Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North is Director/Producer/Writer Katrina Browne‘s first film. Before launching this film and family process in 1999, Ms. Browne served as Outreach Planning Coordinator for the film adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith’s critically acclaimed play about the L.A. riots, Twilight: Los Angeles. She consulted with media and race relations experts to plan a national outreach campaign to use the PBS broadcast and video distribution as the basis for community dialogue on race, ethnicity and equity. She came to that work and to filmmaking from writing a master’s thesis comparing the role that Greek tragedies played in civic life in ancient Greece with the untapped potential of film to catalyze civic dialogue today. She wrote this thesis while earning a master’s degree in theology at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Prior to her graduate studies she worked as a senior staffperson at Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program now operating in 13 cities that she co-founded in 1991 in Washington, D.C. to recruit more young people and people of color into nonprofit careers. She held responsibilities in national start-up, site program development, evaluation and fund-raising. Ms. Browne has a B.A. from Princeton University, where she studied cultural anthropology with a focus on oral history; the subject of her senior thesis was France’s role in the Holocaust. Browne is a seventh-generation descendant of Mark Anthony DeWolf, the first slave trader in the DeWolf family.
Editor/Co-Director/Writer Alla Kovgan is a Boston-based filmmaker born in Moscow. Her films, and the films she has co-directed, have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Lincoln Center (New York), the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Montreal Film Festival (Canada), and New York African Film Festival, and have been broadcast on ZDF TV (Germany). Ms. Kovgan has been involved in creating “intermedia” performances (with KINODANCE and Elaine Summers), making dance films (with Alissa Cardone, Victoria Marks and Nicola Hawkins) and working on documentaries about dance (Movement (R)evolution Africa with Joan Frosch and Terpsychore’s Captives II with Efim Reznikov). She is an international director of the St. Petersburg Dance Film Festival KINODANCE in Russia and a co-curator of the Balagan Experimental Film Series in Boston. In 2007, Kovgan was awarded a film commission from the Experimental Media and Performance Arts Center for nora chipaumire: a physical biography. Together with Robin Hessman, Kobgan is currently working on the documentary Russia’s Pepsi Generation, about the last generation of Soviet children to grow up behind the Iron Curtain, to be broadcast on POV in 2009.
Co-Director/Executive Producer Jude Ray is an award-winning writer/producer/director with wide-ranging experience as a filmmaker of social-issue, cultural and historical documentaries and investigative reports. Her credits include programs on PBS, HBO, BBC, A&E and Turner Broadcasting, and a five-year freelance stint with the BBC,, where she worked as an investigative reporter, U.S. producer, and field, segment and associate producer for the acclaimed public affairs series Panorama. Her producing, associate producing and writing credits on prime-time documentary specials and series for major broadcasters include Fare Game (PBS, NHK and international broadcasts), What Price Clean Air? (PBS), Russia for Sale: The Hard Road to Capitalism (PBS), “Increase and Multiply” (PBS), A Walk Through the 20th Century With Bill Moyers (PBS), and Anatomy of Love (TBS). She has also served as senior writer and consulting producer for independent feature documentaries, including H2 Worker, which won a Sundance Grand Jury Prize, and Calling the Ghosts: A Story About Rape, War, and Women (Sundance/Soros Fund, HBO). Ms. Ray began her career as a media activist with the pioneering media advocacy organization, Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), and went on to work on political spots for the Sawyer-Miller Group and story development for HBO. Ms. Ray is a recipient of the National Women in Broadcast and Radio Award and numerous grant awards, including from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New York Times Foundation (for her post-9/11 work on trauma relief for parents and children).
Co-Producer/Executive Producer Elizabeth Delude-Dix works in media, the humanities and historic preservation. She has directed and produced two short films on slavery in Rhode Island as well radio pieces. She was a founder of Rhode Island’s first public radio station, WRNI. Ms. Delude-Dix has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Cultural and Historic Preservation, an undergraduate program she helped develop at Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island. She is a past Board Chair of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities.
Co-Producer Juanita Brown is the Assistant Director for Development at the Coalition of Essential Schools, a national education reform organization. Ms. Brown co-designed the Traces transatlantic journey and also served as a facilitator during some of the DeWolf family discussions. Prior to the film, Brown creatively engaged students and teachers at San Francisco Bay Area schools in difficult dialogue around community building, race, class and gender identity politics. She also developed policy and organizational analyses for education and nonprofit organizations in California, including the Oakland Unified School District, the Oakland Small Schools Foundation, and the Bay Area International Development Organizations. Brown holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. She also studied at the University of Ghana in West Africa. A Chicago native and lover of things creative, Brown lives in San Francisco, where she enjoys dancing, writing and tea-warmed conversations.