Christopher (Toby) McLeod has been the Project Director of Earth Island Institute’s Sacred Land Film Project since 1984. He produced and directed In the Light of Reverence (2001) and has made three other award-winning, hour-long documentary films that were broadcast on national television: The Four Corners: A National Sacrifice Area? (1983), Downwind/Downstream (1988), and NOVA: Poison in the Rockies (1990). In 1990, he produced Voices of the Land as a 20-minute preview of a series on sacred places around the world, Standing on Sacred Ground, which is currently in production. In 1997, he completed A Thousand Years of Ceremony, a 40-minute profile of Winnemem Wintu healer Florence Jones and her efforts to protect Mount Shasta as a sacred site for the Wintu — a film made specifically as an archival film for the use of the Wintu community. After 10 years of work, he completed In the Light of Reverence, which was broadcast in August 2001 on the acclaimed PBS documentary series P.O.V. (Point of View) and won a number of awards, including the Council on Foundation’s prestigious Henry Hampton Award (2005). His first film was the nine-minute short, The Cracking of Glen Canyon Damn – with Edward Abbey and Earth First! McLeod has a master’s degree in journalism from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. in American History from Yale. He is a journalist who works in film, video, print, and still photography. In 1985, McLeod received a Guggenheim Fellowship for filmmaking, and his U.C. Berkeley masters thesis film Four Corners won a Student Academy Award in 1983. Toby has been working with indigenous communities as a filmmaker, journalist and photographer for more than 30 years.
Managing Producer Jennifer Huang has been a documentary filmmaker in San Francisco for 10 years. At the documentary department at Lucasfilm, she wrote and produced Harlem’s Hellfighters: Black Soldiers of World War I, and contributed to nine other films, with topics ranging from Gertrude Bell to Dracula, from Tin Pan Alley to the Congo. She has worked as a writer, field producer and associate producer on productions for PBS, the Travel Channel, HGTV, TNT and AZN TV, and she co-founded Hyphen, an Asian American news and culture magazine. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Social Welfare and Ethnography through Cinema.
Writer Jessica Abbe co-produced Angle of Inspiration, a 2004 PBS documentary about the effect on the small town of Redding, California, of a startling new bridge by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. She wrote Power Paths (2008), about the Native American movement toward renewable energy development. She wrote In the Light of Reverence, and has written and produced documentaries on AIDS and San Francisco history. She helped start Bay Area Backroads, the highest-rated local program during her tenure as producer, and worked for two years with director Francis Ford Coppola and author Diane Johnson on a screenplay about the search for a cure for AIDS. In 2004, she was elected to the board of the La Honda Pescadero Unified School District. Abbe holds a B.F.A. in dramatic arts from New York University, and a master’s degree in journalism from U.C. Berkeley.
Development Coordinator Miriam Anne Frank has been active in supporting indigenous peoples for over two decades, focusing on human rights and the environment. Some of her key achievements include the Indigenous Peoples’ Millennium Conference, which acted as an independent review of the U.N. Decade for the World’s Indigenous People, and her work toward the adoption of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was the basis for her master’s thesis as an applied anthropologist. Miriam is an external lecturer at the University of Vienna, Austria, where she develops and teaches classes focused on indigenous peoples. She has worked extensively on issues related to the Convention on Biological Diversity and was active in the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing process. She co-founded the Indigenous Women’s Biodiversity Network, promoting the full and effective participation of indigenous women in environmental rights processes. Miriam received a B.F.A. from the Academy of Art University and University of San Francisco. She has worked for numerous arts organizations in the Bay Area, and as independent consultant to NGOs, IPOs, foundations and museums.
Editor Quinn Costello is a freelance editor and post production supervisor from the Bay Area. He has worked on a wide variety of documentaries with an emphasis on environmentalism, social activism and issues pertaining to indigenous communities around the world. His work has been seen on PBS, The Sundance Channel and The Learning Channel. Post Production Supervisor credits include American Masters – Sam Cooke: Crossing Over. Editing credits include Mustang – Journey of Transformation, Global Focus: The New Environmentalists and the upcoming series Standing on Sacred Ground.
Senior Editor Marta Wohl is a freelance film/video editor with 20 years experience in editing and producing documentary, educational, corporate and broadcast film and video. Some of her most recent film credits include Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers (2011), Claiming the Title: Gay Olympics on Trial (2009), Don’t Know, We’ll See: The Life and Work of Karen Karnes (2008), Trading Bows and Arrows for Laptops (2008), and Without a Net (2008). She also spent four years as the offline editor in the documentary unit at JAK Films, the production arm of Lucasfilm, editing 25 of the 94 companion educational documentaries profiling historical figures, events and significant ideas of the early 20th century that surfaced in the 44 episodes of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones television series.
Assistant Editor Erin Lee has worked in post-production for several films on Caribbean culture, and as well as providing support on location for large-scale music festivals on the islands. Originally from Miami, she currently produces videos for the San Francisco School of Bartending, SF Mixology, and the Evolutionary Healing Institute in Miami.
Website Managing Editor Amberly Polidor oversees content for Sacredland.org. Her 18 years of writing and editing experience includes content writing for nonprofit and consumer websites, radio news production, travel writing, and editing for news and healthcare publications. She holds a B.S. in communications from the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Boston.
Bookkeeper Allison Torres has an extensive background in film production and knowledge of the financial intricacies of nonprofits. Allison has worked as an accounting assistant for the Mountain Play Association, Green Planet Films and Pathways to Peace, an international peace-building organization. Allison received a B.S. degree in computer science from San Francisco State University and studied accounting at the UC Berkeley Extension program.
