Claire Sanford

Claire Sanford is a Montreal-based cinematographer and documentary filmmaker
with a focus on content exploring environmental and social justice themes.
Growing up immersed in nature on a small island off the rustic West Coast of
British Columbia, Claire learned the quiet art of observation, which she brings toevery project. She earned her BFA in Film Production from the School for theContemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in 2009. In 2014 Claire was selected as a fellow of the first edition of the Hot Docs Accelerator mentorship program and mentored under Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier of Mercury Films (Manufactured Landscapes, Watermark). In 2016 she was awarded a Redford Centre Grant for boundary-pushing environmental films for the development of her first feature, Hwangsa.

Andrea Conte

Andrea Conte is a writer and non-fiction filmmaker. His work has been broadcasted with the CBC, TV Ontario, CBC Radio, and the Public Radio Exchange. He holds an MA in International Affairs and Conflict Resolution from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University. After an early career in the foreign policy sector, he recently made the transition to filmmaking and non-fiction media. Using character-driven stories of politics and justice, his work strives to shift public policy discourse and bridge relations between people that deserve to know each other’s stories and how they play a part in them.  Andrea is an alumnus of the Doc Institute Breakthrough Program, the Hot Docs Festival’s Documentary Channel Accelerator Program, and the Next Up Leadership Program for Social Justice.

Natalia Dołgowska

Natalia Dołgowska (b. 1990 in Zakopane) a visual artist and filmmaker based in Warsaw, Poland. She graduated from Jagiellonian University, Laboratory of Reportage (University of Warsaw) and Wajda School, where she is working on a 30 minute long documentary. The author of a project IT IS ALL AMERICA shown in Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Her work has been shown at group exhibitions Intercultural Encounters in Vienna, in the Slide Show / Photo Festival in Lodz. He is co-author of the exhibition “Is it worth it” in Museum of Modern Art and Turbo Gallery in Warsaw. She has participated in group publications “Tarczyńska” Gallery Observation, NO_4 Sputnik Photos (2016) and Debuts doc! photo magazine (2016) and „Vice Magazine”. She has worked on such films as “All These Sleepless Nights”, “True Teens” and many social campaigns. She is interested in documentary film.

Emma Francis-Snyder

Emma Francis-Snyder is currently producing and directing The Lincoln Offensive, a film about how the Young Lords organized to reclaim the health of their community in the South Bronx in 1971. She co-produced the feature documentary, STRAIGHT/CURVE, premiering on EPIX in June 2017. She was the associate producer for Yoruba Richen’s award winning I RISE series, featuring Grammy nominated singer Andra Day, presented by Coca Cola and McDonald’s for Essence Music Festival. She worked as the primary researcher and production assistant for  INTO THE NIGHT, directed by Blair Doroshwalther. Using film, she explores pertinent social issues in a creative and critical manner. In 2015 she graduated from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program with the self-designed major, “Social Documentation.” In 2012 she was awarded the Rosen Fellowship which allowed her and co-director Sara Curtis to document the student movement in Santiago, Chile, creating the documentary GREVE TO EN TOMA.

Fred Schmidt-Arenales

Fred Schmidt-Arenales is an artist and documentarian currently based in New York. Fred co-produces Reconnaissance, an audio documentary project investigating the construction of narrative in political life. Current and recent exhibitions include The Dangerous Professors at Triumph, Chicago, Cantering Loop at Ballroom Projects, Chicago, The New Normal (traveling), and Rotten Spring, a performance included in the Brick Theater’s Not Normal Festival. Fred will pursue an interdisciplinary MFA at the University of Pennsylvania starting in August, 2017.

Jonathan Spangler

A native of Chicago, Jonathan Spangler is a proud father and filmmaker, in that order.

Mark Brecke

Mark Brecke is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer, who documents stories of people victimized by war, ethnic conflict, and genocide. Since 1995, he has covered the most troubled regions of the world. Brecke’s work has been widely featured internationally including micro-cinemas, Toronto International Film Festival, Sao Paulo Film Festival, Jewish Museum, Berlin, Hammer Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Collections that showcase Brecke’s photographs include the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. and the Museo de Memoria y Tolerancia in Mexico City.

Emerging from the experimental film community in San Francisco, Brecke
studied cinema with Phillip Greene (apprentice of Ansel Adams and assistant to Dorothea Lange), and continued his studies at UC Berkeley with found footage, underground filmmaker, Craig Baldwin.

Brecke was based in Kenya for two years developing a new film in Somalia. His MFA work at the California College of the Arts, emphasized personal essay documentaries.

Paul Szynol

Paul was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to NYC at the age of 12, the year that the city’s transit fare rose from 75 cents to 90 cents; 33 previously unknown Bach pieces were found in an academic library; and Canon demoed its first digital still camera. Besides New York City and Warsaw, he’s lived in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Alexandria (VA), Berkeley, New Haven, Philadelphia, NJ, DC, and, for shorter periods, Kampala and Berlin. During his six seven drives across the US, he’s visited the vast majority of the contiguous states, and, by train, plane or automobile, he’s also visited some 45 50 55 60 countries. He likes stray dogs, depressing movies, trains, Greene and Kundera, Uganda, Pink Floyd, open source software, the Oxford comma, and occasionally translating Polish poetry to English.  In the past, Paul was a drummer and a huge nerd computer programmer, and he still plays Pearl drums, and tinkers with Java libraries. He’s interested in technology law, animal rights, and human rights. His films and photos have been shown at festivals and galleries in Europe and North America, and his second short documentary, “Booklyn”, was published by the New Yorker. Paul is a graduate of Columbia University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), where he studied history and philosophy, and Yale Law School, where he focused on free speech and intellectual property, and watched a lot of reruns and depressing movies.

Elina Shatkin

Elina Shatkin is a multimedia journalist, writer and filmmaker. By day, she works as a broadcast and digital producer at KPCC, one of the country’s largest NPR affiliates. She was the arts and culture editor at Los Angeles magazine, a restaurant critic for LA Weekly and a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. She has written about exotic meat vendors for California Sunday, interviewed actors and smut-peddlers for The Believer and chronicled the lives of lady explorers for HiLobrow. Try This At Home, a feature-length music documentary she co-directed, was screened at L.A.’s Don’t Knock The Rock festival and was the closing night film at the 2016 Olympia Film Festival. She is a fan of dogs, bicycles, dark chocolate and bad Russian accents. She lives with her husband and daughter in Los Angeles.