One of the IDA's primary goals is to develop a robust community of documentary filmmakers and supporters. To further this effort, each month we'll be spotlighting a group of new(ish) members in the Welcome New Members column.
If you're a new member and would like to be included (or an "old" member who hasn't been featured yet), please send your bio (250 words max) to associate editor Tamara Krinsky at email@example.com. You must include "Welcome New Members" and your name in the subject line of the e-mail. Bios should focus on your filmmaking background, interests, experiences, education, accomplishments, etc. If you're a student, tell us about where you're studying. If you're a film fan, tell us what you love about documentaries. Please also include the city, state and country in which you reside.
Peter Brosnan (Los Angeles, CA) is a writer, documentary filmmaker and social worker. A graduate of New York University's Institute of Film and Television, he also holds master's degrees from the University of Southern California's School of Journalism and Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. As a journalist, Brosnan has published his work in dozens of publications including The Nation, Discovery, American West and Oceans. He has written or produced numerous independent and corporate documentaries and episodes of two Emmy-winning PBS series. His screenwriting credits include a made-for-HBO movie. He has taught video technology, documentary production and film history at several Los Angeles-area colleges. Some years ago, Brosnan helped discover the buried "City of the Pharaoh" film set from Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 silent version of The Ten Commandments. The mammoth set, designed by Art Deco pioneer Paul Iribe, included over 500 tons of Egyptian statuary and was secretly buried when filming was completed. Brosnan subsequently organized archaeological efforts on the site, directed filming of the archaeological work and conducted interviews with many of those who worked on both versions of The Ten Commandments. He hopes to complete his documentary The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille in the near future. Currently, Brosnan is a licensed psychotherapist and works with abused children for Los Angeles County.
Robert A. Emmons Jr. (Barrington, NJ) is a digital documentary filmmaker focusing on American popular culture. His films include Enthusiast: The 9th Art, Smalltown USA, Wolf at the Door, Yardsale! and Goodwill: The Flight of Emilio Carranza. His documentaries range from conceptual installations to traditional narratives and have played in theaters and galleries in Philadelphia and New Jersey. His latest film, Goodwill, recently had the privilege of being screened as part of the Smithsonian exhibition "Our Journeys/Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement" at the New Jersey Historical Society. He has appeared on WHYY's Morning Edition with Brenda Jorett and CN8's Your Morning with Greg Coy to discuss his work. His published and presented works focus on electronic media, documentary film and comic books and include The Encyclopedia of Documentary Film (Routletdge, 2005), Small Tech: The Culture of Digital Tools (Univ. of Minn. 2007), and The Encyclopedia of Latino and Latina History (Facts on File, 2009). Emmons teaches film, new media and comics history at Rutgers University--Camden, where he is also the associate director of the Honors College.
David Hudacek (Boston, MA) began his career as a screenwriter. His script Anna Blue won second prize at the 1998 Austin Film Festival, and was initially optioned by Jerzy Skolimowski (Cannes award-winning director of multiple films, including Moonlighting, and co-writer, with Roman Polanski, of Knife in the Water). Hudacek made the move to directing with short films, including the experimental documentary herbert and maud and Diary of an Ordinary Man, which won Best Editing honors at the 2004 Rhode Island International Film Festival and has been broadcast on Comcast cable and PBS. Hudacek completed the first stage of his documentary A Year in the Life: Healing in Africa in February 2008. The idea of the project sprung from his day job working with Physicians for Human Rights, which brought him to Africa, where he aided refugees seeking political asylum in the United States. He then traveled to Zambia in February 2005, working at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. There he met a number of compelling doctors and realized the story of the health providers in a land without enough was a rich topic. Money is pouring in, a sea change has occurred with AIDS, but the story of who is going to heal the sick hasn't been told. More about the film is at healingafricafilm.org.
