Return of the Musk Ox
Most of our screenings are enriched by discussions or Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, environmental experts, and other special guests. Below are just some of the bios of those attending. Bios will continue to be added throughout the Festival.
Redford will be discussing Toxic Hot Seat.
James writes, produces and directs for film and television. His latest directorial project, Aces, is a documentary film that explores the emerging link between childhood trauma and life-long health problems - and what can be done about it. He directed The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia currently airing on HBO. He also produced the film Watershed about the Colorado River and the acclaimed HBO documentary Mann V. Ford. Additionally, James wrote and directed Quality Time, an award-winning short comedy starring Jason Patric. He recently combined his passion for music and directing in Andain’s new music video, Much Too Much. Other credits include producing The Kindness of Strangers which premiered at Sundance in 1999 and was picked up by HBO as well as adapting and directing Showtime’s Spin starring Stanley Tucci, Dana Delany, and Ruben Blades. Redford also wrote the original screenplays for Cowboy Up starring Kiefer Sutherland and Darryl Hannah as well as adapting Tony Hillerman’s Skinwalkers, a PBS/Mystery! series that was the highest-rated PBS-scripted program of 2002. The Acting Thing, a comedic short written by James, was named best comedic short at the 1996 Houston Film Festival and aired on the Sundance Channel that same year. After surviving two liver transplants, James founded JRI, a non-profit dedicated to promoting a deeper understanding of the miraculous gift of organ donation. His live musical event, "Share the Beat", has been performed across the country with the help of notable talents such as:? Tim McGraw, Phil Vassar, Deana Carter, Ruben Blades, Dana Delaney, James Denton, Ryan Merriman, and Eric Stromer among others. James also plays guitar for Olive and the Dirty Martinis, a popular Bay Area rock and roll cover band. He is an avid surfer, cyclist, and skier and currently lives in Marin County, CA.
Riggleman will be discussing Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields.
Calvin Riggleman, farmer-veteran of Bigg Riggs Farm in West Virginia, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran served two deployments in Iraq. He came home to the family farm, which has been in production since before the American Revolution, and brought new ideas to market and expand the farm's operation. He eventually bought the community's commercial kitchen in order to do value-added products and now assists over 100 other family farms in creating artisan foods.
Mike Robinson will be discussing The Lithium Revolution.
Mike Robinson is the Vice President of Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs for General Motors. He leads initiatives to further integrate sustainability into GM’s operations and products, and has responsibility for GM’s sustainability reporting initiatives. In this role, he is focused on moving General Motors to the forefront of companies with a solid reputation for operating in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. Robinson also provides leadership in GM’s global environment, energy, and vehicle safety policy activities, including advocacy efforts with governments and key stakeholders. Robinson works with functional organizations to establish internal positioning on key policy issues and develop effective regulatory approaches. He splits his time between Detroit and Washington, D.C. Prior to his current assignment, Robinson held a number of positions on the General Motors Legal Staff, including Vice President and General Counsel of GM North America, Managing Attorney for the Environmental Practice Area, and Corporate Compliance Officer. In those positions, he provided legal advice on a broad array of issues, including vehicle regulation (safety and vehicle emissions), marketing and trade regulations, and lobbying and government ethics. Robinson was hired by General Motors Corporation in 1984, when he joined the company upon his graduation from Villanova Law School. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, as well as an M.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Oklahoma State University. In addition, Robinson was an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1977 to 1981. Robinson is an active participant in the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) Executive Committee and serves as the Secretary of the AAM Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations with a mission of preventing unintentional childhood injury. Robinson is also a member of the Board of Directors of the GM Foundation and represents General Motors on the board of the Wildlife Habitat Council and the Blue/Green Alliance Corporate Advisory Council. He also serves on the U.S. National Advisory Committee to the EPA Administrator.
Rummel will be discussing DamNation.
Partnering with Ben Knight in 2004, the two became known for their award winning short films within the tiny genre of flyfishing. In 2007, Red Gold, their first feature documentary was released to critical acclaim and helped foster awareness for the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Firm believers in the power of film to effect positive change, the two continue to gravitate towards environmental storytelling. “From the beginning, we’ve always taken on projects and issues that we’re passionate about, and our emphasis has always been on trying to tell these stories in a way we hope people can relate to." Travis was born in New Jersey and received his B.A. from Colorado College. He lives with his wife Melissa in Denver, CO.
Saunders will be discussing White Gold.
