David Seidler is a British-American playwright and film and television writer. He won the Academy Award and a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay for "The King’s Speech" and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award. He also wrote Francis Ford Coppola's "Tucker: The Man and His Dream".
Gail Harris has been conducting presentation skills training for professionals in the financial services industry for the past fifteen years, after decades as a National Emmy Award-winning journalist for public television (PBS) and public radio (NPR). She was the creator, executive producer and host of the “Body & Soul” series for PBS and wrote the accompanying book, “Body & Soul: Your Guide to Health, Happiness and Total Well-being.” She is a former correspondent for ABC News “Nightline” and “World News Tonight,” and worked as a reporter and anchor for WGBH’s “The Ten O’Clock News” for most of the 1980s. While there, she co-produced and hosted “Hiroshima Remembered” for PBS, which received a National Emmy Award in 1985. Later, Gail co-hosted another PBS series on campaign finance reform, “Follow the Money,” which received an Overseas Press Club Award in 1997.
Scott L. Kirschenbaum’s films include the Alzheimer's documentary “YOU'RE LOOKING AT ME LIKE I LIVE HERE, AND 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.
Eva Zheng is a Singaporean-American creative technologist bridging empathy gaps on a global scale via Empact.FYI — a media impact campaign platform activating audiences to become powerful community heroes. She began her social impact journey eleven years ago in storytelling and technology: teaching youth empathy workshops in Xinjiang alongside the Uyghur community; facilitating conversations about death as part of Reimagine:End of Life immersive experience; and founding Project Humanize US, VR docu-series of her journey through the deep south humanizing people from across the political spectrum. She was also an early employee at Notion and serves on Hacker Fund’s Board of Directors, speaking on keynotes and panels across the country proselytizing the importance of education for the kids.
Her north star in accelerating positive change has now landed her in the realm of impact production, building campaigns with impact-oriented filmmakers and studios who seek to ameliorate the status quo of humanity.
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.
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.
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!!
Kacey most recently co-founded a start-up media content collective called Quality Meats. She has worked over the last twenty years as a Producer and an Executive Producer for independent production companies, agencies of all shapes and sizes, and in-house at tech companies. Kacey's training with the Shanti Project in San Francisco as a compassionate support peer ignited a desire to more seriously explore end-of-life work, and she has extensive experience in mindfulness and trauma healing.
Rachel Cao is a Brooklyn-based end-of-life doula bringing conversations about conscious living and dying to the forefront of our communities. She is the marketing specialist for the Conscious Dying Institute and has provided graphic design services to many small businesses. The end-of-life realm informs her work as a marketing specialist, and she loves when these two worlds meet to further meaningful dialogue.
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.
When Clara Hendon met David Seidler at the Sun Valley Film Festival in March of 2016 an unlikely friendship formed around an unlikely topic: death. They soon discovered that both felt that our culture was suffering in a multitude of ways because of this great taboo and decided to join forces to address this head on. Their company Studio Seven 13 is currently in development on The Death Project, The Voyage of Naomi James, The Reincarnation of Timothy Leary, and Battle Royal. Hendon is in pre-production on Won’t Be Silent, a documentary series exploring protest songs throughout the world performed by musical heroes who have impacted humanity’s past, present and tomorrow.
Becky Boisvert is a freelance line producer based in Asheville, North Carolina. She previously oversaw production for the critically-acclaimed birth documentary These Are My Hours. She is currently the Program Coordinator for the School of Integrated Living (SOIL) at Earthaven Ecovillage, where she helps lead a pioneering, whole-life skills program for people seeking a radically different and sustainable future. Becky prides herself on being a cultural change agent, educator, and the proud mother of a blossoming 11-year-old daughter. Her interest in dying well began fifteen years ago when she volunteered with hospice.
