Abū Tīj Academy Award® WINNER Best Documentary Short Subject


Yara Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, Directors and Producers
For the last decade, the Academy Award® -nominated and three-time Emmy award-winning directors have been producing, directing and shooting documentaries for the finest outlets in television and film. They have worked in over thirty countries, from dangerous war zones to the Arctic Circle, to bring unknown human stories to the screen. The Fines collaborated with Shine Global on the film WAR/DANCE, which was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. WAR/DANCE’s direction, cinematography, and story were honored with over eighteen awards, including the Sundance Film Festival’s award for Best Documentary Direction.   A few of the awards that have honored the Fines’ unique style have been National Emmy Award; Hot Docs Film Festival’s Audience Award; Chicago Film Festival’s Outstanding Cinematography; Full Frame Film Festival’s Audience Award; The Haskell Wexler Award for Cinematography; Philadelphia Film Festival’s Best Director; Best Non-Fiction Film in Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival. Fine Films most recent documentary LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM premiered at Sundance in January 2013.  www.fine-films.com


Yael Melamede, Producer
SALTY Features is an independent film production company founded by Yael Melamede and Eva Kolodner in 2003 with the goal to create media that is thought provoking, vital and enhances the world. SALTY’s most recent film, SMALL BEAUTIFULLY MOVING PARTS, premiered at SxSW and was released in May, 2012. Melamede’s previous films include: BRIEF INTERVIEWS WITH HIDEOUS MEN, written and directed by John Krasinski, based on the book by David Foster Wallace; THE INNER LIFE OF MARTIN FROST written and directed by Paul Auster; and MY ARCHITECT, the Oscar® nominated documentary feature directed by Nathaniel Kahn. SALTY’s next projects include MARTYRS’ CROSSING, a political thriller set in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the novel by journalist Amy Wilentz, adapted by Macarthur winning playwright Naomi Wallace and Bruce McLeod, directed by Paulo Morelli with Fernando Meirelles as EP; DESERT RUNNERS, a documentary feature that follows four people as they attempt to run four ultra marathons in one year through the most treacherous deserts in the world, directed by Jennifer Steinman; and BAD HABITS, a reality series based on the work of acclaimed behavioral economist Dan Ariely, in partnership with Morgan Spurlock and Warrior Poets. Melamede was trained and worked as an architect before becoming a filmmaker.


Albie Hecht, Producer and Susan MacLaury, Executive Producer

The Academy Award® -nominated husband and wife team are the co-founders and driving force behind the non-profit production company Shine Global and Emmy winners for its first film, WAR/DANCE.   Together they Executive Produced Shine’s second feature documentary THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA. Albie is the former president of entertainment for Nickelodeon and Spike TV.  He is currently president of Worldwide Biggies, a transmedia company he founded.   Susan is the Executive Director of Shine Global.  She is dually degreed in social work and health education and also teaches at Kean University.   Shine Global is dedicated to ending the abuse and exploitation of children through films that raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change.


Emanuel Michael, Producer
President of Unison Films, a production and distribution company based in New York, Emanuel was honored as one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “10 Moviemakers Making A Difference.” Through Unison, Emanuel has produced nine feature films, including Eagle vs. Shark, which was distributed by Miramax Films and premiered in competition at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals; The Elephant King starring Academy Award® winner Ellen Burstyn which Unison Films also theatrically distributed; and Emanuel’s most recent film BOY which premiered in competition at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix, Best Feature Film in the Generation section. Upcoming films in production include Tonight At Noon starring Ethan Hawke, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Connie Nielsen, and Rutger Hauer and A Late Quartet starring Guy Pearce, Catherine Keener, and Christopher Plummer. Emanuel has been a featured panelist at the annual Sundance Producer’s Conference, the Berlin Film Festival Co-Production Market, the Rotterdam Cinemart, and the Cannes Producer’s Network.


John Leguizamo, Executive Producer
Multi-faceted performer and Emmy Award winner John Leguizamo’s notable career defies categorization. Possessing boundless energy and creativity, Leguizamo’s work spans the genres of film, theatre, television, literature and beyond. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Leguizamo was four when his family emigrated to the United States. He was raised in Queens, New York and attended New York University. Leguizamo currently delights younger fans as the voice of Syd in Ice Age 1, 2, 3 and 4. He has been seen in countless films including Love in the Time of Cholera opposite Javier Bardem and Benjamin Bratt, The Happening opposite Mark Wahlberg, Righteous Kill opposite Robert Deniro and Al Pacino, The Babysitters opposite Cynthia Nixon and The Take opposite Rosie Perez as well as Miracle at St. Anna, Land of the Dead, The Groomsmen, Lies & Alibis, Assault on Precinct 13, Sueno, Spun, Moulin Rouge, Summer of Sam, King of the Jungle, Spawn, William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Dr. Doolittle, Carlito’s Way and Casualties of War. Leguizamo has also written and performed 4 hit one-man shows, acted on Broadway and written his autobiography “Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends,” which was released by Harper Collins in October 2006.


Ryan A. Brooks, Executive Producer
Ryan A. Brooks is the founder & president of Gold Glove Productions, a Los Angeles based film production company focused on producing compelling, character driven content with depth and integrity.  Ryan spent the majority of his childhood focused on baseball.  Breaking many records, he played for the U.S. National Team at age 13, became the first freshman in Texas state history to play in the State 5A Championship game, played in the Team USA Junior Trials, lead all college freshman in the nation in homerun to at bat ratio, helped lead The University of Texas, back to the College World Series, was acknowledged by his teammates by receiving the Teammate of the Year Award and was an All Big 12 Conference 3rd Baseman.  Shortly thereafter, Ryan channeled his passion into film and brings the same focus, commitment and drive he cultivated as a record-breaking athlete to the development, production and distribution of film.  Ryan has produced a number of award winning films including SLAM PLANET, Gold Glove’s first film, which followed the New York City and Austin slam poetry teams competing in the National Poetry Slam and won an Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival. HARVEST OF REDEMPTION, which won the Best Foreign Feature Award at the International Family Film Festival in Hollywood.  Ryan Executive Produced THE ELEPHANT KING starring Academy Award® winner Ellen Burstyn.  It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was #1 at the box office on a per screen average during the film’s opening weekend theatrically.  Ryan has several other documentary, fictional and animated projects in different stages of development.  Because of his experience with INOCENTE, he serves on the National Advisory Board for A.R.T.S. (A Reason To Survive) – San Diego.


Christina Weiss Lurie, Executive Producer

Christina Weiss Lurie is a co-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football team, is an independent film and television producer.  Since 2004, Christina has co-founded Vox3 Films and Tango Pictures to produce a diversified slate of independent films and television projects.  In 2006, the Lurie Family Foundation was established to primarily support autism and cancer research. The Foundation also helps fund documentaries addressing global issues through Screen Pass Pictures, a documentary film company established in 2007. Christina executive produced Sergio and Inside Job in 2010 and most recently A Place at the Table.  In fact, in 2011 Inside Job earned the academy Award for Best Documentary (Feature).  It also earned Best Non-Fiction Film honors from the National Society of Film Critics, Best Documentary honors from the New York Film Critics Circle, the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary and the Writers Guild of America Best Documentary Screenplay Award.

Jeffrey Lurie, Executive Producer

Jeffrey Lurie is the Chairman and CEO of the National Football League’s Philadelphia Eagles.  In 2007, Jeffrey, along with Christina Weiss Lurie, formed Screen Pass Pictures, a documentary film company addressing global issues.   In 2010, he executive produced the film,Sergio, as well as, Inside Job, which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Feature).  Most recently, Jeffrey served as executive producer for the film, A Place at the Table.  Jeffrey also founded Chestnut Hill Productions and produced many feature films beginning in 1985.


Shine Global Logo Stacked - 2017

About Shine Global
Shine Global is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media company that gives voice to children and their families by telling stories of their resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. The organization’s films have won more than 50 major awards including an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Inocente and an Academy Award®-nomination and two Emmys® for War/Dance.