Key Directors and Creative Braintrust 

Pauline Zalkin - Founder & Chief Creative Officer Pauline is a filmmaker and visual artist with a background in social impact communications. She is known for combining a rigorous strategic framework with highly original creative content to help nonprofits and other changemakers leverage the power of story to reach their most important audiences.  As the Founder and Creative Director of Fineas Media, she drives stakeholder engagement through authentic, emotional and visually arresting short films.  Over the course of a career deeply rooted in the social sector, she has led initiatives for a range of organizations and causes including McKinsey & Company's nonprofit and CSR division, the White House, Devex, the RAND Corporation, Business Fights Poverty, and Taproot Foundation.  She has produced short films for nonprofits and social enterprises around the world; developed innovative social media campaigns; led multi-stakeholder coalitions; produced press operations for high-profile Presidential events; and designed capacity-building trainings to help organizations tell their story effectively and compellingly.

Pauline Zalkin - Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Pauline is a filmmaker and visual artist with a background in social impact communications. She is known for combining a rigorous strategic framework with highly original creative content to help nonprofits and other changemakers leverage the power of story to reach their most important audiences. 

As the Founder and Creative Director of Fineas Media, she drives stakeholder engagement through authentic, emotional and visually arresting short films. 

Over the course of a career deeply rooted in the social sector, she has led initiatives for a range of organizations and causes including McKinsey & Company's nonprofit and CSR division, the White House, Devex, the RAND Corporation, Business Fights Poverty, and Taproot Foundation. 

She has produced short films for nonprofits and social enterprises around the world; developed innovative social media campaigns; led multi-stakeholder coalitions; produced press operations for high-profile Presidential events; and designed capacity-building trainings to help organizations tell their story effectively and compellingly.

Simon Duncan-Watt -Master Storyteller - CARE As a contributing Creative Director at Fineas, Simon Duncan-Watt helps guide the agency’s storytelling efforts and vision for content. A veteran in the social impact space, for almost ten years Simon has developed winning creative digital strategies for a multitude of both corporate, NGO’s and foundations. As Creative Director at GetUp!, Simon ran both national elections campaigns including releasing the hit ‘It’s Time’ campaign video now at 20 millions views on youtube. As Content Director at Purpose.com in NYC, a social good b-corp, Simon ran creative campaigns with clients as diverse as Bloomberg, the ACLU and Organix. As a film buff, with a slowly waning Australian accent, nothing makes Simon happier than creating impactful content that moves hearts and minds.

Simon Duncan-Watt -Master Storyteller - CARE

As a contributing Creative Director at Fineas, Simon Duncan-Watt helps guide the agency’s storytelling efforts and vision for content. A veteran in the social impact space, for almost ten years Simon has developed winning creative digital strategies for a multitude of both corporate, NGO’s and foundations. As Creative Director at GetUp!, Simon ran both national elections campaigns including releasing the hit ‘It’s Time’ campaign video now at 20 millions views on youtube. As Content Director at Purpose.com in NYC, a social good b-corp, Simon ran creative campaigns with clients as diverse as Bloomberg, the ACLU and Organix.

As a film buff, with a slowly waning Australian accent, nothing makes Simon happier than creating impactful content that moves hearts and minds.

Greta Knutzen - Executive Producer at Spinifex Group, a Project: WorldWide agency For ten years, Greta Knutzen has been a documentary producer, generating blue-chip programming, including the Emmy-award winning Sex Slaves (PBS/Frontline, Channel 4, CBC). She has produced content for major international broadcasters including National Geographic, The History Channel, A&E, Discovery, PBS, HBO and Channel 4 (UK). Her work afforded her the opportunity to tell stories that matter. Inspired by the people on the frontlines of social change, she co-founded Avenue Media & Creative, with a view to provide transmedia engagement campaigns for non-profits and global social innovators. Marquee clients include The Rockefeller Foundation and New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.  She designed and taught an undergraduate course in "Big Data" at The New School for Public Engagement, the first of its kind. 

Greta Knutzen - Executive Producer at Spinifex Group, a Project: WorldWide agency

For ten years, Greta Knutzen has been a documentary producer, generating blue-chip programming, including the Emmy-award winning Sex Slaves (PBS/Frontline, Channel 4, CBC). She has produced content for major international broadcasters including National Geographic, The History Channel, A&E, Discovery, PBS, HBO and Channel 4 (UK).

