Doc Blog

Filmmakers / Bloggers Profiles / 2006

Sadik Ahmed
Sadik Ahmed was born in Sylhet, Bangladesh and studied cinematography at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, where he shot many acclaimed short films, short documentaries and commercials. Tanju Miah (06) is his most recent film.

Macky Alston
Macky Alston was born in Auburn, Alabama and received his B.A. in art history from Columbia University. He also holds a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. He made his feature-length documentary debut in 1997 with Family Name, followed by Questioning Faith: Confessions of a Seminarian (02). The Killer Within (06) is his third feature documentary.

Jennifer Baichwal
Jennifer Baichwal was born in Montreal and grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. She attended McGill University and obtained an M.A. in religious studies. Her feature documentaries Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (98) and The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’ Appalachia (02) both screened at the Festival. Baichwal’s other documentaries include The Holier It Gets (99) and Manufactured Landscapes (06).

Bradley Beesley
Bradley Beesley grew up in Norman, Oklahoma. His longtime collaboration with the band The Flaming Lips has included ten of their music videos and the documentary Fearless Freaks (04). His other documentary features are Hill Stomp Hollar (00), Okie Noodling (01), which played at the Festival in 2001, and Summercamp! (06).

Amy Berg
Amy Berg was born in Los Angeles. She has researched, written and produced documentary segments for programmes on CNN, CBS News and ABC News on topics including sexual assault, battered women, poverty, social welfare and medical research. Deliver Us from Evil (06) is her film directing debut.

Doug Block
Doug Block’s documentary credits as director, producer and/or cameraman include: Home Page, The Heck With Hollywood!, Silverlake Life, Jupiter’s Wife, A Perfect Candidate, Love and Diane, Paternal Instinct and The Danny Williams Story (in post-production). Also, founder and co-host of The D-Word (, an online discussion forum for documentary professionals worldwide.

Jim Brown
Jim Brown is a writer and broadcaster with over two decades of experience. From 1988 to 1993, he was the publisher and editor of IslandSide Magazine. Since then, Brown has worked primarily in radio and television, hosting “The Current,” “As It Happens,” “This Morning” and “The House.” Brown currently hosts “The Calgary Eyeopener” on CBC Radio One. Radiant City (06) is his directorial debut.

Gary Burns
Gary Burns studied drama and fine arts at the University of Calgary before attending Concordia University. His feature directorial debut, The Suburbanators (95), was voted one of the ten best films of 1996 by the Toronto Film Critics Association. He followed that success with Kitchen Party (97), waydowntown (00) and A Problem with Fear (03), all of which premiered at the Festival. Radiant City (06) is his most recent film.

Jem Cohen
Jem Cohen was born in Kabul and studied at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. His many credits include This Is a History of New York (88), Buried in Light (94), Nightswimming (95), Lost Book Found (96), Instrument (99), Benjamin Smoke (00), Chain (04), Blessed Are the Dreams of Men (06), NYC Weights and Measures (06) and Building a Broken Mousetrap (06).

Adam Del Deo
Adam Del Deo was born in Portland, Oregon and studied political science at the University of Redlands. He was one of the producers of James D. Stern’s directorial debut, All the Rage (99), and has since co-directed two documentaries with Stern: The Year of the Yao (co-director, 04) and …So Goes the Nation (co-director, 06).

Petra Epperlein
Petra Epperlein was born in Karl Marx Stadt in the former East Germany and studied architecture in Dresden. Her Gunner Palace (co-director, 04), screened at the Festival in 2004; The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair (co-director, 06) is her latest work.

Sophie Fiennes
Sophie Fiennes was born in Suffolk, England and studied at the Chelsea College of Art and Design. She worked with Peter Greenaway for several years before directing the documentaries Lars From 1-10 (99), The Late Michael Clark (00), Because I Sing (01), Hoover Street Revival (03) and The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (06).

Jeff Garlin
Jeff Garlin was born in Chicago and studied filmmaking at the University of Miami. He has toured extensively as a stand-up comic, adapting one of his successful solo shows for his feature directorial debut, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (06). As an actor, he has appeared in many productions, including “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” for which he has also been executive producer and director. This Filthy World (06) is his second feature.

