Betsy Kalin – Producer / Director
Betsy Kalin is an award-winning director/producer/writer at Itchy Bee Productions. She is currently in development with the documentary Dreaming in Somali and was awarded a NEH/ITVS Humanities Documentary Development Fellowship for the project. Her most recent documentaries Vision 2030: Future of SoCal and its follow-up Vision 2021: Future of SoCal were both Emmy-nominated. Her previous documentary East LA Interchange has won ten jury and audience awards to date and was broadcast on Spectrum News 1, highlighted on NBC L.A., and is being taught in classrooms at 200 universities worldwide. Her article, “East LA Interchange: A Documentary Exploration of Boyle Heights,” about her outreach and engagement campaign was published in Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies. Her films Roof, Chained!, and Hearts Cracked Open have been honored with multiple awards at festivals around the world. She has taught social impact documentary at Emerson College and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Film and Mass Media Department at the University of Central Florida. She received a BA in Women’s Studies from Columbia College at Columbia University and an MFA in Directing from the University of Miami.
Eric Waterman – Executive Producer
Eric Waterman is the co-founder of Bluewater Media Group. In addition, he produces business projects in the Los Angeles area including several restaurants and an addiction treatment center. Eric has an unmitigated passion for photography and has exhibited his work in many galleries over the years. As a native Los Angelino, Eric is proud that his parents lived in Boyle Heights in the 1930s and 1940s.
Christine Louise Mills – Producer / Editor / Writer
Christine Louise Mills is a film and television editor as well as the founding artistic director of Smart Gals Productions, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to creating unique events throughout Los Angeles. She holds a BA in Theater Arts from UC San Diego where she was featured in the films of Babette Mangolte and Eleanor Antin, and a MFA in Film Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts with a dual emphasis in screenwriting and editing. Film projects range from narrative fiction to documentary: Adam (First Look Festival Silver Prize winner, spring 2010), Penny and Charlie (New Filmmakers New York, 2010), The Mischievous Case of Miss Cordelia Botkin (Los Angeles International Women’s Film Festival, 2011), and Where Life Is (Kate Amend, A.C.E., faculty mentor; Oxford Film Festival, honorable mention). Television credits include Junk Gypsies (HGTV) as well as Hairy Bikers (BBC/History Channel). Her literary and performance work through Smart Gals Productions has been featured in the LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times Magazine, High Performance, Bitch magazine, Another Angle on L.A./AFAR, and Pacifica Radio’s KPFK.
Vanessa Luna Bishop – Producer
Vanessa Luna Bishop was born and raised in City Terrace and Boyle Heights. She is an entrepreneur, writer and academic of the arts. She received her M.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at California State University Northridge, her B.A. at Occidental College in English and Comparative Literature with a minor in Visual Arts, and graduated in Theatre at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. At age 7, Vanessa had the privilege of presenting Anthony Quinn with a flower in honor of renaming the Belvedere Library to the Anthony Quinn Library, site of his childhood home in Boyle Heights.
Gretchen Warthen – Cinematographer
Gretchen Warthen has worked as a director of photography, director, lead director, and camera operator in television and film for fifteen years. She was awarded two Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Certificates of Recognition for her contribution as the Director of Photography for NBC’s Starting Over Season 1 and Season 2. She received the Northwest Broadcasters Award of Excellence in Journalism for the documentary, Fantasy of the Gem, and won the Olympia Film Festival with the documentary, Hate: An Autobiography. She has worked as a DP and operator on Showtime’s The Real L Word, the award-winning feature Hannah Free, A&E’s Hands on History: Caskets, History House: Seattle Children’s Television History, TBS’s Survivors of the Holocaust: Seattle Survivors, The Apprentice, and Project Greenlight.
Ruby gómez – associate producer
Born and raised in Boyle Heights, Ruby Gómez has spent the last decade contributing and working on over twenty major exhibitions with Smithsonian featured artists and alternative counter-cultural collectives at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Her admiration of Boyle Heights’ history is fully integrated into her work and she’s pleased to be a part of an institute that has honored the living members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, hosted programming marking the 15-year anniversary of the L.A. Riots and supported important independent film projects. She recently founded the Orgullo de Boyle Heights award and the David Trask Memorial scholarships for students attending her very own Theodore Roosevelt High School.