SUNNY ZAMAN (Musical Score)
Born in the Flower City, Sunny Zaman began playing music in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Upon his return to Rochester, Sunny started performing with roots rock bands, playing roots-reggae, Afro-beat, ska, and punk-rock. Sunny plays a variety of instruments including bass, electric and acoustic guitars, drum kit and percussion, and the piano. After high school, Sunny became involved in several creative projects around Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Rochester. He scored Mara Ahmed’s 2011 documentary film PAKISTAN ONE ON ONE. While at City University of New York, Brooklyn College, Anglo-American folk music began to penetrate Sunny’s artistic credo with much existential fervor, perhaps as a reaction to the severity of urban living, and in the winter 2014 he released his first solo EP of original folk music entitled Wollstonecraft.
CHUCK MUNIER at NXT Media (Post Production)
Chuck Munier is the owner and senior editor of NXT Media Group, a video post production facility in Fairport, New York. With over 27 years of experience, he started his career as a film sound recordist, working on high level corporate films and television commercials. He then moved to video editing where he became the senior editor and Vice President of Post Production at a large production/post production facility in Rochester, New York. He remained there for 14 years until he formed a Digital Video Post Production facility with 3 other principals. There he collaborated on several independent film projects including “Check Out”, an entertainment feature, and “The White Cockade”, a docudrama. Corporate clients include Eastman Kodak Company, Xerox, Mobil Chemical and Bausch & Lomb. He has also worked with Saatchi & Saatchi on nationally broadcast commercials. Chuck has edited with most tape formats, standard and high definition, and has over 12 years experience with AVID non-linear editing systems. Throughout his career he has won a Cine Golden Eagle award and several Telly and Aurora awards. Currently Chuck is working on projects involving Native American Poetry, renewable energy for the Department of Energy, and a documentary about teen cancer survivors.
DAVE SLUBERSKI at West Rush Productions (Post Sound)
David Sluberski is the owner of West Rush Productions and a Lecturer at RIT’s School of Film and Animation. His specialty is audio. He has been an Adjunct Professor at RIT for the past ten years. Dave was the Senior Audio Producer at WXXI Public Broadcasting Council in Rochester NY for twenty-five years. During his broadcasting career, his work was heard nationally on hundreds of NPR and PBS affiliated stations. Dave has recorded and produced over 1,500 remote recordings for Radio and TV. He received the prestigious George Foster Peabody award in 1994 as well as numerous Telly awards, Gabriel awards, and a NYS Emmy in 1998. He advised and implemented all audio needs for the twelve million-dollar digital conversion to HDTV and digital radio for WXXI. That implementation received finalist status for the 2007 Broadcast Engineering Excellence award for Digital Studio Facilities. West Rush Productions is Dave’s media business and he considers himself a recreational welder. Dave lives in Rush, NY and has a blast making zany movies with his family.
FOR “THE MUSLIMS I KNOW”
THOM MARINI (Cinematography)
With 30 years of experience as a Cinematographer and Director of Photography, Thom Marini has had an interesting and varied career. While film and television production dominated his studies at the University of Miami and Ithaca College, Thom credits the exceptional filmmakers and crafts people he has worked with over the years for being his real mentors. As a cinematographer he has traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as Ireland, Germany, the U.K., Mexico and the Caribbean. His assignments have been varied and range from award winning commercials for the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City and Las Vegas featuring Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, and Kenny Rogers; to filming Opel’s new car models on the company’s test tracks in Germany; to documenting the lives of the poor in the indigenous villages of Chiapas, Mexico. In addition to corporate films, TV spots and documentaries, he has acted as Director of Photography for three Independent Feature Films and performed 2nd Unit Photography for a fourth. Most recently Thom has joined Kodak’s “Stop By & Shoot Film” program as a teaching DP. Awards include CLIO, ADDYs, TELLYs and Cine Golden Eagle.
TEAGAN L. WARD (Musical Score)
Those familiar to the music scene and Rochester’s coffee house musicians may very well have heard the name Teagan Ward. In the August of 2006 issue of City Newspaper she was identified as one of six homegrown singer/songwriters identified as “The Chicks with Picks”. Frank DeBlaise of 98.9 The Buzz’s Sunday Night Shakedown said, “Ward’s voice is easily twice her size. That’s not to say this 19-year-old bellows; it’s just not what you expect out of such a slight frame. Nobody really expects 10-foot pipes out of a 5-foot-something woman.” And surely anyone who has attended one of her shows would have to agree she belts out her songs with passion and power. Taking her inspiration from a diverse sampling of musician including Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, Etta James, Susan Tedeschi, Patsy Cline, and Lori McKenna, to name a few, Teagan developed a natural vocal style that is as infectious as it is intoxicating. Her original melodies have that haunting effect that drive home her lyrics and touch a personal note in everyone. In the summer of 2006 Teagan and a few close musician friends banded together to form “Teagan and the Tweeds”. Together they have rounded out her music adding new dimension and enhancing her style. Teagan is a graduate of Our Lady of Mercy High School and is currently living in Greece while attending college. Alone or with The Tweeds one of Teagan’s performances is sure to be an enjoyable experience. As the Water Street Music Hall announcer stated the first time she played there, “Remember her name folks, because your going to be hearing a lot about this one in the future.” Teagan wrote the film’s theme song “Definitions”. “One in a million” (from her album “Two decades and a dream”) is also featured in the documentary. Check out Teagan’s CD at cdbaby.com.
FOR “PAKISTAN ONE ON ONE”
ELIZABETH PHILLIPS (Assistant Editor)
Elizabeth Phillips is an independent filmmaker who provides art direction, production design, editing, and style assistance to films. She graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Animation and a minor in Art History. Liz is interested in pushing the possibilities of the film genre and developing a specific look and feel for each project she works on. Her own films have been selected for screening at several film festivals. Her most recent work garnered the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the High Falls International Film Festival – Women of SOFA Show and the Audience Favorite Award for Mid-Atlantic Short at the New Hope Film Festival. Currently, Liz is in the process of editing her first novel. She hopes to be involved in the production of a short film this summer. She is available for freelance work.
FOR “A THIN WALL”
SURBHI DEWAN (Co-Producer)
Surbhi Dewan is an independent film professional. Her films connect personal portraits to larger socio-political landscapes. The predominant theme that runs through her work is how displacement shapes identity. Surbhi has recently worked on BORN TO RUN: THE STORY OF MILKHA SINGH produced by Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd. She headed research, scriptwriting, and production for the feature length film. Her short documentary TIME WILL TELL explores the experiences of international students in America through personal stories, poetry and animation. It has received great appreciation from a variety of audiences in the US and India. Surbhi graduated with an MFA in film from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, and received her BA degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University (India). To learn more about her work, please visitwww.surbhidewan.com.
GAYANE BAGDASARYAN (Animation)
Gayane Bagdasaryan is a filmmaker who specializes in 3D and traditional animation, visual development, special effects and compositing. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship and completed an MFA degree in animation from the Rochester Institute of Technology, in New York. She’s currently a student at Animation Mentor. Gayane’s films HOW THE RAIN STARTS, Encore, Encore, Encore and UNHINGED are hand-drawn animated films that explore philosophical themes. They were included in the RIT SOFA honors show and have been screened at well-known festivals. At present, Gayane is a pre-visualization and layout supervisor at an animation studio in Moscow, Russia. She also freelances for the Academy Award winning Alexandr Petrov Animation Studio. To learn more about her work, please visit www.gayanebagdasaryan.com.