A professional African wildlife manager, ecologist, security/intelligence advisor and former professional soldier (British Army), Ian has spent over twenty five years working in African protected area management alongside advising governments and international organizations on security and conflict related issues in Africa, Afghanistan and the Middle East. In November 2012, Ian testified before a US Congressional Hearing about the security implications of the illegal international ivory trade. Ian is Vice President of the African Environmental Film Foundation and a Co-Founder of the Tsavo Trust, a Kenyan not for profit organization dedicated to the development of community wildlife conservancies in the remote Tsavo area of Kenya. Ian has co-produced many of the AEFF environmental films, including "White Gold" and is an Honorary Warden of the Kenyan Wildlife Service.
Shankar will be performing and discussing Himalaya Song.
An accomplished artist, composer and performer, Gingger Shankar is the only female in the world that has mastered the 10- string Double Violin. She debuted at Carnegie Hall as a soprano in Osvaldo Golijov’s opera “Ainadamar”. The multi-talented powerhouse transitioned from opera to rock, Gingger then toured with the Smashing Pumpkins as a special guest on their 20th Anniversary tour. In 2011 she was chosen as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s ‘25 New Faces to Watch,’ as well as becoming a member of the Advisory Board for the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to being the artist and co-composer behind the poignant score of Mel Gibson’s blockbuster “Passion of the Christ,” Gingger’s music can be heard in Mike Nichol’s film, “Charlie Wilson’s War.” Her film ‘Monsoon Shootout’ premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. She most recently guested on the new Katy Perry single ‘Legendary Lover’ due out later this year. She is currently working on her new record.
Shubin will be discussing Your Inner Fish.
Neil Shubin, paleontologist and evolutionary biologist,is the Robert Bensley Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and associate dean for academic strategy of the university’s Biological Sciences Division. He’s also the author of two popular science books — The Universe Within: The Deep History of the Human Body (2013) and the best-selling Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body (2008). Your Inner Fish was named best book of the year by the National Academy of Sciences. Shubin has conducted fieldwork in Greenland, China, Canada, and much of North America and Africa and discovered some of the earliest mammals, crocodiles, dinosaurs, frogs and salamanders in the fossil record. One of his most significant discoveries, the 375-million-year-old Tiktaalik roseae fossil, is considered an important transitional form between fish and land animals. The 2006 announcement of the finding received worldwide media coverage and led to Shubin being named ABC News Person of the Week. He’s made many other notable observations regarding the developmental biology of limbs, using his diverse fossil findings to devise hypotheses about the genetic and developmental processes that led to anatomical transformations. He is also committed to sharing the importance of science with the public, and his lab maintains an active presence on Facebook and Twitter. Shubin earned his Ph.D. in organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2011.
Carolyn Smythe Kallenborn
Smythe Kallenborn will be discussing Woven Lives Contemporary Textiles from Ancient Oaxacan Traditions.
Carolyn Smythe Kallenborn is an Associate Professor of Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. She has been working with artisans from Oaxaca, Mexico since 2004. Inspiration for her artwork comes from the rich exchange of ideas and culture from her design and teaching collaborations with Oaxacan textile artisans. Her artwork has been shown nationally and internationally including the Textile Museum of Oaxaca and the Chinese Polytechnic Institute of Hong Kong. She is the creator of the film Woven Lives, which has been shown across the U.S. Mexico and the world. Woven Lives was the only independent film featured in the 2012 Mexican Film Festival of Hong Kong.
Stoecker will be discussing DamNation.
Matt Stoecker is a biologist and photographer focused on restoring rivers and wild fish populations through his company Stoecker Ecological. His early passion for trout fishing evolved into a deep love for the underwater world and, eventually, the desire to capture it on film and share with people above water. Matt has worked on more than 50 fish-passage projects, including the removal of several obsolete dams. He is on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Matilija Dam removal project and works as a river ecologist with the Marine Science Institute at U.C. Santa Barbara. Matt is also the director of Beyond Searsville Dam, a nonprofit coalition advocating the removal of Stanford University’s unnecessary and destructive Searsville Dam. In 2009, along with project partners, Matt received the Riparian Challenge Award from the American Fisheries Society for the removal of steelhead migration barriers on Carpinteria Creek. Matt has helped produce or provide underwater footage for various films including Horse Creek Damolition – Restoring Southern Steelhead With Dam Removal (2007), Watershed Revolution (2011) and Southern California Steelhead: Against All Odds (2013).
Susman will be discussing Growing Cities.
Dan Susman is one of two filmmakers behind Growing Cities. He has visited countless urban farms and food projects across the country and worked with many leaders in the sustainable agriculture movement. Besides being a filmmaker, Dan is also the founder of Truck Farm Omaha, an edible education project, which teaches youth about sustainable farming and healthy eating in Omaha, NE. Dan has traveled around the world speaking about urban agriculture, most recently in Russia. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College and is a proud Nebraskan.