Co-Director, Producer & Writer
Kenny Ausubel, who originated the project, is an acclaimed writer, filmmaker and social entrepreneur. He brings award-winning filmmaking, producing and writing skills as well as extensive knowledge of the central topics covered in the film. He founded Bioneers, a globally acclaimed nonprofit whose annual conference features social and scientific innovators with breakthrough solutions for people and planet. He produces and writes the award-winning annual Bioneers radio series. His feature documentary Hoxsey: How Healing Becomes a Crime won the Best Censored Stories award for investigative journalism, and was shown to members of Congress at the Kennedy Center and reported on NPR. It played in movie theaters, aired on national television in numerous countries, and received the highest viewer response recorded until that time for a documentary shown on HBO/Cinemax. It remains in distribution and is in development as a Hollywood feature.
Kenny also co-founded Seeds of Change, the first national organic seed company, dedicated to backyard biodiversity. He has published four books including Dreaming the Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature, and edited several others. He writes periodically for Huffington Post and other outlets.
Louie Schwartzberg is a recognized film artist, innovative visual storyteller, and technical master. He is an acclaimed director, producer and cinematographer. An award-winning filmmaker whose career spans over 35 years, he is a visual artist breaking barriers, connecting with audiences, and telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people and places. His stunning nature, aerial and slice-of-life imagery has helped transform films by such directors as Steven Spielberg, Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Haggis and Ridley Scott. His latest picture is Mysteries of the Unseen World, produced with National Geographic (2014). His previous film Wings of Life is a feature documentary for Disneynature, narrated by Meryl Streep.
The award-winning filmmakers Bill and Laurie Benenson have worked together for decades. Along with producing many feature films, Bill produced and directed the acclaimed environmental documentary Dirt! The Movie (official Selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, 2010 Earth Day special on PBS’ Independent Lens). He produced The Hadza Last of the First in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy, which premiered in 2014. He is working on the documentary In the Point Cloud about the search for a lost Pre-Columbian city in Central America, using breakthrough Lidar technology, reported in the New Yorker in 2014.
Max DeArmon is a philosopher, filmmaker and planetary advocate currently serving as Co-Producer on Changing of the Gods. He produced and co-wrote The Future of Energy, a documentary film advocating for the use of 100% renewable energy. The movie was endorsed by the Sierra Club and had its New York City premiere in association with the People’s Climate March. He co-directed and co-wrote an animated short, The Secrets of The Climate Paradox, based on Per Espen Stoknes’ book on the psychological barriers behind climate inaction. His background includes five years working in production in NYC’s film and TV industry, including three seasons with Tina Fey’s Emmy Award-winning comedy 30 Rock.
Max is the Co-Founder and Director of Planetary Advocates, a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the ecological crisis through media and education. He’s currently a doctoral student in the Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness program at the California Institute for Integral Studies, working on his dissertation under the mentorship of Richard Tarnas, on whose book Cosmos and Psyche the movie Changing of the Gods is based.
Editor & Media Strategist
Theo Badashi is an ecologist and media strategist serving as editor for Changing of the Gods. He is the co-writer and host of The Future of Energy film, and co-founder of Planetary Advocates. A former radio host and community organizer with a background in Integral psychology and philosophy, he brings to this project a life long dedication to justice and a unique evolutionary perspective.
A doctoral student in the Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness program at CIIS, his work is a living extension of the cosmological vision of Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme. His central focus explores the relationships between technology, ecology, and the evolution of human consciousness and culture.
David Leach is an editor, producer, and writer who has been making films for over 40 years. He lived and worked in Toronto from 1971 to 1990, cutting commercials, documentaries, and dramatic television series. He also directed 15 short films and tv shows, producing and writing several of them. His films won awards at the Columbus, American and Yorkton Film Festivals.
In 1991 he moved with his wife to Santa Fe, New Mexico. For several years he returned to Canada to edit prime-time dramatic television series broadcast north and south of the border including “Lonesome Dove: The Series”. Twice he has been supervising editor of tv drama series.
Since 1995 he has edited numerous television documentaries for Turner Broadcasting, National Geographic, The Learning Channel, Discovery, The Hallmark Channel and PBS. In recent years he has edited several feature documentaries, and in 2015 was awarded Best Editing by the United Nations Association Film Festival for “Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning”, an episode of the PBS series American Masters. He also edited “Dying to Know: Ram Dass and Timothy Leary” which has been shown theatrically in theatres around the country. Recently he wrote and edited the documentary feature “Ol’ Max Evans: The First Thousand Years”.
