FilmMakers

Bob Hercules ~ Director/Producer/Writer

Bob Hercules is an independent filmmaker and co-owner of Media Process Group—a Chicago-based production company. Hercules’ work has been seen widely on PBS, Discovery Channel, IFC, The Learning Channel and in film festivals around the world.

Hercules’ most recent film, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win 19 awards on three continents. The film was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and aired on PBS’ American Masters in February 2017…read more.

Hercules also made two films focusing on dance: Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance and Bill T. Jones: A Good Man.  The Joffrey film, narrated by Mandy Patinkin, tells the full story of the groundbreaking ballet company and their many rises and falls. It premiered in January 2012 at the Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center and aired on PBS’ American Masters December 2012.   A Good Man aired on American Masters in 2011 and played at many film festivals including IDFA, Silverdocs, Full Frame, DOXA and the Southern Circuit.

His 2009 documentary, Radical Disciple: The Story of Father Pfleger, chronicles the radical priest whose controversial tactics to fight racism put him at odds with the Catholic hierarchy. The film was named Best Documentary at the 2009 Big Muddy Film Festival and was the opening night film at the 2009 Black Harvest Film Festival. It was broadcast on WTTW, Chicago in 2010.

In 2008 Hercules directed the Barack Obama and Michelle Obama biography videos for Obama’s Presidential campaign website. He also directed Obama’s 2007 Presidential announcement video in Springfield, Illinois. Hercules’ 2006 documentary, Senator Obama Goes to Africa, is a chronicle of Obama’s momentous 2006 trip to Africa, including an emotional visit to Kisumu, Kenya–homeland of his late father. It is currently in home video release from First Run Features.

Hercules’ acclaimed 2006 feature documentary, Forgiving Dr. Mengele, tells the remarkable story of Auschwitz survivor and former ‘Mengele twin’ Eva Mozes Kor, whose decision to forgive the perpetrators as an act of self-healing sparked a firestorm of criticism. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival and the Crystal Heart Award at the 2006 Heartland Film Festival. It is currently in home video release from First Run Features.

Edward A. Price ~ Producer/Writer

Edward A. Price is a former atheist from a Jewish background who became a Baha’i in 1973 at the University of Virginia. He has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Psychology and Religious Studies, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National University in California, and doctoral level training from Florida State University in the field of Instructional Systems Design

Edward has published in peer-reviewed journals in the field of Instructional Design. …read more.

For example: “An Inquiry into the Spontaneous Transfer of Problem Solving Skill,” The Journal of Contemporary Educational Psychology (1997) and “Instructional Systems Design and the Affective Domain,” Educational Technology (1998). His various instructional design or teaching positions include the United States Postal Service, Pixel Farm Interactive, C2 Education, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, and Tallahassee Community College, in Tallahassee, FL.

His first book, The Divine Curriculum: Volume 1 – Divine Design, was published in December of 2015. (Subtitle: How God’s Plan Is Revealed in the World’s Great Religions). In this book, Edward discusses the continuity of the missions of the Great Divine Educators in the Abrahamic lineage, the substance of what God has been teaching humanity for the last 4,000 years, and the goals towards which God’s education is leading humanity. The other five volumes of the series will present the specific missions and teachings of the Abrahamic Founders of religion – Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, the Báb, and Bahá’u’lláh.

Edward has served on numerous Local Spiritual Assemblies throughout the years, taught many adult classes on the Bahá’í Faith, given presentations at various Bahá’í schools, completed the Ruhi sequence of courses, and hosts with his wife and daughter regular devotional gatherings in his home in Wilmette, IL. Recently, Edward was a presenter at the 2015 Parliament of World Religions. His topic was The Divine Curriculum as a Framework for Resolving Religious Conflict. He lectured on the subject of The Báb, His Teachings, and His Place in History and The Twin Birthdays – A Mystery No Mind Can Fathom, at the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette on the occasions of the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Báb and the Birthday of the Bab. Edward also gives talks to Bahá’í audiences on the subject of Islam, with a special focus on distinguishing the extremist ideology of the terrorists from the authentic Islam of Muhammad. Edward lectured at Lake Forest College on The Bahá’í Vision of World Peace.