Her work afforded her the opportunity to tell stories that matter. Inspired by the people on the frontlines of social change, she co-founded Avenue Media & Creative, with a view to provide transmedia engagement campaigns for non-profits and global social innovators. Marquee clients include The Rockefeller Foundation and New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. 

She designed and taught an undergraduate course in "Big Data" at The New School for Public Engagement, the first of its kind. 

Brian Lightbody - Creative Director, Rabbit, Rabbit & Partners Brian is a visual storyteller that has led creative work for major commercial brands, startups and non-profit organizations. Most recently Brian founded Rabbit, Rabbit & Partners, a consultancy building creative work for social good that has worked with The Environmental defense Fund, Sierra Club, Mythic Bridge and Micah Challenge. Before RR&P, Brian was a Creative Director at Purpose leading their portfolio of climate change related work, producing a viral video featuring a super hero Pope, a documentary in which Evangelical Christian rockstars meet with those affected by climate change at the Paris COP21 convention. Brian has led advertising campaigns for major brands such as Unilever, Coca Cola, JP Morgan/Chase and Target.          

Brian Lightbody - Creative Director, Rabbit, Rabbit & Partners

Brian is a visual storyteller that has led creative work for major commercial brands, startups and non-profit organizations.

Most recently Brian founded Rabbit, Rabbit & Partners, a consultancy building creative work for social good that has worked with The Environmental defense Fund, Sierra Club, Mythic Bridge and Micah Challenge.

Before RR&P, Brian was a Creative Director at Purpose leading their portfolio of climate change related work, producing a viral video featuring a super hero Pope, a documentary in which Evangelical Christian rockstars meet with those affected by climate change at the Paris COP21 convention.

Brian has led advertising campaigns for major brands such as Unilever, Coca Cola, JP Morgan/Chase and Target.

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Sondhi - Co-Founder and Managing Editor, Short of the Week A filmmaker, writer, & short film expert, Jason is intensely interested in the nexus between traditional film worlds and the internet. He has been a leading voice for online short film since 2007 as co-founder of the influential website “Short of the Week”, & served as Vimeo's Lead Curator for Staff Picks from 2011 to 2016. Honored as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Film”, Jason believes that short filmmaking is uniquely positioned to expand the definition of storytelling in our digital era, and endeavors to grow the structures & audiences that can sustain innovative new voices.  

Jason Sondhi - Co-Founder and Managing Editor, Short of the Week

A filmmaker, writer, & short film expert, Jason is intensely interested in the nexus between traditional film worlds and the internet. He has been a leading voice for online short film since 2007 as co-founder of the influential website “Short of the Week”, & served as Vimeo's Lead Curator for Staff Picks from 2011 to 2016. Honored as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Film”, Jason believes that short filmmaking is uniquely positioned to expand the definition of storytelling in our digital era, and endeavors to grow the structures & audiences that can sustain innovative new voices.

 

Dana Rae Warren - Producer/Script and Story Consultant Dana Rae Warren is a filmmaker, teacher, and consultant with 25 years in the national television documentary and independent film worlds. She enjoys and has developed particular expertise shaping stories in the edit room. Teaching, collaborating, and consulting, with both professionals and laypeople, is one of Dana Rae’s greatest pleasures. She has worked with both adults and children of all ages for schools and organizations such as The Sundance Institute's program at the International Film & Television School in Cuba, multiple K-12 schools, the international school Maine Media Workshops, University of Southern Maine, University of Rhode Island, and Bates College, as well as corporate & federalentities. She was previously a Governor’s Appointee to the Maine Film Commission under two governors, and served on the Board of the Camden International Film Festival. Dana Rae graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University and, before filmmaking, worked in the social service field, including group homes for kids, and a hotline for women facing violence.  

Dana Rae Warren - Producer/Script and Story Consultant

Dana Rae Warren is a filmmaker, teacher, and consultant with 25 years in the national television documentary and independent film worlds. She enjoys and has developed particular expertise shaping stories in the edit room.

Teaching, collaborating, and consulting, with both professionals and laypeople, is one of Dana Rae’s greatest pleasures. She has worked with both adults and children of all ages for schools and organizations such as The Sundance Institute's program at the International Film & Television School in Cuba, multiple K-12 schools, the international school Maine Media Workshops, University of Southern Maine, University of Rhode Island, and Bates College, as well as corporate & federalentities.

She was previously a Governor’s Appointee to the Maine Film Commission under two governors, and served on the Board of the Camden International Film Festival. Dana Rae graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University and, before filmmaking, worked in the social service field, including group homes for kids, and a hotline for women facing violence.

