filmmakers

scott-hamilton-kennedy

SCOTT HAMILTON KENNEDY
producer / director / camera / sound / co-editor
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Academy Award nominee Scott Hamilton Kennedy is a writer, director, producer, cameraman, and editor and has worked on everything from music videos and commercials to motion capture animation, scripted and reality television, and fiction and non-fiction film.

Scott’s documentary The Garden was nominated for a 2009 Academy Award for Best Documentary feature. It tells the story of the South Central Community Garden, the largest of its kind in the U.S., and its complicated struggle for survival.  It premiered at the prestigious AFI Silverdocs film festival where it won best documentary and went on to win other awards (Florida and Camden FF, MMPA Diversity Award) and garner rave reviews from the likes of Kenneth Turan of the L.A. Times: “Excellent! Its lessons about the levers of power and politics, and how easy it is to get co-opted, are relevant everywhere. The Garden is a potent human drama.”

Scott’s journey as a filmmaker began at Skidmore College, where he majored in theater with a concentration in directing.  He was a DJ for the college radio station WSPN and spent his junior year abroad in London.  Soon after graduating, Scott moved to New York City where he went from a P.A. and A.D. on music videos to directing his first video for Def Jam artist Nikki D, which garnered him a Gold Prize at The Houston Film Festival.  This was followed by several number-one internationally aired music videos including Jimmy Cliff’s remake of “I Can See Clearly Now.”

Scott went on to establish himself as a director of music videos, commercials, and promos for clients ranging from Tony Bennett to CBS and Mattel.  He directed second unit on the Showtime movies “Last Exit to Earth” and “Sea Wolf.” Scott then had the unique opportunity of being hired by low-budget legend Roger Corman to direct four TV features, each shot in six days.

Scott’s debut documentary, OT: our town, tells the underdog story of the staging of the first play in twenty years at Dominguez High in Compton, California, and their attempt to produce Thornton Wilder’s Our TownOT screened and won awards at some of the top film festivals in the world including Toronto, Los Angeles (best documentary), Tribeca, SXSW, Palm Springs Int’l (audience award), and Aspen (audience award). OT was also honored by being ‘short listed’ for an Oscar nomination, nominated for Best Documentary by the Independent Spirit Awards, and awarded a Human and Civil Rights award from the National Education Association (NEA). Critics loved OT, and the film was included on several ‘best of’ lists, including the L.A. Times and Seattle Times.

Scott has become a much sought after speaker and educator and has lectured and taught master classes in film at universities such as Carnegie Mellon, USC, and the Claremont Colleges.  Scott also had the honor of being chosen to participate in the American Documentary Showcase, a Cultural Presentation of the United States of America.  Sponsored by the State Department, ADS partners with the local Embassy, bringing in filmmakers to show their work and teach in countries all over the world.

Scott is also developing several narrative projects, including an adaptation of The Garden.  His feature script Up River, a coming of age action/adventure movie on the Los Angeles River, went through the highly competitive FIND Directors Lab and was featured on the Black List.

Presently Scott is in post-production on a documentary with the working title Fame High, about the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA).  Fame High follows five freshman and five seniors through a school year as they try to become successful actors, singers, dancers, and musicians.

Scott grew up in Berkeley, CA, and now resides in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles with his wife, Catherine Borek, and their two daughters Tessa and Eden.

JULIE BERGMAN SENDER
co-executive producer

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Julie Bergman Sender has a unique mix of experience—from producing feature films and documentaries to producing and directing groundbreaking national media campaigns that focus on politics and social issues. Julie began her career as a film Executive at Warner Brothers producing movies with director Sydney Pollack as well as working at Disney, Universal and partnering with Jodie Foster. She has produced a number of well known feature films including the Agneiszka Holland directed “Washington Square” starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Albert Finney and Maggie Smith; the Ridley Scott film “G.I. Jane” starring Demi Moore; and “Six Days, Seven Nights” starring Harrison Ford.

