Ben is a South African documentary film maker who has been studying and working in Los Angeles since 2011. He is in the final stage of his Masters degree at the esteemed University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Taking Stock is a good indicator of Ben’s film interests - it is a personal story, driven by character and narrative, and concerns itself with questions of social justice, psychology, and community. While at USC, Ben has focused his energy on editing and directing documentary films, with the completion of a short documentary “The Pier” now on the festival circuit, and another hour-long documentary about Italian voice-over artists that is nearing completion. Ben plans to use his experience as a storyteller and educator to develop a modern production company based in different parts of Africa, in order to provide a new forum for compelling stories to emerge from the continent.
Arun began producing, directing, writing, and editing short form video content while at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, where his comedic webseries about campus life amassed over 50,000 views on YouTube and his first short film won “Best Undergraduate Film” at the university’s film festival. Since moving to Los Angeles, Arun has had films featured in the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival, the Playhouse West Film Festival, and Shorts Showcase on PBS. He will graduate from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Film & TV Production in 2014.
Crew and Collaborators
We've assembled a superb group of creative people to make this film happen with style and professionalism.
Dave grew up in the small rural factory town of Sidney, Ohio. From around the age of eight, he began working in his father’s auto body shop and to this day he has a deep-seated love of tangible get-your-hands-dirty work and all things gear or wrench related. He went to school to be a painter, before finding his love for film, to which he has since dedicated as much time and energy possible. After receiving his MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Dave hopes to continue working as a freelancer in order to fund the projects he is most passionate about.
Aaron Bush was born and raised in rural Oklahoma, then moved to Hawai’i to pursue a Ph.D. in Marine Biology and teach college biology classes. Before starting the MFA program at the School of Cinematic Arts, he jumped out of airplanes, fought wildfires, practiced martial arts, served on the board of directors of non-profit organizations and, on occasion, spoke kindly to animals and small children. He likes motorcycles, brewing beer, cats and making movies.
Jan was born in Prague, Czech Republic, at the end of the Communist regime. He was four years old when the Czech nation experienced the Velvet Revolution and the barbed wire was taken down. He is the first generation of students with the opportunity to study abroad and experience other Western cultures. Jan graduated from FAMO in Czech Republic and West Virginia State University. His background is in sound, music and classical twerk, which he has practiced while pursuing his MFA at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Sound Recordist and Designer
Sean Jarrett is a third year MFA-Production Candidate at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Sean has served as editor on a number of USC projects including Miss Mustard Glade, one of two projects produced for Subway’s Fresh Artist Series. Sean is currently directing Over/Under, a USC advanced documentary project. Sean was the recipient of the 2012 and 2013 Dana & Albert Broccoli Foundation Scholarships.
Damir Omic was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and immigrated to the United States at the age of four. In an earlier life, he studied Physics at UC Berkeley before ultimately finding his way to film. He has worked in various capacities on a number of projects, with a heavy emphasis on editing and post-production. In his spare time, Damir likes to imagine a world without computers.
Brenda Goodman is a producer of independent films as well as documentaries, television and music video. Goodman’s credits include Anna (winner of Golden Globe for Best Actress), Emma & Elvis (Kathryn Walker), Mac (directed by John Turturro), Prisoners of Inertia (Amanda Plumber and Chris Rich) and The Ballad of Little Jo (Ian McKellen). Her documentary credits include Observance Observed (ABC), Blues Story, No Place Like Home and Chuck’s Story. She also produced documentaries for PBS including Roses in December, Growing Up Poor and Heartstrings. Goodman produced The Baby Sitter’s Club pilot for HBO. She was the Executive Producer for the 2000-2001 Human Rights Awards and the director for Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS [DIFFA]. In addition to her producing credits, Goodman was the in- house writer, producer and director at Reeves Communications. She is the winner of the National Association for Youth Mentor Award for her music video work with Ziggy Marley. In 2000, the National Greek Academic Honor Society named Goodman Professor of the Year. Brenda is currently working on the documentary SEX(ed), The Movie.
Emmy award winning director Amanda Pope’s directing, producing, writing, and editing credits over her more than 20 year long career include documentary, dramatic, and social advocacy programs. Her work has focused on the dynamics of creativity in fine art, public art happenings, urban design, theatre and dance. Her award-winning public television documentaries: “Jackson Pollock Portrait,” “Stages: Houseman Directs Lear,” narrated by Jason Robards and “Cities for People,” narrated by Cloris Leachman have all been broadcast nationally on PBS. Her program series, “Faces Of Change,” documented grassroots reformers and emerging leaders in seven countries of the former USSR.Recently she directed “The Legend Of Pancho Barnes And The Happy Bottom Riding Club” about a pioneer woman aviator. The film was honored with a 2011 Los Angeles Area Emmy in the arts and culture/history category, broadcast over 1200 times on American Public Television for PBS and featured at numerous festivals and screening venues. The Desert of Forbidden Art, which she directed, produced and wrote with Tchavdar Georgiev, was broadcast in 2011 on PBS’ Independent Lens and honored with two nominations at the national 33rd CINE’s Masters Award for Excellence in Independent Filmmaking. Amanda has served on the Boards of New York Women in Film and Women in Film Foundation in Los Angeles, and has been a jury member for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences student films, The Humanitas Prize, and the International Documentary Association’s feature documentaries. Amanda is a Professor in production at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
An east coast transplant, Harris received bachelor’s degrees in English and Political Science from Southern Connecticut State University. He is currently a Production MFA candidate at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, graduating in 2015. He has edited several USC thesis films as well as the short documentary “Stand.” He likes 20th century American literature and hates writing autobiographical blurbs.
Moses Banda resides in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he works as a freelance cameraman and producer for local and
international news broadcasting agencies, including BBC News.