Named one of Out Magazine’s “Out 100 2010” and Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 new faces of independent film 2006,” PJ Raval is an award-winning filmmaker whose credits include Trinidad (Winner, Best Documentary Cleveland International Film Festival 2009, Showtime, LOGO), The Christeene video collection (SXSW), and Before You Know It his latest documentary following the lives of three gay senior men (SXSW world premiere). Slant Magazine hailed Before You Know It as an “…exemplary example of a documentary that successfully puts human faces on wider issues, eschewing polemics in favor of the personal.” indieWIRE described the film as “…a crucial new edition to the LGBT doc canon.” Raval is also currently developing a feature fiction narrative with acclaimed screenwriter and playwright Prince Gomolvilas and recently directed a segment called “Rantings” as part of the 2011 remake of Richard Linklater’s indie classic Slacker. Also an award-winning cinematographer, Raval’s work has earned him awards such as the ASC Charles B. Lang Jr. Heritage Award as well as the Haskell Wexler Award for Best Cinematography. PJ has been featured in AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER and shot the 2009 Academy Award nominated and 2008 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Grand Jury Award Winner TROUBLE THE WATER produced/directed by FAHRENHEIT 9/11 producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. In his spare time PJ likes to try and take small naps and pretend he knows ballet.
As a filmmaker, Sara Giustini has an affinity for both fact and fiction so she divides her time between documentary and narrative production. Most recently, she served as the project coordinator for the Emmy Award-winning American Experience film Freedom Riders. She was the series associate producer for God in America, a six-hour FRONTLINE and American Experience co-production, which aired nationally on PBS in October of 2010. She co-produced the documentary Trinidad, directed by PJ Raval & Jay Hodges, which premiered at Los Angeles Film Festival and was broadcast on Showtime and LOGO. Giustini also co-produced Nancy Schiesari’s Hansel Mieth: Vagabond Photographer, which aired as part of ITVS’ inaugural season of Independent Lens. Giustini’s other production credits include Matthew Wiener’s forthcoming You Are Here (2013), The Surrogates (Disney, 2009), There Will Be Blood (Paramount Vantage, 2007), The Three Burial of Melquiades Estrada (Europa Corp, 2005) and NBC’s Friday Night Lights.
Kyle Henry – Editor
Kyle Henry is an accomplished editor and filmmaker. Henry’s most recent film the Emmy winning Where Soldiers Come From (directed by Heather Courtney) won Best Editing at SXSW 2011 and was nominated for the Independent Spirit’s Truer than Fiction Award. Other editing credits include PJ Raval & Jay Hodges’ documentary Trinidad, the PBS films Are the Kids Alright?, Troop 1500, and Letters from the Other Side. Henry is the writer/director of the feature film Room, which screened at Cannes and Sundance, and the forthcoming FourPlay, an omnibus of shorts. FourPlay: Tampa screened at Sundance in 2012.
Mike Simpson is an award winning cinematographer who actively balances narrative and commercial work. He shot Taiwan Oyster, which premiered in the narrative competition at SXSW in 2012. Variety wrote, “The sheer beauty of Simpson’s frames often stands in direct contrast with the delirious indulgence on display.” He also shot the film It’s In the Blood starring Lance Henriksen: ” We are introduced to images that will haunt us…like the rest of the film the cinematography is darkly beautiful.” Simpson also shot Strings, a thriller with awards including best cinematography: “I think it is safe to say that Mike Simpson’s cinematography is absolutely gorgeous.” Mike’s commercial resume includes international TV spots for Nintendo starring Robin Williams as well as beauty and hair spots for Maybelline and Matrix. Other clients include, Budweiser Coach, Seventh Gen., Dell, Whole Foods, and more. Mike’s incredible diversity in commercials has produced much blogged about fashion and beauty spots, Addy winners and even New York Times write-ups.
Jimmy LaValle, and his musical project The Album Leaf, is best known for his distinctive, dreamy, cinematic soundscapes that have been featured in film, television, commercials, and numerous album, EP and Single releases. The Album Leaf has toured both nationally and internationally. Performances have included Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, Colorado; The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California; Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona, Spain; All Tomorrows Parties “I’ll Be Your Mirror” Festival, curated by Portishead; Metamorphose Festival in Tokyo, Japan; and national tours of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Europe, China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia. LaValle performed a critically acclaimed live score to the 1927 silent film SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS, at the 2008 Seattle International Film Festival, and scored the documentary films TOREY’S DISTRACTION, which won the Audience Award at the 2009 AustinFilm Festival and Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines that premiered at SXSW in 2012.
Annie Bush is an award-winning educator turned filmmaker based in Austin, Texas. Through a history of social service, Annie comes to filmmaking with the experience to forge meaningful connections between films and their audiences. Annie’s recent work includes the award-winning documentary Vultures of Tibet (Russell O. Bush) shot in Tibet, China, and India. The film was nominated for a Student Academy Award and screened at AFI Docs and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.