the filmmakers

Editor / Co-Producer

Jonathan Oppenheim’s editing credits include SISTER HELEN, which won the documentary directing award at Sundance and CHILDREN UNDERGROUND, a film he co-produced, which was nominated for an Oscar and won the Sundance Special Jury Prize, Gotham and IDA awards. He edited the classic documentary feature PARIS IS BURNING, awarded the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. PARIS IS BURNING also received the New York Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics and IDA Awards.

Among Oppenheim’s other credits are: YOUSSOU NDOUR: I BRING WHAT I LOVE, the story of the great African singers’ attempt to transmit moderate Islam through music, OUT OF THE SHADOW (PBS), which describes a woman’s life with her paranoid schizophrenic mother, CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE (PBS), a cinema verite look at three Arab-American New Yorkers in the wake of 9/11, and the Oscar-nominated STREETWISE (as Associate Editor). He was the co-editor of STRONGMAN, winner of the 2009 Slamdance Grand Jury award for Best Documentary Feature. Recently, Oppenheim edited and co-produced PHYLLIS AND HAROLD, the tale of a 60-year bad marriage, scheduled for theatrical release in 2010; and he co-edited and co-directed COWBOYS, INDIANS AND LAWYERS (PBS) which deals with a battle over water in the West. He also edited the critically acclaimed feature documentary, ARGUING THE WORLD, for which he received, along with producer/director, Joseph Dorman, a Peabody Award.


Executive Producer

David Menschel is a criminal defense lawyer and a director of the Vital Projects Fund, a charitable foundation with an interest in human rights and criminal justice reform. Through the Vital Projects Fund, Menschel has helped to fund several documentary films that advance progressive messages, including: NO IMACT MAN (2009), about a New York City family’s year-long experiment in carbon neutral living; and WAR DON DON (forthcoming), about a war crimes trial in Sierra Leone.

Formerly, Menschel was an attorney and the Arthur Liman Fellow at the Innocence Project in New York City and the legal director of the Innocence Project of Florida in Tallahassee. He is the author of Abolition Without Deliverance: The Law of Connecticut Slavery, 1784-1848, published in the Yale Law Journal. Before attending law school, Menschel taught American history to high school students for five years. He received a B.A. from Princeton University (‘93) and a J.D. from Yale Law School (‘02). He lives in Brooklyn, NY.



Kirsten Johnson works as a director and cinematographer. Her feature film script MY HABIBI was selected for the 2006 Sundance Writer’s Lab and Director’s Lab and is the recipient of an Annenberg grant. Her most recent documentary, DEADLINE, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award. As a cinematographer, she recently shot the Tribeca Documentary Winner, PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL and Christy Turlington’s NO WOMAN, NO CRY. She has worked with directors such as Raoul Peck, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, Gini Reticker, and Kirby Dick. Her cinematography is featured in FARENHEIT 9/11, Academy Award-nominated ASYLUM, Emmy-winning LADIES FIRST, and Sundance premiere documentaries, THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, AMERICAN STANDOFF, and DERRIDA. A chapter on her work as a cinematographer is featured in the book, “The Art of the Documentary.”



Nasser Arrabyee is a journalist and human rights activist based in Sana’a, Yemen. His journalism experience includes: Chief Editor of the English desk, Yemen News Agency (SABA), 1997 – 2004. He is currently the Sana’a Correspondent of the Cairo-based English language Al Ahram Weekly (beginning 2000), and the Sana’a correspondent of the Dubai-based English language daily Gulf News (beginning 2002). He has been a regular contributor (mainly in politics and human rights issues) to the Yemen Observer since August 2006. He also works as a freelancer with a number of other local newspapers.

Arrabyee’s human rights work includes collaborating with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as a National Media Expert for a project on child trafficking in Yemen from 2006 to 2007. He also served as the Director General of Studies, Research, and Translation at the Ministry of Human Rights in (2005). From 1996 to 2004, Arrabyee served as translator and interpreter for the Ministry of Information. He runs and owns a small firm providing media and translation services.

Arrabyee received his BA from Sana’a University in 1996. He is a member of Yemen’s Journalists Syndicate, the Arab Federation of Journalists, and the International Federation of Journalists.

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