Justine Shapiro (co-producer / co-director) was born in South Africa, and grew up in Berkeley, California. Justine graduated Magna Cum Laude in History and Theater, with honors, from Tufts University. In 1993, while studying documentary filmmaking in the San Francisco Bay Area, Justine landed a job hosting a brand-new travel series called Lonely Planet. The series (renamed GlobeTrekker) broadcasts internationally to over 35 million people. Justine hosted the series from 1994-2004, travelling through 40 countries where she interviewed hundreds of people from all walks of life. From 1995 to 2000, Justine and her co-director/co-producer BZ Goldberg created their documentary film Promises which features seven Palestinian and Israeli children. Promises was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Documentary Film” and won two Emmy Awards. This landmark film has been seen by more than 40 million people in theaters, and on televisions around the world and is the most widely used media resource in middle & high schools and universities teaching the Middle-East conflict. From 2006-2011 Justine produced and directed the documentary film, Our Summer In Tehran which premiered on PBS in 2011. Our Summer In Tehran follows Justine and her six-year old son to Tehran where they spend the summer with three Iranian families, each from very different backgrounds. Justine recently hosted Time Team America, a new OPB/PBS series that will broadcast nationally on PBS in the summer of 2014. Time Team America is a science-reality series that sends archaeologists on a race against time to excavate historic sites around the nation.
B.Z. Goldberg was born in Boston and grew up just outside of Jerusalem. After studying filmmaking at New York University Film School, he worked as a sound recordist and producer covering the Palestinian “Intifada” for Reuters TV, the BBC, NBC, CNN and NHK (Japanese TV). After dodging countless rocks, and inhaling much too much tear gas, B.Z. left his TV job to study alternative approaches to conflict and conflict resolution. He spent seven years as a management consultant for a variety of companies (Including Fortune 500, multi-nationals social organizations, universities, etc.) In 1995 B.Z. and Justine Shapiro founded Promises Films to produced the award winning documentary PROMISES which was released in 2001. From 2004 to 2009 BZ directed and produced a series of 170 short films (all filmed around the world on the same line of longitude) for the world’s first museum on climate change, the “Klimahaus” located in northern Germany. BZ lives and works in Jerusalem.
Carlos Bolado (editor and co-director) received his degrees in the fields of sociology and Film Studies in Mexico City’s CUEC and UNAM universities. Bolado edited more than 11 feature films such a Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate), Cronica de un Desayuno (Chronicle of a Breakfast) and Novia que Te Vea (Bride to Be). He acted as editing advisor on Amores Perros, Arrancame la Vida, Hombre de Piedra and many others. Bolado’s directorial film debut Bajo California: el limite del tiempo / Under California: The Limit of Time (1999) received numerous awards and was officially selected to Sundance, Toronto, Moscow, Munich, San Francisco, and many other festivals around the world. Bolado’s second feature, Solo Dios Sabe / Only God Knows (2006) starring Alice Braga and Diego Luna, premiered at Sundance and was distributed globally by Buenavista Pictures. Bolado’s documentary 1968 (2008) marks the 40th anniversary of the student movement and the Olympic games in Mexico. Bolado’s third feature Tlalteloco (Summer of 68) (2013) commemorates the 45th anniversary of the student massacre. Bolado’s fourth feature, Colosio, el Asesinato (2012) became a box office hit in Mexico. Olvidados, a film about the CIA’s Operation Condor, is Bolado’s fifth feature. Shot in Bolivia and Chile, it will be released in fall 2014. Bolado directs television fiction and non-fiction for Discovery Channel, PBS, Channel 4 UK, and ONCE Cine Latino Channel. He was an official juror at film festivals such as Sundance, Sao Paolo, Munich, Miami, San Francisco, and LA Latino.
Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch (Co-producer/Production Manager) is a filmmaker, journalist and educator working with Palestinian and international media. Zeiad completed his Master of Arts in Social Justice and International Relations from the World Learning School for International Training Graduate Institute. Zeiad is currently the Program Manager for Cross-Cultural Programs for the Middle East Children’s Alliance, a non-profit organization based in Berkeley California where Zeiad now resides. Zeiad is a Palestinian refugee from Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank and is the co-founder of the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh.
Stephen Most (Consulting Writer & researcher) is an author, playwright, and documentary filmmaker. He is the writer/producer of the documentary River of Renewal, which won the “best documentary feature” award at the American Indian Film Festival, and the author of River of Renewal, Myth and History in the Klamath Basin, published by the University of Washington Press.
Stephen began his playwrighting career with the award-winning Poe, which the Organic Theatre produced twice in Chicago. He co-wrote Loon’s Rage, which launched the Dell’Arte Players Company. As dramaturg for Dell’Arte he collaborated on Intrigue At Ah-Pah and Whiteman Meets Bigfoot. His other plays are Medicine Show, Crossing Borders (for the San Francisco Mime Troupe), Raven’s Seed, Watershed, A Free Country, and Forces of Nature. Documentary films Stephen has scripted include Oil On Ice, which is about the controversy over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; The Greatest Good, a history of the U. S. Forest Service; A Land Between Rivers, a history of central California; and Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time. Wonders of Nature, which he wrote for the Great Wonders of the World series, won an Emmy for best special non-fiction program. The Bridge So Far: A Suspense Story, won a best-documentary Emmy. Promises, on which he worked as Consulting Writer and Researcher, won Emmys for best documentary and outstanding background analysis and research. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002. Berkeley in the Sixties, which Stephen co-wrote, also received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary.
Janet Cole (Executive Producer) received a George Foster Peabody Award, Oscar, and Emmy nominations as Producer and Executive Producer of Regret to Inform, the acclaimed film about widows of the Vietnam War. She was a producer of Paragraph 175 for HBO and Channel Four, which won the Documentary Directing Award at Sundance 2000. Her Executive Producer credits also include: Promises, (two Emmys, Oscar nomination); Heart of the Sea (PBS); Granny D Goes to Washington (PBS) & Freedom Machines (PBS/POV). Cole began her producing career working with director Peter Adair on a series of films about the AIDS epidemic, including their award-winning Absolutely Positive (PBS/BBC, IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award). In the mid-1990s, she conceived and supervised production of a 4-hour series called Positive: Life with HIV for the Independent Television Service (ITVS). As a consultant, she has worked frequently with independent producers and organizations. Her clients have included ITVS, PBS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Sundance Institute, and the American Film Institute. She produced the 30th Anniversary DVD of Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives that was selected for preservation by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Cole is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.