Production Staff
Daniel Baer | Srael Boruchin | Sean McGinn | Scott Healy | Judith Helfand | Elizabeth Foley


Daniel Baer began working in nonfiction filmmaking while studying in Stanford University's Master's program in documentary film and video production, from which he graduated in 1996.

Two award-winning short films that he produced and directed as a film student screened at film festivals around the world and were broadcast on various PBS affiliates. Echo Soup (1995), a documentary about musicians who flourish at cultural crossroads, featuring African American klezmer clarinetist Don Byron, was awarded the Silver Apple by the National Educational Media Network and screened at Jewish film festivals from San Francisco to London. Horse Dreams in BBQ Country (1996), portraying the long-time love between two gay cowboys in South Texas, was named Best Documentary at the Humboldt International Film Festival and received the Audience Award for Best Short at the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, in addition to screening at the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Hamptons International Film Festival, and more than two dozen other festivals and museums worldwide.

Baer's hour-long documentary The Hotel Upstairs, which he shot and edited as well as directed, premiered to rave reviews at the 2001 IFP/West Los Angeles Film Festival. A portrait of life in a San Francisco residential hotel, the film went on to screen at the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), the Cork (Ireland) Film Festival, the Pesaro (Italy) Film Festival, and the Visions du Réel Festival (Nyons, Switzerland), among many others.

In addition to producing his own work, Baer has worked as both shooter and editor on numerous documentary productions. As a shooter for MTV's award-winning True Life documentary series, he worked on episodes including "I Am Driving While Black" (NAACP Image Award winner) and "I'm A Football Hero." In the post-production realm, he has edited the independent documentary features John the Road (2002) and Viva Chile Mierda (2003).

Baer also taught filmmaking and editing courses at San Francisco City College, San Francisco University High School, and the Academy of Art College, before relocating to New York City in 2003.

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In 1992, Srael Boruchin shot his first documentary on hammerhead sharks in the Galapagos Islands. From that point on, he has been telling award-winning stories through the eye of a lens, culminating in a 2004 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Single Camera Photography for Full Frontal Fashion, and a 2001 New York Emmy Award for "Best Documentary Camera" for Get the Message.

Srael has also worked on projects for HBO, PBS, A&E Biography, The Sierra Club, and Madison Square Garden. Mr. Boruchin is President of Synchronicity Films, a production company based in New York.

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Sean McGinn is a New York based director of photography and editor. He began is career shooting news stories in his native town, the Bronx. After spending several years as a staff videographer at the New York based Metro TV, he went on to shoot for numerous TV, documentary and short film projects.

Sean's recent TV credits include CNN, VH1, ABC's The View, CBS' Star Search, Food Network's Food Nation with Bobby Flay, WE's Full Frontal Fashion, WNET's New York Voices, and Metro TV's Subway Q&A. McGinn's short film work as camera and editor includes the award winning Washington Road (2001) and Hair Of The Dog (2003). He is currently co-producing a documentary on monastic life in America (due fall 2004).

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New York based keyboardist and composer Scott Healy is best known as keyboardist on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, now in its eleventh season on NBC. His wide-ranging performing and recording, credits include many of the greats in rock, blues, R&B and jazz, including Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Al Green, BB King, Taj Mahal, Phoebe Snow, Brandi, Sheryl Crow, Jackson Browne, Graham Parker, The Band, Donald Fagan, Branford Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Dweezil and Ahmed Zappa, Ruth Brown, Fontella Bass to name a few. He's also currently pursuing his own original projects: The Coalition - releasing their upcoming cd "Naked Movies" in September, and the Scott Healy Tentet.

Scott's composing and arranging credits include the Portland Maine Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Mel Lewis Orchestra, Ricky Martin, and Christina Aguiliera.

He received "Distinguished Artist Award" from NJ State Council on the Arts, and numerous grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He scored the NYC Torchlight Award-winning film Digging for Dutch and has had other films shown at major festivals around the country including the Woodstock Film Festival.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Scott attended Eastman School of Music, graduating with a degree in Composition, studied with Samuel Adler, Joseph Schwantner, Warren Benson, and Ray Wright.

