Susanne Mason – Producer and Director
Susanne Mason’s feature debut, WRIT WRITER, is the product of several years of research into the history of the Texas Department of Corrections between 1947-1978, and a lot of fundraising. Prior to and during that time she served as associate producer of a variety of public television documentaries, including Are The Kids Alright? (2004 Regional PBS); Struggle In The Fields (1996 National PBS); Songs Of The Homeland (1994, National PBS); and Go Back To Mexico! (1994, Frontline, National PBS). More recently, Mason wrote, produced and directed short documentaries about the history of Austin, Texas, for the Save Our Springs Alliance and Watershed Productions, including Town In Transition, a short doc about growth in the Texas capitol between 1950-1975. Mason’s first film, Stories From The Riverside (1993), a 28-minute documentary that explores domestic homicide through the stories of three women incarcerated for murdering their abusive husbands, received a Silver Apple from the National Educational Film & Video Festival and a Director’s Choice Award from the Black Maria Film & Video Festival, among other honors.
Dagoberto Gilb - Writer
Dagoberto Gilb spent 16 years making his living as a construction worker before winning wide acclaim for his stories. His first book, Gritos, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. The Magic of Blood (1994), a collection of short stories, received the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a PEN/Faulkner finalist. He is also author of The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña (1995), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the collection of short fiction Woodcuts of Women (Grove, 2001), and edited the recent Hecho en Tejas (University of New Mexico Press, 2007), an historic anthology that establishes the canon of Mexican American literature in Texas.
Gilb’s essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Best American Essays, and as commentaries on NPR’s Fresh Air. He has been a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers' Award. He lives in Austin, Texas.
His most recent novel, The Flowers, was released in January 2008.
Jesse Borrego - Narrator
Borrego’s career began with an open audition for the TV Series Fame, where he won the role of Jesse Velasquez in 1984. He has appeared in numerous films and television programs, including 24 (U.S. television), The New World (Dir. Terrence Mallick, 2005), Con Air (Dir. Simon West, 1997), Lone Star (Dir. John Sayles, 1996), Bound by Honor (aka Blood In, Blood Out, Dir. Taylor Hackford,1993), and Mi Vida Loca (Dir. Allison Anders, 1993), among others. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Borrego studied theatre and dance at The University of Incarnate Word and acting at The California Institute of the Arts.
Deborah Eve Lewis - Cinematographer
Lewis’ feature work includes Last Man Standing (Dir. Paul Stekler, P.O.V.), With God On Our Side: George Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right in America (Dirs. David Van Taylor & Calvin Scaggs), Making of Dazed (Dir. Kahane Corn) and ITVS-funded projects Writ Writer (Dir. Susanne Mason), The Calling (Dir. Danny Alpert), Nuclear Family (Dir. Don Howard), and Troop 1500 (Dirs. Ellen Spiro and Karen Bernstein). Lewis entered the filmmaking world as the Still Photographer for Robert Altman’s Secret Honor, and soon was working in the camera departments of Swimming To Cambodia, Married To The Mob, and New York Stories, while also experimenting with Super-8 film.
Karen Skloss - Editor
Skloss’s editing work has been shown on PBS, HBO, and in the MoMA. Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt, which she edited, was released theatrically through Palm Pictures in 2005. Other feature documentaries that she has edited include: Atomic Ed & The Black Hole (Dir. Ellen Spiro), and DIRT (Dir. Jeff Bowden). She is currently producing and directing her first feature-length documentary.
Manuel Tsingaris - Editor
Tsingaris was senior editor of the documentary Dream In Doubt, chronicling the first hate crime following the 9/11 attacks, and slated for broadcast in May 2008 on PBS. He also edited China Blue, a film that explores the experience of young Chinese women in China’s blue jean apparel industry, which aired on P.O.V. in 2007. He served as senior editor of Long Gone (2003), and has edited a variety of other award-winning programs.
Kristen Nutile - Editor
Kristen Nutile recently edited Gillian Aldrich's hour-long documentary “Speak Out: I Had an Abortion." In addition, she has edited films for Maysles Films Inc. and Human Rights Watch. She has also worked on numerous documentary films including Miss America and Seabiscuit for The American Experience (PBS). In addition, Kristen has produced and directed six documentary shorts, which have played both nationally and internationally, including the Sundance Film Festival in 2001. She holds Master’s degrees in both Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University, and Biology from San Francisco State University.
Sandra Guardado - Editor
Guardado has worked on several PBS productions, including as coordinating producer on the three-part documentary George Wallace: Setting’ the Woods on Fire (The American Experience, 2000) and as co-producer of Last Man Standing (POV). She is the producer and director of the award-winning documentary The Reunion, broadcast on WGBH’s La Plaza series and on The Territory (PBS) in Texas. She received her M.F.A. in Film and Video Production from the University of Texas. She was the first editor to work with Mason on WRIT WRITER.
Gabe Rhodes - Composer
Rhodes is an accomplished instrumentalist, composer and producer. Known for his guitar artistry, he has recorded with Jimmy LaFave, Audrey Auld Mezera, Houston Marchman, Calvin Russell, Billy Joe Shaver, Kimmie Rhodes, and Willie Nelson among others. He produced Audrey Auld Mezera’s Texas, and engineered and associate produced Billy Joe Shaver’s The Real Deal in 2005. He is currently performing and recording in Austin, his hometown.
Joel Guzman - Composer
Guzman is a Grammy Award-winning performer and composer who began dazzling audiences and fellow musicians with his unique accordion artistry as a child prodigy, bringing established accordion players to christen him, at an early age, “El Pequeno Gigante”. The Little Giant. In 1998, his band Aztex formed the nucleus and inspiration for RCA’s release of Los Super Seven, featuring Joe Ely, Freddy Fender, Flaco Jimenez, Ruben Ramos, Rick Trevino and David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas. With his roots firmly planted in the full range of traditional Mexican music, he has incorporated and experimented with jazz, tejano, country, salsa, R&B and rock. His passionate exploration of all these genres, continues to place him in a category all his own.
Angie Alvarez – Associate Producer
Alvarez had her industry start working with academy award documentarian R.J. Cutler on the Showtime Series Freshman Diaries. She served as associate producer of the critically acclaimed documentary Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt (Dir. Margaret Brown). She produced Charlie (a short film for NBC and the Mr. Sinus Show), Another Chance (a reality tv pilot aimed to help the homeless), and the award winning indie favorite CHALK. She is currently producing The Farkles, a 'serious' family comedy for television.