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Justine Shapiro (Co-Producer/Co-Director) Since 1994 Justine has been one of the hosts and co-writers of the award-winning travel series, Globe Trekker (formerly known as Lonely Planet). In 2002 Globe Trekker came to PBS in partnership with WETA. Globe Trekker is broadcast in over 30 countries worldwide with a global audience over 30 million (PBS, Discovery International, Discovery Europe, IBA Israel, France 3 and Voyage France, etc). Through her work with Globe Trekker, Justine has had the great pleasure of travelling into and off the beaten track of nearly 40 countries all over the globe.

Justine graduated from Tufts University (Magna Cum Laude with honors in History and Theater) and went on to study theater in Paris for two years. She moved to Los Angeles where she appeared in a few films and TV shows. Whilst in LA she worked part-time as an ESL teacher. Her students were Iraqi Jews, Russian immigrants, and legal and illegal immigrants from Central America and Mexico. Justine encouraged her students to share their stories. The richness of their experience and cultural traditions shattered her interest in acting, and sparked a passion for documentary filmmaking.

In 1993 Justine returned to the San Francisco Bay and began working on documentary film projects. In 1994, during a Globe Trekker shoot in Israel and the West Bank, Justine found herself drawn towards the children's discussions. The strong words and violent emotions that she encountered in her own young Israeli cousins and in the Palestinian children she met, moved her deeply. She and her friend B.Z. discovered they had a common interest in the drama and the power of the Middle East conflict as expressed by children and thus The Promises Film Project was born.

Justine is a member of SAG and AFTRA. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.


B.Z. Goldberg (Co-Producer/Co-Director) was born in Boston but grew up in Israel just outside of Jerusalem. B.Z. attended New York University Film School where he studied with Brian Winston, media pioneer George Stoney, and Boris Fruman. In 1987 when the Palestinian uprising known as the Intifada broke out B.Z. returned to Jerusalem to produce television news for Reuters TV, the BBC, NBC, CNN and NHK (Japanese TV).

It was during this time that he began to be moved by the ways in which the Middle East conflict informed and infused the lives of Palestinians and Israeli children. B.Z. started to notice the ways in which Israeli and Palestinian children were not simply victims of the conflict, but had become active protagonists in the making of their countries. During this time B.Z. began to develop the idea of a documentary film that would take international audiences beyond the news headlines, into the hearts and minds of these children. After dodging countless Palestinian rocks, inhaling much too much Israeli tear gas, and producing hundreds of hours of news that endlessly portrayed the ongoing violence in the region B.Z. decided to change course. He left his TV job and focused on studying alternative approaches to conflict and conflict resolution.

Starting in 1992 B.Z. worked for a number of U.S. based consulting firms as a specialist in the field of conflict resolution. He has worked with organizations as varied as the Israeli army, the Toyota group (Japan) AT&T, MIT, Columbia University, The Interfaith Committee on the Middle East, and Solidarity (Poland). B.Z.'s experience has proven to him time and again that what is crucial in solving any conflict is a) creating forums where people can speak directly, openly, and without preconceptions of a particular outcome, and b) cultivating a hunger for awareness and curiosity rather than seeking "objective" justice. In 1995, armed with this attitude of curiosity and hunger he and Justine Shapiro started meeting the children in the Middle East, some of whom would become the subjects of PROMISES.

B.Z. is fluent in Hebrew and conversant in Arabic.


Carlos Bolado (Co-Director/Editor) In 1991Carlos received international recognition for his editing of Like Water For Chocolate (Como Agua Para Chocolate) and for Like a Bride (Novia Que Te Vea) winner of the Toronto Int'l Film Festival Audience Award 1993. Carlos has edited 12 other feature films in Mexico. He has edit doctored numerous films including the Mexican feature Amores Perros.

Carlos' 1999 directorial feature film debut, Bajo California, El Limite del Tiempo (Under California, The Limit of Time) was selected by film festivals worldwide including Sundance, Toronto International, San Francisco International, Moscow International, and the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival. Bajo California won numerous awards including 7 Mexican "Ariels" (the Mexican "Oscar") for Best Film, Best First Film, and Best Editing; the Audience Award for Best Feature at the San Francisco Int'l Film Festival; Best Film at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival; Grand Jury Prize & OCIC Award at Amiens International Film Festival (France); National Critic's Award at Guadalajara Muestra in Mexico, and others.

