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Dan Geller

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DAN GELLER and DAYNA GOLDFINE
 

JOINT BIO

 

For over twenty-five years, Emmy-award winning directors/producers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine have jointly created critically-acclaimed multi-character documentary narratives that braid their characters’ individual personal stories to form a larger portrait of the human experience.  Their most recent film, The Galapagos Affair:  Satan Came to Eden (2013) had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and its European premiere in Berlin. It opened theatrically to strong critical reviews nationwide in April 2014 making several top-ten movie of the year lists, has played theaters and festivals internationally, and is now available worldwide on VOD as well as consumer and educational DVD.

 

Geller and Goldfine’s work also includes:  the award-winning Something Ventured (2011), premiered at SXSW and went on to play festivals and screen internationally, as well as in educational distribution, VOD and consumer DVD release worldwide, and national PBS broadcast in January 2013.  Ballets Russes (2005) which was recognized as one of the top five documentaries of 2005 by both the National Society of Film Critics and the National Board of Review and appeared on a dozen critical “10 Best Films” lists, including those of Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter, the San Francisco Chronicle and Slate;  Now and Then: From Frosh to Seniors, which premiered theatrically in October 1999 and aired on PBS in October 2000 as the lead program of the Independent Lens series; Kids of Survival:  The Art and Life of Tim Rollins + K.O.S. (1996), a feature-length documentary about the South Bronx-based art group Tim Rollins & K.O.S., which aired on Cinemax in September 1998 and was the recipient of two national Emmy Awards; FROSH: Nine Months in a Freshman Dorm (1994); and, the award-winning Isadora Duncan:  Movement from the Soul (1988). 

 

Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine were admitted to the Documentary Branch of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2014.

 

 
DOCUMENTARY CREDITS
 

The Galapagos Affair:  Satan Came to Eden (2013) Producers, directors, writers, cinematographer (Geller), sound (Goldfine).

Darwin meets Hitchcock in this murder-mystery documentary.  THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR:  Satan Came to Eden is a gripping tale of idealistic dreams gone awry, set in the brutal yet alluring landscape of the Galapagos Islands. Featuring the voice performances of international stars Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Connie Nielsen, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Gustaf Skarsgård and Josh Radnor, this film skillfully interweaves an unsolved 1930s murder mystery with remembrances of present day Galapagos pioneers (a handful of Europeans, Americans and Ecuadoreans who settled idiosyncratically on the Islands between the 1930s and 1960s). As such, it is a parable about the search for paradise -- about what happens when a handful of individualists settle on the same small island seeking their own distinct and sometimes clashing notions of Eden.

 

Something Ventured (2011) Producers, directors, writers, cinematographer (Geller), sound (Goldfine).

Beginning in the late 1950's, this small group of high rollers fostered a one-of-a-kind business culture that encouraged extraordinary risk and made possible unprecedented rewards. They laid the groundwork for America's start-up economy, providing not just the capital but the guidance to allow seedling companies to reach their full potential. Our lives would be dramatically different without the contributions that these venture capitalists made to the creation of PCs, the Internet and life-saving drugs.

Ballets Russes (2005) Producers, directors, editors, writers, cinematographer (Geller), sound (Goldfine).

A feature-length documentary covering more than fifty years in the lives of a group of revolutionary artists.  It tells the story of the extraordinary blend of Russian, American, European and Latin American dancers who, as Ballets Russes dancers, elevated ballet from mere music hall divertissement to a truly collaborative art form, and in so doing, put the first African-American and Native American ballerinas on stage. Ballets Russes combines intimate interviews and verite documentary scenes with surviving members of the Ballets Russes companies, as well as rare motion picture performance footage, clips from Hollywood movies and “home movies,” letters, diaries, journals and other archival materials, to trace the story of the companies and the lives of the individuals who danced within them.

 

NOW & THEN:  From Frosh to Seniors (1999) Producers, directors, editors, cinematographers, sound.

Three years after moving into a dorm at Stanford University to make the critically-acclaimed, FROSH:  Nine Months in a Freshman Dorm, filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine returned to campus to create this sequel.  NOW & THEN traces the lives of ten students as they struggle through their freshman experiences and then rejoins them in senior year as they move towards graduation and post-college life.  Premiered theatrically in fall 1999.  Broadcast premiere October 2000 as the lead program in PBS Independent Lens series.

