Nicole Opper, Director/Producer:
Nicole Opper most recently produced Linton Media's five-part documentary series LSS for Here! Networks, America’s premium gay television network (aired Fall 2008). She was line producer of Macky Alston’s Emmy-nominated The Killer Within, (premiered Toronto Int'l Film Festival 2006, aired on Discovery Channel 2007) and associate producer of Peter Miller’s Sacco and Vanzetti (premiered Full Frame 2006, First Run Features theatrical release 2007, Winner ‘Best Historical Film’ from the American Historical Association). Her documentary short, Song of Hannah, is distributed by The National Center for Jewish Film and her short films have won multiple 'Best Short' awards and screened internationally. She has also directed and produced advocacy videos for Oxfam America, The Grameen Foundation and Positive Planet. Off and Running, Opper's feature-length debut, is a co-production of ITVS, in association with American Documentary/P.O.V. and The National Black Programming Consortium, with support from The Foundation for Jewish Culture and The Puffin Foundation. Opper holds a BFA in Film Production from New York University and teaches filmmaking to high school students through The School of Cinema and Performing Arts, Magic Box Productions and other media education groups.
Sharese Bullock, Producer:
Sharese Bullock is a Multimedia Producer who has served as Strategic Partnerships and Marketing Manager at ListenUp! a global youth media network. She leverages over 10 years of creative management experience in brand building, production, sponsorship marketing and community organizing to pioneer partnerships for Listen Up!'s global network. Sharese received a BA in Communications at The University of Pennsylvania and developed a broad financial skill set through the Financial Analyst program at Goldman Sachs. In 2002 she created a brand management consultancy, which services for profit and nonprofit organizations with technical writing, production, fundraising and brand management. She has led service and international education programs in over twenty countries including filmmaking exchanges for young producers throughout the UK with the Experiment in International Living (2005, 2006) and India with Adobe Youth Voices (2006). She led the outreach and distribution for "Youth Speak Out on Education" (PBS 2004) and Beyond Borders (Independent Film Channel/Peabody Award 2006). Sharese serves on the board of directors for the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) and the Advisory Board for the University Community Collaborative of Philadelphia at Temple University.
Jacob Okada, Director of Photography & Co-Producer:
Jacob’s first film, Curtis
, won an Honorable Mention at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and aired on the PBS Reel New York series. Curtis also received a Warner Bros. grant and the Russell Hexter Filmmaker Grant, in recognition by his peers of Jacob's artistic merit and collaborative spirit. Jacob has recently been DP on two works in progress, Macky Alston's The Truth Will Set You Free
, about Reverend V. Gene Robinson, the only openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, and Nina Davenport’s upcoming movie about single motherhood. Other credits include work as assistant editor for Orlando Bagwell and Noland Walker on Citizen King
, the two-part documentary about Martin Luther King, Jr's final years. The film was honored with a special screening at Sundance and aired nationally to much acclaim. Jacob was associate editor on New Year Baby
, the groundbreaking film about a Cambodian family surviving the Khmer Rouge, which won multiple awards at international film festivals and aired on PBS's Independent Lens in 2007. He holds a BFA in Film Production from New York University.
Cheree Dillon, Editor:
Cheree Dillon started editing commercials in Chicago and with her first foray into short films she edited, Lessons for Girls, which premiered on The Education Channel and also played at Belgium’s International Film Festival. Since moving to New York, she has edited social issue documentaries for a variety of non-profits including V.O.W. (Voices of Women of Color with HIV/AIDS), Passionists of Harlem, New York Women’s HIV Collaborative, and The American Jewish World Service, along with teaching youth media classes around the city. She was Editor/Producer of Song of Hannah
, distributed by The National Center for Jewish Film and Avoda Arts. She also edited the award-winning short comedy His Name is Cosmo, which ran in festivals around the world and won three audience awards for Best Short. Her other broadcast experience includes editing for NBC’s The Today Show, The Science Channel’s Exploring Time, PBS’s History Detectives, and other works for the Discovery Channel, HBO, HGTV, and NYC-TV.
Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), Composer:
Having carved a reputation for himself as an innovative composer, performer, violinist, and band leader, Haitian-American artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) melds his classical music roots with his own cultural references and vibrant musical imagination. As a composer, his works range from orchestral scores and chamber pieces to music for film, the theater, modern dance, and electronica. In 2007, DBR premiered One Loss Plus, the first of three works commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for their Next Wave Festival. His latest orchestral work and second BAM commission Darwin’s Meditation for The People of Lincoln explores an imagined conversation between Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. Proving that he’s "about as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets" (New York Times), DBR recently collaborated and performed with Lady Gaga on FOX’s American Idol. His accolades range from being voted as "America’s Assignment" on the CBS Evening News, to receiving praise as one of the "Top 100 New Yorkers" (New York Resident), "Top 40 Under 40" business people (Crain’s New York Business), one of the entertainment industry’s "Top 5 Tomorrow’s Newsmakers" (1010 WINS Radio), and spotlighted as a "New Face of Classical Music" in Esquire Magazine. He studied music as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, completing his masters and doctoral work at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom. Read more: http://www.dbrmusic.com/about.htm
Macky Alston, Executive Producer:
Macky Alston’s award-winning documentary films include Hard Road Home (premiered SXSW 2007, Independent Lens 2008) following the re-entry of several ex-offenders into free society, The Killer Within (premiered Toronto International Film Festival 2006, to air on the Discovery Channel 2007), Questioning Faith (premiered Full Frame Film Festival and Hot Docs International Film Festival, aired on HBO/Cinemax 2002), and Family Name (premiered Sundance Film Festival 1997, aired on PBS’ POV 1998). He is currently directing The Truth Will Set You Free, about Reverend V. Gene Robinson, the only openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion.His awards include the Sundance Film Festival Freedom of Expression Award and the Gotham Open Palm Award. He has appeared in press around the world including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, and The New York Times. Macky also serves as Director of Auburn Media, a division of the Center for Multifaith Education at Auburn Theological Seminary, which is dedicated to informed, engaging coverage of religion in the media.
Sandra Itkoff, Executive Producer:
Sandra Itkoff has been creating and producing award winning documentary films for over thirteen years and has won such distinguished awards as the duPont-Columbia University Journalism Award. She most recently produced the award-winning Defamation, which premiered at the Berlinale, won special jury prize at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festval, and is distributed by First Run Features.Presently Sandra is producing a children’s animated series Grossology: the science of really gross things for Nelvana. and Heat Wave: An Unnatural Disaster, with director Judith Helfand. Sandra produced The Killer Within for Discovery Docs, and The Ten Commandments, a ten-film series that uses the Ten Commandments as a framework for a provocative look at contemporary society. She worked on Prisoner of Paradise for Alliance Atlantis and PBS, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Sandra’s film Drag Kings on Tour won Best Documentary/audience awards at film festivals across North America in 2005. She executive produced the highly acclaimed four-film PBS series Cadillac Desert which garnered record ratings for PBS, and won several awards. She also executive produced The Twentieth Century Project, a six-film series in which feature film directors explored personally compelling topics that spanned the Twentieth Century -- Norman Jewison (Moonstruck, In the Heat of the Night), Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man), Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman), Gregory Nava (El Norte), Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle), and Robert Zemekis (Forrest Gump).
Directed and Produced by NICOLE OPPER
Produced by SHARESE BULLOCK
Written by AVERY KLEIN-CLOUD and NICOLE OPPER
Director of Photography and Co-Producer JACOB AKIRA OKADA
Editor CHEREE DILLON
Executive Producers MACKY ALSTON and SANDRA ITKOFF
Music by DANIEL BERNARD ROUMAIN (DBR)
Creative Consultant RICHARD HANKIN
Consulting Producer JUDITH HELFAND
Associate Producer STEPHANIE STRONG
Sound Recorded by NICOLE OPPER
Additional Camera NICOLE OPPER, VEENA RAO, DAVID SAMPLINER, and VINCENT VENTURELLA
Assistant Editor VINCENT VENTURELLA
Production Assistants BRITAIN HOPKINS, JESSICA JOHNSON, and DARREN LEE
Still Photography JACOB AKIRA OKADA and ROBERT CHANG
Online Editor and Colorist PETER HEADY
Post Production Services GOLDCREST POST PRODUCTIONS
Mix Facility SOUNDSPACE STUDIOS NYC
Sound Design and Mix MATTHEW POLIS
Production Managers for ITVS ANNELISE WUNDERLICH and CHERYL HIRASA
Programming Manager For ITVS KARIM AHMAD
Legal Services KAREN SHATZKIN and SHATZKIN & MAYER, P.C.
Craft Services ANDREA SIFFERMAN
Insurance REIFF & ASSOCIATES
Bookkeeper NANCI BRADSHAW
Fiscal Sponsor WOMEN MAKE MOVIES
Title Design WORLDS AWAY PRODUCTIONS, VICTOR BARROSO
Archival Footage and Photographs Courtesy of the Klein-Cloud Family
Executive Producer for ITVS: SALLY JO FIFER
Executive Producer for NBPC: JACQUIE JONES
Off and Running is a co-production of Nicole Opper Productions and the Independent Television Service, Inc. (ITVS) in association with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Additional funding provided by Foundation for Jewish Culture's Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Jewish Documentary Film, The Puffin Foundation
Supported by Tribeca All Access, a program of the Tribeca Film Institute
Our heartfelt thanks to the Klein-Cloud family for having the strength and generosity to share their story.
Brooklyn Technical High School
Delaware State University
Felix Endara and Docuclub
Firelight Producers Lab
Smokey Forester & Sally Heckel
Thomas Allen Harris
Independent Film Week
Listen Up & Learning Matters, Inc.
Eva & Tom Okada
Ann Poppe & Richard Opper
Dr. John Raible
The Empire State Games
The 2008 Tribeca Film Fellows
The Hannah Senesh Community Day School