Carlos is directing, editing and producing an experimental documentary feature called The Imaginary Line, an experimental feature documentary that takes viewers on a dynamic and fascinating journey along the entire length of the U.S.-Mexican border. He is currently in post-production.

In the fall of 2003, Carlos will direct his next feature film, Only God Knows.

Carlos is the recipient of a Fellowship from the Rockefeller/ MacArthur Foundation and belongs to SNCA (National System of Art Creators in Mexico).

Carlos was nominated for an Emmy Award for his editing of PROMISES.



Ziad Abbas (Co-producer/Production Manager) is a filmmaker, journalist and educator. Ziad (who is also known as Zeiad A. A. Shamrouch) is co founder of "Ibdaa" an innovative youth and cultural center in the Deheishe refugee camp (home of the world reknown "Ibdaa dance troupe.) Along with the Israeli twins Yarko and Daniel, and the Palestinian refugee girls Sanabel, and Kayan, Ziad was an official guest at the 75th annual Academy Awards® ceremony in March of 2002.


Stephen Most (Consulting Writer & researcher) is a playwright and scriptwriter. Wonders of Nature, which he wrote for the Great Wonders of the World series, won an Emmy for best special non-fiction program. Berkeley in the Sixties, which he co-wrote, received an Academy Award nomination. Mothers of the Plaza and Freedom on my Mind, on which he worked as Consulting Writer, also received Academy Award nominations. Other documentaries that Stephen scripted include the hour-long television program, Healthy Aging, and an eleven-part series, The Power of Choice, both of which were broadcast on PBS. Stephen also originated and co-produced an internationally distributed PBS science series: Life Beyond Earth.

Many of his works are historical. The feature-length documentary Bound by the Wind, which he wrote, tells the story of nuclear testing and the international movement that led to the Comprehensive Test Ban. Regarding the history of the Pacific Northwest, Most wrote the texts, audio voices, and video scripts for the permanent exhibit of the Washington State History Museum; a book, In the Presence of the Past; several historical plays including A FREE COUNTRY, which was produced by Seattle's Group Theatre; and a documentary, Different Lenses, about the work of two Seattle-based photographers: the brothers Edward and Asahel Curtis. He is currently writing a book and making a documentary film, directed by Carlos Bolado, about the history of the Klamath Basin.


Janet Cole was the Producer and Executive Producer of Regret to Inform, for which she received Academy Award and Emmy nominations and a 2000 Peabody Award. She also produced the Emmy­nominated Paragraph 175 with directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman for HBO; and Absolutely Positive with director, Peter Adair for the BBC and PBS, winner of the IDA's Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award. Her executive producer credits also include Heart of the Sea (PBS, Independent Lens 2003) and the upcoming Freedom Machines, currently in post-production. Throughout the 1980s, she designed distribution campaigns for independent films and worked with such classics as Word is Out, The Life & Times of Rosie the Riveter, The War at Home, Gal Young 'Un, and Soldier Girls. In the mid-1990s, she conceived and supervised production of a 4-hour series called Positive: Life with HIV for the Independent Television Service (ITVS). As a consultant, she works frequently with independent producers and organizations. Her clients have included ITVS, PBS, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Sundance Institute, and the American Film Institute. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.


Amera Rizk has been working as an editor, web designer and intern for the Promises Film Project for the past year. She graduated 1998 from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.F.A, focusing on electronic media.

After graduation, Amera worked as a Research Associate at Carnegie Mellon's Studio for Creative Inquiry. There, she worked on a NSF funded collaboration between artists and neuroscientist to develop an immersive group interactive planetarium show about the human brain.


She currently resides in the Bay Area and works as a freelance videographer and designer.

Amera recently completed a short documentary about Young Community Developers, an organization based in San Francisco's Bayview Hunter's Point District. The piece chronicled the 30 year history of the organization—from its roots in the Black Panther Party through its current role of job training and placement of low and no income clients. The piece features local heroes including Aunt B, Eloise Wessbrook, and Claude Everhart.

Amera is currently in post production for a short documentary about music in California's underfunded elementary schools.



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