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Project Team

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  • Nancy Kates
    Producer/Director
    Nancy is a filmmaker and writer based in Berkeley, California. She co-produced and directed Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustinwith New York filmmaker Bennett Singer. Brother Outsider premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, with a national broadcast on the PBS program P.O.V. The film received numerous awards, including the 2004 GLAAD Media Award, and audience awards at the major American gay and lesbian film festivals. It also received the award for best feature film at New York’s New Festival and a number of jury prizes. Kates is a former producer of Computer Chronicles, the PBS series, and has worked as a producer, writer, and story consultant on various documentary projects. She also speaks frequently at schools, colleges and universities. Kates is a graduate of Stanford’s documentary film and television program; her M.A. thesis project, Their Own Vietnam, received the 1995 Student Academy Award in Documentary. She worked as a journalist in New York and Boston before turning to film.
  • Sophie Constantinou
    Cinematographer
    Sophie has earned international acclaim for tackling difficult subjects with artistry. Her directing credits include Divided Loyalties, a personal exploration of the conflict in Cyprus and Between the Lines, a lyrical documentary about women who cut themselves. Her shooting credits include PBS’s award-winning Maquilapolis; HBO’s Unchained Memories, which tells the stories of former slaves; and the PBS film Presumed Guilty, a portrait of a public defender’s office. She is working on Open Minds, Open Mouths, a film about the movement for sustainable, organic lunches in public schools.
  • John Haptas
    Editor
    John practiced law in Oakland, California before meeting his wife, Kristine Samuelson, and turning to film. He became a documentary editor after several decades of work as a location sound mixer. His editing credits include Soundtrack to a Riot for Frontline World (Emmy Nomination), Hunting the Hidden Dimension, a program on fractal geometry for PBS Nova (“Pierre-Gilles de Gennes” Prize), and Inside Guantanamo Bay, a two-hour National Geographic Explorer special (editor/co-writer; Emmy nominations for Best Documentary and for Writing). With Samuelson, he made the recent Tokyo Waka, a meditation on the crows of Tokyo, and a number of earlier films.
  • David Tecson
    Motion Graphic Designer

    David is a Creative Director and User Experience designer in the fields of film, television, and online media. He has served as president of Edgeworx, making graphics and visual effects for projects such as Operation Homecoming, Herbie: Fully Loaded, The Kid Stays in the Picture, D.E.B.S., and Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Creative Director at CoSA, The Company of Science & Art where he helped develop the software After Effects. He is a board member of the downtown theater company Clubbed Thumb.

