Meet the creative team
Dr. Jessica Zitter is a doctor, writer, and documentary filmmaker working to improve how we die in America. Her 2020 documentary, “CAREGIVER: A LOVE STORY” examines the national crisis of family caregiver burden. She wrote "Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life" (2017) to describe her evolution from a physician focused on medical protocols to one focused on the human being. Dr. Zitter’s work is featured in the Oscar-nominated "Extremis" (Netflix 2017) and she has been featured on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, All Things Considered, CBS Sunday Morning, Dr. Oz, and The Doctors, among others. Her articles and essays appear regularly in the New York Times and other publications. She was recently named one of Next Avenue’s 2021 "Influencers in Aging." Dr. Zitter practices ICU and Palliative Care at the public hospital in Oakland, California.
Scott L. Kirschenbaum’s films include the Alzheimer's documentary “YOU'RE LOOKING AT ME LIKE I LIVE HERE, BUT I DON'T,” which aired on PBS' Emmy award-winning program Independent Lens, and serves as a teaching tool for nonprofits, universities, public libraries and conferences; the speaker series “A SOAPBOX IN HAITI” which was featured on ABC World News, premiered on Haitian television stations on the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and is taught in Haitian studies programs; the birth documentary “These Are My Hours," which was called “the most cinematic birth documentary ever” by No Film School and has been distributed and taught in birth courses worldwide; “ELEMENTARY COOL,” about a young Sudanese refugee girl’s first day at an American elementary school, which premiered nationally at Playworks’ PlayOn Conference; and “JUMOR: A JOURNEY THROUGH JEWISH HUMOR,” a documentary about lovely (and curmudgeonly) old Jews.
Alex Harvey is a New York-based filmmaker, writer, director, musician and end of life doula. He produced and directed the feature narrative film, WALDEN: LIFE IN THE WOODS starring Academy Award Nominee Demián Bichir, released by Virgil Entertainment and hailed by the Huffington Post as "a magical Thoreau-infused yarn for the modern world, beautifully rendered and philosophical." Alex co- directed and produced I AM A SEAGULL, the doc/narrative hybrid film made by the art collective Lake Lucille Project which premiered at Under the Radar and subsequently screened in Italy, Poland and Netherlands. Alex wrote and directed THE UNSILENT PICTURE, a black and white silent film starring the world famous clown, Bill Irwin which screened for two years at the Horseman’s HollowFestival. His doc/narrative hybrid adaptation of Banana Bag and Bodice's SPACE//SPACE is premiering in the fall of 2022.
Hannah Fowler is a hospice nurse, end-of-life doula, facilitator and educator who brings conscious living and dying practices to individuals and organizations around the world. She is the Director of Education & Engagement for the Center of Conscious Living and Dying in Asheville, North Carolina and faculty with the Conscious Dying Institute, and serves on the advisory board of the Completed Life Initiative. Hannah has presented for the Centre for Death and Society, Redesigning Deathcare and the National End of Life Doula Alliance, and has been featured on podcasts including the Best Life Best Death. Through trainings, workshops, and grief rituals, Hannah teaches how awareness of death goes beyond honoring our last act of living and allows us to open to the mystery of life itself. Prior to deathcare work, Hannah was the Director of the Intensive Outpatient Psychotherapy Unit at the Lower Keys Medical Center and an ICU step-down nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Hannah is certified in energetic trauma release and healing touch.
Dr. Jeannie Blaustein, PhD, D. Ministry, is the Executive Producer of three prior films, Defining Hope (2017, Caroline Jones) and Caregiver: A Love Story (2020, Dr. Jessica Zitter), and Wrestling Jerusalem (2016, Aaron Davidman). Jeannie has worked as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Pace University teaching The Psychology of Death and Dying, and as an Advanced Care Planning facilitator in both public and private settings. She is the founding board chair of Reimagine End of Life, a national non-profit designed to help us transform our experiences of mortality, loss and adversity so that we may all live fully until the end. She presently serves on the following boards: Reimagine End of Life, The Lilian & Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Auburn Seminary, Jonas Nursing & Veterans Health, and the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation.
David is a filmmaker, artist and art collector. He recently co-directed “THE LAST LETTER WRITER,” about the last public letter writer in Vietnam, and directed, wrote and produced the short “The Leaf.” He executive produced "RESTLESS CITY" and "MOTHER OF GEORGE", which premiered at Sundance, "GRACELAND", which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was distributed theatrically in the United States, "SEVERED WAYS: THE NORSE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA" and "THE TOE TACTIC". David is on the advisory board for the Manuel Alvarez Bravo Foundation, served as the Artistic Director for Magnum Photo, was a founding board member of Performa and an advisor to the Getty Museum. He has been an internationally recognized collector of contemporary and vintage photographic works for over twenty-five years, has been named a top-100 American collector, and is acknowledged as one of the world’s authorities on surrealist photography. Forbidden Games: Surrealist and Modernist Photography: The David Raymond Collection was exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and a catalogue of the exhibit was co-published by Yale University Press.
