The Filmmakers

Kenneth Carlson, Director/Producer

Kenneth A. Carlson directed and produced the feature length documentary, THE HEART OF NUBA, profiling the courageous and selfless efforts of Dr. Tom Catena, the sole doctor for a million patients in the war-torn Nuba Mountains of Sudan. The film opened theatrically to rave reviews in April 2018 in New York City while being released in Los Angeles and across the US (30+ cities) later this month. THE HEART OF NUBA has been screened for US Congress on Capitol Hill, British Parliament’s House of Lords at Westminster Palace in London, the Italian Senate in Rome, the Sudanese Parliament in Khartoum and the International Criminal Court in Den Hague. It has been screened in every continent and shown in over a dozen film festivals from Hollywood to Shanghai. Dr. Tom won the $1.1 Million Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity in Yerevan, Armenia last May. Maria Shriver serves as the film’s executive producer.

Carlson has recently directed a series of live action short films for Feeln/SpiritClips owned by the Hallmark Chanel Media Company. His latest effort, DINER FORMAL, was their most watched short of 2015 and 2016.

Previously, Carlson wrote, produced and directed, GO TIGERS!, a feature length documentary which premiered in the Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival where it was picked-up for distribution by IFC Films. The critically praised GO TIGERS! was released in 125 theaters domestically while enjoying an extensive release internationally. Among others, GO TIGERS! was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and a Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Documentary. It can currently be seen on Netflix and iTunes.

During the press junket for GO TIGERS!, Carlson managed to direct, produce and shoot NBC’s prime time, reality-based show, LOST. Blindfolded and ear-plugged, he was transported some 26 hours around the globe and dropped in the Kobi Desert of Mongolia with a goal of making it back to the Statue of Liberty. LOST generated strong ratings for the network. Shortly thereafter, he produced and directed several segments of the reality-based show, MEET MISTER MOM, for Full Circle Entertainment and Reveille Productions that aired during prime time on NBC.

Carlson also produced AMARGOSA, an Emmy Award winning and Academy Award Finalist documentary featuring Marta Becket and her opera house located in remote Death Valley Junction, California. The picture has garnered a multitude of awards at major film festivals and is currently being aired on the Sundance Channel, Netflix and iTunes.

Carlson produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary, WILD BILL HOLLYWOOD MAVERICK, based on the life and times of legendary studio director William A. Wellman. This Academy Award Finalist and National Board of Review Best Documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and can currently be seen on TMC, AMC and iTunes.

For Carlson’s independent film company, Carlson Films Inc., he produced STEPPIN’ for DreamWorks Pictures about the contemporary dance phenomenon known as Soul Steppin’.

Carlson also directed, produced and wrote the feature film, SPECIAL DELIVERY, a romantic comedy starring Sean Young, Penny Marshall, Paul Dooley and Nell Carter.

For over six years, Carlson directed, produced and wrote over 275 feature segments for America’s Most Wanted which aired for 23 seasons on The Fox Network. His efforts have resulted in the capture and incarceration of more than sixty-five of the country’s most wanted criminals.

THE HEART OF NUBA/DOCTOR TOM is currently in pre-production with ABC Signature to become a scripted series. Carlson will be executive producing along with Erica Messer. He is also in production on a documentary about Death Row inmate, Kevin Cooper, who has been incarcerated in San Quentin State Prison for over 33 years as well as a non-fiction film on British House of Lords member, Baroness Cox, and her life of service as a humanitarian aid advocate.

Carlson’s love for photography has taken him to the far reaches of the globe and his images have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Lindblad/National Geographic Travel catalogs and numerous other travel and entertainment websites. Carlson resides in Santa Monica with his wife, national recording artist, Katrina Carlson, and their three adventurous children. Carlson is a proud graduate of Brown University.

Maria Shriver, Executive Producer

Maria Shriver is a Mother of four, Emmy & Peabody award-winning journalist and producer, New York Times bestselling author, NBC News Special Anchor and founder of Shriver Media – a socially-conscious media company creating media as a force for good. She created The Shriver Report & Shriver Report Snapshot to report on seismic shifts in American culture and society. Shriver is former First Lady of California and a leading activist for social change, those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and the people who care for them, gender equality, the intellectually disabled and the working poor.

She uses her voice to highlight Architects of Change — people who are courageous enough to open their minds, open their hearts and challenge what is.

She served as executive producerfor the Oscar award-winning feature film, “Still Alice,” an adaptation of Lisa Genova’s 2007 novel of the same name, which tells the tale of a woman affected by early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Shriver also executive produced the Emmy-nominated ESPN Films 30 for 30 “Brave in the Attempt”; “The Mask You Live In”, a documentary on masculinity; the Emmy-nominated HBO documentary, “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life & Times of Katrina Gilbert;” the PBS documentary on her father, Sargent Shriver, “American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver” and “The Alzheimer’s Project,” a four-part HBO documentary series.

