TEAM

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Amy Benson

Co-Producer

Amy owns Nonfiction Media, a production company based in Seattle where she produces, shoots and edits films telling the stories of organizations around the globe. Since 2008, Amy has been working on a documentary trilogy about one family in Nepal. The first in the trilogy, Drawing the Tiger, was a granted project of the Sundance Institute and Fork Films. It premiered at Hot Docs in April 2015, and received the Documentary Feature Award from CAAM Fest, the Jury Award for Best Documentary at the Asiatica Film Festival, and the UNICEF award at Film South Asia. The sequel, The Eldest Son, premiered at the Kathmandu Mountain Film Festival in 2017. The final film, Literate, is in production. 

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Hari Kondabolu

Executive Producer

Hari Kondabolu is a comedian, podcaster and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. He has been described by The NY Times as “one of the most exciting political comics in stand-up today.” In 2018, his Netflix special “Warn Your Relatives” was released and he was named one of Variety’s Top 10 Comics To Watch. He is a former writer and correspondent for the Chris Rock produced FX series “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” and currently co-hosts the weekly
First Look Media/ Topic podcast “Politically Re-Active.”

His critically acclaimed truTV documentary “The Problem with Apu” created an international conversation about race and representation. The Nation called it a “a devastating critique of the ultimate comedic sacred cow: The Simpsons.”

Hari is a former immigrant rights organizer who worked with One America in Seattle, an organization then headed by current-Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. He has a Msc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, where he wrote his dissertation on migration and human rights.

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Aletta von Vietinghoff
Editor

Aletta is a Berlin-based editor who has been working in documentary, fiction, and television for fifteen years. Her most recent film, Reise Nach Jerusalem won Best Film at the 2018 Achtung Berlin Film Festival. Her first feature documentary, Audre Lorde: the Berlin Years, was featured in the 2012 Berlin Film Festival, and has screened at over 100 festivals internationally. In 2013 she edited the feature documentary Creative Despite War, which was broadcast on Swedish Public Television. In 2015, she was selected as a Talent at the Berlin Film Festival, where she now organizes the editing track for each year. 

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Christina Antonakos-Wallace
Director/Producer
Camera/Editor

Christina is a filmmaker and cultural organizer. Awards include the Euromedia Award for Culture & Diversity (2011), a Media that Matters Change Maker Award (2012), and recognition from the German Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance (2015). Her short films and interactive work has been exhibited in over fifteen countries through festivals, schools, galleries, NGOs, and corporations. Commissions and grants include the New America Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and the German Ministry for Civic Education. She was a Fellow at Hedgebrook (2017) and the Port Townsend Film Festival (2015), and holds a BFA/BA from the New School & Parsons School of Design. Her work was recognized with a five-year MTV Fight For Your Rights Scholarship (2002) and a Humanity in Action Fellowship (2006), which she completed at the United Nations High Commission on Refugees in Berlin. FROM HERE is her first feature-length documentary. 

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Canan Turan

Creative Producer

Canan Turan holds a BA in Film Studies from the Free University of Berlin and an MA in Documentary Film from Goldsmiths College London. Canan’s short documentary "Kıymet" (2012) was shown at international film festivals, such as Documentarist Istanbul, and at the Kino Moviemento theater Berlin. Canan lectured at universities on Turkish-German Cinema and bell hooks’ media and film criticism, including Braunschweig University of Art, Philipps University Marburg and Justus Liebig University Giessen. She gives keynotes, workshops and trainings to NGO’s, film institutions and production companies on diversity, (anti-)

discrimination and intersectionality in film. She curates and hosts cultural events in this context, authors educational materials and reviews for VISION KINO and writes about German film history for DFF - The German Film Museum. Canan also provides project and script consultancy for movies and series and advises different film funding agencies in Germany.

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Theresa Navarro

Co-Producer

Theresa Navarro (@theresaxtine) is a Brooklyn-based Pin@y is an Independent Spirit Award nominated producer. She is the Vice President of External Affairs at American Documentary | POV. Her recent producing credits include the public television series AMERICA REFRAMED, CAAM funded sports documentary 9-MAN, and Jennifer Phang’s sci-fi feature ADVANTAGEOUS, which won the U.S. Competition Special Jury Prize for collaborative vision at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In 2011, CAAM nominated her as one of 15 women leaders to be recognized in honor of the National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum. 

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Miman Jasarovski
Film Protagonist  
+ Activist

 

Miman Jasarovski is an German-born, Roma activist who has worked for many years on the rights of the Roma & Sinti communities, as well as a right to stay as a social worker for refugees. He is one of the protagonists in the documentary FROM HERE and, together with other activists of the initiative With Wings and Roots and racial justice and immigrant rights organizations, has initiated the campaign "Pass(t) zu mir" (Citizenship Suits Us) for the extension of German citizenship rights for all people born in Germany.

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Tania Mattos
Film Protagonist
+ Activist

Tania is an Aymara descendent, Bolivian-born, Queens-based organizer, and strategist. She joined Envision Freedom with 14 years of experience as an immigrant and worker rights organizer and advocate. As Legislative Coordinator for the New York State Youth Leadership Council, she helped organize the first Education Not Deportation program in New York that stopped the deportation of undocumented youth people. Tania is a co-founder of Queens Neighborhoods United, a grassroots anti-gentrification collective. Tania was a DACA recipient from 2012 to 2019.

