ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
MORGAN NEVILLE (Director, Producer) is one of the top documentary filmmakers in the industry. His film 20 Feet from Stardom won the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Documentary as well as a Grammy Award for Best Music Film. Neville has been nominated for four additional Grammys including bids for Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied and Johnny Cash’s America. He won an Emmy Award® for his telefilm Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues. Neville’s non-music films include The Cool School and Beauty Is Embarrassing. His latest film, Best of Enemies, was purchased by Magnolia Pictures at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was released on July 31, 2015.
CAITRIN ROGERS (Producer) is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker who has produced documentaries on a wide variety of subjects from war and politics to music and sports. Her recent credits include 20 Feet from Stardom, which won the 2014 Oscar for Best Feature Documentary and the 2015 Grammy for Best Music Film. She was also a producer on The Tillman Story, which won an Emmy Award in 2012. Other film credits include Once in a Lifetime and Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who.
JEFF SKOLL (Executive Producer) is a philanthropist and social entrepreneur, working to bring life to his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. The first full-time employee and President of eBay, Jeff developed the company’s inaugural business plan and helped lead its successful initial public offering and the creation of the eBay Foundation. Over the last 15 years, Jeff has created an innovative portfolio of philanthropic and commercial enterprises, each a distinctive social catalyst. Together, these organizations drive social impact by investing in a range of efforts that integrate powerful stories and data with entrepreneurial approaches. The Jeff Skoll Group supports his organizations, which include the Skoll Foundation, the Capricorn Investment Group, Participant Media and the Skoll Global Threats Fund.
DIANE WEYERMANN (Executive Producer) is the executive vice president of documentary films at Participant Media. As such, she is responsible for the company’s documentary feature film slate. Participant’s current documentary projects include Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence, Marc Silver’s 3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets, Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s Best of Enemies, Davis Guggenheim’s He Named Me Malala and Bernardo Ruiz’s Kingdom of Shadows. Previous releases include the Oscar-winners Citizenfour and An Inconvenient Truth, Emmy-winner Food, Inc. and Emmy-nominees The Great Invisible, Chicago 10, Pressure Cooker and Page One: Inside the New York Times, as well as feature documentaries The Unknown Known, The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Ivory Tower, A Place at the Table, State 194, Last Call at the Oasis, Waiting for “Superman,” Countdown to Zero, Climate of Change, Standard Operating Procedure, Jimmy Carter Man from Plains and Darfur Now.
LAURA FREID (Executive Producer) is the CEO and executive director of The Silk Road Project. Nationally and internationally, she has more than two decades of leadership experience in top-tier institutions of higher education as well as consulting for not-for-profit, public affairs and media organizations. One of her lifelong interests is understanding how traditional concepts and new ideas travel across time and cultures; this is the focus of her published articles and interviews.
Since Freid came to The Silk Road Project in 2004, the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble has recorded five albums, appeared on “Live from Lincoln Center” and performed more than 220 times across the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including at the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm, the Special Olympics in Shanghai and the United Nations General Assembly Hall in New York City.
Under Freid’s leadership, The Silk Road Project has sustained an ongoing multi-year affiliation with Harvard University, completed a five-year partnership with Rhode Island School of Design, and conducted numerous residencies in universities and museums around the world. During her tenure, The Silk Road Project has spearheaded a yearlong, citywide celebration of the arts in Chicago; focused on the arts and passion-driven learning in work with middle schools, educators and teaching artists; and brought together artists and business leaders to influence the emerging field of cultural entrepreneurship.
Prior to joining The Silk Road Project, Freid was executive vice president for public affairs and university relations at Brown University. A magazine journalist and editor, she served as publisher of Harvard magazine and publisher and editor of Bostonia magazine. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and holds an M.B.A. from Boston University as well as an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
CRISTIN CANTERBURY BAGNALL (Co-Executive Producer) is the director of artistic and learning programs at The Silk Road Project. She previously spent 19 years working with Yo-Yo Ma, serving in capacities such as general manager and director of strategic planning. In 1998 Bagnall was the founding treasurer of The Silk Road Project. She served for eight years as a board member.
Bagnall executive-produced a number of Ma’s albums. She has also served as a strategic consultant to various cultural institutions including the Kennedy Center, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and MusiCorps, a conservatory-level music rehabilitation program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that works to help severely wounded warriors recover their lives through music. Bagnall lives outside of Boston with her husband and daughter.
JULIE GOLDMAN (Executive Producer) is an Emmy Award-winning producer of documentary feature films. Recent films include The Kill Team and Art and Craft, both Oscar shortlisted for 2015. She produced several acclaimed films which premiered in recent years in the U.S. Documentary Competition at Sundance: Gideon’s Army; Manhunt; the Oscar shortlisted God Loves Uganda; Participant Media’s A Place at the Table; the Oscar shortlisted Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and Buck, winner of the Sundance Documentary Audience Award, shortlisted for an Academy Award and one of 2011’s top five grossing documentaries.
Julie consulted on the Academy Award-winning The Cove and produced the Oscar shortlisted Sergio.
The Orchard is a pioneering independent film, TV and music distribution company that operates in over 25 global markets. The company, founded as a music distributor in 1997, is a groundbreaking leader in the film and television distribution space, known for its innovative technology that provides filmmakers with up-to-the minute trending data and analytics on their projects. The Orchard's film division has enjoyed such recent successes as the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Cartel Land," "The Overnight," "Dior & I" and "What We Do in the Shadows." Upcoming releases include Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville's "The Music of Strangers" and Joachim Trier's "Louder Than Bombs.”
Participant Media (http://www.participantmedia.com/) is a leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires and compels social change. Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for viewers to get involved. Participant’s more than 70 films, includingSpotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc., and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 50 Academy Award® nominations and eight wins. Participant has also launched more than a dozen original series, including “Please Like Me,” Emmy® Award-winning “Hit Record On TV with Joseph Gordon-Levitt,” and “Fortitude,” for its television network, Pivot (http://www.pivot.tv/). Participant's digital hub, TakePart (http://www.TakePart.com), serves millions of socially conscious consumers each month with daily articles, videos and opportunities to take action. Follow Participant Media on Twitter at @Participant and on Facebook.