The Filmmakers

A photograph of Megumi Sasaki, with her hair brushed back and lying over her left shoulder. She is wearing a blue, short-sleeved shirt and a necklace with a small pendant.

From filmmaker Megumi Sasaki:

Her three favorite films:

There are too many good movies. I can only mention my three favorite documentaries from this year: Shinjuku Boys, Burma VJ and Yes Madam, Sir.

Her advice for aspiring filmmakers:

Persevere. Forgive. Be grateful. Make no enemies. Lose fights; win the war. Always question where your assertion comes from—is that based on your ego or creativity? Let it go if it comes from your ego. Welcome obstacles and limitations—they push you to the edge where you have no choice but to work harder and be creative.

Her most inspirational food for making independent film:

Watching as many films as possible, both good and bad. Bad ones can be just as inspirational—they motivate me to come up with alternative ideas to make them better.

Filmmaker Bios

Megumi Sasaki

Originally a freelance journalist, Megumi Sasaki joined NHK In 1992, serving as anchor, news director and reporter for Ohayo Nippon, a popular morning news program. In 1996, she returned to independent work as a freelance television documentary news director and field producer, developing programs for Japan's premiere documentary series, NHK Special, and for commercial networks including TBS, Nippon Television and TV Tokyo.

In 2002, Sasaki founded Fine Line Media, combining her commitments to Japanese TV with her new interest in feature documentary projects. HERB & DOROTHY is her first independent film.

Bernadine Colish

Bernadine Colish has edited award-winning documentaries including Body of War, which was named Best Documentary by the National Board of Review and was on the 2007 Academy Award shortlist; A Touch of Greatness, which aired on Independent Lens and was nominated for a 2006 Emmy Award and The Buffalo War, which aired on PBS and received a Golden Gate Award for Best Environmental Film at the 2001 San Francisco International Film Festival. Colish began her career at Maysles Films, where she worked on such projects as Toru Takemitsu: Music for the Movies and the American Masters documentary Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For. Additional credits include Absolute Wilson and Muslims for Frontline.

Axel Baumann

Axel Baumann was born in Germany. He became a camera assistant in 1992 and six years later made the transition to director of photography. As DP, he has shot four feature films and also served as second unit DP John Waters’ Pecker among other films. Baumann’s work includes documentaries, music videos and commercials. He has shot for Warner Brothers, National Geographic Television, Discovery Channel, The Sundance Channel, BBC and PBS. In 2005, he was nominated for an Emmy for his cinematography on Liberia: An Uncivil War for Discovery Times. His latest project was Carrier, a 10-part PBS series following the USS Nimitz on deployment to the Persian Gulf.

David Majzlin

David Majzlin's film composing credits include Being Reel, which won the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker Competition; Still(e), winner of the Union of Film Music Composers Medal for Best Score (Avignon Film Festival); Excuses, Excuses, nominated for a Student Academy Award; Virgin Larry, winner of the Coen Brothers Audience Award (Brooklyn International Film Festival); Welcome to New York (Showtime) and over 20 other independent films.

Television credits include Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn (Comedy Central), Living with Change (Castleworks) and Looking Back, Moving Forward (PBS). He has also composed music for numerous commercials, theatrical productions, choreographers and artists.

Karl Katz
Executive Producer

Karl Katz has created films on arts and culture for 30 years and has spent more than 35 years in museum management. In 1958, he helped create Israel’s National Museum in Jerusalem and in 1969 was appointed director of the Jewish Museum in New York.

Katz was founder and director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Office of Film and Television, where he produced nearly 40 films. In 1984, he became executive director of the museum’s Program for Art on Film.

In 1992, Katz founded MUSE Film and Television, a not-for-profit company that uses film and digital media to create quality films on the visual arts and culture.

Catherine Price
Executive Producer

Catherine Price’s experience spans research, marketing, management of political and philanthropic initiatives and film production. In 1991, Price joined MUSE Film and Television, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating films on the visual arts and culture.

Price is the managing director of MUSE and is responsible for all MUSE productions and distribution. She also manages MUSE’s film festival of award-winning films on the arts, held annually in New York City.

Read about the making of HERB & DOROTHY >>

View film credits >>

Read the Filmmaker Statement >>


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