TAGGART SIEGEL (Executive Director & Co-Founder of Collective Eye, Inc.)
Taggart Siegel has been directing award-winning documentaries and dramas for 25 years that reflect cultural diversity with absorbing style. From spiritual elders struggling to preserve traditions in alien environments to marginalized youth surviving hostile streets, the subjects of his films present vital perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media. Taggart's newest film, QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are The Bees Telling Us?, winner of 11 International Film Festival Awards, takes us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees. Capturing the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world. THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN won 31 International Film Festival awards and is currently being released theatrically around the world. Siegel's films bring compelling voices and visions to a global audience. Siegel is the co-founder of Collective Eye, Inc., a non-profit media organization based in San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon.
JON BETZ (Director of Collective Eye Films & Producer of QUEEN OF THE SUN)
Jon Betz is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. He is the co-director of the feature documentary in production, SEED: The Untold Story. He is also the producer and editor for the multi-award winning QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are The Bees Telling Us?, which was critically acclaimed during it's US theatrical release. His 2008 film, MEMORIZE YOU SAW IT, is an intimate documentary about his relationship as a foreigner working with former child soldiers in Eastern Uganda. Betz is a graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design and is the director of Collective Eye Films.
JESSICA MOSTAD-SZERWO (Director of Distribution)
Jessica gravitated to the Pacific Northwest after graduating with degrees in both Digital Filmmaking and Environmental Studies from The University of Montana. She has been involved with a handful of short and feature films, mainly as the sound recordist, and has always had an interest in documentary film. Her passion for sound and music has also lead her to pursue teaching piano lessons on the side. When she isn't assisting Amanda with acquisitions, she can be found taking pictures, playing music, or exploring the great outdoors.
ERIN MCALLESTER (Marketing & Outreach Coordinator)
Since graduating from Reed College with a degree in Environmental Studies/Biology, Erin has dedicated her time to studying mediums of STEAM-related communications, including patents, engineering curricula, and, most recently, documentary films. Previously at Collective Eye Erin organized archival content for the film SEED: The Untold Story. Currently she communicates the messages behind films and coordinates their distribution to diverse publics, with the goal to broaden access to the knowledge and new perspectives found in documentaries.
LORETTA CALLAHAN (Accounting & Systems Support Consultant)
Loretta's career includes being a Mother, Grandmother, and serving over 35 years as a business consultant to over 150 organizations, many in the entertainment and film industry. She co-founded On Track Business Service in Portland, OR in 1993. She has been with Collective Eye since 2007. Loretta has used her extensive administrative and financial skills to help environmental groups and First Nations People protect the environment, wildlife and preserve indigenous languages, stories, songs and sacred sites. Now, in semi-retirement, Loretta’s passion is the mandolin and Irish music.
STEPHANIE MANZO (Outreach Strategist)
Stephanie joins Collective Eye Films as the outreach strategist for SEED: The Untold Story. A native of Oregon, she received a bachelor's degree in horticulture science with a minor in business administration from Oregon State University where she completed an undergraduate thesis in traditional vegetable breeding. Stephanie's professional path includes marketing and community outreach roles in the renewable energy, sustainability, and green building industries. In 2013, she began delving into film production with courses and work in documentary film and multi-camera production. When not at Collective Eye, she can be found filming live music, fundraisers, and Live Wire Radio shows around the Portland area. She also enjoys biking, rock climbing, and backpacking in her free time.
PATRICK GILMORE (Director of Production Services)
Patrick was immersed in the natural world from an early age. Growing up in rural South Carolina, he was surrounded by vast landscapes and diverse wildlife, and it was here that he developed his passion for nature. After high school he went to The Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, where he received his B.F.A. in film and television. During his three-year tenure with Lindblad Expeditions–National Geographic, he single-handedly filmed and edited over thirty short documentaries all over the world from the Galápagos Islands to Antarctica, and has had several segments featured online with CNN and National Geographic.
Spencer MacDonald is an avid traveler and filmmaker. He is currently working on SEED: The Untold Story as a second camera and assistant editor. Since finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Stockholm, Sweden, his journeys to film indigenous cultures have taken him throughout the continent of India, South East Asia, as well as to the remote Himalayan region of Zanskar, where he documented the fading Tibetan Buddhist culture from inside of a Buddhist nunnery. Recently, he has shifted his camera to shed light on socially and environmentally conscious organizations.
Board of Directors
Christopher Upham is a writer-director and story consultant living in San Francisco who has worked in the film business since 1979. Sought after as a story consultant, his clients include: writers John O’Keefe (Shimmer, The Bronte Cycle), Lynn Hershman-Leeson (Conceiving Ada, Technolust) and Lewis Green (Never Talk to Strangers), and documentary directors Ellen Perry (THE FALL OF FUGIMORI) and Taggart Siegel (THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN). On Staff for the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Screenwriters program, Mr. Upham has taught screenwriting at San Francisco State University and documentary structure workshops. His current feature film projects include: GOOD MORNING AFGHANISTAN with British broadcaster Waseem Mahmoud; SECRET SOLDIER, in which a woman masquerades as a soldier in Vietnam; wine country comedy FOR THE LOVE OF ALICE; classical CAIRO PSALM with Lebanese director Hisham Bizri; and COOPERSTOWN with Sundance acclaimed director William Farley. Mr. Upham’s feature-length documentary about the long-term effects of combat, WAR WITHIN, won a prestigious Pacific Pioneer grant and is currently in postproduction. WAR WITHIN centers on Upham’s experiences as a medic and traveling back to Vietnam with four Army comrades.
SOPHIE CONSTANTINOU (Director and Cinemotographer)
Sophie’s work has earned international acclaim for tackling difficult topics with artistry and sensitivity. These range from an intensely personal exploration of the conflict in Cyprus (DIVIDED LOYALTIES which received a Golden Gate Award at the 2000 San Francisco International Film Festival) to LUNCH LOVE COMMUNITY, a collaboration between Citizen Film and co-director Helen De Michiel which has yielded a mosaic of sharable web-based short films that support the movement to change the way our children eat. In addition to her current work in new media, Constantinou continues to shoot high-profile documentaries for PBS and HBO as she has been doing for the past 15 years. Her many cinematography credits include KQED’s Emmy-Award Winning HOME FRONT, exploring the tension between economic redevelopment and cultural continuity in San Francisco’s Mission District; PBS/POV’s award-winning MAQUILAPOLIS about factory workers and their lives on the US-Mexico border; and HBO’s UNCHAINED MEMORIES which tells the stories of former slaves using testimony from WPA archives. She is currently the cinematographer for REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG, another upcoming HBO feature documentary, and BEAUTY IN TRUTH, a portrait of writer Alice Walker.