Sheila Ganz


Sheila Ganz directed, produced and edited the Emmy-nominated documentary ON LIFE’S TERMS: MOTHERS IN RECOVERY, Certificate of Recognition, California State Legislature and Certificate of Honor, City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  Ganz first documentary UNLOCKING THE HEART OF ADOPTION , Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Angels in Adoption Award.  Both films continue to screen in educational institutions, adoption agencies and substance use treatment programs.  Ganz has been a volunteer of the warm helpline for Bay Area Birth Mother’s Assoc., since 2001.  Ganz taught filmmaking at Film Arts Foundation and guest lectured at City College of San Francisco and Academy of Art University.  Ganz wrote and directed two stage plays PRETEND IT DIDN’T HAPPEN about relinquishing her daughter for adoption, and LEAVING JOE about domestic violence.  Before becoming a documentary filmmaker, Ganz was a painter and sculptor.  Her work has exhibited in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Boston Area.  School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  BA Sculpture, MA Interdisciplinary Arts, San Francisco State University.  Ganz is a Black Belt in Karate. Ganz is deeply committed to giving voice to the lives of misunderstood and marginalized women, men and children.

Carole Dean


Carole Dean is a producer, as well as the author of The Art of Film Funding Second Edition & The Art of Manifesting: Creating your Future. Her Executive Producer credits are BAM 6.6, Women Behind the Camera, Step Away From the Stone, American Chain Gang, and more on IMDB. Carole is an Entrepreneur who created and ran a Film business in Hollywood, NYC and Chicago for 33 years, she sold it in 2001. She created the Roy Dean Film grant in 1992 and has given over $2,500,000.00 in grants to independent filmmakers, and helped to produce over 70 films. Carole is currently the President of From the Heart Productions, a 501(C) 3 nonprofit, where she manages the Grant and fiscal sponsorships for the nonprofit; and she teaches and mentors filmmakers with extraordinary films.

Ellie Shukert

Mental Health Advisor

Ellie Shukert has two sons with mental illness and worries all the time that they could end up homeless when she and her husband are not around anymore.  Or even before, as they are adults and a psychotic break could make them unresponsive to help.  Ellie has advocated for persons living with serious mental illness (SMI) for 20 years.  She writes to politicians and the powers that be to help the SMI get off the streets, out of prison, and into proper care and supportive housing.  Funding is difficult.  Stigma.  Ignorance.  Ellie’s personal essay Dorothea Dix Reborn was published in the award-winning book Tomorrow Was Yesterday by Dede Ranahan with 64 co-authors.  Ellie sat for four weeks at Teresa’s trial in San Francisco along with other mothers.  She introduced Sheila Ganz to Teresa’s sister, Frances, who agreed to have Teresa’s story in the documentary PIECE OF MIND.  “I’m going to work till I die to motivate people in charge to develop a humane healthcare system with equal attention to SMI.”

Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum


Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Grammy Award-winner, she writes music for concert halls, film and theatrical stages internationally, film scores include: THE SHATTERING, THE APOCALYPSE ACCORDING TO DORIS, JOBURG, MESMERIZE ME, BACK TO THE FRONT and TEMPORARY OBSESSIONamong others, in addition to collaborative work on numerous projects including KINECT DISNEYLAND ADVENTURES, CRAFT IN AMERICAN, VITO, IN JUSTICE, AMERICAN MASTERS, ACE VENTURA PET DETECTIVE JR., KUNG FU PANDA 2 Video Game, THE TOURNAMENT, among others.  Among her documentary film scores is ON LIFE’S TERMS: MOTHERS IN RECOVERY.  Kroll-Rosenbaum won the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award for her work, Two Songs from DAYS OF INNOCENCE, published by Boosey & Hawkes and released by Vital Records.  From 2003-2005, Kroll-Rosenbaum served as the Director of the Composers’ Forum at The Juilliard School, and as a Teaching Artist for the New York Philharmonic.  As a co-founder and six-year co-director of the interdisciplinary new music group, VisionIntoArt, she collaborated on creating multimedia programming and music for over 30 productions that were presented throughout the United States. Kroll-Rosenbaum has received grants from The American Music Center, Meet the Composer, The New York State Council on the Arts, ASCAP, NFAA, among others.  In 2009, Kroll-Rosenbaum served as co-librettist and executive music producer for the Carnegie Hall world premiere of Langston Hughes’ ASK YOUR MAMA, a multimedia collaboration between Jessye Norman, Laura Karpman and The Roots.

Yasmin Mistry

Animator and Designer

Yasmin Mistry is an Emmy-nominated animator and award-winning filmmaker. who blends these creative mediums to tell character-driven stories with an intimate lens.  Her work has been displayed worldwide, including showings at the United Nations and White House as well as at SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, DOC NYC, and more. She is the recipient of grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, Puffin Foundation, Riverside Sharing Fund, and Harnisch Foundation and was a two-time finalist for funding from the ITVS Diversity Development Fund. Films from her documentary shorts series about foster care have been featured in over 140 film festivals and nominated for more than 80 awards. In 2018, She received the CASA Hero Award for her advocacy work, giving youth in the child welfare system an opportunity to be heard. When not making films, Yasmin works as a programmer for the Anchorage International Film Festival, a screener for the Blackbird Film Festival, and a co-leader for the filmmaking collaborative Docshop. She is currently in production on a feature documentary about family separation, forgiveness and the path towards healing.

Jennine Lanouette

Story Consultant

Jennine Lanouette has worked with Pixar Animation Studios, Independent Television Service, Film Arts Foundation, Squaw Valley Community of Writers and numerous screenwriters, directors and documentary filmmakers including: SMITTEN and FOLLOWING SEAN, Point of View Series, and Emmy-nominated ON LIFE’S TERMS: MOTHERS IN RECOVERY by director/producer, Sheila Ganz.  Jennine has taught story structure analysis at Pixar, Lucasfilm and online at, where she has also blogged extensively and posted instructional videos.  Her articles on story structure have appeared in Release Print and Filmmaker magazines. As a free-lance journalist covering American Independent film, she has written for Premiere, The Village Voice, Ms., Sight and Sound, Screen International, and The Independent.

Jennie-Sue Nuccio


Jennie-Sue is an alum of Lucasfilm, NBC News, and the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach.  Trained as an A.D. under Danielle Rigby at the Connecticut Film Industry Training Program, she has worked as First A.D., Producer, and Cameraperson on a number of documentary and feature film projects.  Her work as a director/producer has been seen at festivals around the globe and on the Investigation Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, and Biography Channel.

Additional Camera

Nancy Ericsson
Shani Heckman
Heidi Irgens
Alisha McCutcheon