Julie Bergman Sender is a partner with her husband Stuart Sender in Balcony Films, Inc., a Los Angeles-based media production and consulting firm. Balcony Films specializes in creating feature and documentary films and television programs and distributes visual content and large-scale campaigns for theaters, television, on-line, radio and whatever comes next. Balcony Films works with for-profit companies and non-profit organizations to create both content and distribution strategies that allow their clients to market their media and causes and brand themselves in innovative ways.

Balcony Films award-winning content and public service campaigns often feature well-known actors and performers, including: Will Ferrell, Jason Alexander, Helen Hunt, Felicity Huffman, Rosario Dawson and Stevie Wonder. Their work and campaigns have been featured on all major network and cable networks, including programs such as Good Morning America and The Today Show. They’ve been written about in the NY Times, Washington Post, NY Post, The Times of London and extensively on the web.

Balcony Films work has helped register literally millions of new voters and the tracking and placement company NBN confirms that their recent campaigns have created over 300-million media impressions and earned millions of dollars in free and earned media for their clients.

STUART SENDER
co-executive producer
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In addition to his work as a partner in Balcony Films, Stuart Sender has an eclectic background as a broadcast journalist and war correspondent, a screenwriter and Academy-Award nominated documentary filmmaker. Stuart has written, produced and directed award-winning news and documentary programs for public and network television in the United States and internationally.

These credits include Prisoner of Paradise (prisonerofparadise.com), which received Academy Award and Directors Guild nominations as well as wining the prestigious Grierson Award in the U.K. Stuart Sender also directs many of Balcony Film’s political commericals and public service announcements which have featured well-known actors such as Felicity Huffman, Marg Helgenberger, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Jason Alexander.

He is currently producing and directing two feature documentaries: “Harmony” a global environmental documentary; and The F Word, which focuses on stories of Forgiveness (the other F word) from combat zones around the globe. He is also adapting the acclaimed book, The Golden Spruce as a feature film in collaboration with the author John Vaillant. These are also being produced with Julie Bergman Sender and Balcony Films.

VIVIANNE NACIF
co-producer
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Vivianne is the daughter of a Greek Orthodox Mexican-Lebanese father and a Jewish Russian-American mother. Born and raised in Mexico City and educated in the French, Mexican, and American educational systems, Vivianne was destined to be different and borderless. She always knew she wanted to make a difference, and it was clear that her passion for acting and production would facilitate this dream. She got her BA from Pepperdine University, where she majored in television production and minored in theatre.

Vivianne has worked as an actor in theatre and television for the past twelve years. Her passion is also in looping and voice-overs and you can currently hear her voice in many films and commercials. She has had the privilege of teaching theatre to �at-risk� kids for the past nine years in wonderful institutions like The Old Globe Theatre, The Shakespeare Festival, The Virginia Avenue Project and The Unusual Suspects. She has also been a volunteer for Make a Wish Foundation for the last five years.

Behind the scenes, she has worked at various companies, including the Berkley Group, where she worked on the making-of documentary for Paramount’s Clear and Present Danger and as an assistant publicist for Fair Game and Dangerous Beauty. Her work as an associate producer for a series of educational videos for LAUSD combined her love of production with her passion for under-privileged youth. Currently, Vivianne is in post-production for the 16mm short film Unknown which she co-produced with the union of Flip Films. Vivianne was thrilled when producer/director Scott Hamilton Kennedy (OT: our town) asked her to co-produce his latest documentary The Garden.

DOMINIQUE DERRENGER
co-producer
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Dominique brought a broad range of filmmaking credentials to his job as Co-Producer of The Garden.

Dominique’s mix of experience combines the financial know-how of a Line Producer with the story skills of a creative producer. Rising through the ranks at Disney Studios, and breaking into the creative side at Columbia Pictures, gave him a ring side seat to the making of films like Alive, Desperado, & Higher Learning, and the opportunity to work with filmmakers like Wes Anderson, Alan Parker & Milos Foreman. As an executive for Jim Henson Pictures he got hands-on training developing books and scripts, and working with the writers and directors of films like Buddy and The Muppets In Space.

