David E. Simpson has spent more than two decades creating award-winning films and television programs about social issues and the human condition. In 1998, he served as the supervising editor on the Emmy award-winning documentary Vietnam, Long Time Coming. His commitment to Refrigerator Mothers grows out of an ongoing engagement with disability issues, as well as his own experience as a parent. In 1995, David produced and directed When Billy Broke His Head…and Other Tales of Wonder, a documentary about disability culture that received major awards at Sundance, Leipzig, Atlanta and Chicago international film festivals and a duPont-Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast journalism. His other films include Halstead Street, USA, which won a gold medal at the Houston International Film Festival, Dante’s Dream, an experimental narrative film that garnered five 1st place festival awards, and 5 Girls, a documentary that aired on POV in the fall of 2001.
For J.J. Hanley the power of film is found in the poignancy of life. She believes that films touch people most deeply when they share personal stories. J.J.’s own story reflects a borderless appreciation for diversity. A cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, she worked as a Wall Street securities trader and a portfolio manager for a global money center before marriage and family brought her to the Midwest. There, she tapped her creative reservoir working as the book editor for a weekly suburban newspaper and writing special features for various journalistic media. Having spent several formative years of her childhood in Turkey and revolutionary Iran, J.J. acquired an early understanding of the cultural challenges facing a globalized world. Fluent in Spanish and a vocal advocate for multi-lingualism, J.J. brings an appreciation for cross-cultural connection to every endeavor she pursues, imputing projects with a sensitivity to how personal histories can transcend the cultural divides that define our global landscape.
Gordon Quinn is president of Kartemquin films. During his 35-year career he has produced an impressive list of documentaries, including the critically acclaimed Hoop Dreams. Most recently, he co-directed and co-produced Vietnam, Long Time Coming, which was broadcast on NBC and received a National Emmy and the Directors Guild of America Award for outstanding directorial achievement. His film Golub premiered at the New York Film Festival and won major awards at the Chicago International Film Festival and the San Francisco Film Festival. Gordon most recently served as executive producer on 5 Girls, which aired on POV in the Fall of 2001.