Camila Guzmán Urzúa
Camila Guzmán Urzúa was born in Santiago de Chile and moved to Havana, where she grew up, when she was two years old. She studied film in the United Kingdom at the London College of Printing and Distributive Technologies and in Paris at Les Ateliers Varan. She currently works as an assistant director and production manager on both fiction and non-fiction films. The Sugar Curtain (06) is her directorial debut.

Nader Takmil Homayoun
Nader Takmil Homayoun was born in Paris and studied filmmaking in France at l’École Nationale Supéneure des Metiers de l’Image et du son (FEMIS). He has directed several short films including Cache-cache (95), Autour de Mortin (97), Les Fleurs de l’Algérien (98) and C’est pour bientôt (00). Iran: Une Révolution cinématographique (06) is his first feature-length documentary.

Fionnuala Jamison
Fionnuala Jamison was born in Northern Ireland and studied at Trinity College Dublin. She is the Coordinator for Documentaries and Mavericks at TIFF. This is her fourth year at the festival. She's currently in post-production on a documentary called Palenque about a tourist site in Mexico. She divides her time between Paris and Toronto.

Allan King
Allan King was born in Vancouver. He was a pioneer of the cinémavérité style, developing the genre of “actuality dramas” with such widely acclaimed films as Warrendale (67), A Married Couple (69), Who’s In Charge (83), The Dragon’s Egg (99), Dying at Grace (03) and Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company (05). He has also directed many films for television and dramatic features including Who Has Seen the Wind (77) and Termini Station (89). He was the subject of the 2002 Festival’s Canadian Retrospective and the monograph “Allan King: Filmmaker,” published by the Festival Group. EMPz 4 Life (06) is his most recent film.

Barbara Kopple
Barbara Kopple was born in New York City and studied clinical physiology at Northeastern University. A leader in documentary, she has won the Academy Award® for best documentary feature twice for Harlan County USA (76) and American Dream (91). Her other feature-length documentaries include Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson (93), Wild Man Blues (97), A Conversation with Gregory Peck (99), My Generation (co-director), which screened at the Festival in 2000, and Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing (co-director, 06).

David Leaf
David Leaf was born in New Rochelle, New York and graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He has directed numerous documentaries for television, including the Grammy-nominated Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of SMiLE (co-director, 04). The U.S. vs. John Lennon (co-director, 06) is his most recent film.

Asger Leth
Asger Leth has made several short films including Gala (96) and Again. Today (97) and worked as assistant director on Jørgen Leth’s documentary short New Scenes from America (02). He also was a writer and assistant director on Jørgen Leth and Lars von Trier’s feature documentary The Five Obstructions (03), which screened as part of the Festival’s Real to Reel programme. Ghosts of Cité Soleil (06) is his first feature-length film.

James Longley,
James Longley was born in Eugene, Oregon. He won a Student Academy Award in 1994 for co-directing Portrait of Boy With Dog. His feature-length documentaries are Gaza Strip (02) and Iraq in Fragments (06). Sari’s Mother (06) is his latest film.

Ron Mann
Ron Mann was born in Toronto and works as a director, executive producer and producer with Toronto’s Sphinx Productions. He has devoted his career to covering the counterculture. His films include Imagine the Sound (81), Poetry in Motion (82), the Genie-winning Comic Book Confidential (88), Twist (91), Grass (99) and Go Further, which screened at the Festival in 2003. Tales of the Rat Fink (06) is his most recent film.

Vincenzo Marra
Vincenzo Marra was born in Naples. He has directed the short films Una Rosa prego (98) and La Vestizione (98), the features Sailing Home (01), which won several awards at the Venice International Film Festival in 2001, and Vento di terra (04), and the documentaries Outsiders of the Crowd (01) and The Session Is Open (06).

Catherine Martin
Catherine Martin was born in Quebec and studied cinema and photography at Concordia University in Montreal. After working as an editor, she began writing and directing short films, including Odile ou réminiscences d’un voyage (85), Nuits d’Afrique (90), L’Ombre (92) and Les Fins de semaine (95). Her debut feature, Mariages (01) and her medium-length documentary, Océan (02), were both named to TIFFG’s Canada’s Top Ten by an independent national panel. Her other films are Dans les villes (06) and her first feature documentary, L’Esprit des lieux (06).