  • Laura Karpman
    Composer
    Laura brings to her music feverish imagination, impeccable musicianship, complexity, versatility, unbridled joy, and fearlessness. In the words of George Manahan, music director of New York City Opera, Karpman’s work exhibits “a rare combination of heart and groin.” Having scored numerous television and film productions, Karpman has won four Emmys, and been nominated for seven more. Her acclaimed musical extravaganza “Ask Your Mama,” co-created with renowned soprano Jessye Norman, premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2009, and was reprised in 2013. Karpman was named one of the most important women in Hollywood by VARIETY, and teaches music and film composition at UCLA and the Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain.
  • Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum
    Composer
    Nora leads a diverse musical life, writing music for film, television, video games, theater and the concert hall. She recently completed Quotes, a large commission for the 40th Anniversary of The London Symphony Chorus with string orchestra; her choral work A Simple Oath, commissioned by Essential Voices USA, premiered on National Public Radio. Her concert commissions include The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, The London Symphony Chorus, The Seattle, Detroit and San Francisco Symphonies, and the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra. As a co-founder of VisionIntoArt, she created numerous interdisciplinary multimedia productions. She studied composition with Samuel Adler and Milton Babbitt at Julliard.
  • Rachel Antell
    Co-Producer
    Rachel is a documentary filmmaker and editor based in the Bay Area. Among the films she’s produced are Fremont, USA which looks at one city’s response to its growing religious pluralism; Acting on Faith which profiles American women activists from the Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist faiths; and Death on a Friendly Border about the rising numbers of migrants who die crossing the US-Mexico border since its militarization. Rachel has also edited several documentaries, including Why We Sing, about GLBT choruses, which aired nationally on PBS; and Occupied Minds which followed a US-Israeli and US-Palestinian’s joint journey to their homeland and was broadcast on Link-TV. Antell received her M.A. in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.  
  • Tom Dolby
    Executive Producer
    Tom is an American producer, director, novelist, and editor. His novels include The Trouble Boy, The Sixth Form, and his Secret Society series. He also served as co-editor of he anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, which became a Sundance Channel reality television series, for which he was a consulting producer. In 2012, Dolby wrote and co-directed (with Tom Williams) the film Last Weekend, starring Patricia Clarkson. He pursues film and television projects through his film company, Water’s End Productions.
  • Susannah Patrice Morse
    Associate Producer
    Susannah is an independent filmmaker and writer. She received a Harvard Film Study Center Fellowship and a media grant from the Jerome Foundation for her work-in-progress Haunted by the Light, an experimental 16mm film studying children’s fantasy writer Susan Cooper. She also co-directed Elwood Snock & the Land of Lo-Fi, an experimental documentary feature exploring the life of outsider folk musician Michael Hurley. Susannah has taught video production courses with Robb Moss, Alfred Guzzetti and Gina Kim in Harvard University’s department of Visual and Environmental Studies, after receiving her A.B. there in 2004. She is currently pursuing an M.A. at Cambridge University.  
  • Arwen Curry
    Associate Producer
    Arwen is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.  Her documentary film Stuffed screened at the 2006 Mill Valley Film Festival, the New England Film & Video Festival, and other festivals. Her current documentary project is a biography of writer Ursula K. Le Guin, supported by Cal Humanities and other documentary funders.
  • Veronica Selver
    Creative Consultant
    Veronica has been an award-winning editor and producer for the last 30 years. She co-produced and directed KPFA On the Air. Her co-directing credits include You Got to Move and Columbia Dupont award-winner Word is Out, the first feature documentary on growing up gay. Selver recently produced and directed the 30th anniversary DVD release of Word is Out. She edited the award-winning films On Company Business; Academy Award-nominated Berkeley in the SixtiesHarry Bridges: A Man and His Union; Absolutely Positive; Coming Out Under FireBlacks and Jews, and Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin.
  • Susi Walsh
    Strategic Advisor
    Regarding Susan Sontag was produced in association with the Center for Independent Documentary. Susi is the Executive Director and co-founder of the Center for Independent Documentary, an award-winning nonprofit organization. The Center was founded in 1981 to collaborate with independent producers to create films and videos on issues of contemporary social and cultural concern. These films have been broadcast nationally on public and cable television, won numerous awards, and continue to be distributed nationwide. Walsh works to support filmmaker education and networking by organizing professional workshops, meetings and an annual retreat for documentary makers. She is a leader in inter-organization organizing in the film community in greater Boston, and helped craft recent legislation creating new tax incentives for filmmakers shooting in Massachusetts, which resulted in significant growth in the number of films being shot there. Walsh has also produced several documentaries with her husband, Fred Simon.  

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Advisor Bios

  • Nikhil Singh
    Nikhil is Associate Professor of History, University of Washington, and author of Black Is a Country: Race And the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy, 2005. His current work examines terrorism, U.S. foreign policy, and the post-9/11 world.
  • Craig Seligman
    Craig is a book critic for Bloomberg News, a former editor at several publications, including The New Yorker and Salon, and the author of Sontag & Kael: Opposites Attract Me, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2004.
  • Leland Poague
    Leland is a Professor of English, Iowa State University, is the author, with Kathy Parsons, of Susan Sontag: an Annotated Bibliography, 1948-1991, and editor of Conversations with Susan Sontag.
  • Nancy K. Miller
    Nancy is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of numerous books including Subject to Change: Reading Feminist Writing; Getting Personal: Feminist Occasions and Other Autobiographical Acts; Bequest and Betrayal: Memoirs of a Parent’s Death; But Enough About Me: Why We Read Other People’s Lives and other works.
  • Wayne Koestenbaum
    Wayne is Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. His numerous works include the poetry volumes Ode to Anna Moffo and Other Poems, 1990 and The Milk of Inquiry, 1999. His critical works include The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire, 1993; Andy Warhol, 2001; and Hotel Theory, 2007.
  • Liam Kennedy
    Liam is director of the Clinton Institute for American Studies at the University of Dublin, and Professor of American Studies. He is the author of Susan Sontag: Mind as Passion, 1995 and Race and Urban Space in American Culture, 2000. He is co-editor of Urban Space and Representation, 1999 and City Sites: An Electronic Book, 2000, and editor of Remaking Birmingham: the Visual Culture of Urban Regeneration, 2004.
  • Neil Jumonville
    Neil is William Warren Rogers Professor of History and chair of the History Department at Florida State University. He is the author of Henry Steele Commager: Midcentury Liberalism and the History of the Present, 1999 and Critical Crossings: The New York Intellectuals in Postwar America, 1991. He is also the editor of The New York Intellectuals Reader, and co-editor (with Kevin Mattson) of Liberalism for a New Century, which addresses the question of liberalism in the post-9/11 world.
  • Adam Green
    Adam is Associate Professor of History at the University of Chicago. With Charles M. Payne, Adam co-edited Time Longer than Rope: A Century of African American Activism, 1850-1950, published in 2003, and wrote Selling the Race: Culture and Community in Black Chicago, 1940-1955, published in 2007.