The Center for New American Media is a documentary production company based in New York that specializes in smart, funny documentaries on important cultural topics. Founded in New Orleans in 1979 by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, the Center has made popular, accessible films on such subjects as social class (PEOPLE LIKE US), politics (VOTE FOR ME), the cultural significance of dialects (AMERICAN TONGUES) and motherhood (MOMS).
Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, & Peter Odabashian
Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, and Peter Odabashian have over the past 25 years created some of the most honored and critically praised documentaries on American life and culture. Twice winners of both the Peabody Award and the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award.
Previously, the three made SMALL BALL , a clear-eyed road movie for PBS that follows a California Little League team on its epic journey to the Little League World Series, and SEX:FEMALE, a fresh and funny look at female sexuality as related by the woman next door. This feature-length documentary was shown on the Oxygen network throughout 2003 and has become an international film-festival favorite.
In 2001, Kolker, Alvarez, and Odabashian garnered attention for their landmark PEOPLE LIKE US: SOCIAL CLASS IN AMERICA, the first American television documentary to explicitly look at how social class affects American society.
In 1999 the three producers made MOMS, a poignant and hilarious look at motherhood starring a cast of over 40 mothers who dish about what one calls “the hardest job in the world–raising children”. The film has become a staple on Mother’s Day broadcasts worldwide. Their previous credits include VOTE FOR ME -- POLITICS IN AMERICA, a four-hour examination of politics, politicians, and voters. VOTE FOR ME was awarded the George Foster Peabody Award, the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award, and a News and Public Affairs Emmy Award in 1997. The series was co-produced with Paul Stekler.
Kolker and Alvarez won their first Peabody in 1988 for AMERICAN TONGUES, about the differences in the way Americans speak and the attitudes people have about regional and social accents. It launched the PBS anthology series POV, and since then has become something of a classic.
In 1993 Kolker and Alvarez received the duPont-Columbia Journalism Award for their documentary LOUISIANA BOYS -- RAISED ON POLITICS, a rollicking look at Bayou State politics. Other work includes L.A. IS IT WITH JOHN GREGORY DUNNE, a meditation on the culture of Los Angeles, and THE JAPANESE VERSION, an exploration of what happens when American popular culture gets to Japan. Shorter works include THE NEWS DOCTORS, a look at TV news consultants for the ITVS/PBS series SIGNAL TO NOISE, and a series of short films on permanent exhibit at the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration in New York. At present, they are creating a series of PSAs about major American novels, produced under the sponsorship of the National Endowment for the Arts’ THE BIG READ initiative.
Before joining Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, Peter Odabashian worked as an Emmy award winning editor. He has edited more than 20 documentaries and has been a sound editor on over 17 feature films from REDS to CARLITO’S WAY. In 1984, he won a Golden Reel Award for best feature sound editing for the film PLACES IN THE HEART. In 1987, he cut THE BEAT GENERATION which was selected for screening at the Berlin Film Festival. From 1988 to 1992 he edited three films for THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, one for NOVA and one for FRONTLINE, all produced by Irv Drasnin.
Judyta Fibiger is a Warsaw-based producer/director and journalist who has lived in Los Angeles and Sicily. She has worked on several documentaries for NG and Arte, and also writes travel articles. She loves: Borges, Marias, The Great Gatsby, Frank Sinatra; cooking; and driving too fast.
Zaina Izabachene is a magazine and television journalist based in Paris. She says her work on The Anti-Americans gave rise to three wonderful things: the film, three new American friends, and a sublime baby, since she discovered she was pregnant with Alix during production!
Allyson Luchak is a Canadian-born producer based in Paris. She works frequently on French documentaries with US subjects, most notably the eight-hour documentary series THE STAIRCASE.
Sascha Olofson is a print journalist and a TV producer / director living in London. Fluent in Spanish, French and Italian filming has taken her around the world to some strange places researching anything from Killer Seaweed to Lonely Planet Travel programmes living with remote tribes. She likes belly-dancing and embroidery.
Lisa Stevens is an American expat now living and working in London. She has been making documentary television programs for BBC, Channel 4 UK, Channel 5 UK, Discovery Channel and National Geographic. Lisa is currently producing two one-hour programs on biker (motorcycle) culture for National Geographic Channel.