Introduce Yourself: Sign In Here First

Introduce Yourself

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Welcome to The D-Word! Stop in and sign the guest book - let us know a little (or a lot) about yourself.

Please note that this is one of our Public Topics, so best to enter email addresses with (at) to prevent them being harvested. Spam will be deleted.

Jon Goldman

Hey Doug– looking forward to your appearing at Making Media in the meantime, just so you know, I am currently producing a film about oil, the classic film LOUISIANA STORY and my family called OIL IN THE FAMILY. You can see the trailer here:

Shyla Palm

Hey D-Word World,

I am Television and Film student/graduate looking to create a documentary from scratch in the next few months. I am open to any suggestions on how to start the research process. Got a story cooking and can't wait to get it out on film. If anyone wants a mentee I am looking for a mentor.
Take Care,

Kathryn Dietz

Hi D-Word friends,

I'm an independent documentary producer, have been working for my own company Ambrica Productions for nearly 25 years making films for PBS, and have helped raise over $7 million. Now in this down economy I'm hiring myself out for development work. If anyone needs help developing concepts, doing pre-interviews or interviews, writing proposals, working with advisors, budgeting and planning films, etc, I'd love to hear from you! I'm also looking forward to reading what others are doing.

Kathryn Dietz

Thanks Ben! Now to figure out how to make the most of this community.

Doug Block

It's simple, Kathryn. You basically give up making docs and read back posts for the next few years. Meanwhile, welcome to both you and Shyla.

Jon, looking forward to the Making Media Conference, too. Hope to see you there.

Luciano Blotta

Hi D word colleagues!
I am Luciano, documentary filmmaker based in LA. I am also a cinematographer, my latest film, RiseUp, is having it's north american premiere this weekend at HotDocs, exciting! I am glad to join in and hope to be having great discussions here in the near future. If you like Reggae music, then you'll love RiseUp, you can check it out at
All the best!

Gregory Rossi

In reply to Jeremy Weinstein's post on Thu 30 Apr 2009 :

Jeremy, interesting idea, I l'll look at your site and see what you're working on. I've also been developing the idea of employing a wiki element in producing documentaries – to a certain extent. Will look forward to talking with you more about this.

Raphaela Neihausen

I thought I'd formally introduce myself, even though I already know many of you through the doc community.

First my confession: I joined D-Word a few years back, but guiltily never really got that involved. Instead, my childhood friend and the director of the first film I produced "Miss GULAG" (Maria Yatskova) held the D-Word reins for both of us. Anyways, this time around – I plan to get more active!

So my intro: I produced Miss GULAG ( while working a full-time job in management consulting (advising Fortune 100 companies on their business strategies). I realized I couldn't do both jobs without losing my mind, so after 7 years in business, I left it for the more lucrative world of documentary film (yes, that's a joke – the "lucrative" part, that is). Anyways, since the transition, I've been working on a personal documentary about my family (that is currently on hiatus) and more officially, I'm the Executive Director of a weekly NY documentary screening series called Stranger Than Fiction ( – we actually just got a topic on D-Word – see That's all for me!

Philip Owens

Hi all,

I've been lurking here for too long so I might as well get on with it. I'm an editor, most recently finishing Doug Pray's advertising feature doc, 'Art & Copy' – we've been doing the rounds of festivals since Sundance and we just screened last night at Stranger Than Fiction at the IFC in NYC. That was a brief six hours in NY! While we're busy supporting that film, I'm onto my next feature doc, which is about the life and times of Roger Corman ( It's a pleasure to be a member here and I look forward to becoming more involved. Best to you all, look forward to chatting.

Marj Safinia

Welcome officially, Raphaela and Philip. Glad to see you coming out of the shadows!

Doug Block

Ditto, great to have you both aboard. And congrats on the success of Art & Copy, Philip. Wish I could have made the STF screening the other night.

