Catherine Gund, Director/Producer
Catherine Gund, the Founder and Director of Aubin Pictures, is an Emmy-nominated producer, director, writer, and activist. Her media work focuses on strategic and sustainable social transformation, arts and culture, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health, and the environment. She has three films in production: Dispatches from Cleveland, Amor Puro y Duro (Love Hard & Pure), and American Rhapsody. Her films have screened around the world in festivals, theaters, museums and schools; on PBS, Discovery’s Planet Green, and the Sundance Channel. Gund’s most recent project before BORN TO FLY was What’s On Your Plate?, a critically-acclaimed, multi-media project about kids and food politics, featuring a documentary, book and standards-based curriculum.
Her previous works include Motherland Afghanistan (AFI Fest Official Selection; PBS broadcast); A Touch of Greatness (Best Documentary Award: Hamptons Film Festival, Ohio Film Festival, and Denver International Film Festival; PBS broadcast; Emmy nomination); Hallelujah! Ron Athey: A Story of Deliverance (Best Documentary Award, Chicago Underground Film Festival).
In 1996, she co-founded the Third Wave Foundation, which targets grants and programs to young women between 15 and 30, as well as Aubin Pictures, a non-profit media production company, which promotes cultural and social awareness and change. She has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including Art Matters, Working Films, MediaRights.org, Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, and the Astraea Foundation.
Gund lives with her four children in New York City.
Tanya Selvaratnam, Producer
Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Long Beach, CA, Tanya Selvaratnam is a writer, producer, actor, and activist. As a producer, Selvaratnam’s recent projects include artist Mickalene Thomas’s Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman (forthcoming on HBO); Chiara Clemente’s Beginnings (Sundance Channel, Webby Award); and the Rockefeller Foundation-funded MADE HERE. Currently in development are a documentary by Chiara Clemente about the artist Alex Katz and a documentary by Albert Maysles and Shola Lynch about civil rights activist Myrlie Evers-Williams. Past film productions include Catherine Gund’s What’s On Your Plate? (Discovery Channel’s Planet Green); Chiara Clemente’s Our City Dreams (Sundance Channel); and Jed Weintrob’s The F Word (Independent Film Channel).
As an activist, Selvaratnam has worked for the World Health Organization, Ms. Foundation, and NGO Forum on Women; served on the boards of the Third Wave Foundation, Groundswell Community Mural Project, and The Wooster Group; and organized tsunami relief and book drive benefits for Sri Lanka. She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees in Chinese language and history from Harvard University. Her book, THE BIG LIE: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clockreleased by from Prometheus Books in January 2014, distributed by Random House. www.tanyaturnsup.com
Kirsten Johnnson, Cinematographer
Kirsten Johnson works as a cinematographer and a director. She is currently at work on A Blind Eye, a Sundance Documentary Fund supported film that she shot and directed in Afghanistan. Her shooting appears in the 2013 Academy Award nominated, Sundance 2012 Audience Award winner, The Invisible War. As the supervising DP on Abby Disney and Gini Reticker's 2011 series, "Women, War and Peace,” she traveled to Colombia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. She shared the 2010 Sundance Documentary Competition Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for The Oath. She shot the Tribeca Film Festival 2008 Documentary winner, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Her cinematography is featured in Fahrenheit 9/11, Academy Award-nominated Asylum, Emmy-winning Ladies First, and Sundance premiere documentaries, A Place at the Table, This Film is Not Yet Rated, American Standoff, and Derrida. A chapter on her work as a cinematographer is featured in the book, The Art of the Documentary. Her previous documentary as a director, Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.
Albert Maysles, Cinematographer
Albert Maysles is a pioneer of Direct Cinema. He and his brother David were the first to make nonfiction feature films (Gimme Shelter, Salesman, Grey Gardens) where the drama of life unfolds as is without scripts, sets, interviews or narration. His first film, Psychiatry in Russia (1955) he made as he transitioned from psychologist to documentary filmmaker. His 36 films include Primary (1964), five films of the projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude (1972 to 1995), What's Happening? The Beatles in the USA, Meet Marlon Brando (1965) and three documentaries for HBO. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship (1965), a Peabody, an Emmy, five Lifetime Achievement Awards, the award for best cinematography at Sundance (2002) for Lalee's Kin which was also nominated in 2001 for an Academy Award and the Columbia Dupont Award (2004). In 1999 Eastman Kodak saluted him as one of the 100 world's finest cinematographers.
Alex Meillier, Editor
Alex Meillier's work has shown widely in cinematic release, television and film festivals, including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Channel.
Alex Meillier's most recent project, Alias Ruby Blade premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. In 2007 Alex was Producer and Director of Photography for the feature film Obscene, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Alex also contributed the unique motion graphics sequences to Obscene which have led him to become a sought after motion graphics artist. As an editor, his work can be seen in Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story and in the ultra-indie doc Beijing Punk. For Ager Meillier Films Alex alternates freely between directing, shooting, editing and designing.
He currently resides in New York City with his wife Tanya Ager Meillier.
Jessica Ruffin, Associate Producer
Jessica Ruffin’s background is in film history and theory, and aesthetic philosophy, with degrees from Stanford University (BA, 2007) and University of Chicago (MA, 2008). She has conducted grant and fellowship supported research on cinematic spectatorial theory; the portrayal of youth and body in Weimar and Nazi era film; and live video editing communities in N.Y.C.
Jessica Ruffin joined Aubin Pictures as the office and projects manager in June 2012. As the associate producer for Born to Fly, she applied her perspectives and experience in crafting the grant and outreach language for the film, while strategizing and implementing day- to-day production. She currently supports the film as outreach producer.
She has a strong belief in the transformative power of art and aims to facilitate that transformation in each aspect of her work, as well as her life.
Adam Crystal, Composer and Music Supervisor
Adam Crystal is a composer and musician. His versatile work spans scoring films, documentaries, commercials, art installations & videos, fashion shows, and modern dance and ballet pieces. His most recent compositions in film includes pieces for Errol Morris’ short doc, Team Spirit, and the Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award winner, Give Up Tomorrow, Adam’s recent ballet commission include Final Dress for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Balloon Dance, for Works and Process at the Guggenheim, and a new piece entitled Canvas which will premier at the Vail International Dance Festival in August 2013.
Classically trained in violin, he has performed on piano and keyboards for various bands including Fischerspooner, My Chemical Romance, The Citizens Band, The Pierces, Jena Melone, Beirut, Vanessa Mae, among many others.