Be That Guy

#BeThatGuy means be the guy who speaks up and out when he sees violence against women -- even in its tiniest everyday forms -- taking place. What that guy finds when he speaks up is that he is not alone or uncool; he is back-slapped and high-fived for saying what other guys were thinking but did not say.

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Deport the Statue

Deport the Statue of Liberty? Crazy, right?

Well, yes.

But you know what’s really crazy?

Deporting millions of human beings who have lived and worked in the U.S. for years and call this country their home. And that is what’s been happening for years under U.S. immigration policy.

 

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The Call

Sonia has worked so hard for this: a healthy family and a normal life in an average American town. But on a night that should have been like any other, she is forced to make an impossible choice that could shatter her family's dreams forever. Keep your daughter safe -- or keep your family together? What call would you make?

**TRIGGER WARNING**

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Checkpoint Nation

It was the first time I had experienced the overwhelming size of the desert sky. The sunset was magnificent, and the endless stretch of cacti and desert rocks were lit up with the last pink moments of twilight. But the sunset’s beauty was overpowered by what I had seen earlier in the week in Arizona: men and women in shackles (feet chained to waist, waist chained to wrists), a morgue filled twice-over with John & Jane Does, a wall that divides families and ancient lands. From this view, the sunset had a whole different meaning: it marked the beginning of one more cold, waterless night for so many migrants forced to hide in the militarized desert. It is August 2011 and I've just returned from Tucson, where Ishita Srivastava (part of Breakthrough’s media team) and I were part of the National Border Justice and Solidarity Delegation. Made up of a group of organizers from DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), Vamos Unidos, and Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, the delegation spent five days learning about the struggles of migrants and people of color in Arizona, first-hand. Ishita and I filmed the delegation for a documentary to be released on the tenth anniversary of September 11th.

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Deserted

In August 2011 I traveled to Tucson as part of Breakthrough’s media team to participate in the National Border Justice and Solidarity Delegation. Made up of a group of organizers from DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), Vamos Unidos, and Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, the delegation spent five days learning about the struggles of migrants and people of color in Arizona, first-hand. 

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Let's Talk About

Since 2006 I have worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County’s Relatives as Parents Program (RAPP), to increase visibility of this valuable program. Initially, I produced a documentary short, RAPP: Family Portraits (2006), which was the National Winner of the National Extension Assoc. for Family and Consumer Sciences 2006 award.

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Triptych

Triptych premiered on a rooftop in Tribeca on September 26, 2009.  This short film, directed, written, and edited by Dana Variano with the generosity of the Screen Actor's Guild, explores the lives of three 30-somethings trying to find their way through life in New York City. 

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2009 National Conference on Citizenship

On September 9, 2009, PhilanthroMedia was hired to produce a series of videos in order to summarize and promote the 2009 National Conference on Citizenship. As Creative Director, I collaborated with a team of 3 to shoot, edit, and virally market these pieces. The summary video (shot and edited within a 24-hour period to gain maximum visibility to conference attendees) is below. To see all of the videos, check out NCoC’s youtube page.

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Living the American Green

In 2009, Alan Smith concepted a brilliant documentary idea, Living the American Green. Three friends would take over a house and try to live the American Dream, big screen TV and all, while going green. Funding was short, but we got a great trailer out of it.

Check out the project's website.

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Philanthro4: Youth Engagement

The “Philanthro4 of Youth Engagement” is a short documentary piece which highlights four organizations which have been doing groundbreaking, alternative work in the field of engaging youth in politics and social activities.

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