Hollis Meminger is a renowned cinematographer with numerous film and television credits such as: The Blacklist (NBC), Narcos (Netflix) and Younger (TVLand). He is also a passionate documentarian, focusing on projects which feature the marginalized community. He is currently working on a sequel to the Academy Award Nominated film, Streetwise. Meminger is a recent graduate and now alumni advisor to the Presidential Leadership Scholars Program, and founded the Bridgebuilder Cinematic Arts Program, where he teaches filmmaking to high school students in some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country.
Chiemi Karasawa is an award-winning documentary director/producer who founded Isotope Films and has made Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, The Betrayal: Nerakhoon (Academy Award Nominee, Emmy Award Winner), Billy The Kid, and Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes (premiering at Tribeca Film Festival in 2018). She has worked with notable directors including Spike Jonze, Jim Jarmusch, Sam Mendes, Stephen Frears and Martin Scorsese as a Script Supervisor.
Elizabeth Hummer has been committed to empowering young people to create the best lives for themselves since the early 90’s. She has worked for Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon, PBS (Cyberchase, In the Mix), and MTV, giving kids cameras to help them tell their stories. She also helps them find jobs in production.
Her work in children’s media has received two Emmy Awards and four nominations. She aspires to bring video into the classroom as a form of academic expression.
Elizabeth is proud to be on the producing team of Poet Against Prejudice, the most recent BYkids film.
Outside of production, Elizabeth leads Harlem fifth graders on Sierra Club nature excursions and is on the Board of Trustees of the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.
“Young people are in a rapidly evolving state of making sense of their worlds and their place within it. By helping youth to tell their stories authentically, BYkids assists them to become more grounded in their personal truth and confident about their place in the world – locally and globally. I am proud to be a shepherd to the personal wisdom of young people on behalf of BYkids. Nothing is more effective in bringing peace to the world than this universal self-knowledge.”
Joyce Chopra has produced and directed a wide range of award-winning films, ranging from Smooth Talk, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at the Sundance Film Festival, to the A&E thriller The Lady in Question with Gene Wilder. She has received American Film Festival Blue Ribbon and Cine Golden Eagle Awards for her numerous documentaries, including That Our Children Will Not Die, about primary health care in Nigeria, and the autobiographical Joyce at 34, which is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.
“When we see the world through the eyes of these courageous young film-makers, we can all learn so much about different cultures throughout the globe and about the universal experiences that unite us.
I am thrilled to become a BYkids mentor to a young girl from India, who has an important story to tell us. As a film director, I have always been drawn to stories about vulnerable young people, from the rebellious teen played by Laura Dern in the fiction film Smooth Talk to the kids I’ve been privileged to work with in documentaries. Gramercy Stories, my most recent documentary, followed the lives of homeless gay and transgender kids in Manhattan, and I was constantly amazed at the courage these young people showed in the face of difficulties most of us would collapse under. BYkids’ mission to have young people from around the globe shape their own film stories so that we may learn from them is truly inspiring. I feel fortunate to be part of it.”
Anja Baron is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer and director whose work has been screened at prestigious festivals worldwide and shown on U.S. and European television to critical acclaim, including two Emmy nominations.
In addition to her documentary work, she has also worked as a correspondent for UNICEF reporting on crises concerning women and children around the world. Her extensive travels have influenced much of her work, giving it a strong multicultural component that covers a wide range of subjects with a focus on human rights particularly in regards to children.
“BYkids lends a voice to the often voiceless. BYkids empowers youth in lasting ways all the while creating an invaluable platform for the global issues of a future generation. In turn, the viewer is not only afforded a rare glimpse into often-marginalized existences but also given an opportunity to see important issues in a new light. Shining such a light on one story often shines a light on the greater whole. The results are genuinely powerful and empowering all at once.
I am honored to be working with BYkids to bring the story of one young Syrian refugee to this wonderful series. Through the eyes of this young man we are able to see and feel the inescapable effects of what has been called the largest refugee crisis since the end of World War II – a crisis that is still ongoing as more refugees are trying to make their way to safety every day.”