ELIZABETH RYNECKI, Director/Producer/Writer. Elizabeth is Moshe Rynecki’s great-granddaughter. In 1999 she designed and created the original Moshe Rynecki: Portrait of a Life in Art website. She maintains the website and keeps it current in regards to academic research, educational resources, and tracking lost Rynecki paintings. Elizabeth has a BA in Rhetoric from Bates College (’91) and a Master’s degree in Rhetoric and Speech Communication from UC Davis (’94). She is also the author of the Penguin Random House book, Chasing Portraits: A Great-Granddaughter’s Quest for Her Lost Art Legacy (September 2016).
JOHNNY SYMONS, Consulting Producer. Johnny is an Emmy-nominated independent film and videomaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His documentary Daddy & Papa (2002), about the personal, cultural, and political impact of gay men raising children, premiered at Sundance, aired on PBS and international television, and garnered multiple Best Documentary awards. Ask Not (2008), an award-winning feature-length documentary about the impact of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the US military, broadcast in 2009 on PBS’ Independent Lens. Johnny is the co-producer of the Academy Award-nominated Long Night’s Journey Into Day (2000), about South Africa’s search for truth and reconciliation, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Johnny graduated with honors from Brown University and has a master’s in documentary production from Stanford University.
TINA NGUYEN, Editor. Tina recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Los Angeles, where she worked extensively in documentaries and commercials. Her documentary credits include “Fed Up,” which premiered at Sundance and was theatrically released in 2014, and “Seeking Asian Female,” which premiered at SXSW in 2012 and was broadcast by PBS as part of the “Independent Lens” showcase in 2013. Her recent credits include the documentaries “Off the Menu: Asian America,” which aired on PBS in 2015, and “Out Run” and ”Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story,” which just had their festival premieres. Tina studied film at Vassar College.
JOSH PETERSON, Editor/Consulting Editor. Josh has worked as a freelance editor for clients ranging from KQED to Lucasfilm to Apple and countless independent documentary producers making films for PBS, ABC, the Sci-Fi Channel, National Geographic Explorer, and others. He edited the award-winning Born This Way and The Welcome and co-edited The Island President. He was nominated for a national Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Editing in 2009 for his work on Soldiers of Conscience. He also edited The Rape of Europa, which was short-listed for a Best Documentary Academy Award. Between editing projects he produces and directs narrative films of his own. Josh edited the original 9 minute trailer for Chasing Portraits.
VÉRONICA DUPORT DELIZ, Editor. Originally from Switzerland, Véronica has been a Bay Area resident for more than a decade. She has worked internationally as a producer, director and editor, and has experience in feature length documentaries, short narrative films, and a number of documentaries series’ made for Swiss Television, France 2, TV5 and M6. Véronica has been recognized for the visual aesthetics and story-telling capability of her work, and the passion she has for her craft. Véronica graduated Summa Cum Laude with special distinction & holds a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema from San Francisco State University. Her production company is Swiss Reel Films. Véronica edited the Chasing Portraits 3 minute trailer.
SLAWOMIR GRUNBERG, Director of Photography. Slawomir, an Emmy Award winning documentary producer, director, and cameraman is a graduate of the Polish Film School in Lodz. Born in Poland, he immigrated to the US in 1981 and has since directed and produced over 45 documentary films including: “Shimon’ Returns,” “Castaways,” “The Legacy of Jedwabne,” and “Saved by Deportation.” Grunberg’s film “School Prayer: A Community At War”, screened on PBS, received an Emmy Award and Jan Karski Award. Grunberg is a recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship, the New York Foundation for the Arts and Soros Justice Media Fellowships. His credits as director of photography include over 70 documentaries including five Emmy and two Oscar nominations for “Legacy” and “Sister Rose’s Passion”. His most recent film is “Karski & The Lords of Humanity.”
CATHY GREENBLATT, Story Development and Producer. Cathy is an independent scholar, cultural projects consultant, and writer. Cathy received a Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness Program from the University of California Santa Cruz, with a concentration in visual studies. She has held a number of teaching positions in art history and visual studies as well as critical theory and literature and has published on diverse subjects in the Humanities. She served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the San Francisco Art Institute and, as principal consultant of Critical Vision, is currently at work as a consultant on several art, film, and museum related projects.
DARYN ROVEN, VO Recording. Daryn is a seasoned recording engineer/producer, working freelance and out of his home studio for over a decade. Previously he was chief engineer at Russian Hill Recording, one of San Francisco’s premiere recording facilities. He has broad experience in film and commercial post-production as well as an extensive credit list in music production in both San Francisco and New York. He has worked with musical luminaries including Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker, Mavis Staples, Bob Weir, and Marcus Shelby. In the world of film and commercial post, he contributes to projects by Pixar, Dreamworks, and all the major SF advertising firms, and records film scores as diverse as as “Food Inc.” and “Nobel Son.”
MATTHIAS ZIMMERMANN, Composer. Matthias, an award winning composer, arranger, orchestrator and conductor, relocated to the United States after graduating from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts majoring in church organ and piano. A Swiss native, he pursued his passion for film music composition and continued his studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA where he graduated with honors in Film Scoring. Living and working in Los Angeles, Matthias eventually moved to Northern California, where he continues to work as freelance composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor and music teacher. He has been commissioned in his capacities on various projects ranging from commercials, song arranger, to composer, orchestrator and conductor for feature film scores. He was sought after in lecturing Film Scoring master classes abroad, to having taught Audio Postproduction, Sound Design, Digital Audio Editing and History of Music classes at the Art Institute of California, Sacramento. Matthias composed and produced the original score for the new 3 minute trailer for Chasing Portraits.
JAMES LEBRECHT, Sound Design & Mixer. James LeBrecht has over 40 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer, author, disability rights activist and now as a filmmaker. He started his career in theater and founded Berkeley Sound Artists (BSA), an audio postproduction house, in 1996. He quickly found a home in the documentary and independent film community. LeBrecht’s and BSA’s credits are full of Bay Area projects. Notable collaborations include Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon’s The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won the Academy Award for short documentary in 2006, Pete Nicks’ The Force and The Waiting Room, Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco’s Daughter From Danang, David Weissman and Bill Weber’s The Cockettes and We Were Here, and Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s Audrie and Daisy. In 2016, Jim joined forces with Nicole Newnham to co-direct and co-produce (along with producer Sara Bolder), Crip Camp, the story of a summer camp “for the handicapped” about disabled teens and the legacy of the community that thrived out of the revolutionary Camp Jened.
Local Film Crews
It takes A LOT of people to make a documentary film! The Chasing Portraits project frequently relies upon local crews to do the filming. Below are the names of many individuals and the cities where they filmed. Thank you for being part of the project! I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.
AARON and MOLLY ZAVITZ, DON MORAN and DAVE HYNEK, Omaha Film Crew
C. PETER DUTTON, JR. and ALEX MARONEY, Portland Oregon
KRISTIAN MELOM, Oakland and San Francisco, California
DAVID BALODIS and CHRIS LOGAN, Toronto, Canada
JOHNNY SYMONS, and S. LEO CHIANG, Sausalito, CA
SAMANTHA (SAM) BOYD, Eureka, CA
STEPHEN HANNIBAL, Sausalito, CA
LAWRENCE RICKFORD, San Rafael, CA