Aldona Watts is an award-winning filmmaker working in the Bay Area and New York. Land of Songs is her first film. In 2017 her documentary short Steinbeisser premiered on The New Yorker, detailing an experimental culinary event featuring renowned Bay Area chefs and artists. She is currently producing a feature documentary about Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, an international “anti-cult” of provocative artists, as well as developing new projects and working for hire as a documentary video editor and producer. Since 2011, she has been an organizer at Her Girl Friday, an intersectional feminist collective dedicated to supporting journalists and nonfiction storytellers who identify as women.
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Julian Watts is an artist whose work spans sculpture, design, music composition, and film. His sculptural wood carvings are shown through BDDW, Patrick Parrish, and The Cold Press have been featured in the London Design Fair, Design Miami, and Salone del Mobile Milan. Recent projects include a collaboration with Dutch creative collective Steinbeisser and acclaimed Bay Area chefs on an experimental dining event, as well as composing an original score for the short film Sisters, which played at the The Denver Film Festival and the Dallas International Film Festival among others.
Nicholas Berger is a documentary filmmaker whose films have aired on PBS, been nominated for two Student Academy Awards, and have been shown in film festivals around the world including IDFA, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Silverdocs, Palm Springs Shorts Fest, and Ann Arbor Film Festival. Nicholas has worked on all aspects of filmmaking from producing and directing to shooting and editing and has worked on films for the History Channel, Discovery, CNN and PBS. He is also the co-author of two children's books on filmmaking for Klutz Press. Nicholas holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Brown University and an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University.
James Kennard is a director and editor based in San Francisco. He worked as camera, editor, and second-unit director over the course of a trilogy of award-winning feature films about European winemaking, distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Pictures (A Year in Burgundy, A Year in Champagne, A Year in Port). Previously he received a BA in History from the University of Oxford. He has since directed a short film about the Arion Press, a web series with the San Francisco Symphony, and is in production on a feature film about the future of books.
AVA BENJAMIN SHORR
Ava Benjamin Shorr is a Director of Photography based in Los Angeles, California. She was raised by a Mormon mother and a Jewish father in Portland, Oregon. Her early passion for cinematography was stoked by skateboarding videos and art-house cinema. After graduating film school in Denver, she moved to Los Angeles and spent two years assisting famed stop-motion animator PES. Before moving full time into cinematography, she also spent several months as the Technical Assistant to the President of a virtual reality camera house. Technical prowess, photographic experimentation, and identity are all a fixture of her work. She has shot music videos, commercials, and documentaries for a variety of clients, and has two features in post-production. Ava is also an active member of the International Collective of Female Cinematographers.