Cal Turner, Executive Producer, is a Kentucky native whose family started the Dollar General discount retail stores in 1939. Cal built a career in the music publishing industry from 1998 to 2013, when he decided to focus on his passion for filmmaking. A screen adaptation of John Grisham’s The Testament is in production with Cal’s partners Mark Johnson of Gran Via Productions and Eric Geadelmann, Cal’s partner at Crowfly Picture Studios. Crowfly is in production with They Called Us Outlaws, a documentary series on the Austin music scene and KOCH FM in the 1970’s, a co-venture with the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. A complimentary exhibit is set for unveiling in the spring of 2018 at the museum. A devout Orthodox Christian, Cal enjoys spending his free time doing just about anything in the great outdoors with his beloved wife Jennifer and three teenaged sons.
Dr. Mark Pirtle, Producer and Writer, is a pioneer in integral thinking in stress relief and recovery. He is a clinician, writer, public speaker, filmmaker, and true “innerpreneur.” He connects the dots between science, wellness, and spirituality. Pirtle tirelessly updates his understanding of the latest science to help others change and heal. Combining the disciplines of integral and living systems theories, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness meditation, he developed an evidence-based program for people suffering from stress-related conditions called SkillfullyAware®. Pirtle teaches attunement skills, through the use of meditation and mindfulness, to empower his clients to work towards a healthier relationship with themselves, others and the world. Dr. Pirtle works with clients privately, hosts retreats, and teaches for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine Fellowship Program.
Frances Causey, Producer, Director and Writer, is a journalist and documentary filmmaker who began her career with CNN where she was a Senior Producer for fourteen years. At CNN, Ms. Causey was a member of a team honored with News and Documentary Emmys for their coverage of the Oklahoma City and Olympic Park Bombings. Ms. Causey has produced several feature length documentaries including her latest documentary feature The Long Shadow which will premiere in theaters across the United States in the Fall of 2018. Ms. Causey’s 2012 feature documentary film, Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?, was released to wide acclaim and was a New York Times Critic’s Pick. Ms. Causey was honored with the Women’s International Film and Television Jury Award for her work on Heist.
Jed Riffe, Post Production Producer, is an award winning film director, producer and transmedia storyteller. Over the last twenty-five years Riffe produced a successfully released theatrical documentary, ten nationally broadcast public television specials including a four-hour TV series and four major interactive media programs. He is best known as the producer and director of the award-winning films Ishi, the Last Yahi, the true story of the man known as the Last Wild Indian in North America; Who Owns the Past?, the American Indian struggle for control of their ancestral remains; California’s ‘Lost’ Tribes which examines the impact of Indian gaming on Native Americans and their non-Indian neighbors and Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine and the Law, the first documentary on the efficacy of medicinal cannabis. Most recently, Riffe executive produced director Mo Morris’ A New Color: The Art of Being Edythe Boone; director Emiko Omori’s To Chris Marker, An Unsent Letter; director Luke Griswold-Tergis’s Smokin’ Fish; director Stephanie Welch’s A Dangerous Idea: Eugenics, Genetics and The American Dream and was a producer on director Frances Causey’s feature length documentary The Long Shadow on the legacy of slavery.
Ibon Olaskoaga, Editor and Writer, is an award-winning editor and director of documentaries. A native of Spain, he graduated from San Sebastian’s ESCiVi (School of Cinema and Video) and began working as an offline and online editor in Barcelona in 1991. In L.A he worked as a field-producer/editor for Univision, Telemundo and CNN en Español. During the last 15 years Ibon has devoted exclusively to documentaries working as an editor, writer/director, and supervising-editor on more than twenty award-winning feature documentaries. He was visual-director and editor of Bucarest- La Memoria Perdida, winner of the “Goya Award” from the Spanish National Film Academy, “Gaudi Award” Catalan Film and Arts Academy, and ´Best Editing Award´ from the Tepoztlan Film Festival, Mexico; He edited and co-wrote Maria and I, nominated for Spain’s ´Goya Award´; He has worked as editing consultant-supervisor on PAX Americana, “Best Documentary” Whistler Film Festival, British Columbia; and he also co-edited Sand Wars, selected in over 30 festivals and winner of 11 awards including a “Gold Panda”, the “Greenpeace Prize” and a “Gemini Award”.
Jim Scott, age 55, Co-Director of Photography, passed away unexpectedly in his sleep during the morning of July 16, 2016 while on location filming the documentary feature Is Your Story Making You Sick?. Born in Evanston, Wyoming, Jim attended Montana State University where he earned his degree in Film and TV Production. Jim loved working in the field of film and television and was a multi-talented and indispensable asset in the art of lighting and cinematography. His work has appeared on CNN, CBC, NBC, as well as many other cable networks, and in many, many commercials. In addition to Is Your Story Making You Sick?, Jim’s short and feature film credits include among others, Burr; Sex, drugs & MONEY and The American West – On the Road with Michael Blake.
