JOSH WALETZKY is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, born and raised in New York City. He has worked as a director, writer and editor on numerous documentary films about cultural and social themes, beginning as a sound editor on Ibeorgun (1975, the Kuna Indians) and Academy Award-winning Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976, striking coal miners). He directed and edited such films as Image Before My Eyes (1981, Jewish life in pre-Holocaust Poland), Partisans of Vilna (1986, Jewish resistance to the Nazis), Academy Award-nominated Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann (1992, Hollywood’s greatest film composer), Dashiell Hammett: Detective. Writer. (1999, the inimitable writer-icon), and Sacred Stage: The Mariinsky Theater (2005, the Kirov Ballet and Opera survive into the 21st century). His editing credits include Emmy Award-winning Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler’s House (1995, world’s premiere violinist embraces klezmer music), Peabody Award-winning Revolution! (1997, birth of the United States), A.C.E. Eddie Award-nominated The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition (2000, the Anglo-Irish explorer), Emmy Award-winning She Says: Women In News (2001, gender and journalism) and The Venetian Dilemma (2004, wonder-city as museum or viable habitat).
Waletzky is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU Film School, where he studied acting and directing with Marketa Kimbrell. He was a script and music consultant to Barbra Streisand on her production of Yentl (1983), and has worked as a director on script development, including the screenplay for Simple Justice (1987, a 1940s Kansas housewife and civil rights pioneer), under a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts.
Waletzky has also been a lifelong force in the field of Yiddish music, and co-produced the Grammy-nominated album of Jewish songs of resistance, Partisans of Vilna (1989). His groundbreaking CD of original Yiddish songs, Crossing the Shadows (2001), was hailed as “a classic of the American-Jewish folk revival”.
JENNY LEVISON is a playwright, screenwriter, film and theater producer, and social justice activist. Her plays and site-specific political theater works include: Emergency Exits, Shtil, Mayn Corazon–A Yiddish Tango Cabaret, Crossing Over, Countdown Bikini, Don’t Kiss Me I’m In Training, See The Light, Home Field Advantage, and Dia de los Muertos. Her screenplays include Mixed Doubles, Vamp, Copy Shop, The Strip, and Sorry!. Jenny’s works have received performances and screenings in Portland, Oregon; Boston; Washington, DC; Philadelphia, Las Vegas, New York, and New Jersey.
Jenny has produced dozens of pieces of site-specific theater, as well as her own theatrical work Shtil, Mayn Corazon–A Yiddish Tango Cabaret, which played to sold-out houses and rave reviews.
Jenny has worked in and written about the fields of labor organizing, immigrant rights, anti-globalization, anti-war, economic justice, women’s rights, GLBT rights, and anti-white supremacy. She has specialized in the use of arts media in social justice organizing. Jenny was the co-creator (writer, producer, organizer) of the national satirical media campaign Billionaires for Bush (Or Gore) which targeted big money in politics during the 2000 Presidential elections.
Jenny is the recipient of residencies and awards from Atlantic Center for the Arts (with Paula Vogel,) Voice and Vision Theater, New Century Playwriting Award, Caldera, Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Institute for Judaic Studies, the Lilla Jewel Fund for Women Artists, the Puffin Foundation, and the Jacob Zukerman Fund of the Workman’s Circle. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Religion from Bates College, and an MFA from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts, Department of Dramatic Writing, where she now teaches. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild, an associate member of the Writers Guild of America, and Literary Associate at the Mile Square Theater in Hoboken, New Jersey.
ROB FIELDS is an award-winning marketer who connects people, companies and ideas. He has worked with a diverse group of companies and organizations that include the Black Rock Coalition, the African Diaspora Film Festival, the Urbanworld Film Festival, AXA Financial, Burger King, General Motors, IBM and Panasonic.
He has worn many other hats in the entertainment industry as well, having been a music publicist, an artist manager, and an independent film producer. In 1998, he spearheaded the marketing and self-distribution effort behind Bridgett M. Davis’ debut feature Naked Acts, which reached its break-even point in theatrical release.
Rob writes a widely-read blog, marketingpopculture.com.