 

Kids of Survival: The Art & Life of Tim Rollins + K.O.S. (1996) Producers, directors, editors, cinematographer (Geller), sound (Goldfine).

A feature-length, cinema verite documentary about the critically-acclaimed South Bronx conceptual art group, Tim Rollins & K.O.S.  Winner of  two national Emmy Awards and nominated for an IDA Outstanding Documentary Award.  Cable premiere August 1998 as part of the Cinemax Reel Life series.  Screened theatrically throughout the U.S., broadcast internationally, in use by educational institutions throughout the U.S.

 

FROSH:  Nine Months in a Freshman Dorm (1993) Producers, directors, editors, cinematographers, sound.

A feature-length documentary about a year-in-the-life of a co-ed, multi-cultural college freshman dorm.  FROSH, selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of the Outstanding Documentaries of 1994 and by the Directors Guild of America for Oustanding Direction, screened theatrically throughout the U.S., and aired on public television.  Currently in use at over 500 colleges, universities, high schools, and other educational institutions.

 


 

ISADORA DUNCAN:  Movement from the Soul (1988), Producers, directors, writers, editors.

An hour-long documentary about the legendary "Mother of Modern Dance," narrated by Julie Harris.  Isadora received awards from film festivals nationally and internationally, screened theatrically through the United States, and aired on television nationally and internationally.

 

SUNDANCE:  A Matter of Process (1985), Geller:  Producer, director, writer, editor.

An award-winning 40_minute documentary about Robert Redford's Sundance Institute for Film and Television.  SUNDANCE screened at film festivals nationally and internationally.

 

Wild Sanctuaries (1993), Writer, Geller.  Thirteen-part nature series for the Discovery Channel.

 

OTHER:

 

Storyline Productions (1985 - present), Co-founders, producers, directors.  Video and multimedia production company creating marketing and training programs for corporate clients.

 

 

EDUCATION -- DAN GELLER:                                                                  

 

9/82 - 6/85       STANFORD UNIVERSITY, M.A., Documentary Production.

9/78 - 6/82       CORNELL UNIVERSITY, B.A., History.

 

EDUCATION -- DAYNA GOLDFINE:

 

9/85 - 6/87       DE ANZA COLLEGE, Cupertino, CA.  Production, film and video.

9/77 - 6/82       STANFORD UNIVERSITY, B.A. Feminist Studies/International Relations

 

 

AWARDS:

 

Emmy Award, Outstanding Cultural & Informational Programming, 1999, Kids of Survival

Emmy Award, Outstanding Music, 1999, Kids of Survival

Directors Guild of America Outstanding Director, Documentary, Nominee, 1994, FROSH

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Outstanding Documentaries of 1994, FROSH

Gotham Award Best Documentary, Independent Feature Project, Nominee, 2005, Ballets Russes

Independent Documentary Association Distinguished Achievement Award, Nominee, 1996

Independent Documentary Association/ABC News Video Source Award, Nominee 2005

Best Documentary, Santa Catalina Film Festival, 2011

Best Documentary Audience Award, Hamptons International Film Festival, 2005

Silver Award, International TV Programming, The New York Film Festivals, 1999

The Chris, Columbus International Film & Video Festival, 1999

The PASS Media Award, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 1998

Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Silver Award, 1989

CINE Golden Eagle, 1989

Gold Apple, National Educational Film Festival, 1994

Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, 1989

Gold Award, Philadelphia International Film Festival, 1989

Best Documentary, Texas Film Festival, 2000

Silver Plaque, Chicago Int'l Film Festival, 1989

Silver Award, Houston Int'l Film Festival, 1989

Second Place, Smoky Mountain Film Festival, 1994                                                    

GOLDIE Award for achievement in the fine & visual arts, S.F. Bay Guardian, 1989

 

SAMPLE GRANTS:

 

National Endowment for the Arts – Arts on Television Grant

Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation

Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation

William Bingham Foundation

Dance Films Association

Pacific Pioneer Fund

The LEF Foundation

Fleishhacker Foundation Grants to the Arts

 

AFFILIATIONS:

 

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Documentary Branch (Both)

Producers Guild of America (Goldfine)

International Documentary Association

Pacific Pioneer Fund (Board Member – Geller)

Sundance Film Festival (Jury Chair 2010 – Goldfine)

San Francisco Film Society (Festival Jury Chair 2010 – Goldfine)