SOFT VENGEANCE

ALBIE SACHS & THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA | a film by Abby Ginzberg

ABBY GINZBERG | Producer, Director

Abby Ginzberg, has been producing award-winning documentaries about race and social justice for the past 30 years.  She is the co-producer and co-director of Agents of Change, which premiered at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and won the Jury and the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary.  Abby attended Cornell during the time depicted in the film.

Her feature award-winning documentary, Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa (2014) won a Peabody award and has screened at film festivals around the world.  It has won four audience awards for Best Documentary.  It also won an Outstanding Achievement Humanitarian Award from the Global Film Awards. It will be broadcast on public television later this spring and a segment will be broadcast on Independent Lens in April, 2016.

Her work as a documentary filmmaker took her to the Academy Awards in 2012 with a short documentary film, The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, for which she was the Consulting Producer.  The Barber premiered at Sundance in 2011 and won numerous awards for Best Short Documentary at film festivals across the US.  

Abby’s documentaries, Soul of Justice: Thelton Henderson’s American Journey and Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice (about an African American and Latino judge) have aired on public television and been screened at film festivals across the United States and abroad and won numerous awards, including a Silver Gavel and CINE Golden Eagle for Soul of Justice.

Her short films, Cracking the Habit and recovering lives, uncovering hope, have been critical in helping to document model programs for both adult and juvenile drug courts, as well as other successful programs for at-risk youth.  She has also documented the innovative work of cities in combatting the HIV epidemic with films about Oakland, Miami and the Bronx.  She produced Turning the Tide Together for the Opening Session of the AIDS 2012 conference in Washington, DC. 

She is the President of the Berkeley Film Foundation, which has awarded over $900,000 in grants to documentary filmmakers; is on the Boards of the Thelton Henderson Center for Social Justice at UC Berkeley Law School, The Impact Fund and the Yale Law School Visual Advocacy Project.  She was selected as a Gerbode Foundation Fellow in 2008.

Ken Schneider | Editor, CO PRODUCEr

Ken Schneider was the editor on Connie Field’s seven-part series on the history of the anti-apartheid movement, Have You Heard from Johannesburg? A documentary film producer and editor, Ken has edited 20 feature-length films, about war and peace, artists’ lives, American history, and contemporary social issues.  Films he edited have won an Emmy, a Peabody, a Columbia-Dupont, an Indie Spirit, top awards at Sundance, other major festival awards, and have been nominated for an Oscar and additional Emmys. His film, Speaking in Tongues, about bi-lingual education won the audience award at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In addition to co-directing, co-producing, and editing recent PatchWorks' films, SPEAKING IN TONGUES and HAVANA CURVEBALL, Schneider has edited 30 feature-length documentaries for other filmmakers that have been recognized by an Emmy, a Peabody, a Columbia-Dupont, an Indie Spirit, top awards at Sundance and other major festival awards, and been nominated for an Oscar and additional Emmys.

Rick Goldsmith | Consulting Producer

Rick Goldsmith co-produced and co-directed The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010 and won a Peabody Award and awards from both the American Historical Association (AHA) and the Organization of American Historians (OAH). It was the centerpiece of 2010 POV (PBS series) season and re-broadcast in 2011. He has produced a number of other award-winning films and has collaborated with Abby Ginzberg on several films. Rick is currently in production on a new documentary, Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw.

Alfre Woodard | NarratorExecutive Producer 

One of the most accomplished actors of her generation, Alfre Woodard earned an Oscar ® Nomination and multiple Emmy wins in a prolific film and TV career that has spanned over three decades. From August Wilson's Piano Lesson to Miss Evers' Boys; from American Violet to Crooklyn and in Down In The Delta, Alfre Woodard's work entertains with a social consciousness that invites the viewer to a higher level of understanding. Star Trek, Holiday Heart, Grand Canyon are included in a long list of purposeful projects that Woodard feels the audience deserves to ponder. Her latest film is Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave. In particular,  HBO's Mandela and Morgan Freeman's Bopha, combined with 22 years of her work as a founder of Artists For A New South Africa, reflect her commitment to the democratic aspirations of the South African people.  Alfre's work as a social activist and her drive to preserve the legacy of freedom fighters and protectors of democracy in the new age leads directly to her deep respect for Albie Sachs, the man, and her passion for the film Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa.

JAMES LEBRECHT | SOUND DESIGN

James LeBrecht is an award-winning sound designer for film, games and exhibitions. In 1996, James founded Berkeley Sound Artists, a complete audio postproduction facility, located in the Zaentz Media Center. Berkeley Sound's extensive feature and documentary film portfolio includes Academy Award™ winner The Blood of Yangzhou District, Daughter from Danang, We Were Here, The Devil and Daniel Johnston and The Barber of Birmingham. Game credits include work for Electronic Arts, Sony Computer Entertainment of America and Midway Studios-Austin. BSA's involvement in live events has taken them to the Webby Awards, numerous E3 Conventions in Los Angeles, the California State Capitol Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. LeBrecht is a frequent lecturer on the subject of audio for film.