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Akim Nguyen
Film Protagonist
+ Artist

is a conceptual artist based in Berlin, Athens, and Bulgaria. Born in Vietnam, Akim came to Germany as the child of "boat people," and this began his nomadic orientation towards life. Akim got his start as a graffiti artist in Berlin in the early 1990's, becoming a well-known figure in the international street art scene for his original typefaces.

Akim is a prolific collaborator, community builder, and pollinator who has participated in projects and exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world. 

 

Follow his latest work here.

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Sonny Singh
Film Protagonist
Activist + Musician

is a musician and social justice educator based in Brooklyn, NY. He has been active in movements for social and economic justice since he was a teenager and worked as a labor and community organizer in his 20s. He received his Master’s Degree in Social Justice Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has nearly 20 years of experience facilitating workshops and giving talks on anti-oppression, racial equity, and social justice issues. As a musician, Sonny has brought his fiery trumpet and vocals to audiences around the world as an original member of bhangra brass band Red Baraat. He released his first solo album, Chardi Kala, in 2022.

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Alex Guy,

Composer

is a Seattle-based composer and string performer. Her work ranges from solo compositions for film, theater, and dance, to the completion of three full length albums with the project Led to Sea, written, arranged and co-produced by Alex herself. She has collaborated as an improviser with musicians such as Wayne Horvitz, James Knapp, Samantha Boshnack, and Susie Ibarra. Her solo projects have performed across Europe and the U.S. She has also toured extensively over the last ten years as a string and keys player with musicians such as Angel Olsen, Laura Veirs, Lemolo, Mirah, Sera Cahoone, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down and Danny Barnes.

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Jacqueline Görgen
Co-Direction (Miman's Story)

She studied German Literature, and later Visual Communication at the Hochschule der Künste (HdK). During her studies at HdK, she directed her first film "Der Streit" (1996) about children in a Berlin refugee home, produced for NDR, a German television station. In 1999 she co-directed her second film together with Michael Hammon "Hilbrow Kids" (1999) an award-winning documentary about the street children in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the next years completed several films including: "Finden Sie ein Bild für das, was mit Ihnen ist" (2001) and "Schlangen im Feuer" (2002) and "Verliebt ins Leben" (2011).

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Gisela Rosario Ramos

Contributing Editor

 is an independent editor and
director, who has been working in the field of documentary for over twenty years. She began her career in New York and has been based in Puerto Rico full-time for the last fifteen years. Gisela was the editor of “Mi Santa Mirada,” the first Puerto Rican short film to compete in Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. She won first prize at the CineFiesta 2011 for her screenplay “Sábado de Gloria,” which she later produced. Her documentary “El Hijo de Ruby” won the Short Film category at the Kerry Festival in Ireland. Recently, she finished, Cartas de Amor, about a Puerto Rican diva singer now in her seventies. Gisela studied Black and Puerto Rican Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Fine Arts at Hunter College.

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Lotti Schulz

Associate Producer, Assistant Editor

Lotti is a Berlin-based editor working on the topics of migration, racism and social justice. She studied Spanish and French and holds a Master in Cultural, Communication and Media Studies. She currently works as an online editor in the Migration and Diversity division of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Starting as an assistant editor for FROM HERE in 2014, she quickly joined the core team of the With Wings and Roots initiative and got involved in the education and interactive work, as an editor of the German Timeline of migration history. She has been instrumental in the  post-production process of the film as an assistant editor and associate producer. 

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Olga Gerstenberger
Impact Producer 
Associate Producer

Olga Gerstenberger is a political scientist who uses her multidisciplinary background to engage in social justice projects, like Entangled Histories and Visionary Europe well as the development of innovative educational material, among others the audioguide Unfree labour and Racism. She has a DAAD-funded Master in Ideology and Discourse Analysis from the University of Essex. As part of the Lause 10/11 house collective she is active in neighborhood organizing and anti-gentrification movements in Berlin.

Olga has been part of FROM HERE’s impact and education initiative, With Wings and Roots since 2011. She initiated and lead a community-based participatory process to create the German timeline on migration, citizenship and belonging. Currently she is leading the impact campaign for From Here in Germany and co-leading a campaign to change German citizenship and naturalization laws.

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Chelo Alvarez-Stehle
Lead Impact Producer

Chelo Alvarez-Stehle is a Spanish & American journalist, documentary filmmaker and impact producer. In the early 90s, she worked in Japan in documentaries for NHK and was Tokyo foreign correspondent for Spain’s El Mundo. In California since 1995, she directed & produced multi award-winning documentaries, among them THROUGH THE WALL on immigration (acquired by LPB and The Guardian) and SANDS OF SILENCE on sexual violence/trafficking, broadcast on RTVE, WORLD Channel, PBS. As impact producer of her own films and of NASRIN, on Iran’s human rights, she has engaged audiences from China to New Zealand, from women’s to migrant shelters, from parliaments to prisons.