Liz Mermin
Liz Mermin was born in Ithaca, New York and received a B.A. in literature from Harvard University and an M.A. in cultural anthropology from New York University. She has also been a Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the Whitney Independent Study Programme and of the Rockefeller Foundation. She is a producer, editor and director of documentaries, whose credits include the feature documentaries On Hostile Ground (01), The Beauty Academy of Kabul (04) and Office Tigers (06).

Peter Mettler
Peter Mettler is known foremost for his award winning films but also as a photographer and groundbreaking live audio/visual mixing performer whose work bridges the gap between experimental, narrative, personal essay and documentary. He has been honored with retrospectives worldwide, and collaborated with an extensive range of international artists including Atom Egoyan, Fred Frith, Robert Lepage, and Jim O'Rourke.

Namir Abdel Messeeh
Namir Abdel Messeeh was born in Paris and studied directing at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l’Image et du Son (FEMIS). He has made two short films: Quelque chose de mal (05) and the documentary Toi, Waguih (05).

Mohammed Naqvi
Mohammed Naqvi was born in Montreal and grew up in Canada, the United States and Pakistan. His short films include Time (99), Night (99) and Hide (04). He also directed the documentary Terror’s Children (03). Shame (06) is his first feature-length documentary.

Alexander Oey
Alexander Oey was born in Amsterdam. He has directed numerous documentaries for Dutch television, including Jeff Wall (99), Bijlmer the Rough Guide (03) and Euro- Islam According to Tariq Ramadan (05). He has also directed episodic television. My Life as a Terrorist: The Story of Hans-Joachim Klein (05) is his most recent film.

Haobam Paban Kumar
Haobam Paban Kumar was born in Imphal, Manipur, India. He studied filmmaking at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and the Asian Academy of Film and Television. He has directed several television programmes. His documentary AFSPA, 1958 (06) won a FIPRESCI prize at this year’s Mumbai International Film Festival. A Cry in the Dark (06) is his most recent film.

Cecilia Peck
Cecilia Peck was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Princeton University. As well as acting in numerous films and television programmes, she has worked with Barbara Kopple in the past on Kopple’s 1997 television documentary Defending Our Daughters, on which she served as associate producer. She also produced Kopple’s documentary series “The Hamptons” (02) and her feature documentary A Conversation with Gregory Peck (99). Her most recent collaboration with Kopple is Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing (co-director, 06).

JT Petty
JT Petty is a writer and director of movies, video games, books and graphic novels. He is one of the creators of the popular video game “Splinter Cell” and created the videogame adaptation for the film Batman Begins (05). In the summer of 2005, his most recent children’s book, “Clemency Pogue: The Hobgoblin Proxy,” was published. His films include Soft for Digging (01), Mimic: Sentinel (03) and S&MAN; (06).

Andréa Picard
Andréa Picard is co-curator of Wavelengths, the Toronto International Film Festival's programme of experimental and avant-garde film and video. She is also a programmer at Cinematheque Ontario, the year-round screening programme of TIFFG. She is a contributing writer to various art, film and architecture publications, and writes a quarterly Art/Film column for Cinema Scope magazine. She is a founding Advisory Board member of the Chicago International Documentary Film Festival.

Thom Powers
Thom Powers is the Programmer for Documentaries and Mavericks at TIFF. He also programs the fall and spring Stranger Than Fiction series at Manhattan's IFC Center and teaches documentary at New York University's School of Continuing Professional Studies. He has directed documentaries for HBO and PBS. His most recent film is "Loving & Cheating" (05). He divides his time between New York City and Toronto.

Sarah Price
Sarah Price was born in Virginia, and received her B.A. from the University of Iowa and her M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin – both in film. She served as sound recordist on Michael Moore’s The Big One (97) before directing American Movie (co-director, 99), Caesar’s Park (00), and The Yes Men (co-director, 03), which screened at the Festival in 2003. Summercamp! (co-director, 06) is her latest documentary.

Tahani Rached
Tahani Rached was born in Egypt and settled in Montreal, where she attended l’École des Beaux-Arts. Her documentary features include Les Voleurs de jobs (79), Beirut! Not Enough Death to Go Round (83), Au Chic Resto Pop (90), Médecins de coeur (93), Quatre Femmes d’Egypte (97), Urgence! Deuxième Souffle (99), À travers chants (01), Soraida, une femme de Palestine (04) and These Girls (06).

