Jen Senko – Director / Producer / Writer
Jen Senko is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in New York City. Her first documentary, “Road Map Warrior Women”, won recognition with several festival awards. Her most recent film, “The Vanishing City”, exposes the policies and economic philosophy that has made New York a city for the rich. Co-directed with Fiore DeRosa, and narrated by Kathryn Erbe (of Law and Order), “The Vanishing City” has garnered festival awards such as Best Feature Documentary in the Williamsburg International Film Festival, Best Short Documentary in the Harlem International Film Festival, and Honorable Mention in the Los Angeles International Film Festival and sales world-wide, as well as screening at The Film Forum and The Anthology in New York. In addition, Senko has also produced and cast numerous independent narrative shorts.
Ryan Smith - Executive Producer
Ryan Smith has over 15 years investing in various startup projects. He is the founder of Variance Ventures, founding investor of Impact Hub Salt Lake and a partner at Boomstartup one of the top performing startup incubators in the country.
Jodie Evans - Executive Producer
Jodie Evans is a political activist, author, and documentary film producer. She is the co-founder of the women's activist organization, CODEPINK. She characterizes her activism as working for peace and justice, environmental causes and women's rights. She has traveled extensively promoting what she terms the conflict resolution by peaceful means--including leading "citizen diplomacy" delegations to Iran, the Gaza Strip and Afghanistan. She served in California Governor Jerry Brown's cabinet and managed his 1992 campaign for the presidency. Evans currently serves as the chairperson of the board of the Women's Media Center, an organization that describes its goals as working to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and creation of original content. Her CODEPINK actions disrupted the Republican National Convention during Donald Trump's coronation.
Matthew Modine - Producer
In the 1980’s, renowned New York Times film critic Vincent Camby proclaimed Matthew to be “one of the best, most adaptable film actors of his generation.” For nearly four decades Matthew has partnered and worked with many of the film industry’s most respected directors, including Oliver Stone, Sir Alan Parker, Stanley Kubrick, Robert Altman, Alan J. Pakula, John Schlesinger, Tony Richardson, Robert Falls, Sir Peter Hall, Abel Ferrara, Spike Lee, Tom DiCillo, Alan Rudolph, Mike Figgis, Jonathan Demme, and John Sayles. Matthew has been nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and is the recipient of one, Altman’s multiple award-winning Short Cuts. Modine is well remembered for the title character in Alan Parker’s Birdy which won the Cannes Film Festival’s Gran Prix Award. His work in Rudolph’s Equinox helped earn the film four Independent Spirit Award nominations including Best Film and Best Actor for Modine. He’s also the recipient of two acting awards from the Venice Film Festival, the Volpi Cup and Golden Lion. Modine has directed several distinguished short films including the multiple award-winning Jesus Was a Commie, I Think I Thought, Cowboy, and To Kill an American. When I Was a Boy, Smoking, and Ecce Pirate all debuted at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Each of his shorts have gone on to great critical acclaim and played at film festivals worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art's New Directors/New Films. His production company, Cinco Dedos Peliculas is currently co-producing Jen Senko’s new political documentary, The Brainwashing of My Dad and working with two-time Academy Award-nominated animator Bill Plympton on several short and feature-length film projects.
Adam Rackoff - Producer
In 2001, Adam worked for Merchant Ivory Productions in Paris and completed his second animated short film before moving to New York City. By the age of 24, he was working for Apple Computer, Inc. where he managed Retail Marketing and High Profile Events in NYC. In 2010, Adam partnered with actor and filmmaker Matthew Modine and together formed the Cinco Dedos Peliculas production company. The duo have produced a variety of award-winning film and new media projects including JESUS WAS A COMMIE, the FULL METAL JACKET DIARY iPad App and Audiobook, Bill Plympton's THE FLYING HOUSE and CHEATIN', the PUNKY DUNK PROJECT children's app, and Ralph Bakshi's LAST DAYS OF CONEY ISLAND. Adam is currently working on the short film MERRY XMAS starring Dick Van Dyke and a new short and feature film with Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton.
