Sam Ball has produced and directed many documentaries and site-specific multimedia installations for Citizen Film, since 2002. These projects range from public television documentaries to sculptural multimedia installations in public space – all designed to deepen civic awareness and participation. Most recently, he directed the PBS Special American Creed which has been viewed by more than 1 million people.
ABOUT CITIZEN FILM
Citizen Film is a not-for-profit production company dedicated to crafting documentaries with care and dignity. We collaborate with cultural institutions, communities and civic organizations to create documentary media that fosters active engagement in cultural and civic life.
Sophie Constantinou has earned international acclaim for tackling difficult topics with artistry and sensitivity. With over 20 years of cinematography experience, her work is guided by the belief that participatory documentary storytelling is a powerful tool for catalyzing place-based change and creating healthy, sustainable communities. For the past five years, she has partnered with Green Streets, a San Francisco-based social enterprise, on an ongoing series of documentary films about waste management, job creation and violence prevention in low-income housing. This ongoing collaboration was the first new media project to receive a prestigious ArtPlace America grant for creative placemaking. In the same vein, Constantinou co-created “Lunch Love Community” with director Helen De Michiel, a mosaic of sharable web-based short films that support the movement to change the way our children eat. In addition to her current work in new media, Constantinou continues to shoot high-profile, visually stunning documentaries for PBS and HBO, including the recent The Royal Road, Regarding Susan Sontag and Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth.
Producer / Editor
Caron Creighton is a video producer and editor. She holds Bachelor’s degrees from Michigan State University, in both Arabic and Professional Writing, as well as a Master’s in Journalism from UC Berkeley. She is an award winning journalist who has reported on Israel/Palestine, global African migration patterns, and the Bay Area’s homelessness crisis. She has worked for the Associated Press in Jerusalem where she focused her reporting on the struggles faced by Eritrean migrants in Israel. She also co-produced and directed a short film following a West African asylum seeker as he traveled from South America to the U.S. border.
Vanessa Ellis is a research assistant involved with a variety of development and outreach projects at Citizen Film. She primarily handles project and partner research, and the management and distribution of film festival materials. Vanessa is currently an undergraduate student at Smith College, double majoring in English and Film and Media Studies. Her latest short film, “Unboxing,” was featured in the Five Colleges’ Home Short Film Showcase.
Manish is a reporter, documentary filmmaker, and Citizen Film’s Associate Producer. He holds a master’s degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he co-directed and produced his debut film Carl Runs the Paper. Prior to filmmaking, Manish reported on housing and city politics in the Bay Area and worked in marketing.
Garland McLaurin co-directed the recent PBS-NC mini-series Family Pictures USA combining family storytelling with innovative audience engagement. Garland won a Peabody Award for the PBS program 180 Days: A Year Inside An American High School; and his groundbreaking PBS Digital series Pops, about African American men and fatherhood, is supported by Black Public Media, CPB and ITVS. Garland’s cinematography work exploring how to bridge divides includes American Creed, directed by Sam Ball; The New Black (about Black / LGBT+ relationships), directed by Yoruba Richen; and Coming Back (addressing civilian-military divides) with Wes Moore. Garland is a 2018 PBS/ITVS Wyncote Fellowship recipient. He’s currently co-directing a documentary on structural racism in America’s courts, for the BBC.
Documentary Film & Outreach Assistant
An avid photographer and videographer, Sadiq Norris has been creating films since 2018, getting his start with New Door. Most recently he has graduated as BAVC (Bay Area Video Coalition) Fellow in 2020, making his directorial debut with the documentary A Window Out, which highlights the effects of artistic and creative expression on mental health. Photography, cinema, music and the exploration of artforms have fueled him as he proceeds on his journey as both a filmmaker and creative. Sadiq continues to explore storytelling in a variety of ways both in and around his position as one of Citizen Film’s Documentary Film & Outreach Assistant.
Sarah Scannell coordinates communications for the entire Citizen Film production pipeline, from Development to Marketing. In addition to managing Citizen Film’s website and social media accounts, she oversees outreach to partners and audiences for all our documentary and creative placemaking projects including Buchanan Mall / Buchanan Change. Sarah has a B.A. in Cognitive Science from University of California, Berkeley.
Documentary Film & Outreach Assistant
Daejona Silva is one of Citizen Film’s Documentary Film & Outreach Assistant who aids in communication, public engagement, research, and media production in an array of projects at Citizen Film. Daejona has her M.S. in Psychology and uses her mental health background along with her passion for storytelling through documentary to connect with the people she serves in the community. With these passions coming together, Daejona is able to help elevate the voices of the communities she’s involved in to ensure social, cognitive, and developmental awareness in differing communities through film.
Kate Stilley Steiner
Kate Stilley Steiner heads the editorial arm of Citizen Film. An editor for 17 years, her credits include the feature-length documentaries Wired for What for PBS, End of a Legend for The Learning Channel; Throwing Curves, about industrial designer Eva Zeisel, the first artist honored with a one-woman show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; That’s a Family! and Let’s Get Real for Groundspark – a pair of acclaimed documentaries shown to hundreds of thousands of teens across the country to spark straight-talking classroom discussions about bullying. Kate’s editing work on other award-winning documentaries includes The Story of Mother’s and Daughters for ABC Television; Fox Television’s Emmy-winning Loyalty and Betrayal: The Story Of The American Mob; and the Academy Award nominated Freedom on my Mind. Kate has co-produced and edited many documentaries designed to engage communities and mobilize change, including One Wedding and a Revolution, about the first gay wedding at San Francisco’s City Hall.
An experienced and creative impact producer and community engagement specialist, Tamara Walker learned her vocation from her grandfather who brought diverse communities together for the betterment of San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood, where Tamara was born and raised. His diligence and devotion to community taught Tamara the value of planning, preparation and deep investment in relationships to build consensus and effect change. Tamara honed her organizing skills when she faced her own tragedy. In 2000, she co-founded the organization “Mothers Against Guns” alongside other survivors of gun violence. Tamara has been full-time at Citizen Film since 2015 as a producer of short films about community organizers, and as an organizer of community engagement partnerships and activities.