Alex Sichel (Writer, Director) directed the feature All Over Me, released by New Line, which UCLA’s Journal of Cinema and Media Studies named one of the top films by women directors. All Over Me won the Teddy Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival and was nominated for many other awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Open Palm Award. Alex’s short film, Amnesia, was distributed worldwide, won top honors at numerous festivals, and was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award, the New Line Cinema Award and a Cine Golden Eagle. Alex created a segment of the three-part If These Walls Could Talk 2 for HBO, starring Michelle Williams and Chloe Sevigny. If These Walls Could Talk 2 won the Glaad Media Award for Outstanding Television Movie and was nominated for four Emmies.
Alex worked in documentary, experimental films and videos, shorts, features and television as a writer, director, producer and editor. She taught directing for many years, as part of the full-time faculty at NYU’s Undergraduate Film and Television Department, at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Division, and at NYU’s Tisch Graduate Film Program. Alex was been a recipient of Macdowell and Yaddo Fellowships, and was a proud member of the Directors Guild of America.
She received an MFA in Directing from Columbia University’s Graduate Film Division and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University. Alex passed away in June, 2014.
Elizabeth Giamatti (Producer, Co-Director) is a partner at Touchy Feely Films, where she produced three independent features. Both Pretty Bird (written and directed by Paul Schneider and released by Paramount) and Cold Souls (written and directed by Sophie Barthes and released by Samuel Goldwyn) were entries in the Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition. All Is Bright (directed by Phil Morrison and written by Melissa James Gibson) premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013 and was released by Anchor Bay in October, 2013. Prior to founding Touchy Feely with her partners, Dan Carey and Paul Giamatti, Elizabeth Giamatti’s professional affiliations included Yale Repertory Theater, The Public Theater/NYSF, The Williamstown Theater Festival, and The Center Theater Group in Los Angeles. She holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from The Yale School of Drama, an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU, and a B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University.
Lili Taylor (Anna) is currently starring in American Crime on ABC. Recent credits include The Conjuring, Blood Ties, The Courier and J.J. Abram’s Almost Human on Fox. Her many other features include Paul Weitz’s Being Flynn (opposite Robert Deniro), Stephen Elliott’s About Cherry with James Franco, Andrew Wagner’s Starting Out in the Evening opposite Frank Langella, and Michael Mann’s Public Enemies. She has been in two Robert Altman films, Prêt-à-Porter (Ready to Wear) and Short Cuts, sharing a Golden Globe Award as well as a Venice International Film Festival honor with the ensemble cast of the latter, John Sayles’ Casa de los Babys, Emir Kusturica’s Arizona Dream(opposite Johnny Depp), and Stephen Frears’ High Fidelity. She has worked with John Waters, Oliver Stone, Cameron Crowe, Abel Ferrara, Jan de Bont, Ron Howard, David Anspaugh, Alan Rudolph, Mary Harron (in The Notorious Bettie Page and I Shot Andy Warhol, for which she was accorded a Special Recognition prize at theSundance Film Festival), Stanley Tucci, Toni Kalem, Bent Hamer, and Donald Petrie, who directed her in her indelible debut, Mystic Pizza. Ms. Taylor received an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in Nancy Savoca’s Household Saints, and also starred in Savocca's Dogfight.
Pola Rapaport (Editor) is a writer, director, and editor of many award winning films. Her work has been shown at Sundance, IDFA, Toronto and around the world, and includes Subway: The Musical (work-in-progress); Hair: Let the Sun Shine In, about the phenomenal 45-year-old musical; Writer of O, portrait of the elusive author of the erotic novel, Story of O; Family Secret, the story of the discovery of her secret Romanian brother; Blind Light, a documentary/drama of a photographer’s peak experience in an Italian villa, starring Edie Falco; and Broken Meat, portrait of the mad poet Alan Granville. She is the editor of several feature documentaries, including Kathy Leichter’s Here One Day, and the multi-award-winning Grace Paley: Collected Shorts. She is a recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, an Emmy nominee for sound editing, and winner of numerous grants and awards. A graduate of NYU Film School, she is married to DP Wolfgang Held, with whom she has often collaborated.
Ramsey Fendall (Editor) is a cinematographer, editor and co-founder of Room 5 Films, a New York City based production company. As director of photography, Ramsey has worked on numerous short and feature length films, as well as a variety of commercial projects. His camera credits include Death of a Pop Star (Glasgow, 2011), Works of Art (San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, 2010), A Peace of Autumn (Cannes, 2014) and the feature length films Con Artist (Tribeca, 2009), Kisses, Chloe (Hamptons International Film Festival, 2009), BAM150 (Tribeca, 2012), and most recently, Seymour: An Introduction, directed by Ethan Hawke (Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festival, 2014). While not behind the camera, Ramsey also works as an editor on documentary and narrative fiction films, including Moving Midway (New Directors/New Films 2008) and Skatopia: 88 Acres of Anarchy (Amsterdam, 2009).