 

Sala Patterson - Communications Expert Sala brings over 15 years of experience developing high-impact editorial content, and communication and brand strategies for international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector. She counts the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, African Develo pment Bank, German Development Cooperation, United Nations Development Programme, UNAIDS, and PARIS21 among her clients. Sala has been telling stories since she began her career as an editor at a top-tier international magazine. Since then, she has written for the New York Times T Magazine, Ford Foundation Report, New Internationalist, and Condé Nast Traveler, among others. Sala has lived and worked in eight countries in North, East, and West Africa, and in Asia. She speaks French, Italian and Portuguese and holds an MSc from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA from Columbia University.

Sala Patterson - Communications Expert

Sala brings over 15 years of experience developing high-impact editorial content, and communication and brand strategies for international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector. She counts the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, African Develo pment Bank, German Development Cooperation, United Nations Development Programme, UNAIDS, and PARIS21 among her clients.

Sala has been telling stories since she began her career as an editor at a top-tier international magazine. Since then, she has written for the New York Times T Magazine, Ford Foundation Report, New Internationalist, and Condé Nast Traveler, among others. Sala has lived and worked in eight countries in North, East, and West Africa, and in Asia. She speaks French, Italian and Portuguese and holds an MSc from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA from Columbia University.

Denielle Sachs - Director of Social Impact, McKinsey & Company Denielle joined McKinsey & Company in 2008 to lead the strategic design and implementation of the firm’s corporate social responsibility agenda. Denielle has started an organization to support social impact filmmakers called Tembo Group, and is an active member of the Sundance Institute. She has led numerous documentary projects throughout her career. Previously, Denielle spent several years with APCO Worldwide working on a range of international development and CSR programs, and complex stakeholder engagement. She’s also worked with the TB Alliance, led major campaigns for the Asia Foundation in Thailand, and spent several years in crisis and transaction communications at The Abernathy MacGregor Group. Denielle continues to serve as a media consultant to The White House, and sits on the boards of several non-profits. She holds an M.A. in International Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA from New York University.    

Denielle Sachs - Director of Social Impact, McKinsey & Company

Denielle joined McKinsey & Company in 2008 to lead the strategic design and implementation of the firm’s corporate social responsibility agenda.

Denielle has started an organization to support social impact filmmakers called Tembo Group, and is an active member of the Sundance Institute. She has led numerous documentary projects throughout her career.

Previously, Denielle spent several years with APCO Worldwide working on a range of international development and CSR programs, and complex stakeholder engagement. She’s also worked with the TB Alliance, led major campaigns for the Asia Foundation in Thailand, and spent several years in crisis and transaction communications at The Abernathy MacGregor Group. Denielle continues to serve as a media consultant to The White House, and sits on the boards of several non-profits.

She holds an M.A. in International Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies and a BA from New York University.

 

 

Aviva Mohilner - Branding & Strategy Expert Avia is Founder and Chief Enthusiast of Amplify Good. Her professional background includes integrated marketing communications, brand strategy, innovation capability building, social media management, public relations, and providing professional training in all of the above. The common thread is her desire to help individuals and organizations that she believes in become magnets for the people they most want to reach. (Thus, they are able to become wildly successful and change the world, and she gets all warm and fuzzy inside.)

Aviva Mohilner - Branding & Strategy Expert

Avia is Founder and Chief Enthusiast of Amplify Good. Her professional background includes integrated marketing communications, brand strategy, innovation capability building, social media management, public relations, and providing professional training in all of the above. The common thread is her desire to help individuals and organizations that she believes in become magnets for the people they most want to reach. (Thus, they are able to become wildly successful and change the world, and she gets all warm and fuzzy inside.)

Staff

Taylor Bryon - Producer & Chief of Staff Before embarking on her career as a producer, Taylor was entrenched in the non-profit sector. In California, she partnered with local organizations and school districts to establish after-school programs offering college access education and resources to youth. As a producer, she has since helped Fineas develop creative, moving content, always driven by her passion for social good.   

Taylor Bryon - Producer & Chief of Staff

Before embarking on her career as a producer, Taylor was entrenched in the non-profit sector. In California, she partnered with local organizations and school districts to establish after-school programs offering college access education and resources to youth. As a producer, she has since helped Fineas develop creative, moving content, always driven by her passion for social good. 