Associate Producer – New Media, Marlo McKenzieis a writer and filmmaker originally from the Detroit area. She has studied language in France, worked in theater in Germany, helped to start a video production company that trains homeless youth, in Australia and now helps protect sacred lands at Sacred Land Film Project. Marlo holds a M.F.A from the College of Fine Arts in Sydney, Australia where she produced a 30-minute documentary called “what brand are you – reconnoitering happiness,” and she has a B.A. in telecommunications and digital media arts from Michigan State University.
Videographer Andrew Black’s work includes documentary and feature films that have been released theatrically and broadcast on PBS, BBC, The Learning Channel, Channel 4, Sundance Channel, Discovery Channel, IFC and others. He worked with Michael Moore on Fahrenheit 911 and Sicko. He shot The Weather Underground by Sam Green, which was nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Feature category. He has worked with Christopher McLeod for 20 years and he annually shoots Global Focus, a PBS series that features environmentalists from around the world.
Videographer Will Parrinello shot and edited In the Light of Reverence. He was director of photography for the Academy Award-nominated Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press and produced Emile Norman: By His Own Design, Mustang — Journey of Transformation, Dreaming of Tibet, on Tibetan refugees, and Little Italy, on Italian-American culture. He produces segments for the Goldman Environmental Prize films.
Videographer Vicente Franco shot and co-directed Daughters of Danang, shot Thirst, The Judge and the General, Summer of Love, and many other documentary films.
Sound Recordist David Wendlinger has worked on a range of projects worldwide for clients like the BBC, Google, Discovery and National Geographic. For the last six years he has worked on a series of short films about winners of the Goldman Prize, the environmental equivalent of the Nobel Peace prize.
Finding Sacred Ground Executive Producer Dorothy FireCloud is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and has been Superintendent of Mato Tipila (Devils Tower National Monument) since 2006. She joined the federal government in 1992 as a Water Rights Specialist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. From 1996 to 1998, she worked for the Pueblo of Zuni through an IPA developing their water rights program. She worked for the US Forest Service in from 1998 to 2006 as the SW Regional Tribal Relations Program Manager. She also served as the Team Leader of the National Implementation Team on Tribal Relations, which wrote the Forest Service consultation policy on Tribal relations. She is currently a member of the Department of Interior, Government to Government Team, which is responsible for developing a national consultation policy on Tribal relations.
Finding Sacred Ground Associate Producer Caryn L. Hacker is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe located in Rosebud, SD. Both of her parents are also enrolled members. In the Lakota culture and language she is known as Tasunka Waste Win, “Pretty Horse Woman”. In April 2011 she graduated from Fort Lewis College with Bachelor of Art in Anthropology, with a concentration in Linguistics and a minor in Art. For the past three summers she worked with the National Park Service as an Interpretive Park Ranger.
Writer/Researcher Megan Stacy is a copyeditor and freelance writer based in Texas. She studied at the Salt Insitute for Documentary Studies in Maine and at Trinity University in San Antonio.
Production and administrative support intern Michael Preston is a member of the Winnemem Wintu tribe and a student at UC Berkeley majoring in Native American Studies. He has been working with the Sacred Land Film Project to help advance underrepresented indigenous communities, protect sacred sites and explore new possibilities in documentation of tribal knowledge.
Web Designer Arno Ghelfi is a Swiss made, Swiss born, Swiss grown and Swiss educated art director and graphic designer. After relocating to San Francisco, Arno was the art director for major international business publications before launching his own design studio, l’atelier starno. He has also put his graphic design skills toward socially conscious projects published in AdBusters and has collaborated on various projects with local musician and activist Michael Franti from Spearhead.
Sacred Lands interactive map developer Michael Gaio is a social entrepreneur and interaction designer. He has produced over 100 projects primarily in support of ecological, sociological, and culturally creative organizations and initiatives, honing multiple talents in visual design, animation, interaction design, experience design, user interface design, information architecture, Flash design and ActionScript programming. He has a master’s degree in philosophy and religion with a concentration in philosophy, cosmology, and consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
In the Light of Reverence Narrator Peter Coyote is a well-known Bay Area actor who has narrated all of McLeod’s films, and starred in Erin Brockovich, The Basket, Patch Adams, Sphere, Jagged Edge, Outrageous Fortune, Bitter Moon, and E.T. He is the author of Sleeping Where I Fall, a memoir of life in the ’60s.
In the Light of Reverence Narrator Tantoo Cardinal (Métis), an actress who lives in Toronto, Canada, has appeared in numerous films, including Smoke Signals, Grand Avenue, The Education of Little Tree and Legends of the Fall.
Over the last 20 years, our Advisory Board has been an essential part of the development, editing and distribution of In the Light of Reverence and production of Standing on Sacred Ground. Our Board includes Winona LaDuke of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, Chris Peters of Seventh Generation Fund, Walter Echo-Hawk of Native American Rights Fund, Dorothy FireCloud (Rosebud Sioux), Superintendent of Mato Tipila (Devils Tower National Monument), Gerald Vizenor, professor of Native American Studies at U.C. Berkeley, José Lucero of Circle of the Four Directions, ethnobotanist Donna House, anthropologist Richard Clemmer of the University of Denver, anthropologist Peter Nabokov of U.C.L.A., journalist Ben Bagdikian, author Peter Matthiessen, anthropologist Joan Halifax, and author Barry Lopez. In our formative years we benefited greatly from guidance from the late environmental leader David Brower of Earth Island Institute, author and historian Ted Roszak, and the late Tewa anthropologist Alfonso Ortiz—all three of whom have passed on.