DIRECTOR/PRODUCER

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Abby Ginzberg, a Peabody award-winning director, has been producing compelling documentaries about race and social justice for over 30 years. Her film, And Then They Came for Us (2017), about the connection between the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WW II and the current Muslim travel ban won a Silver Gavel Award and has played in major cities and at film festivals across the country. Throughout the course of the last year, she has presented the film to college audiences, community groups and in theaters.

She co-produced and co-directed Agents of Change (2016; with Frank Dawson), which profiles the black student protest movement of the late 1960’s featuring the events at SF State and Cornell University, which premiered at the Pan African Film Festival where it won the Jury and the Audience Awards for Best Feature Documentary and a Paul Robeson Award from the Newark Black Film Festival.  It was supported by California Humanities and broadcast on America Reframed in February, 2018. Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa won a 2015 Peabody award and has screened at film festivals around the world, winning four audience awards. It was broadcast on public television in July, 2016. She was the Consulting Producer on The Barber of Birmingham, which premiered at Sundance in 2011, was nominated for an Oscar® in the Short Doc category, and was directed by Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin.  

Abby is currently in post-production on Waging Change, a Ford-Foundation funded film about the challenges faced by restaurant servers forced to live on tips.  She is in production on her film Barbara Lee: Warrior for Peace and Justice, about Rep. Barbara Lee, who has served for over 20 years in Congress and is an advocate for peace and justice, funding for HIV/AIDS, economic development programs that work and reproductive rights. She also serves as chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty.

CONSULTING PRODUCER

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Frank R. Dawson is the Interim Dean of Career Education at the Santa Monica College Center for Media and Design and a former Chair of the Communication and Media Studies Department. Frank is also a Producer, writer, and founding partner in NuHouse Media Group, a Company originally formed to develop and produce television series, movies for television, and cable television features in association with CBS Entertainment Productions. He is the Co-Producer/Director of the documentary film, Agents of Change.

Frank began his broadcasting career in Radio as an on-air personality and producer before joining the Advertising and Promotion department at the CBS television network in Los Angeles where he wrote and produced series promos and television movie opening sequences. As a Primetime TV Executive at CBS, Frank later coordinated the development of series scripts and production of television series including, "Private Benjamin", “Alice”, "Magnum, P.I”, and "Cagney and Lacey".

At Universal’s Television Division, Frank first served as Director of Comedy Development, where he was involved in the production of "Charles In Charge" (CBS) and "Domestic Life" (CBS). As Director of Programming, he served as Universal's production executive on the NBC dramatic series, "Miami Vice", while also spearheading the creation and launching of the ABC network comedy series, "He’s The Mayor". 

As Senior Vice President of Television for SI Communications (SI) in Burbank, California, Frank supervised production and development activities of the company in the syndication market.  He was Co-Executive Producer of “Story of A People”, a syndicated television program hosted by Debbie Allen and Joe Morton, as well as “The Other Side of Victory”, an innovative sports magazine program that was hosted by “Good Morning America’s” Robin Roberts and Fox Sports’ James Brown. As a partner in the media company, “2002 Communications”, Frank was a producer of Tavis Smiley’s first television talk show series pilot.

Frank Dawson earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a Master of Science degree in Television and Radio from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, where he has been inducted into the school's professional gallery of distinguished alumni.  

 Cinematographers

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Vicente Franco is one of the most respected documentary cinematographers working in the US. He has shot numerous award-winning films including Academy Award nominated films, Daughter from Danang, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Other recent films include Finding the Gold Within, Havana Curveball; Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey; Standing on Sacred Ground: Fire and Ice and Frontline's Rape in the Fields. He recently shot a segment of Hard Earned produced by Kartemquin Films.  He shot the US segments of Soft Vengeance and was Director of Photography on Abby’s films, Soul of Justice and Cruz Reynoso.

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Ashley James holds Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Filmmaking and has national television credits.  He is the co-founder (with Kathryn Golden) of Searchlight Films. Former newspaper journalist, The Hartford Times, (Gannett News Service) Hartford, CT; instructor of graduate studies in Department of Cinema, San Francisco State University and station manager of KTOP/Channel 10, Oakland, CA. which won 32 national awards for excellence in television programming during his 12 year tenure.

Recent documentaries include: Director, Kitka and Davka in Concert-Old and New World Jewish Music (PBS); Producer/Director Gordon Parks—The Man and His Music a 90-minute television special featuring Issac Hayes, Danny Glover and the Oakland (CA) Symphony Orchestra; Director/Cinematographer, Bomba – Dancing the Drum, (PBS), a one-hour portrait of the legendary Cepeda Family of Puerto Rico; Producer/Director Home and Almost Free, a one-hour film about ex-convicts in the San Francisco Bay Area; Director of photography for Zen Brush Mind & Kazuaki Tanahashi – Painting Peace for the Buddhist Broadcasting System (Netherlands)

Other films include: Director of Photography for the 2012 Academy Award nomination for Best Short Documentary, The Barber from Birmingham; Producer/Director, We Love You Like A Rock – The Dixie Hummingbirds, the feature-length film about the legendary gospel quartet; And Still We Dance, a one hour portrait of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and the premiere program for KQED’s From San Francisco series; Producer/DP for Zenju’s Path & Moments of Illumination for the Buddhist Broadcasting Network (Netherlands); Producer/Director American Treasure, and Tchuba Means Rain, two ethnographic films about the Cape Verdean-American community of New England. Other Director of Photography credits include: Blacks & Jews by Snitow Kaufman Productions; Street Soldiers by Avon Kirkland; Crumb, a portrait of cartoonist Robert Crumb; Isadora Duncan – Movement From The Soul; I Can’t Believe You’re Forty, Charlie Brown; The Color Of Honor; Booker; Ethnic Notions; Cut Loose; and Ancestors In America, among many other programs for international broadcast, and cable television.

EDITOR

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Stephanie Mechura is editing the Barbara Lee documentary and has collaborated with Abby on a number of other films.  A freelance editor for more than a decade, her films have appeared on multiple broadcast specials and series, most notably PBS Frontline and Independent Lens, as well as The New York Times OpDocs. Stephanie's Emmy-nominated films have received many of journalism's highest awards, including the DuPont Columbia Award, the Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking, and the Daniel Pearl Award for Excellence in Journalism.  Her most recent film, The Game Changers, is directed by Oscar-Winning filmmaker Louis Psihoyos, and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Stephanie edited the recent documentary, The Push-Outs, directed by Katie Galloway and Dawn Valadez.

SOUND DESIGNER

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James LeBrecht is an award-winning sound designer. He honed his postproduction skills at the Saul Zaentz Film Center and Skywalker Sound on projects such as Twin Peaks-Fire Walk With Me, Race the Sun and Dragon - The Bruce Lee StoryThe Game, Iron Giant and Pitch Black.  LeBrecht oversaw the audio post production and creation of 5.1 mixes for the nine volume Time Life series and the accompanying 60 minute PBS pledge break show Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Live, produced by Ravin’ Films.

Jim has collaborated with Abby as the sound designer on Peabody award winner, Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa, And Then They Came for Us, Soul of Justice: Thelton Henderson's American Journey and Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice.  

Jim has been the sound designer on numerous recent award-winning documentaries, including Minding the Gap, Audrie and Daisy, Unrest, The Devil and Daniel Johnston and The Force.