Tommy Pallotta received a degree in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin. He met Richard Linklater and began his film career as an actor and production assistant on Linklater's directorial debut, Slacker (1991). Pallotta then wrote, directed, and produced his first feature film, The High Road (1997). He also produced several animated projects, including Snack and Drink (1999), a three-minute short about an autistic child in a 7-Eleven store. Snack and Drink is now part of the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art. It is during this period that Pallotta co-developed the first digital rotoscope technique. Tommy first connected Richard Linklater with animation when he produced the award-winning feature film Waking Life. He followed up with Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, starring Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr. He has directed the Emmy-nominated interactive Collapsus and the Emmy-winning documentary/animation hybrid Last Hijack. He co-directed the documentary More Human than Human and built a robot to replace himself and finish the film. He is currently Executive Producer on the critically acclaimed Undone, an animated series for Amazon. Once again, he has reunited with Richard Linklater and is Producer and Head of Animation on Apollo 10 ½ for Netflix.
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.
Prerana Thakurdesai is New York based documentary filmmaker. Her work centers around issues of social justice, human condition and end of life. Keen on pushing for underrepresented stories from the South Asian context, her last film, The Essential Worker (2021), was a short doc about a lone Pakistani-American cleric who conducted COVID funerals of Muslims in New York. In India, Prerana worked with Aamir Khan Productions, one of the biggest production companies, to create the path breaking docu-talk show, Satyamev Jayate. The show was watched by over 600 million people worldwide. Her other credits include producing a 9/11 documentary for the History Channel and several short films for non-profit organizations. Prerana is passionate about community building and serves on the leadership team of the Bitchitra Collective: Indian Women in Documentary, and Kalakars, a collective that works to elevate voices of South Asians in American film and TV industries.
Hannah Fowler is an end-of-life doula, facilitator, and educator who brings conscious living and dying practices to individuals and organizations across the US and internationally. Hannah is the Director of Education for the Center for Conscious Living & Dying and a Producer of The Last Ecstatic Days feature film. Hannah is on the advisory board of the Completed Life Initiative and former faculty with the Conscious Dying Institute.
Outreach & Engagement Producer (Latin America)
Wilka Roig MA, MFA, PLC
Transpersonal psychologist, death doula, grief counselor, dream worker, ordained minister, educator, writer, Taoist Arts instructor, cellist, performance artist, silversmith, baker, truth-teller. Founder and president of Fundación Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (EKR) México Centro and the first Latin American training program for Life, Death and Transition Doulas. Deputy director of education of EKR Foundation Global, end-of-life doula educator and BIPOC/International advisor of INELDA, co-founder of Red Iberoamericana de Acompañamiento, and curriculum coordinator for the International Study Program of the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death. A devoted activist in the movement to evolve our loss, grief, and end-of-life culture, Wilka facilitates support across borders for Spanish-speaking citizens and immigrants, and leads focus groups with pioneers in North, Central, and South America to develop and instate solutions.
Landon Maloney is currently a Delaware-based artist, 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, in addition to beginning work as a filmmaker in recent years. He released his first short film, Good Morning., in July 2022 which was an experiment in forming narrative using only 4 unrelated shots. In December 2022, he co-wrote/directed, shot, and edited the narrative portions of the feature-length holiday film It's All Good's Magical Musical Extravaganza for the Delmarva musical act It's All Good.
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.
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.
Beth is a student at UNC Asheville specializing in documentary filmmaking. She was recognized by the national nonprofit organization Campus Pride for her film featuring their founder Shane Windmeyer in The Rising Tide: LGBTQ+ in 2023. She has also served as a documentary historian and volunteer coordinator for the Asheville nonprofit The Surreal Sirkus Arts Festival. Beth returned to school as a post-baccalaureate with a BS in English. Though initially pursuing a new career in human services, she stumbled upon a passion and talent for filmmaking while working on a science communication film; she traded a major in psychology for a minor and switched to the mass communication field. Having spent over a decade as a primary caregiver for loved ones with dementia, she feels a special calling and connection to the message of “The Last Ecstatic Days.” Beth is fulfilled by the opportunity to tell and uplift meaningful stories through media and community engagement.
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 a 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.