For those of you living on Mars, the lovely and charming Raphaela is Thom Powers' better half. It's funny but Stranger Than Fiction has become such a NYC institution that I would have sworn you've been an active D-Word participant all along.

Raphaela Neihausen

Philip – Congrats on a great film! The audiences really enjoyed it at STF the other night.

Thank you for the official welcome, Doug & Marj! Yes, I've been a participant, but more of a lazy lurker since between Thom and Maria, I always knew what was going on. Bit the tides are changing!

Jason Perdue

Hi Philip. Great to see you here. Looks like the STF screening went great.

Philip Owens

Thanks all! It's good to be here, and many thanks for all the kind comments. I'm looking forward to getting to know the place and the people. And thanks to Jason for introducing me here!

Jo Danieli

Hi, I am an author, journalist and artist, born in Austria, coming from a background of marketing, graphic design, journalism and photography (mostly in Vienna), and I have “turned filmmaker” to take advantage of more modern tools of story-telling. I have worked in all areas of the media business, from reporter over art-director, ad-exec, layouter to editor-in-chief, and I have traveled the world publishing feature reports about exotic themes. I am an experienced copywriter and conceptionist for advertising, commercial campaigns, music videos, promotional videos and documentary films. My early works as an independent filmmaker are documentaries about interesting people. I have been working in all facets of video production and have made a few short film.

The last three years I spent making an epic documentary about Hawaii, and I am seeking preview and fundraising screening venues for my film – which was made completely out of pocket, and all I need now is to be able to pay for clearances.
My film is the ultimate educational-cultural gem about Hawaii, so factual that it has the hardest time getting funding. Why? Because my 56 speakers and 10 Hawaiian narrators tell Hawaii’s story how it really was, detached from the usual bias. And not everyone is happy about having to revise their pre-conceived ideas about “the good guys and the bad guys”, about “paradise” and the contrary … and it all has been existing in the Hawaiian islands for millennia.

Here is the online trailer of my film "Native Of Owhyhee" (390 min., widescreen, that I wrote, produced, directed and edited): .

The synopsis:
"Native Of Owhyhee" – WGA.reg. 1170301 © Jo Danieli 2008 – in post-production/seeking distribution/completion funding
Feature documentary, 390 minutes, widescreen;
The epic historical documentary "Native Of Owhyhee" tells the story how Hawaii turned from an ancient "pagan" society into one of the most literate Christian nations in the world of the 1800s. It is the story of tribal cults and sacrifices, of legendary magical ways of living predating the era of the settlement of Polynesia, of indigenous traditions in the islands through the eras, and it features the intersection of cultures in Hawaii as well as the fate of several young Hawaiian sailors and a Prince who played historical key-roles in the era of greatest changes shortly after Western contact, together with the pioneer American Christian missionaries. The film features 56 speakers from Hawaii and New England and ten native Hawaiian narrators, over 1000 historical images, historical film-clips and great original Hawaiian and New England music.

I am not much of a chatter, but I’d appreciate referrals to screening venues and / or sponsors who want to help me to make this film public to honor the many people who are sharing their expert “mana’o” (“knowledge”) in our film.
One “kupuna” (Hawaiian elder) who speaks in the film, passed away, and this makes me very sad. His wish was, however, after seeing an early version of the docu, that it be shared with the world. And I am working on that one and would appreciate your help. I’d share the preview screener with anyone interested and/or a two hours content-clips DVD.
My reel is available.

I’d love to make my next documentaries, but currently, I have to try and find a way to survive economically after spending literally all I had on my Hawaii docu – just BECAUSE people (especially sponsors-to-be) were so incredibly nasty about facts that matter and tried to force me to adjust historical facts to their ideas of history and their political and religious agendas. To threaten me is the best way to keep me on track, though – that’s why “Native Of Owhyhee” is “pono”: It means, it’s right and pure and genuine and honors all people involved in the intersection of cultures as it has been going on in Hawaii and in the Pacific for thousands of years.
Do I have Polynesian/Pacific ancestry? Maybe. This doesn’t matter. The world should be an open space for humans, and to me, race or nationality are only words.
One of the speakers in my film says the ultimate truth about it all:
“Spirit is universial, it’s not racial.”
And that’s the motto of my film.
I hope, many people will get to see it. Of course I’ll share the rights with people helping me to get it out there.

