Todd McGrain turned his attention to documentary film after a 25-year career as a sculptor. His accomplishments as a sculptor include the prestigious Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and the Audubon Award for Art Inspiring Conservation. His sculptures are part of several major museum collections in the United States and abroad. In 2010, McGrain’s work to create permanent public memorials to birds driven to extinction in modern times became the subject of a documentary film,The Lost Bird Project, produced by Middlemarch Films. This rewarding experience led McGrain to his current focus on the plight of the Forest Elephants of Central Africa. Though Elephant Path / Njaia Njoku is McGrain’s first feature length documentary, his understanding of the value of storytelling to raise awareness of our current extinction crisis has been formed over decades of dedication and commitment.
Scott Anger is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and independent journalist. In 2014, he won an Emmy Award for the film, Hunger in the Valley of Plenty, which explores food insecurity in central California. Anger’s credits include a number of films for the acclaimed documentary program FRONTLINE (PBS) about ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and South Asia. Two of the films have been awarded the Alfred I. duPont Award for Excellence in Journalism from Columbia University, television’s highest journalism award. Anger was the co-producer and cinematographer for The Lost Bird Project, a film directed by Deborah Dickson and produced by Middlemarch Films, about sculptor Todd McGrain.
Sara Khaki is an emerging independent documentary filmmaker and editor with a passion for telling untold stories that matter in our lives. She graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a BFA in Film/Video, and the School of Visual Arts with a MFA in Social Documentary Film. From the strength of her thesis film Facing The Mirror, Sara was named the SVA Social Documentary and an Alumni Scholarship award recipient. Sara was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and she currently resides in New York City.
Natalie Ruiz Tofano
PRODUCER - DISTRIBUTION AND IMPACT
Natalie Ruiz Tofano is an independent documentary film Producer currently based in Oakland, CA. They are currently working as Impact Producer for the feature-length documentary Elephant Path / Njaia Njoku, and have worked as an Associate Producer on numerous documentary projects that have aired on PBS, CCTV, CuriosityStream and History Channel. They most recently worked as an Associate Producer for the curated documentary series America ReFramed on the WORLD Channel. Natalie has also filmed and directed short documentaries of their own centered around LGBTQ+ stories and issues, including Giving Voice and The Edges of Healthcare. They graduated from School of Visual Arts with a MFA in Social Documentary Film.