 

Julian Velez - Editor & Technical Manager Julian is a skilled editor, camera operator, colorist and all-around production super-star. From rigging lights to pulling focus on set, to serving as the core hub and backbone of our post production team, Julian manages various aspects of production at Fineas. The only thing that rivals Julian's unsurpassed wealth of technical knowledge is his upbeat attitude and passion for social issues. He holds a degree in film from Full Sail University. 

Julian Velez - Editor & Technical Manager

Julian is a skilled editor, camera operator, colorist and all-around production super-star. From rigging lights to pulling focus on set, to serving as the core hub and backbone of our post production team, Julian manages various aspects of production at Fineas. The only thing that rivals Julian's unsurpassed wealth of technical knowledge is his upbeat attitude and passion for social issues. He holds a degree in film from Full Sail University. 

Brea Bagsic - Social Media Manager From writing projects to social media content management, when we need something done well we count on Brea's smarts and accuracy to execute. Brea has also served as a communications assistant at the New School, and has served as a US Foreign Policy Grading Assistant at NYU. She holds an M.A. in Comparitive Politics from NYU.  

Brea Bagsic - Social Media Manager

From writing projects to social media content management, when we need something done well we count on Brea's smarts and accuracy to execute.

Brea has also served as a communications assistant at the New School, and has served as a US Foreign Policy Grading Assistant at NYU. She holds an M.A. in Comparitive Politics from NYU.

 

Atlas - Chief Morale Officer Atlas brings a diverse array of experience to his essential role as Chief Morale Officer at Fineas. From running after balls to wooing our office neighbors, to sometimes urgently chewing the furniture, young Atlas is on the move, and always busy at work. Throughout the workday he engages us in stress alleviation activities including long walks, improvised comedic performances, and soothing belly rubs. As a puppy with a very important job, he knows better than anyone how to create work / life balance and he teaches us that and more every day.  

Atlas - Chief Morale Officer

Atlas brings a diverse array of experience to his essential role as Chief Morale Officer at Fineas. From running after balls to wooing our office neighbors, to sometimes urgently chewing the furniture, young Atlas is on the move, and always busy at work. Throughout the workday he engages us in stress alleviation activities including long walks, improvised comedic performances, and soothing belly rubs. As a puppy with a very important job, he knows better than anyone how to create work / life balance and he teaches us that and more every day.
 

Fineas Contributors

Stella Scott - Filmmaker Based in London, Stella graduated Central Saint Martins with a 1st and specialised in design for film and theatre. Her directorial debut ’Finding Sol’ was commissioned by Film London, nominated by the Best of Boroughs award and went on to be screened across the festival circuit. Her most recent short ’Street Angel’ was commissioned by Dazed Digital and became a Vimeo staff pick. She works as a freelance filmmaker directing, shooting and editing editorial, promotional and short film format content for clients including the National Theatre, UMI (adidas, Ralph Lauren, HOSB, Tate) and LFW. *Fineas note: Stella's project "Street Angel" is one our favorite 5-min shorts of all time. Check it out here.

Stella Scott - Filmmaker

Based in London, Stella graduated Central Saint Martins with a 1st and specialised in design for film and theatre. Her directorial debut ’Finding Sol’ was commissioned by Film London, nominated by the Best of Boroughs award and went on to be screened across the festival circuit. Her most recent short ’Street Angel’ was commissioned by Dazed Digital and became a Vimeo staff pick. She works as a freelance filmmaker directing, shooting and editing editorial, promotional and short film format content for clients including the National Theatre, UMI (adidas, Ralph Lauren, HOSB, Tate) and LFW.

*Fineas note: Stella's project "Street Angel" is one our favorite 5-min shorts of all time. Check it out here.

Jacob Taylor - Filmmaker Jacob has experience filming in over a dozen countries in five continents. He strives to film nature, people and stories in a way that captures their beauty and brings an emotional connection to the viewer. He is founder and CEO of JMT Rentals, a production rental service, in Los Angeles, California. He has had a passion for nature, social change and film since he was young. Throughout his life, he has put an emphasis on travel and discovering new cultures. 

Jacob Taylor - Filmmaker

Jacob has experience filming in over a dozen countries in five continents. He strives to film nature, people and stories in a way that captures their beauty and brings an emotional connection to the viewer.

He is founder and CEO of JMT Rentals, a production rental service, in Los Angeles, California.

He has had a passion for nature, social change and film since he was young. Throughout his life, he has put an emphasis on travel and discovering new cultures. 

