Behind the Lens

Jessica Chen Drammeh, Producer/Director/Writer

Sharon K. Smith, Co-Producer

Toni Urbano, Associate Producer

Sam Pollard, Consulting Editor

June Cross, Key Consultant

Ku-Ling Siegel, Jacob Okada, Clarissa de los Reyes and

Jessica Chen Drammeh, Cinematographers

Jessica Chen Drammeh, Editor

Jacok Okada and Sen-I Yu, Additional Editing

Alan T. Chan, Production Coordinator

J. Armen, Composer

Brett Hammond, Sound Designer

Board of Advisors:

Phil Bertelsen
Jennifer Chan
Jen Chau
Michele Elam, Ph.D.
Thomas Allen Harris
Linda Nathan Marks
Nicole Atkinson Roach
Maria P.P. Root
Carmen Van Kerckhove

Production Assistants:

L.A. Floyd, Meghan Harrington, Martha Hong, Ji-Un Kwon, Hilary Leewong, Marie Quasius, Rebecca Schuster, Naima Wong


Jessica Chen Drammeh, Producer/Director/Writer/Editor

For Anomaly, Jessica Chen Drammeh received the James T. Yee Mentorship Award from the Center for Asian American Media (formerly known as NAATA). She was selected for IFP’s Project:Involve and Film/Video Arts’ Artist Mentor Project with Thomas Allen Harris. She has been a two-time finalist for the Richard Vague Production Fund Award for alumni of New York University. She has appeared on the PBS show, Asian America and profiled in the Race and Filmmaking special double issue of The Independent. ANOMALY has been screened in various formats at the 40th anniversary Loving Decision Conference, UC Davis, Yale University, and the Wing Luke Asian Museum, among other venues.

Drammeh earned a B.F.A. in Film and Television Production from New York University with a minor in Africana Studies. Her short film, Jimi’s Blues, was awarded a Warner Brothers Post-Production Grant and screened at festivals nationwide and on television. Prior credits and work experience includes Thomas Allen Harris’ E Minha Cara/That’s My Face, distributors Kino Intenational and Women Make Movies, art house cinema Film Forum, and the IFP/New York. She was also a juror for the Roy Dean Video Grant.

Drammeh is uniquely qualified to direct and produce Anomaly because of her extensive involvement in the mixed race community. She has been a guest lecturer, panelist, moderator and organizer for dozens of discussions about multiethnic issues at colleges, universities and community settings nationwide. She is eager to build a body of work telling the stories of mixed race people and communities.

Sam Pollard, Consulting Editor

Sam Pollard is an Associate Professor of Film and Television at New York University. His editing career spans over 30 years and includes When the Levees Broke (also a producer), Half-Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks, The Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela, Chisholm’72: Unbought and Unbossed, Bamboozled, 4 Little Girls (also a producer), Clockers, and numerous other Spike Lee films. He executive produced Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, which was broadcast nationally on POV. He was co-executive producer on Blackside’s I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African American Arts. Pollard was a producer, writer and director on Eyes on the Prize II: The Civil Rights Years (episodes 2 and 5), for which he received an Emmy Award. He is currently editing a documentary about Barack Obama.

Sharon K. Smith, Co-Producer

Sharon K. Smith recently completed a Master of Science in Information and a Masters in Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Smith has presented cuts of Anomaly at the Students of Color of Rackham Conference at the University of Michigan, at Oberlin College’s Asian Pacific American/Filipino American Students Association Speaker Series, and Michigan State University’s “Perspectives of Multiracial Communities” Conference. She has been a panelist and moderator on two Crystal Quilt programs about women of mixed race. Smith is currently based in Seattle.

Toni Urbano, Associate Producer

Toni Urbano is the Programming Manager for the NYU-TV Network, New York University’s three closed-circuit television channels. She earned her B.A. in Radio & Television from San Francisco State University and her M.A. in Media Ecology from New York University. While working on her Ph.D., Urbano has written articles on media, politics, and social responsibility that have been incorporated into NYU’s undergraduate communications courses. She has given guest lectures in the course, “Media and Identity,” at NYU.

Prior to coming to New York, she was the coordinating producer for Preview Vacations, a nationally-syndicated weekly travel program. She has also served as President of the Association of Higher Education Cable Television Administrators (AHECTA), a national organization comprised of university cable television systems and corporate vendors.