Kala Mandrake- Editor/Additional Camera/Co-Writer
Kala Mandrake has been writer/producer and video editor for HBO, and write/producer for Cinemax and BBC America. She has worked on various shorts and full-feature films, including Bourne Identity director Doug Liman’s movie, Fair Game. She is an independent filmmaker preferring to wear many hats. Often she writes, films and edits. In 2012 she premiered her first short film, Wurtsboro - an adaptation of her book entitled, Fiction Story, and is currently in production on a super 16 full feature with her husband and partner. Coming from a family background of Vaudeville performers, most notably her grandfather, Mandrake the Magician, Kala has also embarked on a documentary, unravelling the mysteries of her family lineage.
Melodie Bryant- Camera/Sound/Co-Writer
Melodie Bryant is a New York-based documentary filmmaker with 20 years experience working in television, including all three major networks, The Cartoon Channel, The Discovery and History Channels. Her documentary, “A Home In The Theatre,” currently being broadcast on the Documentary Channel, tells the story of 90-year-old Artistic Director Edith O’Hara’s valiant effort to hold onto her theatre in the West Village, while around her 40 Indie theatres in NYC were lost or destroyed. Ms. Bryant has directed promotional materials and public service announcements for Random House, The American Lung Association, and the Easter Seal Society. As a composer, her company Savvy Sound has provided sound tracks for network shows like The Good Wife, Dateline NBC, Sex and the City, CSI, CBS and ABC Sports, all the major Soaps, as well as a host of syndicated shows including Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Ellen DeGeneres, TMZ , Showbiz Tonight, America’s Most Wanted, etc., etc.
Rachael Levine- Cinematographer
Rachael Levine began her career as a focus puller and has been operating the camera on many commercials and independent features in addition to shooting interesting projects. Some of her operating credits include the upcoming; "Collateral Beauty", "The Zookeepers Wife", and "Before I Wake", and currently released "Still Alice", "Oculus", "The Other Guys", 'We Own the Night", "P.S.", "Roger Dodger", "Thumbsucker" and also TV shows, "Vinyl" and "Smash" among others.
Rachael received honors for her cinematography as part of the 2004 ICG Film Showcase for a short she shot entitled “Home” and also in 2008 for the short film entitled “Jesus Cooks me Breakfast.”
Fiore DeRosa- Producer/ Story-Consultant/ Interviewer of Dad
Long-time lower Manhattan resident and an award-winning film and theater director. Fiore DeRosa directed/produced/ and co-wrote the acclaimed documentary, The Vanishing City, with Jen Senko. His film “Distraction”, which he co-wrote, directed and produced won third prize in the Zoie Film Festival, and was an official selection in a number of other festivals. He was the Founder and Creative Director of The Abraxxas Theater in New York City, and previously the Managing Director of Hunger Theater of Philadelphia. With Hunger Theater, his production of “American Buffalo” won The Golden Cockerel Award for best play in the 2000 Edinburgh film festival.
Jeff Cohen - Consulting Producer
Jeff Cohen is a columnist, media critic and founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he is an associate professor of journalism. He coproduced the documentary All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone. He is the author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media. He has been a TV commentator at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, and was senior producer of MSNBC’s Phil Donahue primetime show until it was terminated three weeks before the Iraq invasion. Cohen founded the media watch group FAIR in 1986.
Jennifer Schultz - Producer
Jennifer Schultz began her career climbing the corporate ladder for 15 years in Training and Organizational Development at MCI Communications and JOSTENS. Following this time, she pursued a variety of other interests such as owning her own coffee shop and performing in the Twin Cities for 10 years. She did local commercials, corporate training videos, print, voice over and many local plays as lead, principal or comic relief roles. During that time she became very politically active and was happy to discover this wonderful film which tapped into her biggest socio-cultural concern: right-wing media.