Filmmakers

Daniel Alpert

Danny Alpert, Series Director and Executive Producer

Danny Alpert is a documentary producer, director, and editor whose films have been nominated for Academy® and Emmy® Awards, have aired on PBS, HBO, and A&E, and have screened at festivals around the world. Alpert’s last film, A Doula Story, aired on PBS stations across the nation and was honored with a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism and other awards. Previously, Alpert directed A History of God, a two-hour documentary special for A&E Networks, based on the bestseller by British theologian Karen Armstrong. He co-produced and edited Legacy, a feature-length documentary for HBO, which was nominated for a 2001 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, a National Emmy® for Best Documentary and was an official selection at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival. From 1994 to 1997, he produced No Time to be a Child, a three-part series that aired nationally on PBS and was nominated for an Emmy. Alpert is Executive Director of The Kindling Group in Chicago.

Susanne Suffredin

Susanne Suffredin, Editor and Co-Producer

Susanne Suffredin has distinguished herself in both production and post-production for numerous award-winning feature length dramatic and documentary films. Currently she is in production directing Invisible People, a feature length documentary (The Kindling Group). Prior to her work on The Calling she edited and co-produced Do No Harm (The Kindling Group) screening in festivals around the country and recently airing on PBS. In 2004 Suffredin edited the documentary A Doula Story (The Kindling Group), an official selection in the 2005 San Francisco Film Festival, winner of a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism and broadcast on PBS in October 2005. She was co-director and editor on the short film, There is No Place Like Home (Turner Classic Movies), which screened at Cannes, Venice, and Tokyo Festivals. She was Post-Production Supervisor on the highly acclaimed Hoop Dreams, (Kartemquin Films), winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 1994 Sundance Film Festival and a nominee for an Academy Award for editing. Suffredin was also a Contributing Producer and Editor on the award winning 5 Girls (Kartemquin Films), broadcast on the PBS series POV. Susanne lives in Chicago with her husband, Rich, and her twin sons Henry and Ethan.


Beth Sternheimer

Beth Sternheimer, Series Co-Producer

Beth Sternheimer relocated to Chicago from Boston, where she worked as a documentary producer and researcher for independent films and museum projects. She was the associate producer for Secrecy, an independent documentary on government secrecy and for Traces of the Trade. Both films premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and Traces was broadcast on P.O.V. In addition, Beth was part of a team nominated for a 2009 national Emmy® Award for Outstanding Research on Traces of the Trade. Sternheimer was also the associate producer for Unfinished Symphony. Her museum work includes producing exhibit videos for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Archives, and the newly built Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.


Yoni Brook

Yoni Brook, Director, Jewish Stories

Yoni Brook is a film director and photographer. His documentary film Bronx Princess (with Musa Syeed), about a teenager becoming an African princess, broadcast nationally on the PBS series P.O.V., and premiered at the Berlinale and IDFA. His first documentary, A Son’s Sacrifice, about a halal slaughterhouse, premiered on Independent Lens and won Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and International Documentary Association Awards. Brook has worked as a photojournalist at The New York Times and The Washington Post. He was the youngest ever to be selected for Photo District News' “30 Photographers to Watch.”


Alicia Dwyer

Alicia Dwyer, Director, Evangelical Christian Stories

Alicia Dwyer is currently directing Xmas Without China, a documentary about the relationship that promises to define this century — that between the US and China — through the quirky story of a Chinese immigrant who challenges an American family to have Christmas without any Chinese products. Swyer co-wrote/directed Holy Land: Common Ground, about Israelis and Palestinians who are grappling with history, homelessness, and how to live as neighbors (2008). She was associate producer/editor of the 2004 Emmy-nominated HBO series Pandemic: Facing AIDS and associate producer of the 2001 Academy Award®-winning feature documentary Into the Arms of Strangers.


Musa Syeed

Musa Syeed, Director, Muslim Stories

Musa Syeed is an independent filmmaker and writer. His most recent film, Bronx Princess, premiered at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam and the Berlin International Film Festival. His previous film, A Son’s Sacrifice, won Best Documentary Short from the Tribeca Film Festival in 2007. Both films aired nationally on PBS. He is currently producing a narrative feature about environmental conflicts in Kashmir. As writer/director, Syeed received the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Production Award for his screenplay. Syeed was a Fulbright Fellow in Cairo, Egypt, and he taught documentary production at Williams College.


Maggie Bowman

Maggie Bowman, Director, Catholic Story

Maggie Bowman produced Election Day (Arts Engine), a verite documentary that followed a dozen American voters on November 2, 2004. The film premiered at South by Southwest Film Festival and was broadcast on the PBS series P.O.V. in 2008. She was a field producer for The Good Mother for ARTE France, associate-produced Unfinished Country, a film about Haiti's 2006 presidential elections for PBS’s Wide Angle, and has produced for The Brian Lehrer Show, a public affairs talk show on New York Public Radio. Prior to her work in film, Bowman was a union organizer and consultant.


Califone Photo

Califone, Originial Music


In an underground music landscape where 140 characters equals “journalism” and lone MP3s propel bands to momentary internet stardom, bands are here today and gone tomorrow. Califone is a band that defies this blueprint. Their albums are full of layers and textures, offering endless depth, entire universes to lose yourself in – and beyond the thick spectrum of sound, they do something even more important: They write great songs. Califone is a band that will stand the test of time.
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