Shriver is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Jeff Werner, Producer/Supervising Editor

Jeff Werner is an award-winning director and editor of documentaries, feature films and motion picture advertising.

In 2015, Werner was a producer  and supervising editor on The Heart of Nuba, a story of altruism and courage as an American doctor dedicates his life to healing a community in Sudan.

He produced and edited The Laughter Life, a unique look at a Mormon sketch comedy group.

In October 2013, ESPN premiered Free Spirits, a documentary co-produced and edited by Werner. The film won an Emmy as part of the 30 for 30 series.

He co-produced and edited Becoming Bert Stern, which premiered at Telluride in 2012. The documentary covers the life and works of famed photographer Bert Stern. It opened in theaters, Spring, 2013.

Werner produced and edited the 2012 Emmy winning documentary, The Woodmans, about the famed family of artists, which was nominated for Best Documentary by the 2011 Gotham Film Awards. He edited the feature documentary ;The Other City, stories about the AIDS epidemic in Washington D.C. Both films were invited to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010;The Woodmans won Best N.Y. Documentary. It was released in theaters in January 2011.

In 2008, Werner directed and edited the documentary feature Kicking It, with Colin Farrel, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and The Tribeca Film Festival . It had its theatrical premiere in June, 2008 and was bought by ESPN.

Some of Werner’s other work include editing The Year of the Yao, The Smith Family, which was recognized as  Best Documentary at the Director’s Guild Awards and The Peabody Awards in 2003 , the Sundance Festival Selection GO TIGERS! and Imagine Pictures’ BEYOND THE MAT.

His editorial work on The Mirror Has Two Faces marked the fifth film in which Werner collaborated with  Barbra Streisand.

Werner is the winner of several Hollywood Key Art Awards for his work in motion picture advertising.

Sarah Brockhoff. Editor

Born and raised in the Sunshine State, Sarah Brockhoff moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Stanford University. She soon found herself in the editing room, where she has worked on feature films, television series, and a tasting-menu of short-form projects.

The Heart of Nuba marks her debut as sole Editor on a feature film. Sarah spends her spare time writing, drawing the occasional comic, and nurturing various other impractical fallback careers.

Randy Miller, Composer

Randy Miller (The Marvel ExperienceWithout Limits) is a composer, arranger, and conductor who has collaborated with such notable filmmakers as Robert Towne, Zhang Yimou, Oliver Stone, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Tom Cruise, Sam Raimi, David Eick and Robert G. Tapert. In addition to working in recorded medium, Miller has composed the music for live immersive entertainment, including The Marvel Experience, the first-of-its-kind multimedia event that covers over two acres and encompasses seven colossal Domes, the world’s only 360-degree, 3-D stereoscopic theater and a state-of-the-art 4-D motion ride, which premiered January 2015.

Miller has created a career that features acoustic and orchestral music that is emotional, richly thematic and sophisticated as well as dynamic in scope.  His music is an artistic blend of many styles – both modern and classical — mixing a commanding orchestral foundation with cinematic boldness or intricate delicacy.

Hailing from Ellenville, New York in the Catskill Mountains and son of vocalist and entertainer Muriel King, at a young age Randy worked as a pianist/arranger in many of the famous hotels of the Catskills. His early experiences accompanying vocalists continues to influence his work today.  Randy received a music composition degree from Berklee College of Music and continued with advanced studies in film scoring at the University of Southen California. In addition, Miller studied piano with the legendary Bostonian pedagogue Mme. Margaret Chaloff.

A few of Miller’s early career composing highlights include: Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (Clive Barker), Dreamrider (James Earl Jones), Darkman II: The Return of Durant (Sam Raimi) and the acclaimed TV series The Outer Limits (Pen Densham).  His score for Without Limits, directed by Robert Towne and produced by Tom Cruise, was singled out by The Hollywood Reporter as a “rousing, pulse-quickening score.”

Miller’s collaboration writing additional music for the Golden Globe-winning Best Original Score of Oliver Stone’s Heaven and Earth led to further collaborations with Kitaro, including co-composing for the Grammy nominated Impressions of the West Lake (directed by Zhang Yimou) and co-composing for the Chinese epic The Soong Sisters (Winner of Best Original Film Score at the Hong Kong Film Festival and Golden Horse Film Festival).  Miller’s credits also include the mini-series SpartacusAmargosa (Oscar finalist in the documentary category), and the award-winning Disney children’s series Handy Manny.  In addition, Miller wrote string arrangements for the last six albums of Michael Franti and Spearhead, as well as composing and arranging for Disney Animation Magic (Walt Disney Imagineering THEA award winning interactive show).

