The Doc Chicks Team

CRISTINA MCCANDLESS 

Cristina  first experimented with a film camera during high school – back in the days of celluloid. Life's detours lead her toward an advertising career, earning an MBA at the University of California, Berkeley, toying with historic preservation and doing time as a commercial banker before her entrepreneurship, building a premier wholesale seafood business in San Francisco. Her search for the perfect aesthetic and affordable housing lead her to New Mexico where she rediscovered her passion for filmmaking while producing work-related videos during her tenure in economic development.  Always fascinated by the eccentricities of the entrepreneurs she'd worked with for over 20 years, she now tells their stories with video. Her 2010 award winning video short documentary, MARBLESMITH, traveled the southwestern 2010-11 film festival circuit.  

Cristina is a graduate of the College of Santa Fe's Documentary Studies Certificate program and was a National Association of Latino Independent Producers 2010 Latino Producer's Academy fellow with her current feature length documentary, FROM ZIMBABWE TO SANTA FE, which was completed in 2012.  FROM ZIM has gone on to charm film festival audiences around the world.

MARA LEADER

Mara’s career spans three decades incorporating Sound Recording, Production Design, Cinematography, and Directing. In any role, her work is infused with a high level of artistic vision and integrity. Recent film credits include the three part video series, DAY ONE, created for new parents, commissioned by the New Mexico Department of Health. Mara held the dual roles of Production Designer and Director of Photography for the narrative film, HIGH CASTING. She collaborated as an editor on YOUTH SHELTERS, a video for the Santa Fe Community Foundation. Mara worked as Sound Recordist on the SOLACE CRISIS TREATMENT CENTER’S video presented at the Mayor’s Ball in Santa Fe.  In her independent documentary, IN A DREAM, Ms. Leader directed a three-camera shoot chronicling a choreographer’s creative process from conception to performance. Trained at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, Mara received a BFA in Painting. She also holds an A.A.S. in Film Production and a Certificate of Media Arts in Audio Production from Santa Fe Community College. 

JILANN SPITZMILLER

Jilann is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with a great depth of experience in creating long-range, character driven stories. She finds it profoundly moving to witness change and transformation in people over the course of time. She also enjoys bringing her candid and direct style to faster-paced promotional and marketing projects that demand a unique, authentic connection with viewers. Jilann has produced and directed several acclaimed feature documentaries, including SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS and HOMELAND. Her work has appeared on PBS, POV, BBC, NBC, A&E and Aljazeera, as well as dozens of channels around the world. She was a field producer, cinematographer and writer for 2 seasons of the popular Discovery Health Channel series, MEDICAL DIARY and was a field producer and writer for the NBC documentary series, LIFE MOMENTS. Jilann is currently producing and directing the feature documentary, STILL DREAMING which will be released in 2014.  She also recently completed 6 webisodes on healthy parenting for the New Mexico Department of Health.

SHELENE BRIDGE

Throughout the past 17 years, Ms. Bridge has pursued a film career in a variety of roles including Writer, Producer, Director, Camera Operator and Editor. An award-winning filmmaker, she has proven her effectiveness at writing and editing scenes, treatments and scripts, running successful crowdfunding campaigns, organizing and coordinating shoots, as well as using production equipment. She has edited short and feature films encompassing narratives and documentaries, as well as corporate/promotional videos and commercials.Ms. Bridge’s most recent projects include: Editor for web series, OUR LADY OF THE MISSISSIPPI ABBEY , working in collaboration with renowned cinematographer, Dyanna Taylor and UK producer, Sara Woodford; Camera Operator and Editor for the feature documentary, THE YOUNG ANCESTORS , which is available for educational use through Cinema Guild and has screened on KNME/PBS; and Editor for the award-winning feature documentary, WILD HORSES AND RENEGADES , which currently screens on the Documentary Channel.

She holds a B.A. in Art from San Diego State University and a B.A. in Moving Image Arts from the College of Santa Fe. She is a Board Member on New Mexico Women in Film.

GENEVIEVE RUSSELL

For over 15 years, Genevieve has devoted herself to the art of visual storytelling. Her work as a photographer and cinematographer is grounded in community documentary projects that capture authentic, personal and compelling stories. Her projects have focused on a range of topics, including health and wellness, community building and sustainability, women in leadership, personal history, the arts and education. She has received grants from the New Mexico Humanities Council, the Urban Enhancement Trust Fund of the City of Albuquerque, and the KUMN Independent Producers Fund for video and photography production of two multimedia projects: LOS REYES STORY and THE JAZZ OF ENCHANTMENT. Genevieve has produced, directed, and shot promotional and advocacy documentaries for Easter Seals of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Waldorf School, Southwest Spanish Craftsmen, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and the Bali Art Project; she also has created numerous documentaries that promote artists' work and preserve family histories. As a cinematographer, she has contributed to the feature-length documentaries STILL DREAMING, MY MOTHER's DAUGHTER and BIRDS IN THE PARK, as well as "Day One and Day Two" a series of videos for the New Mexico Department of Health. Genevieve's photographs have appeared in Smithsonian Folkways Magazine, New Mexico Magazine, the Santa Fean, and the Albuquerque Tribune.

Genevieve lives her passion, putting her subjects at ease and calling out not the crisis, but the compassion, beauty, and inspiration that exist in every story. 


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