Leitman is an award-winning filmmaker recognized for highlighting social justice issues in feature documentaries over the past 25 years, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, Paul Robeson Fund, TribeCa Film Institute, Fledgling Fund and Illinois Humanities Council. In 2016 she was named in British Film Institute, Sight and Sound Magazine’s The Female Gaze: 100 Overlooked Films Directed by Women. In 2015, she directed for Kartemquin Films’ Al Jazeera America documentary series Hard Earned, which was nominated for an International Documentary Association Award (2015) and won an Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Journalism Award (2016). Premiering at Tribeca Film Festival and Hot Docs, Lipstick & Dynamite (2005) won the Documentary Storytelling Prize at Nantucket Film Festival; was broadcast on SHOWTIME and featured on Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and NPR’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition. Her immigration film Tony & Janina’s American Wedding (2010) premiered at Chicago International Film Festival won a jury prize as well as several social justice awards. Alma (1998) won the Documentary Feature Jury Prize at Hamptons Film Festival, screened at IDFA, SXSW, Director’s Guild of America and Whitney Biennial. Wildwood,NJ (1994) has enjoyed a second life as a viral film since 2009 and screened at Hot Docs, CHP:DOX and toured theatrically in the UK in 2015. Her early photography work was part of the current major exhibition, Underexposed: 100 years of Women Photographers at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in 2021. Ruth is developing The Pin-Down Girl, a fiction feature film based on her documentary Lipstick & Dynamite about the pioneers of women’s wrestling.
Caryn Capotosto is a three time Emmy-winning documentary producer known for Won’t You Be My Neighbor? a feature documentary about Mister Rogers that won a 2019 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, a Producers Guild Award and a 2018 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Documentary. She received a 2016 News and Documentary Emmy for her role as co-producer on Best of Enemies as well as a 2021 News and Documentary Emmy for her role as Executive Producer on the short documentary, The Love Bugs. She contributed to the Academy Award and Grammy Award-winning documentary, 20 Feet from Stardom (2013). Recent projects include the Emmy-nominated Netflix series Ugly Delicious (Executive Producer 2019) and the Emmy Award-winning documentary Feels Good Man (Producer 2021). Mostly recently she produced Little Richard: I Am Everything (2023) which opened the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films. Caryn produced the 2023 Critics Choice nominated The Thief Collector (2023), and produced the 2023 documentary Lil Nas X: I Am Everything. Caryn was an Executive Producer on the documentary series Anna Nicole Smith: You Don’t Know Me (2023) for Netflix and produced the Critics Choice Awards nominated The Thief Collector (Filmrise 2023). In 2019, Caryn founded the documentary production company Museum & Crane.
Hallee is the co-founder of World of HA Productions, which supports films and filmmakers who encourage conversations, inspire change, or bring laughter for a better world. Hallee has served as EP on projects like The Social Dilemma, Writing with Fire, Invisible Beauty and Art & Krimes by Krimes. As a filmmaker, Hallee co-directed/produced Our American Family. She cares deeply about the next gen and making sure they feel empowered and be heard.
Rachel Rozycki is a Chicago based documentary filmmaker and producer whose work has aired on PBS, HBO, and is available on Netflix and Amazon. She Co-Produced the Kartemquin, and Ten Trees film Keep Talking and was the Chicago/Midwest field producer for the documentary Student Athlete by award-winning filmmakers Trish Dalton and two-time Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Rachel line produced Daniele Wilmouth’s short experimental dance documentary, I’m Fine and has also contributed to several Kartemquin films, including The Trials of Muhammad Ali, the multi-award-winning Life Itself, and the six-part series Hard Earned, which aired on Al Jazeera America. Rachel also teaches at Columbia College Chicago and is a member of the Documentary Producers Alliance.
Andrea is a Chicago based documentary filmmaker and producer. Her first documentary short, Sick, premiered at the Chicago Underground Film Festival. Her next short film, Undue Burdens, follows grassroots organizations fighting for abortion access in the past and present, using direct action to help patients access care. It was featured in Repro Film’s June 2022 Periodical and screened at the Beloit Film Festival and other fests around the US. Andrea was a Double Exposure Film Festival fellow with Undue Burdens. Her third short film, Strikers, follows a Wii bowling team at an assisted living facility as they compete to become four-year state champs. Strikers was supported by IF/Then and premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival, and is an official selection of Short of the Week. Andrea also produced A Galaxy Sits in the Cracks, Amber Love’s short documentary about Afrofuturism as a community organizing tool, and is currently producing Brian Lu’s feature documentary idols, following a K-pop dance crew in Madison, WI. She’s interested in stories that involve legacy, community, and purpose.
Shelly’s work in films includes award winning and critically acclaimed features Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail and Julie & Julia as well as independent favorites Velvet Goldmine and Jesus’ Son. She ventured into television with HBO’s acclaimed series The Wire and won her first Emmy nomination for her work on Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace. Other Emmy and Golden Globe nominated Murphy projects include Feud, American Horror Story, Pose, The Politician and Ratched. She worked as both Editor and Producer on Emmy winner Halston. She was an ACE and BFE nominee for her editing on Only Murders In The Building, Season 2, and worked as Editor and Co-Producer for Season 3. She was recently a consulting editor on the documentary Raising Liberty Square which is enjoying success on the festival circuit.
Giorgia Harvey (she/her) is a Chicago-based documentary and commercial editor. Her first feature was Learning by Dewey in China, a documentary following students from different communities debating John Dewey’s pedagogical framework. Giorgia has edited theatrical trailers for a number of award-winning films, including The Area: a feature about a South Side Chicago community’s five-year fight for respect in the face of displacement, Stateville Calling: a feature exploring parole reform and the struggle of aging while experiencing incarceration, and Larry from Gary: a short about a dance teacher in Indiana inspiring students despite his school’s closure. Most recently, she worked with 3D footage on Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man if He was an Idea, a feature programmed by Art21 and featuring Ed Harris.
Giorgia also edits at The Colonie, an award-winning post-production studio in downtown Chicago. Her commercial clients include Walgreens, NFL Players Association, WBEZ, and The University of Chicago. Bringing a deep appreciation for collaboration to each project, Giorgia is interested in furthering stories about the things no one wants to talk about, understanding that examining polarizing issues can remove shame and disrupt outmoded narratives. When she’s not trimming frames, Giorgia enjoys tap dancing, weaving tapestries, and loving on her dog, Penelope.
Elana Meyers is a documentary editor from New York City. In 2020, she graduated from Northwestern’s Documentary Media MFA with a short film that was granted the Carole Fielding Award and the Northwestern Graduate Research Grant. She worked as an additional editor and lead assistant editor on season 2 of the Emmy nominated show Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, a series about the food and culture in immigrant communities around the U.S. Elana has worked on projects supported by ITVS, Tribeca, and the New York Foundation of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the University Museum of Contemporary Art, Mexico City and the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space in NYC. Elana is drawn to political stories that are overlooked by mainstream media. Her work spotlights personal narratives to convey how societal structures intersect with human experience.