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 is the editor for a new 3 minute trailer for Chasing Portraits.
SLAWOMIR GRUNBERG, Cinematographer. 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, Narrative Development. Cathy is an independent scholar, cultural projects consultant, and writer. Cathy was intimately and strategically involved in conceiving the vision for Chasing Portraits. 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, Sound Editor. 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.
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. The photos below are snapshots of those who have kindly worked on the project to help, as the saying goes, “put the footage in the can!” Below the photos are names(listed left to right, by row), cities where they filmed, and a bit about each of these crews and teams. 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, Omaha Film Crew
Aaron and Molly are a husband and wife filmmaking team. They started The Silver Screen in 2005 and have been making wedding and promotional film productions ever since. They describe themselves not just as videographers, but as ‘video documentarians’. Aaron and Molly filmed on the University of Nebraska, Omaha campus both in a classroom talk and on campus.
DON MORAN and DAVE HYNEK, Omaha Film Crew
Don and Dave were the film crew from The Silver Screen production company for the Kaneko in the Old Market District of Omaha. They set up spotlights, filmed the presentation, roamed the crowd during the reception, and did some outside filming to help “set the scene.”
C. PETER DUTTON, JR. and ALEX MARONEY, Portland Oregon
Peter is the owner of Dutton Productions. He graciously investigated the site for the Chasing Portraits talk in order to determine lighting and sound requirements as well as camera placement and then was on site for filming as was Alex, Peter’s assistant.
KRISTIAN MELOM, Oakland and San Francisco, California
Kristian came to the project by way of Director of Cinematography, Johnny Symons. Kristian is a photographer and filmmaker. He is a graduate of the documentary filmmaking program at San Francisco State University in their Cinema Department. He is from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
DAVID BALODIS and CHRIS LOGAN, Toronto, Canada
David and Chris spent the better part of a day filming an interview in Toronto, Canada and photographed four original Moshe Rynecki paintings.
CATHY GREENBLATT, ELIZABETH RYNECKI, ALEX RYNECKI, JOHNNY SYMONS, and S. LEO CHIANG, Sausalito, CA
The first behind-the-scenes photo for the Chasing Portraits documentary film project! The footage from this 2009 interview was used in the 9-minute documentary film promotional trailer.
SAMANTHA (SAM) BOYD, Eureka, California
Sam came to the project by way of Humboldt State University (HSU) Professor and documentary filmmaker, Ann Alter. Sam is a senior at HSU, is applying for graduate school programs in film, and hopes to stay in the world of documentary film. Sam filmed two talks I gave at Temple Beth El (you can read about my visit in my blog post: My Visit to Eureka’s Temple Beth El).
STEPHEN HANNIBAL, Sausalito, California
Stephen came to the project via Kristian Melom. Stephen is a graduate of the documentary filmmaking program at San Francisco State University. He simultaneously ran two cameras for the evening of my talk.