Raise your awareness

Film Discussion Leaders


2022 / 2023

Meltdown In Dixie

September 21, 2022

Panel Profiles

Emily Harrold is a documentary filmmaker from Orangeburg, South Carolina. Her films have screened at festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival, DOC NYC and the Telluride Film Festival. Her short film Meltdown In Dixie, a TOPIC original documentary that is part of WORLD Channel’s America ReFramed Series, won the Academy Qualifying Best Short at the 2021 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and has gone on to garner many awards including a 2022 dupont Columbia Finalist designation and a 2022 Silver Telly Award. Harrold produced the PBS American Experience documentary Flood in the Desert about the 1928 St Francis Dam Disaster, which premiered in May 2022. Her feature documentary directing debut, While I Breathe, I Hope about politician Bakari Sellers, won the documentary Audience Award at the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival, premiered on WorldChannel’s AfroPop series in 2019, and won a 2020 Southeast Region Emmy. Harrold is also part of the team behind Discovery’s Tigerland (Sundance 2019) and National Geographic’s Ron Howard-directed Rebuilding Paradise (Sundance 2020). She is part of DOC NYC’s 2021 40 Under 40 Class. Harrold is a member of Film Fatales, the Documentary Producers Alliance, and the collective The Filmshop. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Beth Jasper is a filmmaker who began her career as the Unit Publicist on the film END OF THE LINE starring Kevin Bacon, Holly Hunter and Levon Helm. Following that film, she served as the Arkansas State Film Commissioner for then Governor Bill Clinton, working to bring films to the state. She has since worked as a producer on many films including her own documentary, The Devil’s Box: The Story of Texas Style Fiddling, with her husband Jason Hammond. Beth has worked as a film festival programmer for many years including Hot Springs Documentary Festival, Dallas Video Fest and BendFilm Festival. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Encircle Films.

Storm Lake

November 2, 2022

Panel Profiles

Camilla Mortensen is editor of Eugene Weekly, Lane County’s alternative newspaper, where she has worked since 2007 in positions from calendar editor to environment reporter. Eugene Weekly is a local and woman-owned newspaper printing 30,000 papers a week.

After 25 years in the newspaper business as a reporter, page designer, and senior editor, Noel Nash joined ESPN where he worked on their Stats & Analysis Team and was Vice President of the Stats and Information Group. Noel left ESPN in 2017 and purchased The Chronicle, which publishes in Springfield, Creswell, and Cottage Grove, in February 2019. He and his wife Dee Dee have a son, Benjamin who lives in Connecticut, and a daughter, Melissa, who lives in Salem, OR.

Chris Pietsch is the Director of Photography for Gannett Newspapers in Oregon, The Register-Guard in Eugene and the Statesman Journal in Salem. He has been a photographer for the The Register-Guard since 1988. Before that he worked for the Daily News in Moscow, Idaho and the Lewiston Morning Tribune in Lewiston, Idaho. He grew up in a newspaper family as the grandson of the publisher of the Sandpoint News-Bulletin, in Sandpoint, Idaho.


Youth V Gov

December 7, 2022

Panel Profiles

Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana
Age: 26, Hometown: Eugene, Oregon

“I believe that climate change is the most pressing issue my generation will ever face, indeed that the world has ever faced. This is an environmental issue and it is also a human rights issue.”

Kelsey of Eugene, Oregon, has engaged in climate activism since age 10. When she was 15 she co-filed a lawsuit, with the support of nonprofit Our Children’s Trust, against the Oregon State Governor, asking for a climate emissions reduction plan and to protect the atmosphere under the public trust doctrine. By 16, Kelsey was a trainer and organizer for the Sierra Student Coalition’s organizing camp. At age 18 Kelsey participated in the Great March for Climate Action, marching 1,600 miles from Nebraska to Washington, D.C. urging climate action from world leaders…us! In 2015, at 19, she submitted a Constitutional Climate Change lawsuit alongside 20 other youth against the United States Government. She has represented #youthvgov work of Our Children’s Trust at film festivals, classrooms, rallies, conferences, and throughout the US and internationally. Her background also includes work with iMatter, 350.org, Greenpeace, and Earth Guardians, and she was recently recognized as an addition to the collection of American’s Who Tell The Truth. Kelsey is an undergraduate student at the University of Oregon in Eugene and aspires to be a teacher.


Once Was Water

January 11, 2023

Panel Profiles

Jeff Althouse, Founder & CEO of Oakshire Brewing – Jeff and his brother Chris founded Oakshire Brewing in 2006 when Jeff’s love of homebrewing converged with Chris’s passion for new opportunities.  Jeff grew up in small towns in the Willamette Valley and fell in love with rural Oregon.  The valley’s small groves and solitary oaks left a lasting impression and eventually gave Oakshire its name.   The company supports numerous 501c3 nonprofits, but its primary giving supports the McKenzie River Trust through Oakshire’s 1% for Watersheds Program.  The brewery is fortunate to have the McKenzie River, its stewards and protectors at the McKenzie River Trust, and a solid public utility in EWEB, maintaining our water infrastructure and delivering some of the world’s highest quality source water directly to our brewery.  Breweries, like the people they serve, need a high-quality and secure water supply to survive and thrive.

