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Spirit of the Dawn

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Crew Bios

Producer/Director: Heidi Schmidt Emberling

Heidi Schmidt Emberling is a freelance producer and editor working in television, commercials, news, corporate, and documentary formats. She produced, directed, and edited Spirit of the Dawn, about Native American education, which is currently in educational distribution through New Day Films (www.newday.com). She also produced and directed two television magazine pieces: Forgotten Children, about Guatemalan street kids, and Mystery Disease, about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She received a 2000 Emmy nomination for editing a documentary for KRON-TV: San Francisco: Birth of a City, narrated by Peter Coyote, which covered the gold rush in 1850 through the turn of the century. She also edited an independent half-hour documentary, Hepatitis C: A Viral Mystery with producer Terry L. Strauss and a series of short documentaries for the environmental series Green Means, for KQED, San Francisco's public television station.

Videographer: Ken Swartz

Ken Swartz is an award-winning producer, videographer and writer working in the Special Projects Unit at KRON-TV in San Francisco, with over twenty years of national and local broadcast experience. His projects include: A Child of the Holocaust, a profile of a holocaust survivor, The World of Steve Silver, a profile of the late San Francisco artist, entertainer and "Beach Blanket Babylon" producer who died of AIDS in 1995 (shown at the San Francisco International Film Festival), and the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award-winning In the Shadow of the Wall, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He has twice received the National Photographer of the Year award from the National Press Photographers Association and has received awards from RTNDA, AP, the Northern California Emmy Awards, two Robert F. Kennedy awards, and the George Foster Peabody Award and duPont Columbia Journalism Award for his photography and field producing work on Climate of Death.

Editor: Shirley Thompson

Shirley Thompson is an Emmy Award-winning San Francisco-based freelance video editor and AVID Certified Instructor who has worked fifteen years in the television industry editing for broadcast and independent television. Recently she edited Surfing for Life, a documentary about ten extraordinary older surfers which won Best Documentary at the 1999 Hawaii International Film Festival and Homes and Hands, a documentary on community land trusts with Academy Award-winning director Debra Chasnoff and Helen S. Cohen which won a Silver Apple at the National Educational Film Festival. Other editing credits include Yield To Total Elation: The Life and Art of A.G. Rizzoli with director Pat Ferrero, It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School, a feature length documentary with Debra Chasnoff about teachers doing anti-homophobia work in elementary schools which won a C.I.N.E. Golden Eagle in addition to numerous Best of Festival awards, School Colors for PBS' Frontline & Telesis Productions, The Macho Mystique for KGO-TV and PeaceTalks for Heartland Media.

Composer: Miriam Cutler

Miriam Cutler has been writing, producing, and performing music for over 20 years. Getting her start in bands including the popular Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo she developed her own recording studio and moved from live performance into composing full time. By pursuing her passion for documentaries, she has been able to combine her love of music and film with meaningful and activist projects. These include the award winning Licensed to Kill, Scout's Honor, Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez, Hidden Neighborhoods of San Francisco - The Castro, Death a Love Story, Shattered Lullabies, Slender Existence and the PBS series "Searching For God In America". Her scoring credits also include many features, short films, TV shows, and a circus. miriamcutler.com


• Phyllis Rosenhaft, Media Department/Moriah Films Production, Simon Wiesenthal Center
• Adrian Schrek, Director of Education, Holocaust Center of Northern California
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, Director, Jewish Studies Program, Yeshiva of Los Angeles
• Andrew R. Heinze, Director, Swig Judaic Studies Program, History Department, University of San Francisco
• Dr. Michael Gruettner, DAAD Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley

ph: (650) 576-7035 • e-mail: heidi@spiritproductions.org

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