Susanne lives in Chicago with her husband and twin sons and works as a producer, director and editor on independent narrative films, educational programs and long format documentaries. Drawn to the power of documentary story telling, Susanne worked at Kartemquin Films on a number of projects, most notably 5 Girls as Contributing Producer and Editor, on the Academy Award nominated Hoop Dreams as Post-Production Supervisor, and Co-Editor for the Emmy nominated companion piece Higher Goals. Her recent producing and editing credits for The Kindling Group include Do No Harm and A Doula Story, as well as Series Editor and Co-Producer for The Calling. Dramatic editing credits include The Rest of Your Life, (Possessed Pictures) and Prefontaine, (Hollywood Pictures). Susanne received a BFA in Painting from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. She is working on a book of photographs from her years spent traveling throughout the South Pacific and Asia.
Daniel Alpert | Executive Director | email@example.com
Daniel Alpert, Executive Director of The Kindling Group, is a producer, director and editor whose films have been nominated for Academy and national Emmy Awards, and have aired on PBS, HBO, A&E and on television and at festivals around the world.
Alpert is the Producer and Executive producer of Invisble People, a documentary that is currently in production. Thousands of people in this country are homeless. Invisible People tells many such stories through the eyes of Mark Horvath, a formerly homeless man and now homeless activist, social media agitator and YouTube celebrity, as he explores innovative responses to this crisis and breaks down the barriers between "us" and "them." Alpert was Series Director and Executive Producer on The Calling, a groundbreaking documentary series that shares the journeys of Muslim, Christian and Jewish Americans who have decided to enter the clergy. The series aired nationally on PBS' acclaimed series Independent Lens in December 2010. His previous film, A Doula Story, about a remarkable woman who empowers disadvantaged pregnant teenagers with the skills and confidence to become loving mothers, aired on PBS stations across the country. 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, an 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, as well as internationally in over 12 countries and was nominated for a national Emmy Award.
Beth Sternheimer is a documentary producer and researcher on independent films and museum projects. For Kindling Group, Beth was the Co-Producer of The Calling. Prior to this she was the Associate Producer for Secrecy and AP/Researcher for Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, both of which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. For Traces, Beth was nominated for a national Emmy for Outstanding Research. She was the Associate Producer for Unfinished Symphony, a film documenting a 1971 Vietnam veterans' anti-war march in Massachusetts and the controversy that erupted when the protestors attempted to camp on Lexington's historic battlefield. It premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was subsequently broadcast on the Sundance Channel. Beth's museum projects include producing exhibit videos for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, National Archives and the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. In addition to her film work, Beth is an instructor at Chicago Filmmakers. She holds a BA in history from Oberlin College and an MA in American Studies from UMass – Boston.
Rebecca Schanberg | Producer and Director
Rebecca recently produced and directed Do No Harm, a documentary that tells the incredible and often outrageous story of two men in a small, southern town who endured relentless attacks in order to draw national attention to the plight of the uninsured and bring about reform in health insurance. Do No Harm is her first directorial effort and is being broadcast on PBS stations around the country. Rebecca was the Associate Producer for A Doula Story and coordinated the national educational outreach campaign for the film. Prior to joining Kindling Group, she was Director of Corporate Philanthropy at Polo Ralph Lauren, where she managed the corporation's charitable giving program and helped create and run the company's widely publicized "Pink Pony Campaign." She has also worked as a Community and Women's Liaison in The Office of the Manhattan Borough President under Ruth Messinger, and as a Team Leader and Program Designer for City Year, a national urban peace corps. Rebecca holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Laura Wilson | Associate Director | firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Wilson is a writer, producer, and editor who joined the Kindling Group as Associate Director in January 2013. Laura received her M.A. in International Development Studies from George Washington University, where she focused on the role of digital media in promoting social justice and democracy, including fieldwork and production in Cambodia and Ghana. She also earned a graduate certificate from the GWU Institute for Documentary Film, where she shot and edited a documentary short. In 2011, Laura moved from D.C. home to Chicago to write video scripts and emails for President Obama's re-election campaign. She is passionate about online organizing and compelling storytelling, and bringing the two together to inspire people to take action in their communities.
Josh Cass | Assistant Editor
Josh started his film career in production as an Assistant Camera at Big Shoulders in Chicago, where he worked on reality series programming for TLC, including Design on a Dime, House Hunters, and Buy Me. He then dabbled in post-production on commercials at Cutters before coming to The Kindling Group as a night logger for The Calling . He is currently the full-time Assistant Editor for The Calling and has done post-production work for Do No Harm. Josh studied engineering at Michigan State University and film at Lansing College.