June Cross, Key Consultant

June Cross is a distinguished journalist, filmmaker and producer. She joined Frontline in 1991 and within five years became a Senior Producer. While with Frontline, she produced her Emmy-winning autobiographical documentary, Secret Daughter. Prior to joining Frontline she had worked as a reporter and producer with CBS News and the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, earning an Emmy for her coverage of the U.S. invasion of Grenada. She was the Co-Executive Producer of PBS’ six-part series, This Far By Faith: The African-American Religious Journey, a co-production of Blackside and The Faith Project, Inc., a non-profit organization she founded. Cross is currently teaching documentary filmmaking at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Her most recent documentary, The Old Man and the Storm, about a family’s determination to rebuild their lives after Hurricane Katrina, broadcast on Frontline in January 2009.

Ku-Ling Siegel, Cinematographer

Ku-Ling Siegel is a photographer and cinematographer born and raised in New York City. She graduated from The American Film Institute, and is currently focusing on documentaries. Her credits include the documentary, Sparrow Village, directed by Christine Choy, Ashtanga NY, and many other smaller projects involving Home Depot, painters, musicians, and more.

Jacob Okada, Cinematographer/Additional Editing

Jacob Okada is a freelance cinematographer and editor based in New York City, who earned a B.F.A. in Film and Television Production from New York University. He directed and produced the short documentary, Curtis, which received an Honorable Mention at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and has screened at numerous festivals nationwide. He was the assistant director on the 2003 Sundance short film, The Cutman. Okada also worked as an assistant editor to Jean Tsien on Roja Productions’ Matters of Race series, and assistant edited New Year Baby, an ITVS-supported documentary that recently won the Media that Matters Award at IDFA. He most recently shot Nicole Opper’s award-winning documentary Off and Running.

Alan T. Chan, Production Coordinator

Alan T. Chan has produced two feature films, Half-Life, directed by Jennifer Phang, and Inner Circle Line, directed by Eunhee Cho. Inner Circle Line was nominated for Best Narrative Feature at the 2006 SXSW Film Festival, and made its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in February 2006. Half-Life world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, and has picked up many awards on the festival circuit since then. Prior to becoming a producer, Chan practiced law at a Wall Street legal firm in New York for six years and is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He is currently writing two feature-length screenplays and resides in New York City. Alan was recently selected for the Sundance Institute Producers Lab.

Nicole Atkinson Roach, Key Consultant/Mentor

Nicole Atkinson Roach collaborated with the late Marlon Riggs on Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret) and the Peabody Award-winning Color Adjustment before serving as Co-Producer on Black Is, Black Ain’t, winner of the Filmmaker’s Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival. Her work as a Producer/Director includes the award-winning Lockin’ Up, and Word of Mouth, for which she won a Regional Student Emmy Award. She is currently in post-production on the documentary, The Middle Passage, and teaches Still Photography/Storyboarding at The Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Nicole Atkinson Roach served as a mentor for Director Jessica Chen Drammeh on Anomaly through the Center for Asian American Media’s James T. Yee Mentorship Program, and continues to advise on the film.

Board of Advisors

• Phil Bertelsen

Filmmaker, credits include Outside Looking In: Transracial Adoption in America, The Sunshine, and Student Academy Award-winning short film, Around the Time; Contributing Producer/Director, EveryOther, PBS Matters of Race series; Producer, Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed; Director/Producer, Beyond the Steps: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

• Jennifer Chan

Former Adjunct Professor for the “Asian Americans of Mixed Heritage” course, Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program & Institute at New York University

• Jen Chau

Founder and Executive Director of Swirl, Inc., a national  anti-racist, grassroots organization that serves the mixed heritage community and aims to develop a national consciousness around mixed heritage issues to empower members to organize and take action towards progressive social change

• Michele Elam, Ph.D.

Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of English and Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stanford University; author of Race, Work and Desire in American Literature and the forthcoming Mixtries: Mixed Race and Literary Studies

• Thomas Allen Harris

Director/Producer of award-winning films and video installations, including E Minha Cara/That’s My Face (broadcast on Sundance Channel; screenings at Toronto, Sundance, and Berlin Film Festivals), Vintage: Families of Value, and the recent Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela

• Linda Nathan Marks

Founder and President of The Crystal Quilt, a non-profit feminist organization based in New York City that brings women together for cultural and educational programs

• Maria P.P. Root, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist; Editor of The Multiracial Experience; Author of Love’s Revolution: Interracial Marriage, “The Bill of Rights for Racially Mixed People” and other landmark multiracial research

• Carmen Van Kerckhove

Co-Founder, New Demographic, a mixed race consulting firm, and Racialicious, a collaborative weblog about the intersection of race and pop culture

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