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Yuniya Khan
Impact Producer

Yuniya has worked in the non-profit and international development fields for more than 20 years, with much of her work focusing on youth and community development in the US and other countries. She is originally from Guyana, and has lived and worked in El Salvador, Brazil, and South Africa. She created The Emerge Project, a Johannesburg-based multimedia storytelling initiative that highlights the work of “ordinary” Black people who are striving to make a difference in South Africa and Brazil. Yuniya currently serves on the board of UnLocal, Inc., a nonprofit that provides legal and educational services to immigrants in New York City.

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Saelyx Finna
Impact & Distro Producer

principal and founder of Context Moves, brings over a decade of experience working as an impact producer, nonprofit executive director, film programmer, and distribution consultant. Recent impact campaigns include Always in Season andThe Feeling of Being Watched, and partners and clients include Sundance, DOC NYC, AMC, the Criterion Collection, Film Independent, and Cinereach. Committed to building coalitions, Saelyx co-founded the Seventh Art Stand, a national series of films from the countries and people affected by Trump administration travel bans; the Alliance for Action, a national working group for equity in art house theaters; and a migration-themed film festival in Santander, Spain. Previously, Saelyx was Executive and Artistic Director for Northwest Film Forum, the largest comprehensive independent film center in the Pacific Northwest.

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Chrystian Rodriguez
Education & Community
Engagement Advisor

is a New York-based filmmaker, educator, and program manager with over 15 years experience. Chrystian has committed his work to creating inclusive and empowering learning spaces for filmmakers, artists, educators, and community organizers. He currently serves as the Workshop Director at Third World Newsreel. Chrystian recently managed capacity building programs and learning networks with the Mozilla Foundation and Youth INC. Chrystian has also worked as a program leader and educator with organizations such as Global Action Project, Free Arts NYC, the Tribeca Film Institute, and Manhattan Neighborhood Network.

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Ha'aheo Auwae-Dekker 
Social Media & Digital Engagement Team

Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker is an artist and creative currently attending Seattle University where they study filmmaking and sociology. They’ve been involved in Seattle based non-profits, Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), and Reel Grrls since they were fifteen years old doing organizing work, interning, working on Y-WE’s Youth Leadership Council, and more. Through this involvement, Ha’aheo met Christina when they were sixteen working on workshops through FROM HERE’s education initiative, With Wings and Roots. Ha’aheo is an audio technician on the Seattle podcast, the DeepEnd Podcast, and works in the Reel Grrls production company, Reel Grrls Pro. When they aren’t studying or working, you’ll find Ha’a watching and analyzing a good movie, researching their familial and cultural history as a Native Hawaiian, and painting.

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Marc Holland-Cunz

Associate Producer

Marc Holland-Cunz is a trained Social Scientist and number fancier. During a year long stay at the New School for Social Research in New York he hit on FROM HERE in 2011, and it has kept inspiring him ever since through its images, voices and people. After finishing his studies in Berlin, he has been working in research, education and anti-discrimination and is now reconquering his home Thuringia through teaching, music and family life. He contributes to the film and initiative through administrative, grant writing, and bookkeeping support.

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Karen Maniraho

Associate Producer,

Digital Engagement Team

Karen Maniraho is a journalist that is constantly curious about the ways people interact with the systems around them. She is the daughter of Burundian immigrants and she believes that diverse storytelling can encourage critical change and thoughtful conversations about our identities, politics, and our rights across borders. Her work as a visual storyteller has focused on stories about race, gender, migration, and black and African diaspora culture. Karen is currently a graduate student at Columbia Journalism School. When she's not working, you can find her dancing to Afrobeat music or accepting film and podcast recommendations.

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Siyawash Jekta

Interactive Producer

Production Assistant

Born in Iran in 1987, Siya's parents brought him and his family to Germany as refugees after being persecuted by the Iranian regime. He was raised and attended school in Berlin, where, following high school, he discovered his passion in video. Currently, he works a project manager at the Berlin-based digital agency TLGG.He initially came to the project while a study video production. Siya joined the team to help edit the material for both the interactive website and feature film, and has continued over the years assuming many roles.

COLLABORATORS

Contributing Editors:
Cheree Dillon

Gregor Bartsch

Animation:

Julien Scherliss, Moment Films 

Sound:

Dave Richards, The Department of Sound & Magic

 

Trailer Editor

Kristin Ougendal

Assistant Editors

Kevin Murphy

Ute Seitz

With Wings & Roots Team:

Anna Oelhaf

Serkan Demiral

Kadijatou Diallo

Angela Azzolino

Anna Baker

Cynthia Wu

Isabel Schröer

Kerstin Meissner

Manjiri Palicha

Nafasi Ferrell

Pasquale Rotter

Paula Fürhrer

Rachel Landry

Regina Knoll

Simran Sodhi

Color:

Kettle Media Concepts,

Nigel Kettle & Maria Mendoza

Additional Editing

Roman Safuillin

Sana Gomes

Design:

Julien Scherliss

Ruslan Komjakov

Gabriel Berretta

Christina Antonakos-Wallace