Fenell Doremus | Producer and Director
Fenell is the Producer/Director of Devon Avenue: An American Street. She began working in documentary film as an Assistant Editor on the award-winning Hoop Dreams and went on to spend eight years as staff Producer at Kartemquin Films. Before leaving Kartemquin she was Segment Co-Producer and Editor of The New Americans. The series was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2004 and won multiple awards at festivals worldwide. In 2003 Fenell spent a month in India shooting Quiet Strength, a documentary in development about Tibetan nuns living in exile. Most recently she has been working as Co-Producer on COOKED, a film-in-progress by Judith Helfand.
Amy Cargill | Editor and Music Supervisor
Amy Cargill is a multimedia filmmaker dividing her time between Chicago and Los Angeles. Her recent work includes associate editor for All My Friends Are Funeral Singers which premiered at Sundance 2010 (Indiepix), and senior editor for Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City (Archimedia Workshop). She is the music supervisor for The Kindling Group's The Calling. She is also working with Emmy award nominated director Joanna Rudnick editing her new film On Beauty, produced by Kartemquin Films. Amy was the editor of Nice Bombs (Seventh Art Releasing), associate producer of Sgt. Fitch (ITVS/CPB) and is a regular editor for About Face Media. She was the head digital archivist for the Studs Terkel audio archives at the Chicago History Museum, a regular film correspondent for Mule Magazine, and documentary film instructor for Chicago Filmmakers. She founded the multimedia production company Normal Pictures, which is currently in development on a documentary examining the life and work of cult blues musician Jimmy Reed. Amy is a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Film and Video Studies program.
Erin Williams | Engagement Campaign Manager | email@example.com
Erin Williams manages What's Your Calling at Kindling Group; she produces and conducts interviews for the site, builds partnerships, designs and implements communications and strategy, and manages the Facebook and Twitter presences for the campaign. Previously, Erin worked in program development and media relations, production, and training capacities in the US and overseas, most recently with Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago. Erin also facilitates for Soliya's Connect Program, which involves online conversations between students in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the US. As a photographer and videographer, Erin's work has appeard on ABC's Good Morning America, BET, CNN, and PBS, and she has spoken about religion and the media in the US and abroad. Erin received a B.A. in Religion from Carleton College, and she's thankful to Roberto Arevalo for everything he's taught her about storytelling and documentary filmmaking.
Dana M. Kupper | Cinematographer
Dana has been an active member of the independent filmmaking community in Chicago for almost 20 years. She was one of the main DPs on Stevie, a feature documentary by Steve James, director of the highly regarded Hoop Dreams. Stevie won the Excellence in Cinematography for a Feature Length Documentary Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. She was the Cinematographer for the feature documentary 5 Girls, and shot for the documentary series The New Americans, both of which aired on PBS. For The Kindling Group, she filmed Do No Harm, which is airing on PBS stations across the country, much of the Chicago production for The Calling, and part of A Doula Story. Dana teaches a basic camera class at Columbia College and also does occasional lighting and camera seminars at the University of Chicago.
Kelly Luchtman | Producer and Director
Kelly Luchtman directed Artists in Residence, her first feature length documentary. For WTTW (PBS Chicago), she produced Chicago by ‘L’: Touring the Neighborhoods, which was distributed nationally on PBS and Discovery. Previously she associate produced the documentaries A Doula Story for the Kindling Group, and A History of God for A&E. Kelly has been awarded an artists’ residency at the Ragdale Foundation, two grants from the Illinois Arts Council, and she was nominated for an Emmy for the website supporting Chicago by L. In addition to working on documentaries, Kelly creates pieces for clients such as the YWCA, the Girl Scouts, the Joyce Foundation, the Zilber Family Foundation, and McGraw-Hill Higher Eduacation.
Matt Lauterbach | Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt has the pleasure of editing the majority of media content for the What's Your Calling?website, and is now a bit jealous of all the adventures that the average human being can apparently have. Matt works as a freelance documentary editor and museum content developer, and is always on the look-out for creative opportunities to teach in unusual ways. In the recent past, he taught psychology to teens at Curie Metro High School; created interactive maps for use in science and history classrooms; and helped develop the "Lincoln Transformed" and "Facing Freedom" exhibitions at the Chicago History Museum. Matt also self-produced and edited Hearing Images, a documentary short about the little-known art of audio description, or making performances accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. He looks forward to assisting with Kindling Group's next documentary, Invisible People, directed by Susanne Suffredin.