His recent projects include the documentary Extinction Soup and orchestral arrangements for a new record by EDM artist BT. Randy is currently scoring the feature documentary, ‘Heart of Nuba’ produced and directed by Kenneth Carlson.

Miller maintains recording facilities in Calabasas and at his Sequoia National Forest retreat.

 

Katrina Carlson

With the mind of a diplomat and the musicality of a modern pop diva, Katrina Carlson is an artist with true mass appeal. Her stirring, vibrant songs embody universal themes of love and strength that are central to humanity. The critics love her albums, and so do Carlson’s growing legions of dedicated fans.

Carlson grew up in Paradise Valley, Ariz., the youngest of 11 children. By the age of 12 she was playing both piano and guitar, and composing songs to entertain her family. Her early talents for songwriting and performance set the stage for Carlson’s bright future.

Initially, Carlson did not formally pursue a musical career. She attended Brown University, where she majored in international relations, foreign policy and diplomacy. After graduation, Carlson found herself at a crossroads. Dealing with a recent family tragedy and feeling disillusioned by the political climate in Washington, D.C., she moved to New York for some “musical therapy.” Carlson earned admission into the Manhattan School of Music and Brooklyn College’s opera program. During this time, she expanded her creative repertoire and joined an Off-Broadway Cole Porter review amongst many other musical productions. Carlson also appeared in the 1999 indie romantic comedy Special Delivery, and contributed two songs to the film’s soundtrack.

In September 2001, Carlson released her debut record, Apples for Eve, with songs co-written and produced by Emmy winner Ron Cohen. Soon after, Carlson’s music started to spread its way throughout American culture. Her music graced the soundtracks of television shows Dawson’s Creek, Lost and Passions, as well as the feature film Go Tigers!. As a result of these successes, Carlson was selected as a 2002 finalist in the Rolling Stone/Jim Beam Emerging Artist series.

Carlson’s second record, 2003’s Untucked, contained four hit singles that spent a remarkable 18 combined months on the Billboard and R&R Adult Contemporary charts. The romantic pop ballad “I Know You by Heart” is a powerful and moving duet featuring Benny Mardones — best known for his 1980s hit single “Into the Night.” Follow-up tunes such as “Count on Me,” “Suddenly Beautiful,” and Carlson’s skillful rendering of The Cars’ classic “Drive” are musical gems that brought the album well-deserved praise including an award for “Best Independent Pop Album” at the 2003 Los Angeles Music Awards.

After releasing Untucked, Carlson continued her sonic diversity by expanding her 1970s-era, soft-rock sound to include a deeper, edgier pop-rock sound. This creative evolution has shaped Carlson’s latest effort, Here and Now. Produced by Ron Aniello (Barenaked Ladies, Guster, Lifehouse), the new record offers a lush collection of sweeping power ballads and upbeat pop tunes. A major highlight is the title track, inspired by the moment Carlson first held her then-newborn baby, Ruby Rose, and mused over experiences and lessons learned in her own life. In Carlson’s words, “I look for the beauty in the good, the bad and the ugly alike. I’m grateful and I count it all a blessing.”

Here and Now’s first single is a modern take on the Howard Jones classic “No One is to Blame,” with a guest appearance by Jones himself on vocals and piano. With songs such as “Be the One,” “First To Say Goodbye” and “Lost,” Carlson again demonstrates her enrichment as both an individual and a professional musician. This growth is equally evident in the diversity of Carlson’s live performances. While on tour, she has opened for such artists as Kenny Loggins, Chicago, Eddie Money and Rick Springfield. Priding herself in the ability to “mix it up” onstage, Carlson offers audiences everything from an unplugged acoustic show to a full rock band extravaganza. “Lately, I’ve been throwing in snippets of opera!” Carlson added, laughing. Carlson loves that her audiences include dancing teenagers, hip seniors and everything in between.

As a songwriter, the former actress explains that she envisions her songs as “mini-movies,” complete with characters, storylines and plot resolutions. Much like contemporaries Sheryl Crow and Natalie Merchant, Carlson views herself in various shades, and by that standard, Here and Now is a rainbow of textured life stories. Many of the songs included on her new album lend themselves to use in film and television. “Feel For Me” has already been tapped by the N-Network’s “South of Nowhere,” and will be featured in the first two episodes including the season premiere.

Carlson says, “I believe in personal responsibility; you own what is yours that way.” But she also realizes that behind every great musician is a dedicated team and a supportive family. Carlson has all of these gifts, which allow her to live life on her own terms. “I used to feel like I was always rushing to the finish line, now I’m really trying to savor each moment and recognize everyday is a gift.” she says. This new album reflects that inner clarity that, for Katrina Carlson, truly is Here and Now.