Get to Know Us
Director, Producer, Cinematographer
Ahmed Mansour, a New York-based filmmaker, is a NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute - News and Documentary Program - graduate. Ahmed was born and raised in a refugee camp in Gaza Strip, Palestine. He worked as an organizer, translator and guide for international journalists covering the 2014 war. He made a series of short films highlighting the humanitarian crisis in Gaza Strip after three successive wars. He has also worked as a reporter for the Washington Report on the Middle East Affairs in Washington DC.He runs his own production company specializing in short videos, and is skilled in all aspects of filmmaking. He is a graduate of an extensive course in storytelling form Storywise Center. Ahmed has received residencies and fellowships from Duke University and the Paths to Peace Leadership Program.
Sarah Friedland is a Jewish documentary filmmaker based in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Friedland’s works with Esy Casey have screened widely in the US and abroad and have been supported by grants from the Jerome Foundation, the Paul Newman Foundation, the William H. Prusoff Foundation, The Princess Grace Foundation, the Ford Foundation Just Films, and the Center for Asian American Media. In 2009, after the debut of her feature documentary Thing With No Name, she was named one of the “Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch” by the Independent Magazine. She is a recipient of the 2014 Paul Robeson award from the Newark Museum for her feature documentary The Rink, which aired on PBS (WNET/NJTV) in 2017 and was nominated for a New York Emmy.
CAMERAPERSON, premiered at Sundance 2016, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, won the National Board of Review “Freedom of Expression” prize, and won three 2017 Cinema Eye Honors. Named one ‘Top Ten Films of 2016’ by The New York Times and The Washington Post, it was the Grand Jury Winner of 9 international festivals, won the ARRI Cinematography Award, and is distributed by The Criterion Collection. Her short, THE ABOVE, premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival and was nominated for the IDA’s ‘Best Short Award’ for 2016. Kirsten’s camerawork has appeared in the Academy Award-winning CITIZEN FOUR, Cannes Premiere RISK, Academy Award-nominated THE INVISIBLE WAR, Tribeca Documentary winner, PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL, Cannes winner FAHRENHEIT 9/11. She shared the Sundance 2010 Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for their work on THE OATH. She and Katy Chevigny co-directed the Berlinale premiering DEADLINE, which won the Thurgood Marshall Award. In 2017, she was awarded the Chicken and Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award and she is currently a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow. She is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and was recently invited to be one of the 4% of ASC members who are women.
Rabab Haj Yahya
Rabab Haj Yahya is an Emmy-nominated documentary editor and a Sundance Edit and Story Lab Fellow. Her recent work includes THE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED (Tribeca 2018), SPEED SISTERS (HotDocs 2015), LOVE THE SINNER (Tribeca 2017) and the web series THE SECRET LIFE OF MUSLIMS (Peabody Finalist, Vox and USA Today, 2016). Rabab has also edited numerous documentaries commissioned by the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel. In between projects, Rabab has dedicated a significant amount of her time helping aspiring editors and filmmakers, through training and pro-bono consultations in the Middle East, West Africa, and the Balkans. Rabab speaks English, Arabic, and Hebrew fluently and currently lives in New York.
Seth Morrison is a Jewish activist focused on Palestinian human rights, LGBTQ rights and local politics. He recently retired from a consulting practice specializing in consumer marketing and strategic planning for both for and non-profit organizations. Previously he was the SVP & General Manager of CTAM, a trade association serving the cable television industry. As a marketer, he has been responsible for major local and national marketing, PR and social media campaigns for the cable television industry and non-profit organizations. Morrison is on the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace and serves on the Steering Committee of the Las Vegas Chapter. He produced,"It's What We Do!" A Play About the Occupation now available on video.
Marcia Rock is an author and three-time Emmy award winning independent documentary filmmaker. She is co-producer, director of SERVICE: Disabled Women Veterans and SOLDIERS PERIOD on women’s fitness to serve in elite fighting troops. She has focused on women in many of her films including, “Salt Harvesters of Ghana,” and “Daughters of the Troubles: Belfast Stories,” on the changing role of women in Northern Ireland. Her other documentaries include, “Surrender Tango,” about how partnering in tango relates to life; “Dancing with My Father,” about how adult love is shaped by what a child learns at home. She received a NY Emmy for SERVICE, and “McSorley’s New York,” a history of New York’s Irish immigrant community. She also received awards for, “Village Writers: The Bohemian Legacy, “and “Reynolds Price: A Writer’s Inheritance.” In 1988, she and Marlene Sanders co-authored Waiting for Prime Time: The Women of Television News.
Paul Costello, founder of storywise.com and New Story Leadership Inc, is a pioneer in developing the method and practice of story-driven change. He has collaborated with leaders from the World Bank, NASA, Lockheed Martin, Department of Homeland Security, USGA and other national and international organizations helping them realize the power of story. He has taken his unique approach into other diverse fields such as peace making programs for emerging leaders from South Africa, Israel and Palestine and Northern Ireland. He has also produced short films covering untold stories of Washington DC and Jerusalem and been the occasional producer of live shows at the Kennedy Center and the Shakespeare Theater. As creative director behind many projects, his special skill is working with people to help them find and shape their most transformative stories for stage and screen and for community empowerment.
Jillian Karole is an NYC based distribution and outreach producer, specializing in creative distribution strategies for the digital age to independent filmmakers. She has worked with major film festivals around the world including Sundance, Outfest, Tribeca, & Berlin, to bring films that target marginalized stories to their audiences. She is also involved with the New School’s Engage Media Lab that works with youth media groups around the city to instruct students on how to create their own
content and in conscious media literacy practices.
Jason Schoenfeld began his musical career as many do, on the theatre stage. There, he first found his love for music and the dramatic, which was soon augmented as he began learning piano and percussion. His musical passions lived and grew in parallel, in the worlds of theatre, concert, rock, and jazz. He followed other interests at college, obtaining a degree in Mathematics from the University of Maryland; but while there, he gradually uncovered a drive to pursue the music he had spent so much time learning and loving. He started writing songs and scores at every opportunity, building up his skills and portfolio for a drastic change in direction. Jason just completed his Master's in Scoring for Film and Multimedia, and aims to have his work heard on stage, screen, and
radio, in all the styles he grew up on. His work features a variety of modern styles,
commonly blending songlike structures, modern and jazz harmony, and synthetic
textures. In Fall 2017, Jason received the Vic Mizzy Scholarship from the ASCAP
Foundation, based on the recommendation of his teachers and judgment of the foundations board. He now works as a freelance composer based in Brooklyn, New York.