Adam Gussow, Protagonist/Musician, Satan & Adam

Adam Gussow is a professor of English and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi and a professional blues harmonica player and teacher. As a member of the blues duo Satan and Adam, he played blues, jazz, and folk festivals and recorded half a dozen albums. As well as teaching private lessons and workshops, Gussow posts lessons on his YouTube channels and on ModernBluesHarmonica.com. He has published four non-fiction books including Mister Satan’s Apprentice: A Blues Memoir (1998) and Beyond the Crossroads: The Devil and the Blues Tradition (2017). When Gussow was featured on the cover of Living Blues Magazine, the reviewer wrote “Think James Cotton’s warbling excitement and R.L. Burnside’s grifter stomp, tied up with Lightnin’ Hopkins’ dustbowl charm, and you’ve got the Adam Gussow sound.”

Alex Olsen, Pianist, Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Alex Olsen attended the Berklee College of Music, as a pianist and composer. He has performed in world-renowned venues including Rose Hall, Symphony Hall, and Lincoln Center alongside genre-defining artists such as Wynton Marsalis, John Oates of Hall and Oates, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Alex is known for his inventive compositions and improvisation drawing inspiration from his studies in jazz, classic orchestral, and hip-hop. Recipient of several awards from international jazz competitions including Essentially Ellington, Alex graduated from the Berklee College of Music with honors and is now frequently playing in the Boston jazz scene.

Cara Campanelli, Singer, Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Cara Campanelli is an award-winning vocalist and bandleader, whose petite frame conceals a powerful and deeply haunting voice. Her style harkens back to the great vocalists of the Big Band Era, evoking the glamour and sophistication of classic jazz as few modern vocalists can. Early on in her musical career, Cara was singled out by DownBeat magazine, who named her an Outstanding Vocalist. She was named a “talent to watch” by the legendary trumpeter Wayne Bergeron following her vocal performance at the Elmhurst Jazz Festival. Her LP, So Near, received critical acclaim both in the states and abroad, earning international distribution. She is currently performing with a variety of jazz ensembles throughout the New England area including her own Cara Campanelli Group.

Chris Stovall Brown, Musician, Satan & Adam

Chris Stovall Brown is veteran and mainstay of the Boston blues scene with an old-school pedigree that stretches back to the early 1970s, when he went on the road with Chicago’s original wild man, Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson. In the 1980s, Chris appeared on NBC’s Today Show three times with the Cambridge Harmonica Orchestra and played with Buddy Guy, Roy Buchanan, Bo Diddley and Martha Reeves. In the ’90s, Chris recorded with Earring George, Ron Levy, Henry Lee Spencer, and Boston Blues Blast and worked with greats James Cotton and John Mayall. Recently, Chris produced a pair of critically acclaimed CDs for Watermelon Slim, with whom he tours internationally; he also appears on CDs by Chicago Bob Nelson, Shorty Billups and Sax Gordon. Chris plays regionally with James Montgomery, The Colbys, J Geils, Jeff Pitchell, Madeleine Hall and his own “Chris Stovall Brown Band”.

Doug Block, Producer, Futures Past

Doug Block is an internationally acclaimed documentary director, producer, and cameraman. His films have won countless awards at top film festivals and been shown theatrically and broadcast throughout the world. His credits as director/producer include 112 Weddings (BJFF 2014), The Kids Grow Up, 51 Birch Street (BJFF 2006), Home Page, and The Heck With Hollywood!. Producing credits include Silverlake Life, Jupiter’s Wife, Paternal Instinct, A Walk Into the Sea, The Edge of Dreaming, and Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Block is also the founder and co-host of “The D-Word” (www.d-word.com), the leading online community and discussion forum for documentary professionals worldwide.

Elizabeth Rose, Director, The Law of Averages

Elizabeth Rose is a writer and director born in Montreal and raised in Cambridge, MA. She received an MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University in 2017. Her thesis short, The Law of Averages, premiered at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, played at Palm Springs International Festival of Short Film, Milly Valley, and won the jury prize for best narrative short at The Provincetown Film Festival. Interview Magazine featured her as a writer/director to watch in their Discovery series in July 2017. She is currently working on her first feature.

Elizabeth Rynecki, Director, Chasing Portraits

Elizabeth Rynecki is the great-granddaughter of Polish-Jewish artist, Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943). She grew up with her great-grandfather’s paintings prominently displayed on the walls of her family home and understood from an early age that the art connected her to a legacy from “the old country”: Poland. Elizabeth has a BA in Rhetoric from Bates College (’91) and an MA in Rhetoric and Communication from UC Davis (’94). Her Master’s thesis focused on children of Holocaust survivors. Her book, also titled Chasing Portraits, was published by Penguin Random House in September 2016.