Kirsten Johnson (Director of Photography) works as a cinematographer and a director. She is currently at work on A Blind Eye, a Sundance Documentary Fund supported film that she shot and directed in Afghanistan. Her shooting appears in the 2013 Academy Award nominated, Sundance 2012 Audience Award winner, The Invisible War. As the supervising DP on Abby Disney and Gini Reticker’s 2011 series, Women, War and Peace, she traveled to Colombia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. She shared the 2010 Sundance Documentary Competition Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for The Oath. She shot the Tribeca Film Festival 2008 Documentary winner, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Her cinematography is featured in Farenheit 9/11, Academy Award nominated Asylum, Emmy-winning Ladies First, and Sundance premiere documentaries, A Place at the Table, This Film is Not Yet Rated, American Standoff, and Derrida. A chapter on her work as a cinematographer is featured in the book, The Art of the Documentary. Her previous documentary as a director, Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.
Michael Simmonds (Director of Photography) is a two-time Independent Spirit Award-Nominated Director of Photography. Notable projects include Ramin Bahrani’s At Any Price, Project Nim, Goodbye Solo, Chop Shop, The Order of Myths, Man Push Cart, Paranormal Activity 2, Big Fan, and the short film Plastic Bag featuring Werner Herzog. Recent projecst included the Indian feature The Lunchbox which won the Rail d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, 2013 and The Last of Robin Hood, which premiered at The Toronto Film Festival in 2013.
Reuben Kleiner (Director of Photography) is based in Brooklyn, NY. He has directed photography on many narrative, documentary and live-performance productions. His short film, Birth of the Box, was chosen in North America for the Eastman Kodak Scholars Program. Reuben filmed Sufjan Steven’s The BQE, commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the 25th Next Wave Festival, which won the 2008 Brendan Gill Prize. He directed and shot a web series with Pitchfork, following musicians behind the scenes at the 2012 Pitchfork Music Festival. Last year, Reuben filmed Road to Home, a feature documentary following a group of homeless LGBT youth in New York City. Most recently he was the Director of Photography for a web episode of This American Life: Live at BAM. Reuben is currently working on a documentary about religious liberties in the United States
Melissa James Gibson (Writer) is an award-winning New York City based playwright and screenwriter. She is currently an Executive Story Editor on the Netflix Original Series House of Cards, and she was a Story Editor on the FX television series The Americans. Her recent plays include What Rhymes with America (Atlantic Theater Company), This, [sic], Suitcase or, those that resemble flies from a distance, Brooklyn Bridge, and Current Nobody. Her work has been produced and/or developed at the Atlantic Theater Company, Playwrights Horizons, Center Theatre Group, Soho Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, The Children’s Theatre Company, Steppenwolf, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Seattle Rep, Vancouver Playhouse, Canadian Stage and the Sundance Institute Theatre Lab among others, regionally and internationally. Honors include: OBIE Award; Guggenheim Fellowship; Steinberg Playwright Award; Kesselring Prize; Whiting Writers Award; Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights’ Fellowship; LILLY Award; Jerome Fellow; MacDowell Colony Fellow. MFA: Yale School of Drama; graduate of New Dramatists. Teaching: Lecturer, Program in Theater, Princeton University, 2011, 2012. THIS and Other Plays was published by TCG.
Maki Takenouchi (Production Designer) was the recipient of the Made-In-NY Mid-Career Fellowship for Production Design and was mentored by award-winning Production Designer Mark Friedberg, best known for his work with Wes Anderson, Todd Haynes & Jim Jarmusch. Maki designed sets and props for commercial photography before transitioning to film in 2010 as Design Researcher for Todd Hayne’s Mildred Pierce (HBO, 2011), which won an Emmy for Art Direction. In addition to set design, Maki has a strong background in Graphic Art; from 2012 to 2013 she was the Graphic Artist for the Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014). Her innovative Production Design for the feature Tar (2014) attracted the interest and sponsorship of Canon. Maki recently won a Craft Award for Production Design from Tisch. She studied Art and Design at Yale, and lives in Brooklyn.
César Alvarez is a New York-based composer, lyricist and writer. César's band, The Lisps, has released 4 albums and played hundreds of shows around the country since 2005. Recent composition credits: FUTURITY directed by Sarah Benson (A.R.T, Walker Art Center, Mass MoCA, Upcoming at Soho Rep/Ars Nova); Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon (Soho Rep, TFANA); The Foundry Theater's Good Person of Szechwan (Drama Desk Nomination -- LaMaMa, Public Theater); Mac Wellman's 3 2's; or AFAR (Dixon Place), Full Still Hungry for Contra-Tiempo (Ford Amphitheater, Dance Motion USA). In development: The Universe is a Small Hat, a multi-player participatory musical (Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, Civilians R&D Group, PRELUDE NYC, Babycastles) and The Elementary Spacetime Show (Ars Nova Uncharted, EST First Light, Polyphone). César is guest faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and the Artistic Director of Polyphone, a festival of the emerging musical at University of the Arts in Philadelphia.