JD Hays is a wrongful death attorney, death doula, and grief guide. To holistically serve his clients, JD combines results-oriented civil litigation and jury trial experience, with his passionate study of storytelling, group psychology, and community healing, along with his unique training in the arts and sciences of caring for grieving people after a wrongful death. He serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice, and on the Board of Directors for Public Justice, a non-profit law firm battling systemic injustice and oppression.
Melissa Seligman is a Conscious Dying Educator, a death doula, and an advocate for creating space for suicide grief and trauma-informed death awareness. She is the author of two books, The Day After He Left for Iraq and Simply Green, and has been featured in many national news discussions involving PTSD and the effects of war, including CNN and The New York Times. The founder of the grassroots movement Her War, Her Voice, Melissa has created and implemented extensive nonprofit work for military families, and designed and facilitated therapeutic retreats for those affected by war.
Benjamin Bruckman is filmmaker who produces content to help nonprofits and organizations find alignment with their mission, Ben practices classical Chinese medicine and trigger point massage, received a Masters in Non-profit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, served in the military Special Ops and lived in Vedic ashrams,. He supported Ethan in his final weeks by harmonizing the intersecting needs of the documentary team, medical providers, and Ethan's family and friends - all in the spirit of Ethan's last wishes.
Lindsey Elcessor Was born in Cincinnati, has lived in Atlanta, and currently resides in Carrboro, NC working as a freelance animator, designer, and illustrator. Her work is intrinsically linked to her musical practice, love of nature, and anthropology. Former clients include Duke university, Global Breath Studios, and bands such as Immaterial Possession and Jphono1.
Robert Chamberlain is a composer, sound designer, and performing artist. After a decade of honing his craft in NYC as a supporting musician for internationally touring acts, his unique blend of percussion and electronic synthesis has proven a potent combination for his current work in film, theater, and modern dance. He has performed as a solo artist at both Moogfest (2018-19) and Resonancy, the experimental percussion festival (2019). He has also performed his own compositions for the multimedia theater production Dreaming at Duke University. He currently lives in Carrboro, NC.
Born to Czechoslovakian immigrants and raised in San Jose, California, Alexandr Beran studied music and journalism before transporting to the Pacific NorthWest in 2010. In Portland, Beran received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Film and Video. Specializing in magical realism storytelling and social media mashups, Beran’s work has screened work includes Silent Spectrum, I’m Sorry Alligator, and Bicycle Tuts. Clients include Nike, Flir Systems, and The Pabst Brewing Company.
Check out the stunningly beautiful music video he recently edited for “Tatehuari" by the Blue Cranes & Edna Vazquez!!
Assistant Producer/Art Director
Landon Maloney is currently a Delaware-based art director, graphic designer, photographer, filmmaker, musician, and writer who has consistently designed artwork, performed, released records, and run live venues around the Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and D.C. areas for over a decade. He released his first short film, Good Morning., in July 2022 which was an experiment in forming narrative using only 4 unrelated shots.
Jessica Daisy Mannings is a UK-based painter and NFT artist. Her works are characterised by vibrant colour and playful, semi-abstracted scenes, inspired by the Abstract Expressionist ethos of authenticity and spontaneity in the creative process. She also specialises in bringing NFTs to life on canvas for the original holders, and is currently painting her way through the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Her works can be found on OpenSea and Known Origin. After listening to Ethan Sisser's podcast interview on "The Duncan Trussell Family Hour" Jessica created his digital portrait, which was shared with thousands of followers across his multiple social media platforms.
End of Life Doula
Aditi Sethi is a hospice and palliative care physician, end of life doula, musician and executive director of the Center for Conscious Living & Dying, Inc. Aditi is an emerging and important voice for shifting our culture’s understanding and approach to dying, death, and bereavement care.
CCLD, Center for Conscious Living and Dying, is a non-profit organization dedicated to community-supported end-of-life care in a home-like setting and hands on education and training in end-of-life care. The vision of CCLD is to nurture a community that celebrates the sacredness and creativity of the human spirit and dignifies the final stages of life. The mission of CCLD is to provide guidance, practical support, and resources to help navigate the complexities of the death journey. By breaking down barriers of fear and discomfort, helping people make essential decisions, and supporting them in living more fully, CCLD will facilitate the cultural shift towards a natural and normalized view of death and dying.