2021 Sundance Docs in Focus: BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Lucy Walker


BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE
Lucy Walker offers a compelling and comprehensive essay exploring the history and causes of wildfires.

Festival Section:
Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

Raging, out-of-control wildfires have become part of the new normal around the globe, leaving heartbreaking devastation and death in their wake. In California, this harsh reality was underscored on November 8, 2018, when several parts of the state were ablaze—the Camp Fire destroying most of the Northern California town of Paradise and the Woolsey Fire roaring through Malibu in the south. In the aftermath, residents face unthinkable loss. As they struggle to rebuild, they debate what could be done to prevent further tragedy.

Filmmaker Lucy Walker (THE CRASH REEL, 2013 Sundance Film Festival) wonders if it has to be this way. She digs into the surprising history and complex range of causes of uncontrolled fires—from climate change and ill-considered fire suppression policies to the influence of wealthy corporate interests. Her film reveals how responsibility continually gets shifted, with ordinary people left suffering the dangerous consequences. BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE cogently exposes our out-of-balance relationship with nature and explores what it will take to restore this delicate equilibrium.

Some Background:

Director/Producer:
Lucy Walker
Past Sundance docs:
A HISTORY OF CUBAN DANCE (VR short, 2016)
THE LION’S MOUTH OPENS (short, 2014)
THE CRASH REEL
THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM (short, 2012)
WASTE LAND (2010)
COUNTDOWN TO ZERO (2010)
DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND (2002)

Walker was nominated for Academy Awards for both TSUNAMI and WASTE LAND, and is a News & Documentary Emmy winner for THE CRASH REEL. At Sundance, she won the World Cinema Audience Award Documentary for WASTE LAND and the Short Filmmaking Jury Prize for TSUNAMI.

Producers:
Holly Becker
Past Sundance docs:
CITY OF GOLD (2015)

Becker previously executive produced the Sundance fiction films ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW and CAMP (2003) for IFC Films.

Julian Cautherley
Past Sundance docs:
A HISTORY OF CUBAN DANCE
THE LION’S MOUTH OPENS
THE CRASH REEL

Partner/founder, Good ‘n Proper. Cautherley also received a News & Documentary Emmy for THE CRASH REEL. His credits also include two Sundance fiction projects – he directed the short BLUE HAVEN and produced the Grand Jury Prize-winning feature CLEMENCY.

Lyn Lear
Past Sundance docs:
THE FIGHT (2020)
THE GREAT HACK (2019)
WHERE’S MY ROY COHN? (2019)
CESAR’S LAST FAST (2014)

Lear is a philanthropist and social and environmental activist who also serves on the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees. Her husband is legendary television producer Norman Lear. Lear also executive produced RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT and co-executive produced REBEL HEARTS in this year’s US Documentary Competition.

Martha Mitchell
Past Sundance docs:
THE CRASH REEL

Mitchell is also an archival producer and consultant, serving in the latter role for Sundance doc alum BENDING THE ARC (2017).

Executive Producers:
Geralyn White Dreyfous
Recent past Sundance docs:

AGGIE (2020)
ASSASSINS (2020)
GIVING VOICE (2020)
ON THE RECORD (2020)
SPACESHIP EARTH (2020)
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS (2020)
US KIDS (2020)
ALWAYS IN SEASON (2019)
THE GREAT HACK
SHOOTING THE MAFIA (2019)
306 HOLLYWOOD (2018)
GENERATION WEALTH (2018)
BISBEE ’17 (2018)
OF FATHERS AND SONS (2018)
OUR NEW PRESIDENT (2018)
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (2018)

Co-founder, Impact Partners and Gamechanger Films. Dreyfous is an Oscar and Emmy winner who has also produced several Sundance fiction and VR alumni projects and has served as a creative advisor for Sundance’s Catalyst Forum. She also executive produced this year’s TRY HARDER! in the US Documentary Competition.

Lynda Weinman
Past Sundance docs:
DISCLOSURE (2020)
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS
US KIDS
THE GREAT HACK
Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements (2019)
HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING (2018)
INVENTING TOMORROW (2018)
CHASING CORAL (2017)
CHASING CORAL: THE VR EXPERIENCE (VR short, 2017)
UNREST (2017)

Weinman is a philanthropist and founder of the LinkedIn-acquired online software training website Lynda.com. She previously worked in animation and special effects for Hollywood studio films and taught digital media and graphics. Weinman also produced the Sundance fiction feature alumni title THE TALE, for which she received an Emmy nomination.

