Producing documentaries is one of my favorite things to do. I love working with passionate directors and storytellers to help bring their visions to life. There is nothing like setting out to tell a story and navigating the twists and turns that reality throws at you.
My experience in documentary production ranges from research to coordination to financial management.
Za’atari: Through The Lens (2016 - present)
In the middle of the Jordanian desert sits the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world. It is called Za’atari, and from the air it looks like an island of white huts in the middle of an ocean of sand. Over 80,000 men, women and children who have escaped horror and war in Syria since 2012 now have no choice but to call Za’atari home.
Za'atari Through The Lens is a documentary film about a young man who lost everything to the Syrian civil war and yet found a way to bring hope to others through his passion for photography. It is the story of resilience and finding light in the darkest of times.
This film is structured around Mohamad’s efforts to teach photography to the children in Za’atari. We follow Ali, Yousef, and Qassem as they explore the camp and meet new people while working on their assignment capturing images that represent what it means to be Syrian. Their interwoven stories are told not just through interviews and verite scenes, but also through the images they capture. Through their unique perspectives, viewers get an unprecedented look into their world and their daily lives. This film will give names, faces, and voices to a few of the thousands of children living as refugees. In emotional interviews, they tell us about their hopes and dreams for the future of their country and themselves; their nostalgia for everything and everyone that they’ve lost in the war. Most importantly, they highlight the importance of rebuilding and believing that things can get better.
Co-Director: Suzanne Richiardone
Co-Director: Justin Weinrich
Alles unter Kontrolle (2015)
Production and Location Manager, Chicago
Facebook, Amazon and Google provide us with around the clock access to the convenient digital world! Surveillance cameras on the streets take care of our security. But who actually collects our fingerprints, iris scans, online shopping preferences, and social media postings? Don't we care about our privacy anymore? In his unique charming and curious way filmmaker Werner Boote travels around the world to explore the "brave new world" of total control. EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL by Werner Boote (Plastic Planet, Population Boom) - an evocative film about the self-evidence of surveillance. In cinemas 25th of December 2015.
Directed by Werner Boote
Alex & Ali (2011 - 2014)
This feature documentary tells the epic love story of an American and an Iranian gay couple. Alex, a former Peace Corps volunteer, spent a decade living in Iran (1967 - 1977). While there, he met and fell in love with Ali, an Iranian whom Alex considers his soul mate. When the Islamic revolution erupted in the late 70’s, Alex was forced to leave Iran - and Ali. But the two men kept their relationship alive through letters, phone calls, and emails. In May 2012, documentary filmmaker and human rights advocate Malachi Leopold followed Alex to Istanbul, where Alex and Ali reunited for the first time in 35 years, hoping to rekindle their relationship. The film follows the men as their best-laid plans are turned upside down, revealing emotionally painful twists and turns that transform their lives forever.
Directed by Malachi Leopold
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Extraordinary. A complex story with a ruinous outcome. And it left me wrecked. I can't remember the last time I had to pause a screener to collect myself. Deeply emotional, the film itself generates a slew of ethical questions. Which makes it intellectually involving as well. Most documentaries contend with ethical issues; all of that is heightened in Alex & Ali.”
“A Romeo and Juliet political thriller.”
BEST DOCUMENTARY - Reeling Chicago LGBT Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY - Tampa LGBT Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY - Ft. Lauderdale LGBT Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY - Silent River Film Festival
AUDIENCE AWARD - Reeling Chicago LGBT Film Festival
AUDIENCE AWARD - Melbourne Queer Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY - Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
BEST DOCUMENTARY - Frameline San Francisco Int’l LGBTQ Film Festival