Chad Gracia (Director) worked in New York theater for 20 years, learning the art of keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. His debut film, The Russian Woodpecker, won the 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary and other major awards at festivals worldwide. The IDA and the Independent Spirit Awards nominated it for Best Feature Documentary. Chad is fluent in Russian and acts as an advisor to the Culture Ministry of Ukraine. He also worked at the Museum of Natural History. He is dedicated to the melding of science and story.
Mike Lerner (Producer) is an Oscar-nominated producer whose films include Afghan Star, Hell and Back Again, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, The Square, and Smash & Grab - The Story of the Pink Panthers. He has won an Academy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature (2012), six Sundance Awards (Grand Jury, Special Jury, Best Director, Audience, Cinematography), an EMMY Nomination for Best Documentary, two Grierson Awards for Best Documentary, the Alfred Dupont Award, and others.
Volodymyr Arenev (Screenplay) - One of Ukraine’s top fantasy writers, Volodymyr will bring his spell-binding imagination to this tale of adventure and magic.
Ram Devineni (Producer) is a filmmaker, publisher and founder of Rattapallax films, press and magazine based in New York City, Sao Paulo and New Delhi. He produced, edited and directed the feature documentary The Human Tower, which was shot in India, Chile, and Spain. Recently, he received the 2014 Tribeca Film Institute New Media Fund from Ford Foundation for Priya's Shakti — an augmented reality comic book.
Artem Ryzhykov (Director of Photography) was the winner of the International Documentary Association's "Best Cinematography - 2015" award for his work on The Russian Woodpecker. He was legendary Soviet cinematographer Vadim Vereshchak’s last student. As Director of Photography, Artem’s work has won multiple awards worldwide. His short film, “Hindrance,” was presented at the Cannes “Short Film Corner” as a selection from Ukraine. He has filmed in Siberia and has a rare ability to capture unforgettable moments through his courageous cinematography.
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