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Filmmaker Bios

EUGENE JARECKI – Director, Writer & Producer

Eugene Jarecki is an award-winning filmmaker, public thinker, and author. He is one of only two people to have twice won the Sundance Grand Jury prize for documentary, most recently in 2012 for THE HOUSE I LIVE IN. His prior film, REAGAN, which examines the life and legacy of the 40th US president, received wide critical acclaim and won an Emmy Award after premiering on HBO for the occasion of Reagan’s 100th birthday. In 2010, Jarecki worked alongside Morgan Spurlock and Alex Gibney as director of a documentary film inspired by the bestselling book FREAKONOMICS. Earlier that year, he directed Move Your Money, a short online video and attendant campaign encouraging Americans to move their money from “too big to fail” banks to well-rated community banks and credit unions. The film went viral, becoming an online sensation with over 7 million hits in just its first three weeks online. To date, an estimated 4 million Americans have ‘moved their money.’

Jarecki’s film WHY WE FIGHT, winner of the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and a Peabody Award, has been broadcast in over forty countries and released theatrically in over 250 US cities. In 2009, Simon & Schuster published Jarecki’s acclaimed book, The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril, which explores how militarism disfigures America’s foreign and defense policies as well as her broader national priorities.

Jarecki’s first documentary, THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER was released in over 130 U.S. cities and won the 2002 Amnesty International Award, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and has been broadcast in over thirty countries. In 2002, TRIALS was selected to launch BBC’s prestigious digital channel BBC4 and the Sundance Channel’s documentary division.

In addition to his work in film, Jarecki is also a thinker on international affairs, and has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Charlie Rose, The Colbert Report, FOX News, CNN, PBS NOW, BBC World, NPR, MTV, The Tavis Smiley Show, Current TV, Clear Channel, Pacifica Radio, and Sirius Radio as well as having been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Daily News, the Village Voice, the New Yorker, the New York Observer, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Newsday.

