Filmmaker Bios

Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, directors and producers, are Academy Award® nominated filmmakers who also produced and directed TROUBLE THE WATER, winner of the Gotham Independent Film Award, the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, and the Full Frame Documentary Festival Grand Jury Prize. Deal and Lessin were co-producers of Michael Moore’s FAHRENHEIT 9/11, winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, the Academy Award®-winning BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, and CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY.


Tia and Carl were nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a Producers Guild Award for TROUBLE THE WATER. Tia line produced Martin Scorsese’s Emmy and Grammy winning film No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and was consulting producer of Living in the Material World: George Harrison. Her work as a producer of the series The Awful Truth earned her two Emmy nominations, one arrest and a lifetime ban from Disney World. She is the recipient of the L’Oréal Paris/Women in Film’s Women of Worth Vision Award and the Sidney Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism for Behind the Labels, a film about labor trafficking in the US garment industry.

Carl has contributed to many other documentary films, and previously worked as an international news producer and a writer, reporting from natural disasters and conflict zones throughout the U.S., Latin America, and in Iraq. He and Tia are both Sundance Institute Fellows and lab advisors, Creative Capital artists, and members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Gillian Caldwell, producer and engagement manager. Gillian is an award-winning three-time executive director, author and filmmaker, experienced in advancing social justice and environmental campaigns. She served three years as Campaign Director for 1Sky, which she helped build from inception and oversaw through its merger with She previously served for a decade as the Executive Director of WITNESS, which was co-founded by musician Peter Gabriel and uses the power of video to open the eyes of the world to human rights abuses. Gillian received her BA from Harvard University and a J.D. from Georgetown University, and is a recipient of numerous awards and honors for social entrepreneurship, including an Emmy Award, the Skoll Award, the Schwab Foundation Award and an Ashoka Award.

Lisa Palattella, editor. Lisa’s work has won Emmy, Gracie and Peabody awards. She was recently honored with the Karl Malden Award for Editing Excellence and Best Editing for a Documentary Feature Film at DOCUTAH in 2011 for her editing of Chely Wright: Wish Me Away. Some of her recent credits include The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground, Walt And El Grupo, For The Next Seven Generations, VDAY: Until the Violence Stops, and Life On Jupiter: The Story Of Jens Nygaard, Musician.

Neil Davidge, composer. As co-writer and key sonic facilitator on the lauded Massive Attack albums Mezzanine, 100th Window and Heligoland, Bristol, England's Neil Davidge helped birth some of the most arresting and innovative sounds of the Nineties. He has also enjoyed a parallel career composing for prestigious film and TV ventures, including "The Storm That Brought You To Me," from Louis Leterrier's 2010 fantasy film Clash Of the Titans, Luc Besson’s 2005 martial arts thriller Unleashed, Bullet Boy and Battle In Seattle. This is Neil’s second collaboration with Deal and Lessin: he co-write the score for Trouble The Water with Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack.

Joan Churchill, cinematographer. Joan began her career doing camera work on a series of music films – including such seminal classics as GIMME SHELTER, a Maysles film, NO NUKES, directed by Haskell Wexler and Barbara Kopple and HAIL HAIL ROCK AND ROLL, directed by Taylor Hackford. Churchill also directed and photgraphed JIMI PLAYS BERKELEY, now a cult classic, and spent seven months shooting on the PBS series, An American Family, the definitive verite study of dysfunctional family life.  More recently, Churchill shot and co-directed SARAH PALIN: YOU BETCHA with Nick Broomfield, and AILEEN WUORNOS: LIFE & DEATH OF A SERIAL KILLER which won first prize at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Amnesty International-Doen Award.

Bill Turnley, cinematographer. Bill has over 25 years of experience as an award winning director of photography for documentary and feature films. He has shot dozens of documentaries for PBS and 60 minutes, as well as for Canadian and European television. Theatrical documentary credits include LEONARD COHEN: LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT 1970 (2009), MY KID COULD PAINT THAT (2007), YOUNG & RESTLESS IN CHINA (2008), FAHRENHEIT 9/11 (2004), and the Oscar-winning AMERICAN DREAM (1990).

Nadia Hallgren, cinematographer, is a cameraperson and documentary filmmaker from the Bronx, New York. Her feature doc camera credits include the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury prize winner TROUBLE THE WATER and the 2009 feature WAR DON DON. In 2008, Hallgren co-founded Polite Company, an independent production company and made her directorial debut with SANZA-HANZA: KING SURFER, a short documentary set in South Africa, which was an official selection of Slamdance and SilverDocs. Hallgren also shot and directed the short LOVE LOCKDOWN which premiered at the 2011 SXSW film festival.

Alice Henty, line producer, began her career working with Danny Boyle and Andrew Macdonald on films including TRAINSPOTTING and A LIFE LESS ORDINARY. She has been a Line Producer on feature documentaries for over ten years, beginning with the Academy Award®-winning ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by John Battsek. Alice also line produced the critically acclaimed THE TILLMAN STORY directed by Amir Bar-Lev and distributed by The Weinstein Co., and BUCK, directed by Cindy Meehl and produced by Julie Goldman. Previous line producer and supervising producer credits include the Emmy-nominated HACKING DEMOCRACY, DIAMETER OF A BOMB, and numerous documentaries and series for Sundance Channel, HBO, Bravo, Discovery, A&E and National Geographic.