With “hula” being still such a trendy dance, it’s needless to say, that Japan alone with it’s thousands of hula-schools, is waiting for my film that actually explains Hawaiian culture to the people who wish to honor it by dancing a Hawaiian dance (saying “dance the hula” would mean “dance the dance”) …

I am not online all that often, so if you would like to communicate with me about my film – please, just email. or

Thanks for your attention.
Aloha nui loa!

Tom Dziedzic

Jo, I would suggest joining IFP and then entering your film into the IFP Market, now called Independent Film Week. Deadline is May 21 so there is time, albeit a rush.
Go to
for more info

John Stanton


Good work on the Oil In The Family trailer. It looks great visually and it really give hints of an intereting way to look at a very big picture through the intimate lens of a family story. I am working on a trailer for a story out of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Hope it comes out good.

Jedrzej Jonasz

Hi everyone,

My name is JJ, I have directed 2 docs about Poland and WW2, but most recently have directed a comedy mockumentary about indie filmmaking called "Low Budget" (we can't afford a tagline..) You can see the first few parts of the film at:

I'd love to get some advice on promoting and marketing an indie film. You can see clips from my docs at:

By the way, great job on the hawaii doc Jo! Mahalo.


Mike Seely

Hey there D-Worders,

My name is Mike Seely. I've been a member for a few years, but finally making a concerted effort to be more digitally involved here ("long time listener, first time caller").

I'm a filmmaker/ cinematographer based in San Francisco, but right now living in Lodz, Poland for a few months. I'm just finishing up editing a half-hour film about an innovative Ecuadorian doctor and his efforts to provide health care in rural areas (the title is in working-title limbo, so I'll give another shout when it's finalized).

Before the website for the curent film is up, you can check out some of my past work here:
and here's a shorter version of the Ecuador piece I produced for Frontline World's website:

I'm spending a lot of time here in Poland over the next couple of years, so would love to connect with other documentarians living and working in Europe. Next year I plan to make three shorts docs in different styles as part of a fulbright grant project on the Polish documentary tradition.

By the way, I'll be heading to Planete Doc Review Festival and INPUT in Warsaw this week if anyone will be there.

Looking forward to participating!
Mike Seely

Doug Block

Thanks for coming out of the darkness, Mike. Next time you post (hopefully, soon) you might want to update your Current Location (in the box above every post) with your, um, current location.

Sahand Sahebdivani

"We know stuff about TV, that I don't know Canada will EVER know." Funny stuff, JJ.

Miranda Yousef

Hello everybody,

Charmed, charmed, charmed. I don't often Introduce Myself, but I feel compelled (mostly by the little message reminding me to every time I log in to D-Word). I'm a feature documentary editor. I apprenticed with the editor of "WORDPLAY," assisting him on a lovely film called "SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED" (SXSW 2008), before moving on to edit "FOOD FIGHT" (which won the 2008 IDA Audience Award). I have worked on 2008 Sundance audience favorite "I.O.U.S.A.," and current Kirby Dick release "OUTRAGE." Most recently I was Lead Editor on one of the most serious and thought-provoking projects I've worked on, "THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS DOCUMENTARY," which will air on Nickelodeon sometime in July, to the delight of... all your children and college-aged nieces and nephews.

However, aside from the CV, I think the more relevant and useful information in an Introduction would be: I love chocolate, watching great movies, reading engrossing books, other people's cats, the Bach Cello Suites, most Impressionists, and the Internet Archive.

I am currently looking for my next project, so if anyone is looking for an editor and wants to talk, please let me know!

All the best,
- Miranda