Michael Bloom
Past Sundance docs:
PAHOKEE (2019)
DARK MONEY (2018)
NOBODY SPEAK: TRIALS OF THE FREE PRESS (2018)

CEO, First Look Media, whose subsidiaries include Field of Vision and Topic Studios. He also served as executive producer of the Sundance fiction feature alumni titles THE CLIMB, THE NOWHERE INN, and LEAVE NO TRACE.

Maria Zuckerman
Past Sundance docs:
THE FIGHT

EVP, Topic Studios. She also executive produced fellow 2020 Sundance title THE NOWHERE INN, in the Midnight section. Zuckerman previously was a twenty year veteran of HBO Films.

Lisa Leingang
Past Sundance docs:
MUCHO MUCHO AMOR (2020)
PAHOKEE

Former SVP, programming and development, Topic Studios. Leingang previously held executive positions at Bravo, Comedy Central, CBS, NBC, and HBO.

Regina K Scully
Recent past Sundance docs:
AGGIE
FEELS GOOD MAN (2020)
ON THE RECORD
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS
US KIDS
KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE (2019)
ALWAYS IN SEASON
THE GREAT HACK
306 HOLLYWOOD
GENERATION WEALTH
BISBEE ’17
WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING (2018)

Founder/CEO, Artemis Rising Foundation. Scully is an Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated social entrepreneur and philanthropist focused on transforming culture through media, education, and the arts. She also co-executive produced REBEL HEARTS and executive produced RITA MORENO.

Jamie Wolf
Past Sundance docs:
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS
US KIDS
WHERE’S MY ROY COHN?
THE GREAT HACK
AUDRIE & DAISY (2016)
CITY OF GOLD

Wolf is a journalist, editor, photographer, and member of Impact Partners. She has been nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy.

Bill Benenson
Past Sundance docs:
AKICITA: THE BATTLE OF STANDING ROCK (2018)
DIRT! THE MOVIE (2009)

Founder, Benenson Productions. Managing director, Francis & Benjamin Benenson Foundation, together with his wife, Laurie. Benenson is a filmmaker, philanthropist, and environmentalist. He previously executive produced Sundance fiction feature alumni titles HONEY BOY, PATTI CAKE$, and A WALK ON THE MOON.

Laurie Benenson
Past Sundance docs:
AKICITA: THE BATTLE OF STANDING ROCK
DIRT! THE MOVIE

Managing director, Francis & Benjamin Benenson Foundation, together with her husband, Bill. Benenson
is a philanthropist and environmentalist. She was previously a film and television journalist, writing for The New York Times and serving as founder/editor-in-chief for Movieline Magazine.

Melony Lewis
Past Sundance docs:
AGGIE
ON THE RECORD
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS

Co-founder, BAMM Ventures. VP, Lewis Foundation. Lewis is a philanthropist, investor, and environmentalist, and serves as a trustee of the Aspen Institute. BAMM Ventures focuses on world-positive investments, while the family foundation prioritizes environmental protection and solutions, education, human rights, mental health, and the arts. Lewis is a member of Impact Partners.

Adam Lewis
Past Sundance docs:
AGGIE
ON THE RECORD
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS

Co-founder, BAMM Ventures. President, Lewis Foundation. Lewis is a philanthropist, investor, and environmentalist. He is dedicated to supporting environmental education, shaping climate policy, and investing in environmentally beneficial projects. Lewis is a member of Impact Partners.

Ryan Heller
Past Sundance docs:
PAHOKEE

SVP, film and acquisitions, Topic Studios. Heller also executive produced THE NOWHERE INN and THE CLIMB.

Tony Hsieh
Co-founder, Zappos. Hsieh also has executive producer credits on fellow 2021 Sundance titles AILEY, AT THE READY, HOMEROOM, REBEL HEARTS, TRY HARDER!, and USERS, all in the US Documentary Competition. The Internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist, who passed away in late November, was a backer of Bryn Mooser’s XTR.

Bryn Mooser
Past Sundance docs:
BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS (2020)
FEELS GOOD MAN
THE FIGHT
MUCHO MUCHO AMOR
US KIDS
THE BRINK (2019)
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER (2019)
ON HER SHOULDERS (2018)

Founder/CEO, XTR. Mooser also executive produced AILEY, AT THE READY, REBEL HEARTS, TRY HARDER!, USERS, and the 2021 Next fiction title THE BLAZING WORLD, as well as co-executive produced HOMEROOM. The Oscar nominee and Emmy winner previously co-founded RYOT.

Kathryn Everett
Past Sundance docs:
BLOODY NOSE, EMPTY POCKETS
FEELS GOOD MAN
THE FIGHT
MUCHO MUCHO AMOR

Head of film, XTR. Everett is also an executive producer of AILEY, AT THE READY, REBEL HEARTS, TRY HARDER!, USERS, and co-executive producer of HOMEROOM.

More Info:
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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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