Dominique has worked on several documentaries over the years, including films by Academy Award® Nominated Filmmaker’s Rhyena Halpern & Les Blank. Behind the camera, he Produced and Directed All For One: In The Spirit Of The Race, which follows coach Stephen Gladstone and his University of California Crew Team in their quest to rebuild the once dominant rowing program. The feature film premiered at the iconic Wheeler Auditorium at UC Berkeley, was highlighted at the Hot Springs Film Festival in 2002, and continues to have a very loyal following around the world.

Dominique re-joined the work force as Co-Producer of the TLC reality television series Faking It, and as a production accountant on films like Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Poseidon, the Academy Award® Nominated Frost/Nixon. Today, his career continues to break new ground as he enters the visual effects arena. As the Associate Visual Effects Producer on G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, he currently works with Academy Award® Nominated Filmmaker’s Boyd Shermis & Rhonda Gunner, who supervise and produce some of the top visual effects in the industry. The movie will be exploding in a few thousand theaters near you this summer.

Witnessing The Garden grow from it’s humble beginnings in 2004 in the dirt of South Central, to being the local underdog on the red carpet at the 2008 Academy Awards® in Hollywood, has filled provided Dominique with enough life lessons to last a lifetime. For this, and so much more, he is very thankful.

ALEX BLATT & TYSON FITZGERALD
Editors
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Alex Blatt has worked with critically acclaimed filmmakers such as Gregg Araki (Splendor, Mysterious Skin, Smiley Face), Victor Nunez (Coastlines), Larry Clark (Wassup Rockers, Imaled). Alex also edited David Munro’s Full Grown Men, which premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. Since then, Alex edited A Beautiful Life, a film by acclaimed filmmaker Alejandro Chomski (Hoy Y Manana, Feel The Noise).

Tyson FitzGerald was born in Atlanta, GA, and moved to Los Angeles to attend film school at USC. He has edited a wide variety of projects from reality television to music videos. This is his first time cutting a feature length documentary. His other accomplishments include speaking Japanese and playing classical piano.

GABRIEL TENORIO & DOUG DEANGELIS
Composers
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Gabriel Tenorio is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and performer from Los Angeles. He has toured internationally with his group Domingosiete and has worked in a wide array of styles with many artists including Alejandro Escovedo and Vincio Capossela. His work can be heard on current films such as Wassup Rocker by Larry Clark and The Garcia Girls by Georgina Garcia. He’s a Leo and likes to workout at the gym. Mmmm….

Doug DeAngelis began his career in Boston where he recorded the Nine Inch Nails hit Head Like A Hole with world-renowned producer Flood. In 1991, he moved to New York City where he amassed over 300 album credits including 31 #1 Billboard Chart singles with artists like New Order, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Love and Rockets, Alicia Keyes, and No Doubt. As a composer, his music has appeared in CSI, Studio 60 Live On The Sunset Strip, Dirty Sexy Money, Men In Trees, Alias, Cold Case, Smith, Blades Of Glory, Employee Of The Month, ER and Species – The Awakening.

ABOUT KATAHDIN PRODUCTIONS
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Katahdin Productions is a nonprofit documentary production company based in Berkeley, California, with production offices in Los Angeles. The mission of Katahdin Productions is to tell compelling stories often ignored by mainstream media – stories that inspire, engage, and even enrage. Founded in 2003 by Lisa Thomas, cofounder and former CEO of Clif Bar, Inc., Katahdin is dedicated to creating and supporting high-quality documentary films, ancillary educational materials and media projects that touch the soul as they sound a call to action. For more information, please visit www.katahdin.org.

ABOUT IMPACT PARTNERS
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Impact Partners is committed to financing independent cinema that addresses pressing social issues. We bring together financiers and filmmakers so that, together, they can create great films that entertain audiences, enrich lives, and ignite social change. For more information please visit: www.impactpartnersfilm.com