MENTORS

Gary Hustwit

Gary Hustwit is an independent filmmaker and photographer based in New York. He has produced 13 feature documentaries, including the award-winning I Am Trying To Break Your Heart about the band Wilco. In 2007 he made his directorial debut with Helvetica, the world’s first feature-length documentary about graphic design and typography. The film marked the beginning of a design film trilogy, with Objectified, about industrial design and product design following in 2009, and Urbanized, about the design of cities, in 2011. The films have been broadcast on PBS, BBC, HBO and television outlets in 20 countries, and have been screened in over 300 cities worldwide. His most recent feature, Rams, about German design legend Dieter Rams with original music by Brian Eno, was released in 2019. Gary’s films have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, the South by Southwest Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival, among others. He was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Helvetica, and has served on the grand juries of the Sundance Film Festival, the IFP Gotham Awards, and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Gary was named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. He is a member of the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Gretchen Hildebran

Gretchen Hildebran is a documentary filmmaker engaged with the intersection of politics, policy and human experience. Credits include: WORTH SAVING (2004), about drugs users in San Francisco taking action to save each other’s lives, which was presented in HBO’s Frame by Frame showcase. A graduate of Stanford’s documentary program, Hildebran shot Ramona Diaz’s THE LEARNING (2011) and has edited for the History Channel, PBS and the United Nations and on independent documentaries. Gretchen also has produced several short documentaries about harm reduction, to educate diverse audiences about life-saving interventions such as needle exchange and overdose prevention. More recently, she was a co-producer and co-director of DECADE OF FIRE, about the fires that destroyed the South Bronx in the 1970s, which broadcast on Independent Lens in 2019.  


David Sampliner

David Sampliner is an award-winning documentary director, producer, and cinematographer whose films have screened at Sundance, Tribeca, and Full Frame, among others, and have been distributed by Netflix, the Sundance Channel, and Sony Pictures.  His most recent documentary feature MY OWN MAN premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Netflix as a Netflix Original documentary.  His first documentary feature DIRTY WORK (co-directed with Tim Nackashi) screened at the Sundance Film Festival, won Best Documentary Feature at the Atlanta Film Festival, aired on the Sundance Channel, and is now available on Itunes, Hulu, and other digital platforms.  In 2020, a short documentary he co-directed, produced, and shot called LA PASTORA will premiere at Middlebury New Filmmakers’ Festival.  In 2017, his short documentary BROTHERS premiered at Dok Leipzig and screened theatrically in the US.  ART, ARCHITECTURE, AND INNOVATION (co-directed with Tom Piper and Rachel Shuman), a film about the history of the Guggenheim Museum, was broadcast on WNET Channel 13 and is now on permanent exhibition at the Museum.  As a documentary cinematographer, he has shot on many acclaimed films, including KNOCK DOWN THE HOUSE, GRETA VS. CLIMATE, ONE CUT ONE LIFE, and ONE OCTOBER.  The Moth podcasted his story LUCKY BASTARD as a StorySlam favorite and has aired it twice on the Moth Radio Hour.  He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, became a documentary filmmaker in Athens, GA, and now lives with his family in Beacon, NY.