Brett Mazurek Brett Mazurek is an award winning director/editor and digital media activist with a passion for guerrilla style filming that has taken him across the globe. His mission is empowering action & unifying community through storytelling that integrates inspired visuals and the power of music as a messenger for conscious, positive transformation in a way that is uplifting and fun. Based in Ecuador and California, Brett’s diverse range of subject matter is united by his intention to build the communal spirit and deepen experience through multimedia. He believes we can collectively empower each other to create lasting change, build a heroic community, and do it all with the spirit of fun & love.
Johwell St-CilienJohwell St-Cilien, born in Paris, France from a Haitian mother, is the co-founder of the NegusWorld, Inc. and the founder of its philanthropic arm, NegusWorld.org. Johwell is an accomplished videographer, song writer and educator who has partnered to develop a successful creative arts youth program in New York City, known as “Kids Helping Kids: A Hip Hop Experience”. He most recently developed a curriculum for NegusWorld Youth which consists of connecting students with their peers in different parts of the country and world.
Cory Berezow is an editor, animator and experimental filmmaker whose work has been showcased at various events and venues throughout the film and art community. Cory has screened work at the Currents New Media Festival in Santa Fe as well as at the 2016 New Mexico Filmmakers Showcase and The Jewish Museum in New York City. Cory has also done work for 12FPS and High Desert Digital, two production companies located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Currently Cory is serving as an assistant editor on Changing of the Gods.
William Peterffy is a writer, environmentalist, and budding filmmaker. He co-founded a foundation focusing on environmental and indigenous rights. His backgrounds are in business, environmental science, permaculture/sustainable ag, and the healing arts. Will has dedicated his life to the transformation of this planet to one of an aware and sustainable state of harmonious interconnectedness for all beings. He believes that film is a powerful tool towards achieving this goal.
Vaidehi Amair is a multimedia storyteller dedicated to creating content that inspires the soul’s spiritual good fortune. It is her love for culture and travel, spiritual life and philosophy that moves her to create any content whether it be dance, video, music or imagery. Vaidehi has an eclectic background. She was born in Venezuela, grew up in the States within a spiritual community practicing the essence of Vedic philosophy known as Bhakti Yoga, and now lives in LA where she is creating her first musical album, where she manages her new dance troop called Pujala, and leads women’s circles for her women’s organization known as Goddess Moon Temple. She loves making new friends and co-creating uplifting projects such as Changing of the Gods.
Visual Effects & Animation
VFX & Motion Graphics Artist
Illustrator & Animator
Matt Augustin is a freelance artist and animator whose work has been in games, TV shows, and movies. He has worked with studios all over North America, making characters move. Currently, he works from his home in the San Francisco bay area, living with his wife and three sons.
Music & Sound
Born in Cleveland Ohio, fresh off a US tour performing in the bands of Sting and Paul Simon, percussionist/drummer Jamey Haddad holds a unique position in the world of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Haddad’s musical voice transcends styles and trends, and the universal quality of his playing has attracted many international collaborations. Regarded as one of the foremost world music and jazz percussionists, Haddad is a professor at The Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland institute of Music and previously for 18 years at Boston’s Berklee School of Music.
In 2012 Haddad was voted The Top World Percussionist in “DRUM Magazine” and one of the top 4 world-percussionists by the most largely read Percussion Periodical “Modern Drummer” (July 2007).
Mr. Haddad collaborates regularly with Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, Osvaldo Golijov, Yo Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Esperanza Spalding, Danilo Perez, Joe Lovano, Billy Drewes, Elliot Goldenthal, Brazil’s Assad Brothers, Simon Shaheen, The Paul Winter Consort, Nancy Wilson, Dave Liebman, Bokante. His own group “Under One Sun” has a 2017 release and a featured in Downbeat Magazine.
