James LeBrecht, Producer & Director, has over 35 years of experience as a film and theater sound designer and mixer, author, producer and disability rights activist.
Jim’s work as an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities began in high school as a member of Disabled in Action, a pioneering disability rights group. While in college at UC, San Diego, he helped found the Disabled Students Union. In recent years LeBrecht has recommitted to advocacy work, which had taken a back seat to his audio career. Jim is currently a board member at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, a leading organization working for the rights of the disabled through education, legislation and litigation.
Jim believes that “the time has come for us to make our own films and television shows. We need to tell our own stories.” He’s pushing his chair as hard as he can to make this happen.
Jim is the founder of Berkeley Sound Artists (BSA), an audio postproduction house, located in Berkeley, California. Known as a skillful sound designer and mixer, LeBrecht’s work can be heard in films that have played on HBO, PBS, and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Films that he has mixed have screened at film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, South by Southwest, True/False, Telluride and Berlin. BSA was proud to be the sound house for The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won the Academy Award for short documentary in 2006. Other credits include The Waiting Room, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, Daughter From Danang, Have You Heard From Johannesburg, We Were Here, Bang: the Bert Berns Story, and Audrie and Daisy. Jim’s list of film credits (over 145) can be viewed at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0495898/
LeBrecht started his career in the theater, working as the resident sound designer at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre for 10 years. His sound designs for theater have also been heard at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, The Public Theater in NY and the La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.
Jim co-authored (with Deena Kaye) the book Sound and Music for the Theatre: the art and technique of design. Now in it’s 4th edition, the book is used all over the world as a textbook. One reviewer called it “The Bible of sound design for theater.”
Nicole Newnham, Producer & Director, has been a documentary filmmaker for over twenty years. Most recently she produced the virtual reality documentary Collisions, directed by Lynette Wallworth, which premiered at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at Sundance in January 2016. Collisions, called a “game changer” in VR by The Verge, was recently nominated for a Cine Golden Eagle.
Nicole co-directed & produced the Emmy-nominated documentary The Revolutionary Optimists, which inspired her to develop Map Your World (www.mapyourworld.org). Map Your World is an online community and storytelling platform for young changemakers that enables youth to leverage mobile technology to map data about issues they care about as the centerpiece of a campaign for change in their communities.
Previously, Nicole co-directed and produced the critically acclaimed The Rape of Europa, about the fate of Europe’s art treasures during WWII. The Rape of Europa enjoyed a successful theatrical release, has been a much-broadcast PBS primetime special, was nominated for two national Emmys and a WGA award, and was shortlisted for the 2008 Documentary Oscar.
Nicole was also nominated for an Emmy for directing and co-producing the documentary Sentenced Home, broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens, which follows three Cambodian refugees in Seattle who are deported back to Cambodia after 9/11. She also co-produced They Drew Fire, a widely acclaimed special for PBS about the combat artists of World War II, and wrote the companion book distributed by Harper Collins.
Films she has directed have played at many prestigious venues, including the Sundance Film Festival, the New York Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco International Film Festival, Lincoln Center and the Walker Art Museum, among many others.
Nicole’s independent work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sundance Documentary Fund, and the Independent Television Service, among others. She has also worked producing short films, segments, and advertisements for a wide range of broadcast, corporate, and non-profit clients, including Martha Stewart, Kohl’s, Virgin America, Country Music Television, Teachscape, and Catholic Charities.
Nicole earned a Master’s degree in Documentary Film from Stanford University in 1994.
Sara Bolder, Producer, spent twenty years as a film and sound editor, working on Star Wars Episode One, The English Patient, Terminator 2, The Horse Whisperer, Mrs. Doubtfire and many other films. She won Golden Reel Awards from the Motion Picture Sound Editors for Best Sound Editing for Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan and was nominated for 9 other films.
Feeling the pull of her activist youth, Sara changed careers and spent the next fifteen years as a fundraiser at various non-profit social justice organizations including Death Penalty Focus, Progressive Jewish Alliance and MoveOnPAC. During this time Sara also edited a series of videos for Criminals & Gangmembers Anonymous at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, CA.
For the past two years Sara has been working as a Development Consultant, specializing in fundraising and organizational development with small to mid-size, start-up social justice and arts organizations