Filmmakers

Jennifer Steinman
DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, EDITOR

Co-Founder of the film production company SMUSH MEDIA, Jennifer Steinman has over 18 years of experience in television and filmmaking. She began her career as a staff Editor at CBS, both in New York and San Francisco. Her work has aired nationally on PBS, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, Sundance Channel, and many other television networks. Her films have been accepted into many major film festivals including SXSW, Rotterdam, and Sundance. Steinman won a Telly Award and has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Editing.

Most recently, Steinman directed, produced and edited the feature-length documentary film MOTHERLAND, which had its world premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, winning the prestigious Emerging Visions Audience Award. The film went on to win several other best-of-festival awards and was released by Vanguard Cinema.

Diana Iles Parker
PRODUCER

Diana Iles Parker is the founder of Spoken Media, a documentary film marketing outreach company and has been involved in the success of a diverse slate of important doc films, most recently James Redford’s THE BIG PICTURE: RETHINKING DSYLEXIA (HBO, 2012) and Robert Redford’s WATERSHED, about the declining Colorado River and what can be done to reconnect the river to the sea. Other film projects include TOXIC HOT SEAT, SOMETHING VENTURED, CENTRAL PARK EFFECT, MINE, MOTHERLAND and BEIJING TAXI.

In addition to films, Iles Parker is a Partner at SpeakingPhoto, a unique storytelling photo app that allows people to add sound to their photos. She lives in Mill Valley, California with her husband and two sons.

Yael Melamede
PRODUCER

Yael Melamede is a co-founder of SALTY Features, an independent media production company based in NYC. Melamede’s producer credits include award winning fiction and documentary films that have played around the world. She has worked with influential and respected filmmakers such as Paul Schrader, Wayne Wang and Paul Auster, to name just a few.

Melamede’s most recent film INOCENTE won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. Upcoming films include MARTYRS’ CROSSING, based on the bestselling novel by Amy Wilentz; and SLIPPERY SLOPES, based on the work of acclaimed author and behavioral economist Dan Ariely. Melamede trained as an architect before becoming a filmmaker.

Dean Karnazes
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

TIME magazine named Dean Karnazes as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.” Men’s Fitness hailed him as one of the fittest men on the planet. An internationally recognized endurance athlete and bestselling author, Karnazes has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits.

In 2008, Karnazes became the first person on Earth to complete the 4 Deserts “Grand Slam.”  Among his many other accomplishments, he has run 350 continuous miles, foregoing sleep for three nights. He’s run across Death Valley in 120 degree temperatures, and he’s run a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees. He ran 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days.  And in 2011, he ran more than 3000 miles across America—the equivalent of 40-50 miles per day for 75 consecutive days.

Sevan Matossian
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Sevan Matossian has filmed and produced for TLC, Discovery & History Channel and produced, directed and edited three very successful shows for ESPN (which have re-aired more than 100 times). He has made commercials, promotional pieces and four feature-length documentaries. He has filmed in over 45 countries and in some of the most isolated and diverse corners of the globe.

Matossian’s first film, the feature-length documentary OUR HOUSE, screened at more than 30 film festivals around the world, winning awards at many of them. His most recent film, PULLING JOHN, premiered to sold out audiences at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, and was hailed as “One of the Top Ten Must-See Films” of the festival.

Jessica Congdon
EDITOR

Jessica Congdon has worked as a commercial and film editor for the past 14 years. She co-wrote and edited MISS REPRESENTATION, directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, which premiered in the 2011 Sundance Documentary Competition. She also co-directed and edited the documentary RACE TO NOWHERE by Vicki Abeles. Other documentary features include SPEED AND ANGELS directed by Peyton Wilson, and MOTHERLAND directed by Jennifer Steinman.

Congdon edited the feature film DOPAMINE directed by Mark Decena, an award-winning film at Sundance 2003. She edited the international feature film SEARCH in Stockholm, and the Columbia Tri-Star feature film BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY in Berlin, both directed by Maria von Heland. She is a founding editor of Umlaut Films in San Francisco, where she has edited commercial campaigns for national and international clients.