Éva Gárdos, Director, Budapest Noir

Éva Gárdos is a Hungarian-born, award-winning film director and editor. Gárdos’ first film job was on Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. “That,” she says, “was my film school.” Throughout her career as an editor, she worked with distinguished directors like Barbet Schroeder, Peter Bogdanovich, and Anjelica Huston on films like Valley Girl, Mask, and Bastard Out of Carolina. Gárdos’ based her screenwriting and feature film directorial debut, An American Rhapsody, on her own family’s escape from Hungary in the 1950s. After discovering the bestselling Hungarian novel, Budapest Noir, she returned to Hungary to develop and direct the film.

Géza Röhrig, Actor, To Dust

Iris Zaki, Director, Unsettling

Dr. Iris Zaki is a Grierson award-winning documentary filmmaker and researcher, who uses quirky first-person narratives to depict communities. She recently finished her PhD at Royal Holloway, London, which explored her innovative interviewing technique: The Abandoned Camera. Her previous film, Women in Sink screened at over 120 festivals,  including the Boston Jewish Film Festival, received 13 awards (at Karlovy Vary, Visions du Reel, Films de Femmes and more), and was featured on TV and on NYTimes.com.

Jan Darsa, Moderator, Chasing Portraits

Jan Darsa is former Director of Jewish education at Facing History and Ourselves. She still facilitates Facing History workshops, institutes, and other professional development programs for teachers across the country and in Israel and provides follow-up consultations for individual teachers and schools. She has developed a curriculum materials designed for educators in Jewish day schools and supplementary schools entitled “Jews of Poland”  and “Sacred Texts, Modern Questions”.  She has researched the Warsaw Ghetto, the artists of Terezin, and European Jewry before the 1930’s and is now working on Israel education. She has written numerous articles on Holocaust education and a recent study guide on “Colliding Dreams”, a film about the history of Zionism as told through the inhabitants of Israel. Darsa received a B.A. in English literature from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.Ed. from Boston University and has studied Hebrew and Jewish Studies at the World Union of Jewish Students in Israel. She has been a Jerusalem Fellow, studying education and Jewish studies and a scholar-in-residence in South Africa.

Jordan Melamed, Director, Futures Past

Director Jordan Melamed spent twelve years in the Chicago trading pits before attending the American Film Institute. His thesis film, A Corner in Gold, won the Student Emmy for Drama from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and played at at the Cannes Film Festival. His first feature, Maniac, which starred Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, and Don Cheadle, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and played in film festivals worldwide. Melamed is currently developing Fountain of Youth, a hybrid documentary/fiction project about beauty and aging set in South Miami Beach. 

Judith Rosenbaum, Moderator, Working Woman

Judith Rosenbaum, PhD, is Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive. Judith earned a BA in History from Yale University, a PhD in American Studies from Brown University, and received a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Israel. Judith teaches and lectures widely on Jewish studies and women’s studies, and loves to draw on the story of Heather Booth’s lifelong activism in her teaching. Judith serves on the faculty of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships, and publishes regularly in academic and popular journals, blogs, and anthologies.

Julia Rodríguez, Protagonist, In Our Son’s Name

Julia E. Rodríguez teaches Latin American history at the University of New Hampshire. Her areas of interest are the history of science, cultural history, and citizenship. She regularly teaches classes on the history of human rights, citizenship, and social movements. Julia has visited Guantánamo Bay as the sister of 9/11 victim Gregory E. Rodríguez. From that experience, she wrote and published opinion pieces in Time magazine and the New York Times.

Matthew Shoychet, Director, The Accountant of Auschwitz

Matthew Shoychet is a Canadian filmmaker based in Toronto. He is a graduate of York University’s Film Production BFA, as well as Sheridan College’s post-graduate in Advanced Television and Film. Shoychet has worked on both narrative and documentary short films and aspires to work in every genre. Outside of his work in film, Matthew sits on the Board of Directors for OneFamily Fund, the leading charity organization that provides therapeutic and financial support for victims of terror and war in Israel from all backgrounds. The Accountant of Auschwitz is his feature film debut.

Michal Gera Margaliot, Speaker, Working Woman

Michal Gera-Margaliot is an attorney and has been Executive Director at Israel Women’s Network (IWN) since 2016. Michal has vast experience in initiating, developing and implementing women empowerment initiatives, both in the public and the NGO sectors. Previously, Michal served as Chief of Staff and parliamentary advisor to MK Merav Michaeli (Labor, opposition whip), for four years. Michal  has worked, both as a volunteer and an employee, in NGOs like HOSHEN – The Israeli LGBT Center for Education; Metzilah – The Center of Zionist, Jewish, Liberal and Humanist Thought; and at the Lafer Center for Women and Gender Studies in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She volunteered with the IWN from 2012-2016, as a board member.

Michal has a BA in Philosophy, Economics and Political Science, in addition to a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Law, specializing in gender studies.

