We celebrate the talent and experience of our artistic and advisory staff!
Judith Ehrlich, Director, is an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She co-produced and co-directed The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, which was nominated for an Academy Award and Primetime Emmy in 2009. The film won the George Foster Peabody Award , screened at thirteen international festivals, opened in over 100 theaters in the US and was broadcast on eighteen public television networks internationally. Judith also co-produced and directed The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, another ITVS documentary, which tells the story of the men who, guided by principle, took the unpopular position of pacifism during World War II. She is the only filmmaker to twice win the top US awards for history film: the John O’Connor Film History Award, from the American Historical Association, and the Eric Barnouw Award, from the Organization of American Historians.
Rick Tejada-Flores, Consulting Editor, was a Vietnam era conscientious objector. For over forty years, he has made documentary films that have been broadcast on PBS, the Sundance channel and YLE Finland. Among his credits are The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It (with Judith Ehrlich), Rivera In America, Jasper Johns Ideas in Paint, Orozco, Man of Fire (for the PBS American Masters series), The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Struggle and Race is the Place. His editing credits incude Trimpin, the Sound of Invention, Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up, and In the Image – Palestinian Women Capture the Occupation. His films have been shown at Sundance, the British Museum and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
Hüseyin Sarı, Line Producer and Assistant Editor, grew up in politically corrupt Turkey during the low-level war between the right wing, ultra-nationalist groups and the left wing opposition. A Molotov cocktail was thrown into his home while he and his family were asleep. As a survivor of violence, Sarı understands that nonviolence is the right choice regardless of the situation. He studied Geological Engineering in Turkey and double majored in Construction Management and Project Management at the University of California, Berkeley, but he was always determined to pursue a career in filmmaing. Sarı worked on numerous video projects and got international recognition in 2012 and 2013. Huseyin has collaborated with the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Judith Ehrlich on various projects. He worked as a Line Producer on The Invisible Man: CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling in 2015. Currently, he is a Line Producer and Assistant Editor on The Mouse That Roared, which follows Iceland’s Pirate Party and its leader Birgitta Jónsdóttir who is trying to create a new paradigm of citizen-empowered governance. Hüseyin Sarı is the founder of BerkeleyFilmMaker (BFM), a production company committed to making innovative work in the area of independent filmmaking.
Blanche Chase is an Archival Researcher who digs deep to find photographs and motion picture footage for documentary films, broadcast programming and corporate presentations. Her recent projects include Boston: The Documentary, a 2017 release, Paying the Price For Peace, a 2016 Free Speech Film Festival selection, Chinese Couplets, a 2016 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival selection, Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank, chosen for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Dying to Know: Ram Dass and Timothy Leary, selected for the 2014 Mill Valley Film Festival and 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, a 2014 Emmy nominee for outstanding historical programming.
Diana Houts, Administrative Support. Diana has been helping with administrative tasks since January, 2016. She formerly worked outdoors, caring for gardens and working at nurseries. She has been a long-term volunteer with Rainbow World Fund, California AIDS Ride and AIDS LifeCycle and the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Stephen Baigel, Vicente Franco and Ashley James – San Francisco Bay Area
Joan Churchill with Alan Barker (Sound) – Los Angeles
Robby Lepper – Massachusetts
David Wright – Maine
Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr., Advisor, was a 20-year-old draft resister in 1971 when he was hired by theInstitute for the Study of Nonviolence in Palo Alto to answer speaking invitations after earlier resisters had been imprisoned. Following their lead, he learned about organizing and movement building, and especially about nonviolence. During his first trial for refusing induction, the jury was hung when one young woman, dressed up to look like a juror, refused to convict. At his second trial in 1972, he was found guilty but he continued organizing against the war until it ended. In 1977, he co-edited “The Power of the People,” an illustrated history of “active nonviolence in the United States” with Helen Michalowski. His studio, Robert Cooney Graphic Design in Point Reyes Station, produced books and publications for over twenty years. In 2005, he published the award-winning book, “Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement.” Bob has worked on several documentary films including Ken Burns’ Not for Ourselves Alone, Ruth Pollak’s One Woman, One Vote, and Martha Wheelock’s California Women Win the Vote and Forward Into Light.
Christopher Colorado Jones, Producer and interviewee, is the Executive Director and Producer of BOYS! He initiated the film in 2013 to capture the amazing stories of draft resisters and has been heartened to see the relevance today of their nonviolent victories. Christopher refused to register for the draft in 1967 and was sentenced to a year in Safford Federal Prison. There, he managed to smuggle in a Super 8 movie camera to make a film about being in prison, segments of which appear in this film. Christopher was the founding director of Agape Foundation: Fund for Nonviolent Social Change for seven years, after which he earned a Masters in Social Welfare and Public Health from UC Berkeley. While employed by the State of Washington and King County, he helped increase access to preventive public health services and community health care by poor people and HIV/AIDS clients.
Steve Ladd, Distribution and Marketing Consultant, Adviser and interviewee, brings over thirty years of experience Helping media makers successfully develop, market and distribute social issue documentaries including Academy and Emmy Award winning programs. Currently, Steve is working with several partners to build a fully integrated social cause media company with the ability to promote and distribute media programs to all potential markets. Steve turned in his draft card during the Vietnam War as a college student, organized a campus anti-war group, and served as Field Director for War Resisters League/West in San Francisco. In the early 1980’s, he became a founding member of the National Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.
Bill Prince, Co-Producer, is a psychiatrist who has spent his career in public health and was not a draft resister. He was born and raised in the Atlanta, Georgia, area, graduated from Yale University and Emory University School of Medicine, and lived in Seattle, Washington, for almost thirty years. He feels that democracy is not a status but rather a struggle, and that citizen action is more likely than the voting booth to bring the change that people need. He is a practicing Buddhist of the Shamballa lineage and lives in San Francisco.
Lee Swenson, Advisor and interviewee, says he was fortunate in the late 1950s to find Kepler’s Books with the great Gandhian activist/storyteller Ira Sandperl behind the counter. Ira always joked that “Gandhi, that rascal, ruined my life.” And, through Ira, many nonviolent activists came to live “ruined” and beautiful lives…. Joan Baez, David Harris, Randy Kehler and so many others. In the early 1960s, Lee was part of a small circle of nonviolent friends opposing nuclear fallout shelters and atomic testing in the Pacific, and advocating war tax resistance. He refused the draft in 1960 while learning the history and the great possibilities of nonviolent direct action, but was not prosecuted. As the American war in Vietnam took its brutal course, opposing and resisting the war became the central focus of his activist work. Lee was involved in the October 1967 Stop The Draft Week along with the Christmas 1967-68 nonviolent sit ins and served time in Santa Rita Prison. He became Director of the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence in 1969 in Palo Alto, edited the newspaper, Simple Living, for the American Friends Service Committee and then became Executive Director of the Farallones Appropriate Technology Institute. For the last 25 years, he has been the Co-Director with Vijaya Nagarajan of the Institute for the Study of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Robert Levering, Advisor, was a full-time peace activist from 1967 to 1973, helping organize mass demonstrations and nonviolent civil disobedience actions for the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, the Honeywell Project, A Quaker Action Group and the American Friends Service Committee. He turned in his draft card and refused the induction physical but was not prosecuted. He has written eight books including best-sellers The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America, Everybody’s Business and A Great Place to Work and coauthored Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” list for 20 years. He founded Great Place to Work Institute, a global research and consulting firm. Active in his local Quaker meeting, he is also on the board of Peaceworkers, whose mission is to support, strengthen and promote nonviolent movements for peace and justice and nonviolent peacemaking efforts around the world .