Brandi Crawford Ferguson, McKenzie Community Liaison & AD of Philanthropy – Brandi has worked for the McKenzie River Trust (MRT), a regional land conservation nonprofit, since 2009.  As a daughter of a logger and grand-daughter of a logger, Brandi is the third generation in her family working in natural resources in the McKenzie Valley.  After the Holiday Farm Fire swept through the McKenzie Valley, burning 500 homes and 173,000 acres on Sept 7, 2020, Brandi’s deep roots and the strong relationships she developed working for MRT, allowed her to help connect urgent needs with resources in town.  She continues to work alongside fire affected community members, volunteers and watershed partner organizations, to help rebuild and replant, a more resilient watershed and thriving community in the McKenzie Valley.

Karl Morgenstern, Watershed Restoration Program Manager for EWEB – Karl is currently the Watershed Restoration Program Manager for the Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) in Oregon leading the response and recovery efforts to the devastation of the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire on the McKenzie Watershed, Eugene’s sole source of drinking water. He has worked for EWEB for over 20 years managing the water quality team and drinking water source protection program. Prior to EWEB, Karl spent 10 years at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and seven years as an environmental consultant managing high priority cleanups at abandoned hazardous waste sites and responding to hazardous material spills.  He received a bachelors degree in geography from the University of Kansas.

Behind The Shield

February 8, 2023

Panel Profiles

About Dave Zirin:
Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Dave Zirin is the sports editor at The Nation magazine, their first sports editor in over 150 years of existence. He has been called “the best sportswriter in the United States,” by the New York Times icon Robert Lipsyte. He has written eleven books on the politics of sports, including the acclaimed biography Jim Brown: Last Man Standing. He is also the co-author of the New York Times bestseller, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable with former NFL player Michael Bennett. Zirin has brought his blend of sports and politics to multiple networks and television programs including ESPN’s Outside the Lines, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CNN, and Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. He has also been on numerous national radio programs from sports radio to National Public Radio’s Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, and All Things Considered. Zirin has also been an advisor to filmmakers ranging from Ken Burns to Ang Lee and has appeared in a number of documentaries. He also produced a segment on the forthcoming Showtime documentary about Dr. Harry Edwards. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, the Baltimore Sun, the Pittsburgh Courier, and many other publications.

The Boys Who Said NO!

March 8, 2023

Panel Profiles

Judith Ehrlich directed The Boys Who Said NO! She is an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She co-produced and co-directed The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, which was nominated for an Academy Award and Primetime Emmy in 2009. The film won the George Foster Peabody Award , screened at thirteen international festivals, opened in over 100 theaters in the US and was broadcast on eighteen public television networks internationally. Judith also co-produced and directed The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It another ITVS documentary, which tells the story of the men who, guided by principle, took the unpopular position of pacifism during World War II. She is the only filmmaker to twice win the top US awards for history film: the John O’Connor Film History Award, from the American Historical Association, and the Eric Barnouw Award, from the Organization of American Historians.

THE AMERICAN DREAM and Other Fairy Tales

April 12, 2023

Panel Profiles

Bob Bussel is professor emeritus of history and the former director of the Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) at the University of Oregon. Bob’s career spans five decades of association with the union movement, including work with the United Farm Workers, ten years as an organizer with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union. and twenty-seven years as a university-based labor educator. Bob received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Cornell University.  He is the author of two books, has published numerous articles on labor history and contemporary labor issues, and edited two reports on the immigrant experience in Oregon.

Will Garrahan is a member of the organizing committee of Oregon Student Workers Union.

Carolyn Roderique is a junior at UO majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Italian. She works as a Resident Assistant and is an organizer in the UO Student Workers Union campaign.

Theaters Of War

May 17, 2023

Panel Profiles

Norman Solomon is an American journalist, media critic, author and activist. His latest book, “War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine,” will be published by The New Press in June 2023. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews called the book “a powerful, necessary indictment of efforts to disguise the human toll of American foreign policy.”

Solomon’s dozen other books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” A full-length documentary film, narrated by Sean Penn, was based on “War Made Easy.” The New York Times review called the film “ultimately persuasive” and said: “Many of its arguments have been made before … but Mr. Solomon digs deeper and hammers harder.”

Solomon is the founder of the Institute for Public Accuracy, a consortium of policy researchers and analysts. He is IPA’s executive director and the coordinator of its ExposeFacts program.

He is co-founder and national director of the online organization RootsAction.org, which now has upwards of 1.3 million online supporters. To sign up, go to https://rootsaction.org/join-us