the TEAM



EMILY KASSIE /Director/Producer

Emily Kassie is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist. Her work focuses on human rights, corruption and violence and she reports for a multitude of organizations including the New York Times, NBC, BBC, Highline/HuffPost among others. 

In 2017 she won the punch sulzberger award for reporting from the American Society of News Editors, the Overseas Press Club award for best digital reporting on international affairs and the national magazine award (ELLIE) for multimedia story of the year for her reporting and multimedia on the refugee crisis. for the same project she won an NPPA award and first place in PDN's storytellers. 

She is a World Press Photo multimedia winner, a pdn multimedia winner and in 2016 she was named a multimedia portfolio of the year by NPPA. In 2015 she won an academy award for student documentary for her film 'I Married My Family's Killer'. She graduated with honors from brown university and was a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University, where she completed her masters degree in international relations and politics. 




Aidan Shipley is a Canadian director, actor and producer. He was the recipient of the Harvey Hart Award for directing, as well as the Norman Jewison Filmmaker Award for his films. His films played at major festivals across Canada and internationally. He also co-produced the short film, Running Season, which made its premiere at TIFF, won ‘Best Canadian Short’ at Whistler Film Festival and screened at the 2015 Slamdance Film Festival. Since graduating, he’s gone on to co- write/direct a short film titled “Boxing”, a BravoFact which made it’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as recently finishing production on his first feature, “Cardinal” which was funded by the Telefilm Micro-Budget Program. 


Caroline Kassie is a lawyer and mental health advocate. She received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Science. She founded The Dialogue Projects, a social enterprise dedicated to removing stigma from mental illness and funding mental health organizations. She is Emily's full-time sister and part-time producer.

MARY NITTOLO/ Executive Producer

STUDIONYC /Animation

Mary Nittolo and her team at Studio NYC create the original animaton that brings C's world to life. For 25 years Studio NYC has been devoted to the growth of our clients' businesses by bringing strategic vision, imagination, artfulness, delight, and clarity to the world of communication. In the process, we’ve been praised for the quality of the images we provide for storyboards, animatics, animation, digital content, character development, publishing, and exhibit design. And we’ve been rewarded by gaining the trust of top advertising agencies and Fortune 500 companies.

Screenshot 2018-04-17 22.21.01.png

BENNET CERF/Director of Photography

Bennett Cerf is a freelance director of photography in Los Angeles. Over a decade and a half of on-set experience and shooting has made him an advocate for telling personal stories and concentrating on the ones that are true-to-life. Grateful for all his chances to tell untold stories, he has shot over 20 documentaries and profiles since he graduated from AFI in 2014. He has shot commercial projects for Reebok and DJI, and his film projects he has shot have won several emmy's, a DGA student award, best short at the Austin Film Festival as well as a Vimeo Staff Pick.  He studied cinematography at the American Film Institute and the college of Santa Fe.


OSEI ESSED/Original Score

Osei Essed is a film composer and singer-songwriter. Recent composition credits include the award-winning films TOWER (Executive Producers Meredith Vieira and Luke Wilson), Jim: The James Foley Story (2016 Emmy Winner) and Finders Keepers. Essed’s music is the centerpiece of Benh Zeitlin's (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) short film Glory At Sea. In addition to scoring documentaries and feature films, Essed leads the Brooklyn-based bands The Woes and Big Hands Rhythm and Blues Band.


Originally from Washington DC, Alex
got his start at The University of Chicago, cutting two films in two years SCRAPPERS and WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? which both ended up on ROGER EBERT’s "Top Ten Documentaries" lists of 2009 and 2010, respectively. Since relocating to Los Angeles, his work has been featured on HULU, HBO, TBS/TNT, SKY, and SHOWTIME, on shows including BEHIND THE MASK, the comedic docuseries which won HULU its first-ever Emmy Nomination, now in its 2nd season. Recently, Alex completed editing the documentary MULLY for Academy Award winning producer James Moll, and is currently cutting an upcoming Hulu Original documentary featuring Dana Carvey and Steve Carell.



Adam is a documentary filmmaker based in New York City. Previously he worked with the New York Times Cooking Section as a video editor where he edited their 'Cooking Guides' video series. Prior to that he was a video journalist at Yahoo News documenting protests in Ferguson, and Baltimore. He created one nation from material photographed while in Missouri. 

As a cinematographer, he photographed "treasure" a feature length documentary about nineteen year old trans woman Shelly 'Treasure' Hilliard whose murder involved police coercion, Jim Crow drug laws, the criminalization of sex work and transphobia. The film is about a young Detroit trans community activated by her death, and her family, who are suing for justice. It premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2015.

Fiscal Sponsor- The Film Collaborative