Michal is the 2018 honorary of the Bernice Tannenbaum Prize.

Orlando Rodríguez, Protagonist, In Our Son’s Name

Orlando Rodríguez immigrated to New York in 1955 with his parents at age 13. He is a professor of sociology/criminology and peace studies at Fordham University in the Bronx. His background includes social research in the areas of criminology, immigration and mental health. He has developed a series of courses at Fordham including “Terrorism and Society”, “Global Conflict: War and Religion” and “Harm and Justice, Crime and Punishment.” In 2011, as part of Rising Hope, a college level certificate program, he developed and began teaching the “Sociology of Religion” in prisons.

Paula Eiselt, Director/Producer/Cinematographer, 93Queen

Paula Eistelt is an independent filmmaker and graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a double major in Film Production and Cinema Studies. Eiselt served as Director of Programming at The Edit Center where she launched and designed theirDocumentary Filmmaking program. In Eiselt was a Creative Producing Fellow for the 2017 Sundance Creative Producing Summit and a 2016 IFP Documentary Lab fellow. In  addition to her feature docs, Eiselt is developing a New York Times Op-Doc on Jewish identity in collaboration with the team behind the “In Conversation on Race” series.  93Queen is Eiselt’s feature directorial debut.

Phyllis Rodríguez (née Schafer), Protagonist, In Our Son’s Name

Phyllis Rodríguez is a native New Yorker, who grew up in the Bronx. She was a teacher, artist, and community activist. Her lifelong commitment to nonviolence and reconciliation has deepened since 2001. She is involved in issues of restorative justice, undoing racism, the elimination of the death penalty, banning torture and the unconstitutional hearings in the case of Mohammed, et al, v. U.S in the ongoing Military Tribunals at Guantanamo Bay. The story of her meeting with Aicha el Wafi, mother of Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person tried in Federal court in relation to the attacks, in chronicled by The Forgiveness Project, a London based organization that promotes non-vengeful responses to violence

Rana Abu Fraiha, Director, In Her Footsteps

Rana Abu Fraiha is an Israeli Bedouin female director and photographer. She began her studies at the Architecture Department at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem before moving to the Screen Based Arts Department to study VideoArt and Documentary. Rana was born in Tel Sheva, a Bedouin village in the south of Israel, and, from age five, grew up in the Jewish town of Omer. Her work deals with her complex identity, gender and belonging. Today Rana also works with youth in cinema, and in the development of Arab and Bedouin art in Israel. Her first documentary feature, In Her Footsteps has screened worldwide and has won multiple awards this past year including Best Documentary Director at the 2017 Jerusalem Film Festival and an Ophir (Israeli Academy) Award nomination for best documentary over 60 min in 2018.

Roberta Grossman, Director/Writer/Producer, Who Will Write Our History

Roberta Grossman is an award-winning filmmaker with a passion for history and social justice who has written, directed and produced more than 40 hours of film and television. She is the executive producer of the nonprofit production company Katahdin Productions, is a three-time recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is a panelist for the WGA Documentary Screenplay Awards. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, with a degree in honors in history, and she received an M.A. in film from the American Film Institute.

Grossman’s recent work includes Seeing Allred, about women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, Above and Beyond, about the American–Jewish WWII pilots who volunteered to fight for Israel in 1948, and Hava Nagila (The Movie), which won the audience award at more than 20 film festivals worldwide. Grossman is currently producing All This Life: The Many Worlds of Roman Vishniac.

Samuel D. Pollard, Director, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Sam Pollard is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director whose work spans almost 30 years. Pollard’s first assignment as a documentary producer on Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads (1989) won him an Emmy. Pollard received a Peabody Award for I’ll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community.  Between 1990 and 2010, Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee’s films including Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, and Bamboozled and co-produced a number of award-winning documentary productions with Lee. Since 2012 Pollard has produced and directed five documentaries, among them Slavery By Another Name (2012), August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand (2015), and Two Trains Runnin’ (2016).

Shawn Snyder, Director, To Dust

Shawn Snyder is the director of To Dust

Stephane Kaas, Director, Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story

Stephane Kaas is the director of Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story

Dr. Yasmeen Abu Fraiha, Protagonist, In Her Footsteps

Dr. Yasmeen Abu Fraiha is the Executive Director and Founder of GENESIS, an NGO that aims to prevent genetic diseases in the Middle East, especially in the Bedouin community, by spearheading premarital genetic testing and matching. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Project Wadi Attir and on the founding team of Yanabia, social projects for the improvement of Bedouin lives in Israel. She has won several awards, including the 2007 Ramon Award for quality, leadership, and excellence and the 2015 Travel Grant Award for outstanding young investigators at the 38th European Cystic Fibrosis Society conference. Dr. Abu Fraiha was also chosen to be part of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list. Yasmeen holds a BSc in Medical Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.