Paul Rachman
Paul Rachman was born in New York City. While in college, he directed underground films and music videos for numerous hardcore punk bands, including Bad Brains, Gang Green, Negative FX and Mission of Burma. He later gained prominence as a music video director at Propaganda Films and was a founder of the Slamdance Film Festival. He has directed several award-winning short films, including Memories with Joe Frank (92), Drive Baby Drive (95), Bang Bang (99), Home (01) and Zoe XO (04). He made his feature directorial debut in 2000 with Four Dogs Playing Poker. American Hardcore (06) is his most recent film.

Gabriel Range
Gabriel Range was born in Chester, England and studied Medicine at Bristol University and did postgraduate work in journalism at Cardiff University. He has directed drama-documentaries for British television, including The Great Dome Robbery (02), The Menendez Murders (02), The Day Britain Stopped (03) and The Man Who Broke Britain (04). D.O.A.P. (06) is his most recent film.

Nicolas Rey
Nicolas Rey has been making films since 1993. In 1995, he co-founded L’Abominable, an artist-run film lab in Paris. His films, which hover somewhere between photography, documentary and experimental cinema, include Postier de nuit (95), Terminus for You (96), opera mundi (99), Les Soviets plus l’électricité (01) and Schuss! (05).

Ari Sandel
Ari Sandel was born in Calabasas, California. He studied media arts at the University of Arizona and received an M.A. from the University of Southern California. He directed the award-winning short film West Bank Story (05), which has screened at over one hundred film festivals worldwide. Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights – Hollywood to the Heartland (06) is his feature documentary directorial debut.

John Scheinfeld
John Scheinfeld was born in Milwaukee. He attended Oberlin College and Northwestern University. He is a prolific writer, director and producer of television documentaries, including The Unknown Peter Sellers (co-director, 00) and Ricky Nelson Sings (05) and the documentary feature Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) (06). The U.S. vs. John Lennon (co-director, 06) is his most recent film.

AJ Schnack
AJ Schnack was born in Edwardsville, Illinois. He is an independent filmmaker who made his feature directorial debut with Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns) (02), a documentary about the rock band They Might Be Giants. In addition to feature documentaries, he has directed music videos and two short films: Might as Well Be Swing (00) and The Heir Apparent (05). Kurt Cobain About A Son (06) is his most recent film.

James Stern
James D. Stern was born in Chicago and received an MBA from Columbia University. He has produced numerous films, including Proof (05) and Stay Alive (06). He made his feature directorial debut with All the Rage, which screened at the Festival in 1999. He has also co-directed three documentaries: Michael Jordan to the Max (co-director, 00), The Year of the Yao (co-director, 04), which screened at the Festival in 2004, and …So Goes the Nation (co-director, 06).

Michael Tucker
Michael Tucker was born in Honolulu. His Gunner Palace (co-director, 04), screened at the Festival in 2004; The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair (co-director, 06) is his latest work.

Lucy Walker
Lucy Walker grew up in London. She studied literature at Oxford University, where she also wrote and directed theatre. She received an M.F.A. from New York University’s graduate film programme. She directed Devil’s Playground (02), a documentary dealing with the struggles of Amish teenagers, and has directed television commercials, music videos and three award-winning shorts. Blindsight (06) is her most recent film. She is blind in one eye.

Akram Zaatari
Akram Zaatari was born in Saida, Lebanon and currently lives in Beirut. He has created more than thirty videos and photo/video installations exploring the relationship between documents and history, particularly in times of conflict. Zaatari is a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation, through which his recent research-based work on the photographic history of the Middle East has developed. His videos include All Is Well on the Border (97), Red Chewing Gum (00), This Day (03) and In This House (05).

Jia Zhang-Ke
Jia Zhang-Ke was born in Fengyang, China and studied at the Beijing Film Academy. He directed his first feature, Pickpocket, in 1997. His next three features each screened at the Festival: Platform (00), Unknown Pleasures (02) and The World (04). He directed the short documentary In Public in 2001. Dong (06) is his first feature-length documentary.

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