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
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.
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.
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
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 the fall of 2003, Carlos will direct his next feature film, Only
Carlos is the recipient of a Fellowship from the Rockefeller/ MacArthur
Foundation and belongs to SNCA (National System of Art Creators
Carlos was nominated for an Emmy Award for his editing of PROMISES.
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.
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.
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.
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
currently resides in the Bay Area and works as a freelance videographer
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 organizationfrom
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
Amera is currently
in post production for a short documentary about music in California's
underfunded elementary schools.
© Copyright 2003. The Promises Film Project. All rights reserved.