The Blog

500 Likes and… Here’s our TRAILER!

Samantha Grant (Director/Producer)

SAM_Headshot_for_websiteSamantha Grant (Director/Producer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, capsule journalist, search and educator. Her approach to storytelling is influenced by both her undergraduate degree in American Studies/Literature from Yale University and her Master’s of Journalism degree from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Through her San Francisco based production company GUSH productions, malady Sam has created work for clients including MTV, ABC, PBS, CNN, NPR, FRONTLINE, FRONTLINE/World, and Al Jazeera International. In 2007, Sam was named a Carnegie/Knight fellow as part of the News 21 Initiative on the Future of Journalism and in 2011, Sam was named a BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, where she began work on the robust transmedia companion project for A FRAGILE TRUST. Currently, Sam is creating the Educational Alternate Reality Game DECISIONS ON DEADLINE, which teaches journalism ethics through an interactive and entertaining experience. Sam is also the DP/Producer of the upcoming feature documentary GIRLS IN THE FOREST, which tells the story of a revolutionary girls high school being built in one of the last pristine forests in South America. When she’s not shooting or producing independent documentaries, you can find Sam lecturing at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Stanford’s Knight Fellowship program.
Company Website: gushproductions

Brittney Shepherd (Co-Producer)

Brittney_Headshot_for_WebsiteBrittney Shepherd (Co-Producer) is a San Francisco-based independent filmmaker. Brittney is one of the creators of the Alternate Reality News Game, DECISIONS ON DEADLINE, where players act as journalists reporting on a fictional story. Brittney is directing her first feature doc, EYE, CAMERA which follows artist Tanya Vlach, who after losing her left eye in a car accident, sets out to build a camera inside her prosthetic eye as a means to re-envision her disability. In 2013, Brittney was named a BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, where she will be building BIONICS BASECAMP a companion interactive database and one-stop-shop for current trends in biotechnology and human body enhancement. She is also the Co-Producer of OUT RUN (dir: Johnny Symons and S. Leo Chiang), a feature documentary about openly gay politicians in more traditional regions of the world. Brittney was the Associate Producer on Emmy-nominated film A VILLAGE CALLED VERSAILLES (ITVS), and MR. CAO GOES TO WASHINGTON (CAAM). Brittney is the former Staff Producer at GroundSpark, where she produced award-winning films alongside the Academy-Award winning director Debra Chasnoff, including CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF DEL MARTIN and STRAIGHTLACED. Brittney holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley in Ethnic Studies.

Richard Levien (Editor)

Richard_Headshot_for_websiteRichard Levien (Editor) has a PhD in theoretical physics from Princeton University, but has found his real passion in film. As a freelance film editor, he co-edited the feature documentary D Tour, which won the Golden Gate award for Best Bay Area documentary at the 2009 SF International Film Festival (Independent Lens, 2009). He edited the short film Remigration (Dir: Barry Jenkins, “Medicine for Melancholy”) which premiered at SxSW and appeared in the ITVS web series “Future States”, and edited and did motion graphics for “On the Assassination of the President” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.

Jessica Jones (Associate Producer/Assistant Editor)

Jessica_Headshot_for_websiteJessica Jones is a filmmaker and independent media producer specializing in documentary style video productions. She holds a B.A. from Northwestern University in Psychology and International Studies, and is a graduate of George Washington University’s Institute for Documentary Filmmaking. With a background in both film and nonprofit advocacy, Jessica views visual storytelling as a unique platform for social innovation, and intends to use filmmaking as an opportunity to shed light on community based issues. She is a 2013 BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, and was the 2011 George Stoney Fellow at Working Films.

Justin Melland (Composer)

With over 30 feature and documentary film credits to his name, Justin Melland has become known for his wonderfully eclectic scores and his constant use of LA’s finest studio musicians, which always elevate his music to the highest level of quality. After finishing his Master’s Degree in music composition at UCLA and UC Berkeley, one of his first composing positions was to write an original score for “The Death of Kevin Carter, Casualty of the Bang Bang Club” which was nominated in 2006 for an Oscar® by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and is distributed by HBO. In addition to his very full film composing schedule, he has also written the scores for seven successful television series: “Live Through This” (Fuse), “Inside” (National Geographic/PBS), “Undercover History” (National Geographic), “City Confidential” (A&E), “Frontline/WORLD” (PBS, Discovery/Times), The Human Weapon (History) and “Snapped” (oxygen).
As a third generation journalist, stuff
I care deeply about the future of the profession. Getting people thinking and talking about the challenges facing journalism, diagnosis
while highlighting how reliable and accurate journalism is essential to a functioning democracy,
is why I’m doing this work. My hope is to draw people in with a gripping and entertaining account of this amazing story, and then keep them engaged long enough to explore these issues in a deeper way.

With most major newspapers planning to move the bulk of their operations to an online format the potential for plagiarism is on the rise, thereby giving new relevance to the lessons learned in the aftermath of the Blair Affair. Nearly every week it seems there’s a new plagiarism scandal breaking, and the story of the Jayson Blair scandal is becoming a frighteningly familiar narrative. A FRAGILE TRUST takes a deeper look into the mind of Jayson Blair, the serial plagiarist, and explores what caused this promising young man to make so many bad decisions, while also examining dynamics inside the Times that may have contributed to Blair’s downfall.


Thank you to everyone who has liked our A FRAGILE TRUST Facebook Page.  We are currently well over 500 likes and are hoping to get another 500 soon.  When we get to 1000, patient
we are going to start releasing a series of very special surprises.  Stay tuned for more info.

As promised, diagnosis we are releasing our Trailer today! After 7 years, it feels great to start sharing this project with the world.  Please share widely.  #afragiletrust #sheffdocfest

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