Recently, Edward became involved in a project sponsored by Spring Green Films, Inc. to make a documentary movie about the life and teachings of the Báb. Edward is serving as a co-writer and producer of the film. The film project, which is expected to be out the first half of 2018, has the blessing of the United States Bahá’í National Spiritual Assembly and is being developed in close collaboration with that institution.

Steve Sarowitz ~ Executive Producer/Writer 

Steve Sarowitz is Founder and Chairman of Paylocity (Nasdaq: PCTY), a leading U.S. provider of payroll and HR solutions. In addition, Steve also serves as CEO of Blue Marble, an international payroll provider, and as Director of Payescape, a UK payroll provider. He is also an international philanthropist with an interest in promoting unity and promoting universal education and advocating for the elimination of racism, sexism, nationalism and religious prejudice. He also serves on the board of NCAT, an organization that builds state-of-the art training centers in urban areas.…read more.

He also serves on the board of NCAT, an organization that builds state-of-the art training centers in urban areas. He and his wife have a family foundation which supports over 50 worthy causes worldwide, including programs helping orphans, foster children, refugees and many other people in need.

Steve graduated from the University of Illinois in 1987 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. While at the U of I, he often ran barefoot through campus. He is still an avid runner, a member of the Chicago Area Runners Association Hall of Fame and a 3-time winner of the MSE Division of the Chicago Chase Corporate Challenge. Steve was raised Jewish and first heard of the Baha’i Faith at the Jewish Student Center while a student at U of I. Many years later, he began studying the Baha’i Faith and declared as a Baha’i in February 2015. Three days after declaring as a Baha’i, a friend recommended that Steve make a film about the Baha’i Faith. Steve immediately began a new career in the film industry. He helped fund and promote the documentaries He Named Me Malala and Rosenwald. He served as Executive Producer for the award-winning documentary Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. Steve is currently producing ‘The Gate’, a groundbreaking documentary about the founding of the Baha’i Faith.

Steve lives in Highland Park, Illinois with his wife, 2 children, 2 dogs and a turtle named Duchess. When he is not working or doing philanthropy, you can often find him guiding at the Baha’i Temple in nearby Wilmette, Illinois.

Adam Mondschein ~ Co-Producer

Adam received a B.F.A. in Acting from University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2001 and his M.F.A. in Acting from UCLA in 2012. He has toured nationally with the Tony award-winning Acting Company, attended the British American Dramatic Academy Midsummer in Oxford program as a full scholarship winner and was selected as a member of the 15th Guthrie Experience for Actors in training program at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. He has appeared on numerous television shows including Netflix’s Arrested Development, ABC’s Castle and TNT’s The Last Ship…read more

He is also an experienced voice-over artist, lending his talents to animated features and shorts as well as books on tape, and most recently Kid President’s hamster, ‘Roosevelt.’

He starred as the title character in Ensemble Theatre Company’s production of David Ives’ “The Liar” in Santa Barbara for which he won the Independent Theatre Award for best performance.

Keith Walker ~ Director of Photography

Keith Walker is a gifted cinematographer and visual storyteller.  He is also co-owner of Media Process Group, a Chicago-based production company.

Most recently, Keith was D.P. of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, an official selection at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and winner of 19 awards in film festivals around the world. He was also D.P. of Mavis! (the Mavis Staples story, SXSW 2015, HBO 2016)…read more.

Keith has shot projects around the world for many noted directors such as Steve James (Head Games and No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson), Alex Gibney (Catching Hell, ESPN 30 for 30 series), and Tod Lending (Academy Award nominated for Legacy).  Walker shot and co-produced the 2006 documentary Senator Obama Goes to Africa and was the Director of Photography for Bob Hercules’ Forgiving Dr. Mengele and Bill T. Jones: A Good Man (PBS’ American Masters, 2011). Walker has shot hundreds of segments for CBS’ 60 Minutes and received a Dupont/Columbia University Award for a 60 Minutes story he shot in 2001.

Walker has been the ‘go-to’ cameraman for Oprah Winfrey and has filmed her in locations ranging from Australia to South Africa to her story about Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  He is now the primary D.P. for Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday on OWN.

Hercules’ most recent film, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win 19 awards on three continents. The film was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and aired on PBS’ American Masters in February 2017.  