Mick Rossi’s career has long been defined by the inability to comfortably define him or his work. Hailing originally from Trenton, NJ, Brooklynite Rossi began his career young…
Performing diverse and progressive work rooted in the New York Downtown scene at venues including the Knitting Factory, The Stone, MoMA and most recently as curator and artist-in-residence at Spectrum NYC (Outliers Series), Rossi is celebrated as “an exemplar of the cross-fertilization between jazz and classical music worlds” and “one of the most lucid, original and creative minds of the New York scene” (All About Jazz). He is simultaneously a longtime member of the Philip Glass Ensemble as well as the Paul Simon band as pianist and percussionist, showcasing not only technical proficiency but capable of divergent idiomatic disciplines. He has appeared on eleven recordings with Philip Glass, and seven with Paul Simon (including “Koyaanisqatsi Live with the NY Philharmonic” and “Austin City Limits” respectively). Rossi has also conducted for Mr. Glass, most recently “Book of Longing” (Sydney Opera House), “Einstein On The Beach” and will be conducting an upcoming Kronos Quartet with Philip Glass tour in the fall. Rossi has served as music director and curator of the MATA Festival, music director of the Public Theater’s production of “The Bacchae” (dir. JoAnne Akalaitis), percussionist with Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson at Carnegie Hall, conductor and co-orchestrator of Renée Fleming’s “Dark Hope’” and is currently producing the recording of the opera “Violet Fire” (BAM / Jon Gibson). Recent feature articles include The Sydney Morning Herald (“A prodigiously gifted musician and composer”) and Keyboard Magazine (“Pyrotechnics with Paul Simon”).
Rossi — a Hermitage Fellow — graduated from The College of New Jersey with a BA in percussion, studied privately with Dennis Sandole of Philadelphia, and went on to pursue a masters degree in composition from NYU. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Teese (Matthias) Gohl was born in Switzerland and studied at The Berklee School Of Music. After extensive touring with and composing for local and international Jazz groups he turned to Film and Theater Music.
Teese has produced more than 100 Hollywood film scores including “Interview With A Vampire”, “Michael Collins”, “Heat”, two “Batman” features, “Titus”, “Across The Universe”, “Selma”, and the Oscar winning scores for Elliot Goldenthal’s “Frida” and John Corigliano’s “The Red Violin.”
He has composed music for two dozen documentary films, including Ken Burns’ “History of the West”, “Frank Lloyd Wright”, “Susan B. Anthony” and acts as co-composer, arranger, orchestrator, or conductor with artists as diverse as Carly Simon, Dave Stewart, Elliot Goldenthal, Michael Kamen, A.R. Rahman, Jason Moran, Paul Westerberg, Nana Vasconcelos, Chandrika Tandon, as well as Bono & The Edge and Julie Taymor for Broadway’s “Spiderman, Turn Off the Dark”.
Teese is currently developing “Antigone In Ferguson” a new translation which combines Greek tragedy with Gospel Choir aimed at bridging the growing divide between law enforcement and local communities throughout the U.S.
Research & Media Support
Lewanne Jones is a Brooklyn-based archival producer, audio-visual researcher and project archivist. Her career in archives began on a project about colonialism South America in the late 70s, working on an experimental documentary that combined archives with interviews and poetry. She has researched for network and public television, documentary and feature films, as well as museum, internet, and web-based educational programs for Columbia and other universities.
She was nominated for a research Emmy for her work on “With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right,” a 1990s PBS series on the history of religion and politics in the United States. Among the many other award-winning projects to which she has contributed are: EYES ON THE PRIZE, ABC’s CENTURY, PBS FRONTLINE and AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Her expertise includes audio-visual and general research, project management, database design, and permissions/copyright clearance. She has researched widely in US and international archives on subjects ranging from African American history to neuroscience. Recent projects include Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Firelight Films), Jackie Robinson, (Ken Burns, Florentine Films), American Visionary (Riverside Films forthcoming doc about Daniel Patrick Moynihan), and This is Congo (Shortcut Films).
Jessica Estelle Huggins, a Boston Native and honorary Chicagoan has a variety of creative material under her belt as she’s served in various roles as producer, director, writer for several short films, music videos, documentaries, web-series and feature films in both Boston and Chicago. While attending Columbia College Chicago, Jessica was asked by several of her professors to cast for a faculty film and two of Columbia’s Advanced Practicum productions. Shortly after graduation, Jessica was hired to co-produce what became a film festival favorite short across North America in 2014, Perfect Day with UIC’s famed theatre Professor, Derrick Sanders as the Director. The short was accepted into over 20 film festivals and has won 4 awards. Jessica has also developed a few series, most notably, Chi-Voices: A Poetic Film Series, where six Chicago poets creatively express their thoughts about youth violence in Chicago. Chi-Voices has been accepted into 6 film festivals.
Mostly recently, Jessica accepted a fellowship position in Los Angeles to work with Brave New Films. Currently, Jessica is spearheading two media projects for BNF. Jessica is excited to continue her journey in visual storytelling.
Communications, Kickstarter Campaign
Jamie Socci is Founder of Tinker Lab Productions. She specializes in communication, branding and holistic approaches to creative problem solving for individuals, nonprofits, and corporations. A graduate of Salve Regina University, she received her Masters in Art from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Before starting Tinker Lab, she served for three years as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of the famed Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.