Our crew came together from diverse backgrounds, but most of us have some tie to Washington, DC's American University.
Co-Writer, Producer, Director
Sam Sheline was raised in Durham, North Carolina, but has lived in the DC area for six years. A background in biology led Sam to work for the conservation non-profit NatureServe, where he solidified his passion for telling stories in film. From there, he decided to attend film school at American University, where he expects to graduate with his MFA in 2017.
Sam is an avid outdoorsman and environmentalist, and thinks that film is a powerful way to convey meaningful environmental stories. Harbinger, Sam's short film on amphibian extinction in Panama, also premiered at the 2016 DC Environmental Film Festival.
Sam lives in downtown DC with four mountain bikes, his pug Annabelle, and his girlfriend Bettina when she's not in India or Uganda doing clean energy access work.
See more of Sam's work here: vimeo.com/samsheline
Co-Writer, Executive Producer
Chris Palmer is an environmental film producer, professor, speaker, and author. Over the past thirty years, he has spearheaded the production of more than 300 hours of original programming for prime time television and the giant screen IMAX film industry. Chris serves as president of One World One Ocean Foundation and the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, which produce and fund IMAX films on conservation issues. Chris also serves on American University’s full-time faculty as Distinguished Film Producer in Residence at the School of Communication. In 2004, he founded AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, which seeks to inspire a new generation of filmmakers and media experts to produce creative work that makes a difference.
Chris's 2010 book, Shooting in the Wild (Sierra Club Books) pulls back the curtain on the dark side of wildlife filmmaking, revealing an industry undermined by sensationalism, fabrication, and animal abuse. In 2015, he published two more books: Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker: The Challenges of Staying Honest in an Industry Where Ratings Are King (Bluefield Publishing) and Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success after College (Rowman & Littlefield).
Co-Writer, Executive Producer
Kristin Pauly recently retired after being managing director of Prince Charitable Trusts, in Washington, DC for 17 years. Prior to working for the Trusts, she was with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation where she focused on the impacts of growth and sprawl on the environment. She also worked with the Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporations in New York.
Kristin was integral to the campaign against Disney's America thanks to her work on environmental and urban planning policy, and as an engaged citizen of the Washington, DC area.
Director of Photography
Tony Azios is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist. He has filmed and/or reported in China, Cuba, Ecuador, India, the Federated States of Micronesia, Mexico, South Korea, and the U.S.
Tony's professional media products span a wide variety of platforms, from print and radio to video and photography. His work has been featured by PBS's FRONTLINE, Link TV, The Christian Science Monitor, PRI's The World, Melcher Media, Maryland Public Television, The Investigative Reporting Workshop, Agenda Magazine, The Kaselehlie Press, and others. His films have received three Emmy Awards and a CINE Golden Eagle Award, and screened at a variety of festivals.
In 2013, Tony was awarded an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University's School of Communication. He also possesses a BA in International Studies from Manhattan College, with minors in History and Journalism.
Adam discovered his love of video on a small island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It was there, while on an Armed Forces Entertainment tour with his band, that he first experienced the joy of capturing moments in pixel form. From that point, video editing became a fascination, then an obsession, which ultimately led to enrollment in the Masters in Film & Video program at American University. Adam currently works for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as a Video Producer.
Elizabeth is pursuing her MFA in Film and Electronic Media at American University and plans to make films that focus on the environment and conservation. She is passionate about being outdoors and spending as much time in nature as possible.
Paul A. Oehlers is most recognized for his “extraordinarily evocative” film scores. (Variety) Films incorporating his music have won the Grand Jury prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Atlanta International Film Festival, and the Indiefest Film Festival. In addition, films with his music have screened at dozens of festivals in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Paul A. Oehlers’ compositions have been performed in the United States and abroad including performances at the Society for Electro-acoustic Music in the United States national conferences, the International Computer Music Conferences, the Gamper New Music Festival, the Seoul International Electro-acoustic Music Festival, the Institut für Neue Musik und Musikerziehung in Darmstadt, Germany, and the VII Annual Brazilian Electronic Music Festival, as well as a 1987 command performance for former United States President Ronald Reagan.
Paul was named the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow by the MacDowell Colony for the year 2006. He is currently Associate Professor of Audio Technology at American University in Washington, DC.
Matthew Twiford is an adjunct professor and graduate student in the audio technology program at American University.
Animator, Graphic Designer
Sareen Hairabedian is a filmmaker and animator, originally from Jordan, and currently based in Washington DC. Her work as a cinematographer, editor and animator at The Brookings Institution allowed her to create visual pieces behind complex research. Sareen is currently pursuing her freelance career by collaborating with various organizations, artists and filmmakers around the world to create documentaries and animations that raise awareness and bring stories to screen. Her background in dance and passion for artistic movement inspires her creative work, whether with a camera or a piece of animation. Recently, she had the opportunity to collaborate with dance companies and performing artists to create videos and projection design, combining both physical movement and film.