melinda shopsin – producer
Melinda Shopsin began her production career working at Radical Media in London. She served as Production Coordinator for THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER (2002) and as head of development for the 2005 film WHY WE FIGHT (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and a Peabody Award). She Co-produced the documentaries REAGAN (2011) and FREAKONOMICS (2010).
Christopher St. John – producer
Christopher St. John is a producer and journalist with broad experience in print, broadcast and documentary. He began his career in production at ABC News, working for Good Morning America before moving to the News Magazine division, where he contributed to 20/20 and Primetime. Since turning his attention to documentary, Christopher has Co-produced FREAKONOMICS (2010) and the Emmy Award-winning REAGAN (2011). He has also worked as a regional correspondent in Southeast Asia and was staff reporter and editor at the Cambodia Daily newspaper. He is currently Director of Content at Charlotte Street Films.
robert miller – composer
Robert Miller is a prolific composer of film, concert, and commercial music. His distinctive style has made its mark on over 1800 commercials, a growing body of film scores, as well as works for concert and the stage. Over the years, his talent and passion have garnered him six CLIO awards, an AICP award and three Emmy nominations. His film work includes the Lionsgate/Weinstein company release, TEETH; the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, WHY WE FIGHT; the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival Best Feature winner, RED DOORS; His newest film work includes the score for Richard Bowen’s CINDERELLA MOON, a cinematic re-telling of the original Cinderella story from 768 A.D. China; HBO Films’ REAGAN, directed by Eugene Jarecki; and another fruitful collaboration with Jon Hock on THE REZ, the story of an American Indian basketball star named Shoni Schimmel that premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.
paul frost – editor
Paul Frost is an editor working in narrative and documentary film as well as television. Beginning in 2009, Paul worked on a number of Jarecki’s projects, including MOVE YOUR MONEY (featured on the Huffington Post and The Colbert Report), FREAKONOMICS, and REAGAN. Paul got his start in documentary working on DOUBLETIME with director Stephanie Johnes. He has also worked on a handful of narrative films, including one from legendary auteur, Melvin Van Peebles. Prior to his work in the US, Paul lived in Germany for a year where he worked on syndicated television, capping off his international experience by presenting the German Bundestag with a documentary short he produced and edited, which is included among the German National Archives. Paul’s television editing includes work for the Style Network, the Discovery Channel, and Logo.
sam cullman – Director of Photography & Producer
Sam Cullman is a cinematographer, producer, and director of documentaries. He recently partnered with director Marshall Curry to co-direct, shoot and produce IF A TREE FALLS (2011), an Academy Award nominated feature-length documentary that offers a behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s “number one domestic terrorist threat.” Cullman’s other cinematography credits include KING CORN (2006), a Peabody award-winning documentary for ITVS, Eugene Jarecki’s WHY WE FIGHT (2005) and REAGAN (2011); WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? (2007), LOCKUP: INSIDE ANGOLA (2008) and THE FARM: 10 DOWN (2009), both follow-ups to Stacks’ THE FARM: ANGOLA, USA (1998). He is also starting post-production on BLACK CHEROKEE, a short he also shot and directed (with Benjamin Rosen) about a self-taught New York City street artist.
derek hallquist – director of photography
Derek Hallquist began his professional career as a camera operator for numerous television shows on networks such as Discovery, Travel and TLC. After four years in Los Angeles and his first season as a Director of Photography on My First Home, he moved back to Vermont where he founded his production company, Green River Pictures, LLC, and it is in Burlington that he has rekindled his love for journalism and documentary. He has worked as a Camera Operator and Director of Photography on numerous Jarecki films including REAGAN and FREAKONOMICS. Concurrently, he has spent the past three years working on his first feature documentary about energy, which follows the path to our 21st century energy grid.
danny glover – Executive Producer
Danny Glover is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Louverture Films. In addition to being one of the most acclaimed actors of our time, with a career spanning 30 years from PLACES IN THE HEART, THE COLOR PURPLE, THE LETHAL WEAPON series and the award-winning TO SLEEP WITH ANGER, Danny Glover has also Produced, Executive Produced and financed numerous projects for film, television and theatre. Among these are GOOD FENCES, 3 AM, FREEDOM SONG, GET ON THE BUS, DEADLY VOYAGE, BUFFALO SOLDIERS, THE SAINT OF FORT WASHINGTON and TO SLEEP WITH ANGER, as well as the series Courage and America’s Dream. Since co-founding Louverture Films, Glover has executive produced BAMAKO, AFRICA UNITE, TROUBLE THE WATER, SALT OF THIS SEA, SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION, DUM MAARO DUM, and the forthcoming BLACK POWER MIXTAPE and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MCKINLEY NOLAN. He has associate produced THE TIME THAT REMAINS and the 2010 Cannes Palme d’Or winner UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES.
John Legend – Executive Producer
John Legend is a recording artist, concert performer and philanthropist who has won nine Grammy awards and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. Throughout his career, John has worked to make a difference in the lives of others. In 2007, he launched the Show Me Campaign (ShowMeCampaign.org), an initiative that uses education to break the cycle of poverty. John sits on the Boards of Teach for America, Stand for Children and the Harlem Village Academies and co-chairs the Harlem Village Academies’ National Leadership Board. He serves on the Advisory Council for Turnaround and is an “IRC Voice” for the International Rescue Committee. In 2007, John was named spokesman for GQ Magazine’s “Gentlemen’s Fund”, an initiative to raise support and awareness for five cornerstones essential to men: opportunity, health, education, environment, and justice.
Brad Pitt – Executive Producer
Brad Pitt is the Founder of Make It Right, Co-Chair of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, and an award-winning actor and film producer. Pitt received Academy Award® nominations for his performances in Bennett Miller’s MONEYBALL, David Fincher’s THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, Terry Gilliam’s TWELVE MONKEYS, for which he won a Golden Globe Award. He has starred in and produced Andrew Dominik’s KILLING THE SOFTLY as well as Terry Malick’s THE TREE OF LIFE “which won the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. His production company, Plan B Entertainment, has thus far produced many films such as Martin Scorsese’s THE DEPARTED, Robert Schwentke’s THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, Matthew Vaughn’s KICKASS, and both Ryan Murphy’s RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, and EAT PRAY LOVE. Pitt won the 2012 New York Film Critics Circle award, National Society of Film Critics award, Desert Palm Achievement award, and was listed at the top of TIME Magazine’s Best Movie Performances of the Year, for his work in THE TREE OF LIFE and MONEYBALL. He has recently wrapped Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE and is currently starring in and producing Marc Forster’s WORLD WAR Z for Paramount Pictures.
russell simmons – Executive Producer
Russell Simmons is the Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications. USA Today named him one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years,” calling him a “hip-hop pioneer” for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, finance, the jewellery industry, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy. From creating his seminal Def Jam Recordings in 1984, to his fashion industry changing brands, to founding UniRush in 2003 providing instant access to a set of basic financial services for over 48 million Americans who could not previously establish traditional banking relationships, Russell is recognized globally for his influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy. Russell also leads the non-profit division of his empire, Rush Community Affairs, and its ongoing commitment to empowering at-risk youth through education, the arts, social engagement, and promoting racial harmony and strengthening inter-group relations.
nick fraser – Executive Producer
Nick Fraser has been editor of BBC Storyville since it started in 1997. His published works include a biography of Eva Peron and The Voice of Modern Hatred, a study of extremism and race hate in contemporary Europe. He is proud of being a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine in New York, “the best magazine in the world”, in which his essays about the BBC, Isaiah Berlin and anti-Americanism have been published. In recent years films shown on Storyville have won many major awards, including an Oscar, a Grand Jury prize at Sundance, multiple Griersons and Emmys. A sampling of films Fraser has produced while at Storyville are as follows: CONTROL ROOM, THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED, WHY WE FIGHT, THE LIBERACE OF BAGHDAD, ENRON, THE TRIALS OF HENRY KISSINGER, THE AMERICAN RULING CLASS, PEACE ONE DAY, and NEVERLAND: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SYMBIONESE LIBERATION ARMY.
joslyn barnes – Executive Producer

Joslyn Barnes is a screenwriter and Emmy nominated producer. She is the author or co-author of numerous commissioned screenplays for feature films including the upcoming epic TOUSSAINT and the award-winning film BÀTTU, directed by Cheikh Oumar Sissoko (Mali), which she Associate Produced. Among the films Barnes has executive produced or produced since co-founding Louverture Films are the award-winning features BAMAKO and SALT OF THIS SEA, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner and Oscar and Emmy nominated TROUBLE THE WATER, Oscar shortlisted SOUNDTRACK FOR A REVOLUTION, Bollywood thriller DUM MAARO DUM, and the award-winning BLACK POWER MIXTAPE. Barnes also wrote and directed the short film PRANA for Cinétévé France as part of an internationally distributed series of 30 short films to promote awareness of environmental issues.