Kasia Broussalian - Writer & Digital Strategist Kasia Broussalian is a writer, photographer, and multimedia strategist in New York City specializing in politics, nonprofit work, and environmental issues. Prior to coming to the city, Kasia worked as a documentary photographer and multimedia journalist in Colorado and throughout the Southwest for the Boulder Daily Camera, the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Associated Press. She graduated with an MA in international relations and politics from New York University in 2012, and holds a BS in broadcast journalism from the University of Colorado.

Kasia Broussalian - Writer & Digital Strategist

Kasia Broussalian is a writer, photographer, and multimedia strategist in New York City specializing in politics, nonprofit work, and environmental issues. Prior to coming to the city, Kasia worked as a documentary photographer and multimedia journalist in Colorado and throughout the Southwest for the Boulder Daily Camera, the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Associated Press. She graduated with an MA in international relations and politics from New York University in 2012, and holds a BS in broadcast journalism from the University of Colorado.

David Martinez - Cinematographer and Colorist David Martinez is a documentary filmmaker, known for his cinematic approach to non-fiction storytelling and camera work. David has traveled the world as a cinematographer and colorist. His immersion in film productions, both in the camera department as well as the post-production department, has given him the opportunity to work for clients such as Volvo, McKinsey Social Initiative, Vitec Group, Crankworx and others. After completing the Cinematography Intensive training at Maine Media Workshops, David returned for two seasons as the Post Production Manager. His experience has given him a great understanding about the relationship between cinematography and post-production.

David Martinez - Cinematographer and Colorist

David Martinez is a documentary filmmaker, known for his cinematic approach to non-fiction storytelling and camera work. David has traveled the world as a cinematographer and colorist. His immersion in film productions, both in the camera department as well as the post-production department, has given him the opportunity to work for clients such as Volvo, McKinsey Social Initiative, Vitec Group, Crankworx and others.

After completing the Cinematography Intensive training at Maine Media Workshops, David returned for two seasons as the Post Production Manager. His experience has given him a great understanding about the relationship between cinematography and post-production.

John Belanger - Filmmaker John Belanger is a freelance filmmaker and resident of Los Angeles, California. He earned his BA from Johns Hopkins University in Film and Media Studies, then went on to expand his technical knowledge at Maine Media Workshops + College.  He has worked on a variety of projects including feature films, TV shows, music videos, commercials, shorts, and documentaries. He is the Grand Prize recipient of the 2015 B&H Creative Storytelling Contest hosted by Maine Media Workshops and will be traveling to Cuba in 2017 for an independent documentary project. 

John Belanger - Filmmaker

John Belanger is a freelance filmmaker and resident of Los Angeles, California. He earned his BA from Johns Hopkins University in Film and Media Studies, then went on to expand his technical knowledge at Maine Media Workshops + College.  He has worked on a variety of projects including feature films, TV shows, music videos, commercials, shorts, and documentaries. He is the Grand Prize recipient of the 2015 B&H Creative Storytelling Contest hosted by Maine Media Workshops and will be traveling to Cuba in 2017 for an independent documentary project. 

Dominique Hernandez - Strategy Manager With more than 10 years experience in the social sector space, Dominique has worked with renowned nonprofits, including Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Action Against Hunger, cultivating creative social media campaigns, online marketing initiatives, and successful fundraising campaigns. Dominique has a deep understanding of the value that connection and community can hold for an organization, and how to use the power of the internet to bring those concepts to life. She holds a B.A. from Drew University in Political Science and Philosophy.

Dominique Hernandez - Strategy Manager

With more than 10 years experience in the social sector space, Dominique has worked with renowned nonprofits, including Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Action Against Hunger, cultivating creative social media campaigns, online marketing initiatives, and successful fundraising campaigns.

Dominique has a deep understanding of the value that connection and community can hold for an organization, and how to use the power of the internet to bring those concepts to life. She holds a B.A. from Drew University in Political Science and Philosophy.

Lindsey Jacobson - Video Editor Lindsey Jacobson is an experienced video editor, passionate about social change. Her experience spans the gamut of News, Documentary, Commercial, DocuSeries TV shows and short form web content videos. She is a staff Editor at DuArt Film and Video, onlining Pokemon, creating animation,. She continue to freelance on various various Feature and Documentary films.

Lindsey Jacobson - Video Editor

Lindsey Jacobson is an experienced video editor, passionate about social change. Her experience spans the gamut of News, Documentary, Commercial, DocuSeries TV shows and short form web content videos.

She is a staff Editor at DuArt Film and Video, onlining Pokemon, creating animation,. She continue to freelance on various various Feature and Documentary films.