Ed Radtke may be the only independent filmmaker to go from juvenile felon to Guggenheim Fellow. As a young, Japanese-American kid in the all-white town of Bellbrook, Ohio, Radtke constantly got into trouble. As "that Asian kid," he always got caught. He graduated high school with a GPA of 1.9. By the age of eighteen, Radtke was a father and a convicted felon.
He started taking classes at the local community college in Ohio. Then switched to the local state university. A year later, he got off a bus in New York City and began at NYU film school, where he would graduate with honors in 1985. His senior film project at NYU led him back to Ohio, where it would become something much larger.
For the next six years, Radtke worked days as a carpenter, and at night writing, producing, directing and finally editing his first feature film, BOTTOM LAND. The stark, intimate story of three generations of Midwestern farmers coping with loss, the film won best first feature at the Houston International Film Festival, and played at film festivals across the country.
Radtke completed the first draft of THE DREAM CATCHER in 1994, and began working to make the film a reality. In 1996, Radtke received the last of the major NEA Filmmaking Production grants, an Ohio Arts Council Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship for THE DREAM CATCHER script.
Julia Reichert is one of the godmothers of the American Independent Film movement. As a founding member of the Film Fund, she helped give rise to the Independent Feature Project. As co-founder of New Day films, she pioneered self-distribution for independent filmmakers, and wrote the first book on the subject, DOING IT YOURSELF. She and partner Jim Klein were nominated for two Academy Awards for best feature documentary, for their films UNION MAIDS and SEEING RED. All four of her feature documentaries have aired on national PBS. Reichert is a proponent of regional filmmaking, working for two decades to develop Midwestern filmmaking. She completed her first dramatic feature, EMMA & ELVIS, in 1992, and is currently one year into production on a major documentary about kids with cancer.
Steven Bognar spent eight years making his first film, PERSONAL BELONGINGS. An intimate documentary about his father, the film debuted at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival. PERSONAL BELONGINGS went on to play at South by Southwest , the inaugural Gen Art Film Festival, and to air nationally on the PBS documentary series P.O.V. The film won the Audience Award for best film at the 1996 Atlanta Film and Video Festival, a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Best First Film at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and has aired on national television in France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Poland, Hungary, Finland, Taiwan, Quebec and Estonia. Bognar has written for indieWIRE and The Independent, and is currently completing a feature script he plans to shoot next year.
British-born cinematographer Terry Stacey recently completed photography on the Good Machine/Bob Hawk production TRICK. He is currently shooting the Tom Gilroy / Gill Holland / Jim McKay feature SPRING FORWARD . Stacey pioneered shooting features with digital video in the 1997 Good Machine production LOVE GOD, which screened at the Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals. Stacey is a veteran of shorts, music videos and commercials, and comes out of years of work in the New York Avant Garde film community of the 70's and 80's.
Sally Petersen production designed Mo Ogrodnik's RIPE, which Trimark distributed and which Amy Taubin called "a fabulous first feature." Petersen, who works out of Atlanta, also designed Andrew Garrison's MAXINE, and is an alumna of numerous features, shorts and the network series I'LL FLY AWAY.
Two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Feature Documentary for UNION MAIDS and SEEING RED. Klein was series editor for the acclaimed PBS series POV for over six years, and his last two films, LETTER TO THE NEXT GENERATION and TAKEN FOR A RIDE both aired nationally on the series.
Annetta Marion is a New York-based Line Producer, and veteran of four features including Rocky Collins' L.A.I.F.F. veteran "Pants on Fire." Marion is also a documentary filmmaker and co-founder & co-director of the Ohio Independent Film Festival.
Peter Wentworth, Academy Award nominated producer of Whit Stillman's METROPOLITAN, recently produced Nick Searcy's dramatic feature PARADISE FALLS and Ruth Leitman's feature documentary ALMA, which premiered at the 1998 South by Southwest Film Festival.
Los Angeles native Gomez scored Steven Bognar's feature documentary "Personal Belongings," which debuted at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and aired nationally on P.O.V. She has scored numerous shorts, including HIDDEN CHILD, NIGHTSWIMMING and HINDSIGHT