Director, Producer, Writer, Co-Editor
Ramona Diaz is an award-winning Asian-American filmmaker best known for her compelling character-driven documentaries that combine a profound appreciation for cinematic aesthetics and potent storytelling. Her films, which include Spirits Rising, Imelda, The Learning, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey and Motherland, have demonstrated her ability to gain intimate access to the people she films—be they rock stars, first ladies, dissidents, teachers, or mothers—resulting in keenly observed moments and nuanced narratives that are unforgettable. While her stories focus on the Filipino and Filipino-American experience, Ramona’s films transcend their specificity and are universal in spirit. Her films have been broadcast on POV and Independent Lens and have screened and won awards at Sundance, Berlin, Tribeca, Silverdocs, IDFA, and many other top film festivals. She has received funding from ITVS, CAAM, Sundance Documentary Fund, MacArthur Foundation, Tribeca Institute, Catapult Film Fund, and Chicken & Egg. Ramona has also served on numerous film festival juries and funding panels. Recently she was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Ramona has been a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, a joint program of the U.S. Department of State and USC that brings American films to audiences worldwide. She has conducted master classes and production and post-production workshops all over the world, including in Iraq, Laos, Morocco, Qatar, Zimbabwe, Brazil, and throughout the United States. (Photo by Justin Tsucalas)
Leah Marino’s home is in Austin, TX where she's edited documentaries for 20 years. Recent work includes Deborah Esquenazi's Southwest of Salem (premiered Tribeca, 2016) about four young lesbian women who spent 15 years in prison wrongly accused of sex crimes against two little girls. Previously she worked on Robert Byington’s 7 Chinese Brothers, starring Jason Schwartzman, her first venture into fiction film editing (premiered SXSW, 2015). Marino edited Above All Else, about one man’s struggle against the Keystone XL pipeline (premiered SXSW 2014). In 2013 she completed Ramona Diaz’s Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey. Previous editing projects with Diaz include The Learning and Imelda. Her work includes projects on race car drivers, super fund sites, revolutions and civil rights movements. She enjoys helping each film to realize it’s unique story and purpose in the larger world.
Director of Photgraphy
Nadia Hallgren is an award winning filmmaker and cinematographer from the Bronx, New York. She is an alumna of International Center of Photography and was mentored by filmmaker Kirsten Johnson. Her Director of Photography credits include the Academy award Nominated and Sundance grand jury prize winner Trouble the Water, Citizen Koch, Trapped, Tough Love, War Don Don and The New Black. Nadia has also contributed photography to feature Documentaries including Fahrenheit 9/11, Searching for Sugarman, The Hunting Ground, Suited, Southern Rites, and How To Dance in Ohio. She has worked closely with top Documentary filmmakers including Michael Moore, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Morgan Spurlock, Joe Berlinger, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal. Nadia is a Cinereach fellow and recently co-directed a short film with Laura Poitras.
Clarissa de los Reyes is a filmmaker born and raised in the Philippines who migrated to New York City where she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her short films have screened in many film festivals including Palm Springs, Busan, Fribourg, Vancouver International film festivals, American Cinematheque’s 8th Annual Focus on Female Directors etc.. She collaborates extensively as a Director of Photography for award-winning narrative and documentary short and feature films and has worked in China, Taiwan, Philippines and the US. Her most recent work “Almost Sunrise” by filmmaker Michael Collins is currently making its festival run and will be aired on PBS in 2017. She is currently developing her first narrative feature script film “Johnny Loves Dolores” with the New York Women in Film and Television “From Script to Pre-Production” Lab.
A Sony Pictures executive for 22 years, Rey Cuerdo began producing feature films as a hobby in 2002. He produced the drama “Small Voices”, which won Best Film in all of The Philippines’ film industry awards, was the country’s official entry to the Oscar and Golden Globe awards, and became the first Filipino film to be distributed by a major Hollywood studio (Warner Bros). In 2008, Rey executive produced “Dim Sum Funeral”, an HBO Films comedy. He was an executive producer of the Filipino horror-comedy hit “Remington and the Curse of the Zombadings” in 2011, and secured U.S. and international distribution for it, as well as an English-language remake in development. In 2015, Rey produced “Toto”, a festival award-winning Filipino American comedy. He helped produce “Motherland”, a Filipino documentary feature film which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2017. At Sony, Rey is spearheading an effort to open local-language film markets in the Philippines and Indonesia.
Capella Fahoome fell in love with filmmaking over 20 years ago. With a mission of creating good and meaningful programming that document powerful stories of the human spirit. She has been extremely fortunate to do just that with films such as Lost In Woonsocket (SXSW, currently part of OWN’s Super Soul Sundays), a documentary about two alcoholics and their journey to regain relationships with their families and find their place in society again. Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, a film about the iconic 80’s band, Journey and their new lead singer, Arnel Pineda, whom they discovered through YouTube. Among the narratives Capella produced is I Do & I Don’t, a comedy starring Jane Lynch (“Glee,” “Talladega Nights”). Her current films include Voces del Mar, a film that documents life and family in a small fishing village on the southern coast of Cuba and NOTOWN a film following famlies living through the Flint and Detroit water crisis for the last four years. Motherland is Capella’s second film with Director Ramona Diaz and she is extremely proud to be a part of the team.