Priscilla J. ("Sally") Mattison (Philadelphia, PA) is a transactional lawyer with the Philadelphia-based firm Bernard M. Resnick, Esq., P.C. Her clients have included recording artists, songwriters, record producers, labels, managers, booking agencies, filmmakers, screenwriters and others. She has a background in film production and development, and was a Producing Fellow at the American Film Institute. She has a personal interest in environmental issues.
Slade Mead (Phoenix, AZ) attended college with Roosevelt Thompson, the subject of his documentary Looking for Rosey. Roosevelt was a Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas who died in a car accident his senior year in 1984. In 2002 a Little Rock library was named after its fallen native son. Says Mead, "I loved the guy and was in awe of him. When I heard Little Rock named a library after a 22-year old native 20-plus years after his death, I knew my admiration was not unique. Rosey's story has to be shared." Mead's background is in politics. "Producing is similar to running a campaign," Mead notes. "A film, like a campaign, needs a clear objective and the energy to rally people and money around the candidate."
Richard S. Rosenzweig (Beverly Hills, CA) is executive vice president of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. (PEI), and a member of the company's board of directors. He became a member of the Producers Guild of America in March 2007, and additionally holds membership in the American Film Institute (2005), The Recording Academy (2006) and The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (2004), as well as IDA. Currently he is doing preliminary work on the establishment of an annual International Documentary Film Festival in Beverly Hills. Rosenzweig is a co-producer on the Sony feature film The House Bunny, and executive producer on the independent documentaries Why Be Good: Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema and Gangland: Bullets over Hollywood. Rosenzweig was born in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1935. He received a bachelor of science degree from Northwestern University School of Communication in 1957. He then served for six months in the United States Army active reserve at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in the 305th Psychological Warfare Battalion. He worked for six months on the staff of Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. in Chicago, before joining Playboy. Both in Chicago and Los Angeles, Rosenzweig was and continues to be very active in civic and business activities. In the areas of the arts and philanthropy, Rosenzweig has distinguished himself in such posts as the chairmanship of the board for more than a decade of Children of the Night, a nationally honored program for runaway teens; as a board member of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California; as a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Music Center; as a groundbreaker of the American Cinematheque; as a member of the Beverly Hills Arts and Culture Committee; and as a board member of the Henry Mancini Institute of the American Jazz Philharmonic.
James Spione (New York, NY) is an independent filmmaker based in New York City. His first documentary feature American Farm (www.americanfarmmovie.com) details his extended family's 150-year struggle to hold onto a small dairy farm near Cooperstown, New York. The director traveled the Northeast and Midwest for a year-long theatrical tour with the film before recently securing a national DVD release through Passion River Films. Spione's best-known previous work was the eerie Sundance favorite Garden, with Matt Malloy (Six Feet Under) and Melissa Leo (21 Grams). The narrative short screened and won awards at film festivals worldwide. Spione also directed The Playroom, starring Pamela Stewart (The Reception), which was shown at New York's Walter Reade Theatre as part of the "Independents Night" series and was featured on the national cable program Reel Street. His first film Prelude earned a Student Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was seen at numerous international festivals. Spione produced and co-edited the acclaimed independent feature Parallel Sons (Sundance '95), directed by John G. Young. He also works frequently as a film, video and television editor. Recent credits include God's Open Hand, an independent documentary about the first presidential election in Afghanistan; Darien Sills-Evans' X-Patriots and the PBS series Life 360. He is currently finishing a new documentary project that profiles the few remaining survivors of a long-vanished settlement on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Spione lives with his wife and two sons in Manhattan.
Debra Zarne (Los Angeles, CA). Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Zarne attended Stanford University, majoring in English, and Harvard Law School. She practiced law in New York, Milwaukee and Tokyo before heading off to film school at the University of Southern California to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a filmmaker. At USC Zarne earned a master of fine arts degree in Cinema-Television in the Film Production Division. Primarily a writer/director, Zarne has made 25 short films, written two feature screenplays and written a sitcom pilot. She is currently working on a documentary about the Hasidic community in Los Angeles. In her free time she enjoys doing ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging.