bio_andy4Andy Abrahams Wilson

Founder and president of Open Eye Pictures, Andy serves as the company’s Executive Director and Senior Producer. A multi-award winning, Emmy-nominated producer and director of creative non-fiction films, Andy received a BA in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University, and an MA in visual anthropology from the University of Southern California, where he also studied at the USC School of Cinema. Andy’s approach emphasizes the moving image as a way to bridge disparate parts, peoples and ideas. While his work takes on controversial themes, he uses the filmmaking process as an opportunity to encourage empathy and identification. His most recent production, the ITVS-supported THE GROVE, was broadcast on PBS and inspired the mobile app Tributopia, for which Andy is the project director. His film UNDER OUR SKIN is the recipient of seven best documentary awards at international film festivals and was an Academy Award semifinalist for Best Documentary Feature. Andy’s films have been shown on HBO, PBS, CBC, the Showtime Networks, and in theaters and film festivals worldwide. A recipient of a Pew Charitable Trust Fellowship in Dance/Media, he has produced several award-winning films on dance or dancers, and is the two-time Grand Prize recipient at the Dance on Camera Film Festival. Andy is a former budget director of the film distribution cooperative New Day Films and member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He has received numerous foundation grants, including the California Council for the Humanities, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Laurance Rockefeller Foundation, the Columbia Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Educational Foundation of America. He has been recognized by the Northern California Marin Arts Council as Outstanding Artist, and by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences with honors for Outstanding Documentary Achievement. In addition to making films, Wilson also teaches a workshop on “Photography as Meditation and Mirror” at the world-renowned Esalen Institute.

bio_sara3Sara Marinelli
Co-Producer/Story Editor

Sara grew up in Italy, where she earned her PhD in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Rome, “La Sapienza.” After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at UC Santa Cruz, in 2007, Sara decided to make the Bay Area her home. She currently teaches Comparative Literature at the University of San Francisco and in the Humanities department at San Francisco State University, and has recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing at SF State. In Italy, Sara has published articles on contemporary literature, authored a volume on 20th century British women writers, and co-edited an anthology on women artists and migration. Sara is also a translator: she has translated several non-fiction books into Italian, and the novella by Chris Abani, Song for Night. Here, she is working on her fiction in English, and translating a collection of stories by the Italian writer Erri De Luca. In her research and work she has been experimenting with video-documentary and narration in film. In addition to her work on ALFREDO’S FIRE, she wrote and produced her short film PASSAGE at Open Eye Pictures.

bio_hannahHannah Swenson
Associate Producer/Community Engagement Coordinator

Moved by storytelling as a means for dialogue, debate and mobilization, Hannah joined Open Eye Pictures as Associate Producer and Community Engagement Coordinator after migrating from North Carolina to California. She was born and raised in Minneapolis, where she first became involved in civic engagement work, community art and filmmaking. A graduate of the Justice & Policy Studies program at Guilford College and the Documentary Film Studies program at Duke University, Hannah served as an AmeriCorps member in the Washington, DC public schools and as an ESL/media instructor in North Carolina. She has also worked extensively behind-the-scenes at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival.

bio_steveSteve D’Alimonte
Post-Production Coordinator/Associate Producer

Having worked in a number of roles in media in both corporate and non-profit environments, Steve brings his multi-faceted background to Open Eye Pictures as Post Production Coordinator and Graphic Designer. Originally from Toronto, Steve is a graduate of the Film and Media Program at Queen’s University and received a Master’s degree in Communications from York and Ryerson Universities. In addition to being a media-maker, Steve is also an experienced and passionate media-educator, having taught youth in both Toronto and Seattle how to create their own short documentaries focusing on personal and community stories. Currently, he is working on a film about the Restorative Justice system in Clark County, WA.

bio_rennyRenny McCauley
Assistant Editor

Renny is a cinematographer and editor currently living in Austin, TX where he works as a freelancer. For seven years he served as Production and Post-Production Coordinator at Open Eye Pictures, where he worked in various capacities on many  film projects, including ALFREDO’S FIRE, UNDER OUR SKIN and THE GROVE. His music video work has appeared on IFC, LogoTV, MTV Hive, and Pitchfork. His film work has appeared on PBS and dozens of festivals around the country. He holds a BS in Television/Radio/Film from Syracuse University and an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University.

bio_justinJustin Melland

Award winning composer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Justin  primarily works in the demanding world of film, creating refreshingly inventive scores that are fully integrated into the larger world of each project.  Justin has become very well known for his highly effective and original process of combining orchestra, found sound, extended techniques, electronics, and tradition into a sound environment that is incredibly emotional, exciting, and above all, totally unique for each film. Films that house scores by Justin have been nominated for Oscars, premiered and won top honors at Sundance, Cannes, Tribeca and many other prestigious festivals.  Justin relishes his relationships with filmmakers, many of which have lasted through time and highly varied film projects.  This is Justin’s fourth musical score working with Director Andy Abrahams Wilson. Located in the heart of Venice, CA, Justin has a custom-built studio that houses his instruments, dreams and visions of a perfect score.