Rogelio Garcia, Director of Photography, brings a wealth of experience and creativity to Is Your Story Making You Sick?. Rogelio and Frances, longtime collaborators, worked together on Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? and The Long Shadow. The idea for Heist came from their experience of being embedded in a human smuggling operation on the Arizona border. As a broadcast news photographer, Rogelio won multiple Associated Press Awards for Videography and Editing and one Emmy nomination in 2002. Rogelio is a Broadcast Television Production Adjunct Professor in the Journalism school at the University of Arizona.
Lynda Skinner Pirtle
Lynda Skinner Pirtle, Associate Producer, is a holistic counselor who integrates indigenous healing traditions, dream work, spirituality, and mindfulness into a career that now includes filmmaking. After the military and college, Lynda worked her way up the corporate ladder to become a VP at a multinational financial services company, where she taught leadership development and emotional competencies to hundreds of employees. Pirtle won management awards by simultaneously increasing business productivity and the emotional intelligence of the culture. In parallel with her corporate career, Lynda was studying and practicing insight meditation, compassion training, and shamanism. These broad experiences culminate in a singularly unique ability to skillfully read and attune to others. This capacity enables Lynda to inspire, coach, and direct her private clients, executives, and parents. Her knowledge of the mind and heart helps her guide others to connect with their intentions, thoughts, emotions, and behaviors for the purpose of increasing congruence in relationships, whether personal and professional. Lynda is also driven to increase awareness of the role of trauma on adult coping mechanisms, which affect family dynamics and work environments. Pirtle brings integrative ethics-based mindfulness programs to businesses, schools, and parenting communities. A youth advocate for over 25 years, Lynda continues to support at-risk youth.
Christina has worked on numerous documentary films and television series in New York City that have aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery Channel and various film festivals around the world. While originally trained as an editor, her work creatively spans the field as a producer, researcher, photographer, and administratively including educational outreach. While working at Listen Up! Youth Media Network in NYC, she served as Project Manager and Associate Producer on the 2006 Peabody Award winning youth series titled “Beyond Borders: Personal Stories from a Small Planet” – a collection of short personal documentaries from seven international youth teams during the aftermath of 9/11. In addition to working in the media arts, Christina is a trained Mindfulness Educator and Certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner with a focus on women and children’s health. She teaches Mindfulness skills to youth of various ages in diverse school districts, charter schools, and library programs in Tucson, Arizona. She enjoys creative writing and photography and is passionate about projects that bring conscious awareness to sustaining the earth and topics related to children, animal welfare, and the arching field of health & wellness.
Jacob Bloomfield-Misrach, composer, started music conservatory at the age of 10. From there he continued a path of musical study until completing degrees at NYU for Classical Clarinet & Jazz Guitar. After school he entered the world of film as a sound engineer, designer and composer. Starting out on student films, he quickly made his way to scoring features for Paul Haggis and Frances Causey. Additional highlights have included work for Saturday Night Live, New York Times, Calvin Klein, Planned Parenthood, and countless other projects.
James LeBrecht, Sound Designer and Mixer, has over 40 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer. Jim is the founder of Berkeley Sound Artists (BSA), an audio postproduction house, located in Berkeley, California.Known as a skillful sound designer and mixer, LeBrecht’s work can be heard in films that have played on HBO, PBS, and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Films that he has mixed have screened at film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, South by Southwest, True/False, Telluride and Berlin. BSA was proud to be the sound house for The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won the Academy Award for short documentary in 2006. Other credits include Unrest, The Force, 4.1 Miles, The Waiting Room, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Have You Heard From Johannesburg, We Were Here, Bang: the Bert Berns Story, and Audrie and Daisy. Jim co-authored (with Deena Kaye) the book Sound and Music for the Theatre: the art and technique of design. Now in it’s 4th edition, the book is used all over the world as a textbook. One reviewer called it “The Bible of sound design for theater.”
Nick Kelso, Impact Producer, is a marketing and fun professional with over a decade of experience in startups and nonprofits. He has helped create a platform for music, art, and film to thrive in nonprofit music education, independent nonprofit radio, independent nonprofit arthouse cinema, and a successfully-funded and toured DIY mobile venue. He brings a unique skill set combining creative writing, development, marketing, event management, entrepreneurship, and a borderline-scary work ethic.