Philippe Diaz - Writer/Director (continued)
After moving to Los Angeles in 1991, he has continued to produce films with budgets ranging from $200,000 and $15 million under his production company. With "Heavy Metal 2000" he was able to broaden his production knowledge with the animated production and his collaboration with Columbia / TriStar. In 1994 he started specializing in bringing foreign films into the US for distribution with the support of all the European majors that Diaz has collaborated with throughout the years.
In 2003, he created Cinema Libre Studio, with a consortium of partners to provide an alternative structure for intelligent, independent films to be developed, financed, produced and distributed.
Diaz's directorial debut, the documentary film, "The Empire in Africa", examines the unjust war the international community waged against civil war stricken Sierra Leone. The film won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at Slamdance 2006 and has screened at festivals across the world. Diaz directed an independent feature, "Now & Later", shot on HD in Los Angeles and is currently in development on "The Last Days of Karl Mark" which is slated to begin filming in 2010.
INTERVIEWS WITH PHILIPPE DIAZ
Beth Portello - Producer
Portello is a co-founder of Cinema Libre Studio and has overseen marketing and business development for the independent studio known for distributing social issue films. This is her first producing credit for a feature length documentary. She also shepherded Diaz's feature film "Now & Later" as producer.
Previous to working in the film industry, Portello worked at adidas America as a marketer in various roles including Director of Event Marketing and Brand Project Manager leading a global initiative around NBA star Kobe Bryant. She is a graduate of University of California at Berkeley.
While making this film, she was inspired to start "The Filmanthropy Project" as a means to give back directly to the people whose personal stories are shared in the making of documentaries. Currently the group has funded a micro-loan program for HIV+ members of the community organization STAWI located in the Kibera slum in Kenya as well as an ongoing feeding program for Orphans and Vulnerable Children.