The Co-op: The Original Kids of Dorie Miller explores New York City’s first unsegregated housing cooperative — named for Black WWII hero, Doris “Dorie” Miller. Weaving cinema verite, animation, and archival footage with interviews of current and former residents, this feature-length documentary highlights the little-known home to jazz greats, trailblazing entrepreneurs, and distinguished public servants, and fights for its rightful place in history.
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Paulina Davis (Executive Producer and Director) is the third generation in her family to grow up in The Co-op. She is a civil rights attorney, educator, and first-time filmmaker. Through this deeply personal documentary, Paulina wants to preserve history, celebrate the legacy of The Co-op in the face of its possible extinction, and raise questions about wealth and ownership for Black people in the US. Paulina is based in Brooklyn.
Joanna Rudolph (Co-producer) is the founder of New York City-based iCatcher Films, a producer of several short films, she is also an Executive Producer of the award-winning indie feature film BURNING ANNIE www.burningannie.com, which premiered at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2003 and was acquired by Warner Brother’s subsidiary Lightyear Entertainment for distribution in 2007. In 2017, the rights reverted back to the producers, who self-released the film on TVOD platforms via Sundance Creative Distribution Initiative. A member of New York Women in Film and Television and The Gotham (formerly IFP), Joanna has also written articles for the publications NoFilmSchool.com and AgnesFilms.com.
Jesse Ash, Producer,is a native New Yorker, producer, director, and partner at Greener Media. Jesse is the director of MAN IN THE MAZE (2015), which won a Sundance Film Festival Award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Jesse is an associate producer on the feature film documentary, COMMON GROUND (2011), and most recently produced first-time filmmaker Karen Yung’s short documentary, LOVE, CHINATOWN (2020), which became a viral sensation on the Internet and subsequently licensed by Lightbeam Media.
Chanelle Aponte Pearson, Executive Producer, is an award-winning producer and director from The Bronx, New York. She is executive producer for the Peabody Award-winning HBO series, RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS (2018) and producer for the critically acclaimed feature, AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY (2012). As a director, Chanelle is most recognized for the Gotham Award-winning digital series 195 LEWIS (2017). In addition, Chanelle was a consulting producer on DOWN A DARK STAIRWELL (2020)–a documentary about the killing of Akai Gurley in the Pink Houses by Asian American police officer, Peter Lang, and the issues that were raised between these two communities of color. Chanelle is a proud member of the New Negress Film Society, a collective that centers the work of Black women and non-binary filmmakers. She is also a 2022 Momentum Fellow at the Sundance Institute.
Melissa Griffiths Brown, Associate Producer, is a patron of the arts and chief operating officer at an established successful venture capital group in New York City.
Caitlin Riggsbee, Archival Producer, is a New York-based non-fiction filmmaker. A graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, she has since worked on projects such as PBS’s FINDING YOUR ROOTS, with Henry Louis Gates Jr., Season 5 Eps. 1 & 2 (2019), HBO’s LAST WEEK TONIGHT with John Oliver, Season 6, Ep. 29 (2019), and PBS’s THE BLINDING OF ISSAC WOODARD (2021). As of July 2021, she is working on Season two of HBO’s THE VOW, and is archival producing a documentary on the disappearing jury trial (presently untitled).
Bryan Gentry, Director of Photography, is based in Newark, New Jersey. He is experienced in lensing feature documentaries, commercials, music videos, and television. Bryan began his career in 2009 as an on-screen talent for the PBS reboot of THE ELECTRIC COMPANY (2009). After being introduced to the transformative power of the camera and lighting, he launched his career as director of photography of the Discovery ID series The Perfect Murder. Recently known for his work on the Netflix series PATRIOT ACT with Hasan Minhaj (2018). His clients include Netflix, HBO, A&E, Discovery ID, and Comedy Central. He’s also been trusted to film commercial campaigns for LG, Conde’ Nast, Reebok, Adidas, Nike, and Heinz.
Nancy Novack, Editor, has been editing documentary and feature films for over 20 years. Her work has appeared on HBO, PBS, ABC, The Sundance Channel, The History Channel, The National Geographic Channel, and The Discovery Channel; and has been featured at the Sundance, Venice, Tribeca, and New York film festivals. Her films have received numerous awards from Emmy, Peabody, Dupont, and the George Polk award for Journalism. