We are devoted to increasing representation across ethnicity, gender, faith, and sexuality in the entertainment industry, not only in the content we create but also in the crew that we have hired. We believe that a story about the most diverse square mile in the United States should be told by a crew of similarly diverse individuals. Our Producer/Director is a woman; our DP is multiracial African American; and our Assistant Director is a woman from India. Within our small crew, we have representation from 7 different nationalities, over 14 languages are spoken, and we are a majority female team. Through our workforce development program, we have hired and trained aspiring filmmakers in the Clarkston community (many are refugees themselves) and are equipping them for careers in the booming Atlanta film industry.
Erin Bernhardt, Director & Producer
Erin has won numerous film festival awards, two Peabody Awards, and an Emmy. Her first independent feature documentary, IMBA MEANS SING, was translated into 37 languages and aired worldwide on Netflix, Delta Studio, and all major VOD platforms. Prior to independent filmmaking, Erin served in the Peace Corps in Madagascar, worked as a Writer/Producer at CNN, and as the Director of Engagement for Points of Light, President George. H. W. Bush’s foundation. She is a lifelong volunteer, currently focused on NEXUS, the Atlanta BeltLine, and LEAD Atlanta. A multi-passionate soul, Erin also loves traveling and teaching yoga.
Din Blankenship, Producer
Din Blankenship is an architectural designer by training who unexpectedly fell into filmmaking. Din has designed transitional shelters for refugees and was invited to present her work at the Symposium for the Architecture of Disaster Relief. Din has a Masters in Architecture with High Distinction from the University of Michigan, where her thesis earned the Thesis Award of Excellence. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. When Din is not working on the film, she can be found walking on the Beltline with her husband, daughter, and two dogs.
Joseph East, Director of Photography
Joseph East is a documentary filmmaker. He has worked nationwide covering subjects as diverse as climate change, animal rights, education, the Junior Olympics, youth arts and more. Previous to joining the CLARKSTON team, Joseph was the Cinematographer/Editor for YOUR FANTASTIC MIND (airing on PBS fall 2018) and a Camera Operator for CHASING CORAL. Joseph also served as the Director/Cinematographer/Editor on his most recent feature documentary called I WILL DANCE, which has been broadcast on PBS in Colorado and the National Endowment of the Arts Southern Circuit Tour.
Danielle Bernstein, Editor
Danielle Bernstein is the founder of Clear Films, the full service, story driven production company that uses media to amplify social and environmental struggles affecting our global community. She is an award winning writer, producer, director, and editor of independent film. Committed to film as a form of activism, Danielle’s mission is to positively influence the community around her one film at a time. Danielle’s directorial debut, When Clouds Clear, attended over 50 film festivals and was the recipient of numerous awards. Her last feature documentary, Imba Means Sing screened at the United Nations, received two IndieFest awards and is distributed in over 37 languages worldwide by Sony Entertainment and Delta, and it is now available worldwide on Netflix. Her current feature project, Homemade, is the recipient of the 2016 Creative Vision Program Grant and will be released in 2017. She is a winner of a Cine Golden Eagle Award, Social Justice Award at the Santa Barbara film festival, recipient of the NYSCA grant, and was Nominated Best Environmental Documentary of the Decade for When Clouds Clear. She is also a Film Fatales and a member of NEXUS.
Mohua Thakurta, Assistant Director & Videographer
Mohua Thakurta is an independent producer who partners with non-profits, small business owners and documentary filmmakers to grow and create engaging video content. Mohua, a passionate educator taught and mentored students for six years at the Art Institute of Atlanta from 2010- 2016. Prior to teaching she worked as an AD of various award winning film and television projects and shorts. Since moving to Atlanta in 2001 she has added to her expertise as a producer AD, Director and editor on multitude of projects. In addition to being involved in creating content she volunteers Clarkston based entrepreneurs at the START:ME accelerator program. When Mo is not working on a project she loves to read and spend time with her kids.
Katie Couric is an award winning journalist, producer, New York Times bestselling author, cancer advocate, podcast host and documentary filmmaker. She was co-anchor of the Today Show on NBC for 15 years before going to CBS and becoming the first woman anchor of a nightly news broadcast. After CBS, Katie moved to serve as the Global News Anchor at Yahoo News, where she interviewed prominent political and cultural figures as well as covering breaking news.
From his start in life as a child soldier in the war-torn region of Southern Sudan in the early 1980s, Emmanuel Jal has come through a huge number of struggles during his life to become a successful and acclaimed recording artist and peace ambassador. In 2008, a feature documentary on his life was released, titled WARCHILD winning 12 prestigious film festival awards worldwide. His autobiography of the same name was published the same year. Emmanuel has released five award-nominated studio albums, and has collaborated and performed alongside artists such as Peter Gabriel, Nelly Furtado, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, and Alicia Keys. Emmanuel co-starred with Reese Witherspoon in the film THE GOOD LIE, which tells the story about the journey of four young Sudanese refugees who win a lottery for relocation to the United States. Emmanuel also appeared as the adult lead in AFRICA UNITED. Jal has received numerous awards for his peace efforts in South Sudan, including recognition from Ban Ki Moon at the UN.
Sabrina Merage founded the Sabrina Merage Foundation in 2008 with the intention of building bridges between diverse societies through educational programs for young people. She is passionate about the issues of religious, cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity and promoting tolerance of these issues in schools and college campuses throughout the world. Sabrina focuses much of her philanthropic efforts on uniting communities and paving the way for individuals from diverse backgrounds to connect, teach, and learn from one another. She spends much of her time doing community work and sits on numerous committees and boards with the hope of affecting change through education.
A friend’s story brought Mary Beth into the world of documentary filmmaking. What started with a desire to tell her friend’s story, became a true passion for Mary Beth. Striving to bring individual stories of redemption, hope, and truth to the world, she has produced a number of documentary films. Mary Beth is currently a Producer and Executive Producer on JUMP SHOT: The Kenny Sailors Story (featuring NBA All Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki) and a Producer of UNFORGIVABLE/Imperdonabile. She also served as an Executive Producer on TOWER, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival and won the Critics Choice Award for “Most Innovative Documentary;” TOWER was also awarded the 2018 Emmy for "Best Historical Documentary." In 2016, Mary Beth was an Associate Producer for MAMA RWANDA, directed by Laura Waters Hinson. In 2015, she Associate Produced IMBA MEANS SING, and in 2014, she produced RETURN TO MOGADISHU: REMEMBERING BLACK HAWK DOWN, a documentary short featuring 1996 Army Best Ranger Jeff Struecker.
Pat Mitchell is known for her leadership in the media industry as a CEO, producer and curator. Her career has focused on using media as a force for social change, with a special emphasis on the representation of women’s voices and stories.
Mitchell partners with the TED organization to co-curate and host an annual global TEDWomen conference. Mitchell also advises foundations and corporations on issues of women’s empowerment and leadership development as well as media and governance. She is the chair of the Women’s Media Center and Sundance Institute boards, a founding board member of V-Day, a member of the board of the Acumen Fund, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The first woman president and CEO of PBS, she most recently served as president and CEO of the Paley Center for Media; she is now a senior adviser to the organization. Mitchell is also the former president of CNN Productions, where she executive produced hundreds of hours of documentaries and specials, which received 35 Emmy Awards and five Peabody Awards.
She was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2009, named one of the Most Powerful Women in Hollywood by Hollywood Reporter and featured in Fast Company’s special report, The League of Extraordinary Women: 60 Influencers Who Are Changing the World.
Mitchell is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature (watch the 2012 commencement address she gave at her alma mater). She has taught at the University of Georgia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
More Partnerships is a creative production agency that focuses on feature films, documentaries, staged performances, concerts & graphic novels that are catalysts for conversation. Mark Rodgers has served as an Executive Producer for films such as THE TICKET starring Dan Stevens & WAITING FOR THE MIRACLE TO COME starring Willie Nelson, as well as the off-Broadway production of Babette’s Feast. His firm was invested in Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE. Mandi Hart is a filmmaker and attorney with a background in screenwriting & documentary production. Together, they have launched a new graphic novel & comic startup called Cave Pictures Publishing.
Stephen Nemeth formed and heads up Rhino Films, the independent film company that originated as a division of iconoclastic record label Rhino Records. He has produced and executive produced dozens of films. His Producer credits include THE SESSIONS (Sundance 2012 Audience Award, 2013 Academy Award nomination for Helen Hunt), C.O.G. (Sundance 2013), FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE, WHAT WE DO IS SECRET, SNAKE AND MONGOOSE, RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH and SPACEMAN. He is developing the New York Times bestselling book CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN as a television series with George Clooney and Smokehouse and is in pre-production on the Robert Johnson biopic, LOVE IN VAIN, and on both Hunter S. Thompson’s THE CURSE OF LONO and THE BATTLE OF ASPEN. Nemeth’s documentary credits include DOGTOWN AND Z BOYS (Sundance 2001 Audience Award), WARDANCE (2008 Academy Award nomination), FUEL (Sundance 2008 Audience Award), FLOW (Sundance 2008), PUMP, the follow-up to FLOW, CLIMATE REFUGEES (Sundance 2010), ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’, PATRIOCRACY, RIDE WITH LARRY, UNDER THE BOARDWALK: THE MONOPOLY STORY, BEISBOL, PICK UP THE MIC, THE THREE HIKERS, EDUCATION INC, and the upcoming CRUTCH, THE PEACEMAKER, T24, OVERLOAD: AMERICA’S TOXIC LOVE STORY, LOGAN’S SYNDROME, MAGNIFICENT BURDEN and LIFE IS A MOVIE. He serves on the boards of Friends of the Earth, the International Documentary Association, the STAR Ecostation, the EarthX enviromental film festival in Dallas, the Carmel Film Festival, Wheels For Humanity, Children Uniting Nations, and on the advisory board of the Full Frame Documentary Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival, Children Mending Hearts and OneVoice. He is an advisor to the Zurich Film Festival and on the dean’s board of UC Santa Cruz’s School for the Arts. While on the board for Artists for Amnesty, he developed numerous human rights related features and documentaries. Nemeth is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the recipient of the 2013 Global Action Awar the 2009 Vision Award for Documentary Producer and the 2009 Artivist Award for his advocacy and production of socially conscious films. Prior to forming Rhino Films, Nemeth worked as an independent producer and as a motion picture agent at the William Morris Agency. He is a graduate of UCLA and is both an American and British citizen.
Brenda Robinson is an entertainment attorney whose law practice focuses on intellectual property and entertainment matters on behalf of clients in the music, film, and television industries. Brenda is a graduate of the University of Michigan, obtained a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and obtained a certificate in Business and Public Policy from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. Brenda is a proud associate member of The Recording Academy and is on the board of the Grammy Music Education Coalition. Brenda is also an active philanthropist in the arts and entertainment community. She is a Patron of the Arts Circle of Film Independent and currently sits on the boards of Chicken & Egg Pictures, The Representation Project and the International Documentary Association (IDA). She is a member of the Women at Sundance Leadership Council and is a founding advisory board member of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.
Brenda was most recently an equity investor on the Academy Award®-winning documentary Icarus as well as Won’t You Be My Neighbor and is currently an executive producer on numerous projects including United Skates, alongside executive producer John Legend; The Great American Lie, by director Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailers Story, alongside executive producer Steph Curry; and Clarkston: Mother of Exiles, alongside executive producer Katie Couric.
Caroline Tucker has a professional background in Agency Marketing and Advertising and Magazine Publishing Sales. After settling in Atlanta to raise her family, Caroline shifted her focus to community service and advocacy by serving on numerous advisory boards in the arts arena (The MC Carlos Museum at Emory, the Atlanta Ballet, Georgia Shakespeare), and more recently, in the youth advocacy areas through her work with GCAPP (Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential). As a theater and music enthusiast, Caroline looks to art and media as a means to raising awareness and action to create and promote change. She has experience in fundraising, and importantly, in bringing together passionate advocates to promote projects that make a difference.
Patty Quillin is the Director of Meadow Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Patty strongly believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive in healthy, just, and sustainable communities. This vision has guided her philanthropic work for the past 25 years in a broad range of fields, from the environment and sustainable food systems to criminal justice reform and empowering women and girls. Patty is inspired by the passion of filmmakers in their mission to educate audiences and galvanize change. She is a patron of Sundance Institute and Chicken & Egg Pictures, and is a member of Impact Partners.
Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation, Nina and Ken Botsford
Mara Burros-Sandler, Heather and Paul Dennison, Brenda Levin
Daniel Huynh, Alston & Bird
Janey Fugate, Katie Hawkins, Zac Holben, Katrina Sorrento, Sarah Walker
Janna Kay Swanson, Stephanie Zinnes
Field Audio Mixers
Nikki Dengel, Ace Harney, Matt Schultz
Elise Conroy, Janey Fugate, Hallie Hartley, Alison Sheldon, Joanie Twersky
Lucy Brewer, Tomesha Faxio, Paige Gradishar, Kelley Sue Hardin, Julia Merrill, Pouya Ramezani
Abdulkadir Mohamed, Kato Dsenabulya, Dani Dutchi, Lizzy Kell, Francois Mub, Ronen Schechter, Henry Schunk, Monire Ramezani
Clara Brown, Lydia Fiyori, Sarah Elizabeth Payne, Tiffany Turner, Hayley Solomon, Victoria Griffiths
EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS
Dalton & Jon Blankenship
Ginny & Charles Brewer
Joanna & Stuart Brown
Julia & Evan Carter
Gregg & Jeff Foxworthy
Charlotte & Alex Getz
Kristin & Jim Howard
Mary Stuart & Joel Iverson
Southern Documentary Fund
Laurel & Tony Werner
Studie & Zach Young
Pamela M Battey
Lucinda S Chapman
Linda & Rick Davis
Maureen N. Fernandez
Kelly Pattillo & Rob Field
Square Mile Gallery
Kitty & David Hartley
Troy Davis Harwell
M Cole Jones
Nancy N. Miller
Jeannette G. Nagel
Diane & Walter Orenstein
Nancy C. Prager
Ed & Val Spencer
Patricia A. Tuff
Chris & Rachel Tullis
Zach & Hilary Young
Religious Freedom and Business Foundation