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Peabody award-winning filmmaker, activist and educator Judith Helfand is best known for her ability to take the dark, cynical, and intractable world of chemical exposure and heedless corporate behavior and make it personal, resonant, highly charged and even entertaining.

Her award-winning films, including A HEALTHY BABY GIRL and BLUE VINYL, explore home, class, family, continuity, intergenerational relationships, the long arm of corporate power, the impact of long-term chemical exposure on core parts of our lives, and the ever decreasing borders between what is "personal" and what is a critical part of the public record. Using her personal experience with DES-related cancer as a jumping off point, Helfand makes honest, useful and human links between home and the shop floor, between suburban/urban consumers and workers, between the academy and the street, between institutions of faith and higher learning and a toxic marketplace that is highly vulnerable to evolved, conscious, politicized consumers.

Helfand speaks widely with her films, which are known for inspiring unlikely community and institutional partnerships and unique interdisciplinary opportunities. Her workshops include: linking filmmaking to social change; making the toxic popular and environmental issues "cool" and Jewish (even); the literal meaning of "one generation to the next" in this time of chemical exposure; translating toxic chemical exposure into stories the media will cover; and the power of personal narrative. Helfand, who is currently a professor in New York University's undergraduate film and television department and at work on a new "toxic comedy" about global warming, has brought her films, her stories, and her workshops to universities, labor conferences, synagogues, and grass roots events, and has addressed everyone from historic preservationists to film students to teenage girls. She leaves her audiences laughing in the face of corporate power, willing to take concrete action, and interested in exploring how to use their status and institutional affiliations to support environmental health and justice.

More about Helfand:

Helfand defines herself as a filmmaker/organizer and has worked as a documentary producer and educator for the past ten years. She co-produced and co-directed THE UPRISING OF 34 with veteran documentarian George Stoney. The feature labor documentary was broadcast nationally on the acclaimed PBS series POV in 1995, and voted one of that year's ten best documentaries by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Helfand used a more personal, humorous and ironic style with A HEALTHY BABY GIRL, a DES daughter's diary about "wonder drugs" and rude awakenings. It was in competition at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, had its television premiere on POV, and received a Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism and Public Education. BLUE VINYL, the 2002 crowd pleaser of a "toxic comedy" co-directed and co-produced with Daniel Gold, is a sequel of sorts, that picks up right in front of her parents blue vinyl house and was broadcast nationally on HBO's premiere series "America Undercover." Accolades include the 2002 Excellence in Cinematography Award, an IDA nomination for "Best Documentary," a "Nice Modernist" award from Dwell Magazine, the 2002 Environmental Messenger of the Year from the Environmental Grantmakers Association, a 2002 EPIC Award from the Whitehouse Project and two recent Emmy Nominations for "Best Research" and "Best Documentary." Building on ten years of creating strategic distribution efforts with her documentaries, Helfand co-founded Working Films, a nationally recognized organization that is dedicated to leveraging the power and prestige of documentary to long-term economic, social and environmental justice.

With the success of BLUE VINYL, Helfand and her filmmaking partner Daniel B. Gold formed a production company, Toxic Comedy Pictures, to create original, entertaining media with a social conscience and a sense of humor. They are currently in production on their next "toxic comedy," a feature documentary about global warming, called MELTING PLANET.

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Elizabeth Foley has been working in New York City as a film and television producer and director for the last twelve years. She is currently developing a feature film, FUNNY PECULIAR, starring Rip Torn and Betty Buckley, based on her own highly dysfunctional family. While obtaining her MFA in film from Columbia University, she studied with James Schamus (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sense & Sensibility), Richard Brick (Celebrity, Deconstructing Harry, and Sweet & Lowdown), and Paul Schrader (Affliction, American Gigolo). In 1999 she produced a UNICEF documentary narrated by Julia Ormond. Foley worked as Line Producer on the reality television series, The It Factor, a Bravo show. Her other credits include projects for Dean Silvers, Cinemax, Ikea, Florentine Films and Lear Television. Her award-winning short film about Joan of Arc, JEANNE& HAUVIETTE, screened at Anthology Film Archives, as part of the New Directors/CineWomen NY Screening Series.

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