Hercules also made two films focusing on dance: Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance and Bill T. Jones: A Good Man.  The Joffrey film, narrated by Mandy Patinkin, tells the full story of the groundbreaking ballet company and their many rises and falls. It premiered in January 2012 at the Dance on Camera Film Festival at Lincoln Center and aired on PBS’ American Masters December 2012.   A Good Man aired on American Masters in 2011 and played at many film festivals including IDFA, Silverdocs, Full Frame, DOXA and the Southern Circuit.

His 2009 documentary, Radical Disciple: The Story of Father Pfleger, chronicles the radical priest whose controversial tactics to fight racism put him at odds with the Catholic hierarchy. The film was named Best Documentary at the 2009 Big Muddy Film Festival and was the opening night film at the 2009 Black Harvest Film Festival. It was broadcast on WTTW, Chicago in 2010.

In 2008 Hercules directed the Barack Obama and Michelle Obama biography videos for Obama’s Presidential campaign website. He also directed Obama’s 2007 Presidential announcement video in Springfield, Illinois. Hercules’ 2006 documentary, Senator Obama Goes to Africa, is a chronicle of Obama’s momentous 2006 trip to Africa, including an emotional visit to Kisumu, Kenya–homeland of his late father. It is currently in home video release from First Run Features.

Hercules’ acclaimed 2006 feature documentary, Forgiving Dr. Mengele, tells the remarkable story of Auschwitz survivor and former ‘Mengele twin’ Eva Mozes Kor, whose decision to forgive the perpetrators as an act of self-healing sparked a firestorm of criticism. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival and the Crystal Heart Award at the 2006 Heartland Film Festival. It is currently in home video release from First Run Features.

Jan Sutcliffe ~ Editor

A Kodak kid from Rochester, New York, Jan’s interest in film began with photography, turning to cinema after independent study during a semester abroad in France. After completing a Masters in Media Study, she began her career in Chicago as an editor cutting educational films on 16mm film. Today she is highly respected as an editor/producer of long form documentary programming that can be seen on broadcast networks and cable channels.

Jan also teams up with independent filmmakers to shape their work for broadcast, distribution and festivals.…read more.

Some recent examples: Omar & Pete for PBS/POV (nominated for a national Emmy for best documentary), Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita for PBS/Independent Lens (winner of a Peabody Award), The Principal Story for PBS/POV, Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City for PBS, Old South for PBS/America Reframed, and Love is a Verb for PBS/American Public Media.

Kayla McCormick ~ Field Producer

Kayla McCormick is a passionate producer with a knack for finding and developing great stories. As a freelance, Network News Field Producer for Al Jazeera America, she developed, produced and covered national and breaking news for a global audience. As a Producer for Oprah’s Next Chapter and The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has directed, produced, written, developed and managed both small and large-scale shoots from Africa to India as well as Mexico and South America…read more.

In 2015, Kayla made her feature length documentary directorial debut with selectEd, where she spent an entire year embedded as a producer in a Chicago Public High School.  selectED was nominated from over 1,000 submissions as “One of the top documentary films of the year”, winning the prestigious Gold Award at Atlanta’s 2015 Spotlight Documentary Film Series, and was an official selection for the 2015 Sarasota International Film Festival, 2015 Waterfront Film Festival, and 2015 New York No Limits Film Festival.

 

Yaani King ~ Narrator

King began her acting career appearing in a number of Off-Broadway productions and played guest starring roles on television series include Law & Order, and Sex and The City. She made her film debut in a small part in the 2003 erotic thriller In the Cut, before supporting turn as one of Julia Stiles’s lead character’s best friends in 2004 romantic comedy The Prince & Me…read more.

In 2007, King moved to Los Angeles and had guest starring roles on Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Ghost Whisperer. From 2009 to 2010, she was regular cast member in the TNT crime drama series, Saving Grace opposite Holly Hunter, playing Neely Lloyd, the young drug addict.

After Saving Grace, King guest starred on Mad Men, Major Crimes, and NCIS. She voiced Riley Abel in the 2013 video game The Last of Us: Left Behind.  In 2014, she played plantation slave in the Civil War western film, Deliverance Creek produced by Nicholas Sparks. In 2015, she was cast in the recurring role as Ada Eze on the ABC prime time television soap opera, Blood & Oil.