, 1998. Fourteen years, seven depositions, three trials, and an appeal later on the eve of going back to court, a settlement was reached on December 28, 1998, while preparing for the fourth and final trial. Though there had never been a class action for sexual harassment, Lois felt that it was time, that the ground work had been laid by those who came before her, and that this time she had written proof and witnesses to back her up, as well as support of two female co-workers and many male coworkers. "I would take it up again, as standing up for your rights and the rights of others is the right thing to do." Changes were made as a result of the long, twisted legal journey that allowed women to stand together as a class to fight sexual harassment. As knowledge of the case grew, many companies put sexual harassment policies and training in to place in order to avoid the liability and embarrassment, as well as to protect their employees before Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines was successful. Following the success of the case, companies made sure that they had sexual harassment policies in place with training for all employees and would take Federal rules and sexual harassment more seriously.