Ian Kibbe | Engagement Coordinator, Webmaster | email@example.com
Ian Kibbe is the Engagement Coordinator and webmaster for The Calling and What's Your Calling?. That means Ian is in charge of organizing community screenings and events for The Calling, and also maintaining the What's Your Calling? website. Ian is also a freelance filmmaker, producer and musician whose work has appeared on PBS, CNN, G4, The Health Care Blog, and the Huffington Post. Ian is the engagement coordinator for the Emmy Award-nominated film Typeface (Kartemquin Films) and the associate producer for the upcoming film Phunny Business (All Jokes Productions). In his free time, Ian plays in a mustached, disco rock band, The Flavor Savers. Ian earned his BA in Communications from the UNC -Chapel Hill, and spent a year after graduating wandering around Latin America working and volunteering. Ian is still trying to figure out what his calling is, in part, because he loves doing so many different things (could that be a calling in itself?), but he feels fortunate to be part of this project and to meet and hear the amazing stories of so many incredible people from all over the country and world.
Ines Sommer | Cinematographer
Ines is an independent Filmmaker and Cinematographer based in Chicago. Her work as a Cinematographer ranges from independent narrative films and educational programs to long format documentaries. She was the DP for Sharon Zurek's award-winning, narrative HIV education programs Kevin's Room and Kevin's Room II and served as one of the main cinematographers on Emmy award-winning Director Marian Marzynski's documentary A Jew Among the Germans (PBS Frontline). She also contributed camera work to Amy Siegel's theatrical release Empathy and Susan Stern's documentary The Self-Made Man (POV). Ines has shot for a number of Kindling Group films including A Doula Story and The Calling. She has also received several grants and awards for her own films, which have screened internationally.
Josine hails from Amsterdam and is very excited to be working for Kindling Group. Josine has worn a lot of hats. She worked as a producer for RTL News in New York, and she worked as an editor for the foreign desk of ANP (the Dutch version of the Associated Press) in the Netherlands. She even reported news for a local Amsterdam radio station. Right before leaving Amsterdam, Josine managed the marketing and PR department for an American comedy theater in Amsterdam, called Boom Chicago. Check it out when you go there! Besides comedy, Josine has cultivated a keen interest in American politics and society. In fact, during her graduate studies, she took a trip to the States and followed both the Obama and McCain campaigns. Quick facts about Josine: 1. She holds a BA and MA in History from the University of Amsterdam. 2. In her free time she loves biking and eating gluten-free raisin bread. 3. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Hans, and their failing basil plants.
Musa Syeed | Director
Musa is the Director of The Calling, Muslim stories. He is a writer and filmmaker, with experience producing throughout the Muslim world. He recently returned from a Fulbright Fellowship in Egypt, focusing on experimental filmmaking and religious identity. Musa produced the short film, A Son's Sacrifice, for public television, which had its premiere at International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam 2006. Musa has worked as an educator in schools, community centers, and prisons.
Maggie Bowman | Producer and Director
Maggie is the Director of The Calling, Catholic stories. Most recently, Maggie produced Election Day, a documentary about American voters on November 2, 2004, that broadcast on the PBS series P.O.V. Previously, she was Associate Producer on Unfinished Country, a film about Haiti's 2006 presidential elections for the PBS series Wide Angle. Prior to her work in film, Maggie was a union organizer and consultant, working on campaigns with taxi drivers in the Bronx and nurses in Iowa, among others.
Yoni Brook | Director
Yoni is the Director of The Calling, Jewish stories. Yoni produced and directed the ITVS-funded film A Son's Sacrifice, about an American Muslim's struggle to take over his father's halal slaughterhouse, which aired on PBS' Independent Lens series. He has directed and served as a Cinematographer on numerous documentary and short films for PBS and The History Channel. As a photojournalist, he has worked for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Seattle Times.
Alicia Dwyer | Director
Alicia is the Director of The Calling, Protestant stories. Alicia has worked for 12 years as a documentary filmmaker in the US, Mexico, Africa, and the Middle East. Most recently, she co-directed, co-wrote and edited Holy Land: Common Ground. She was also an Associate Producer on the 2001 Academy Award-winning documentary Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport and Associate Producer and Editor on Rory Kennedy's feature film and Emmy Award-winning HBO series, Pandemic: Facing AIDS.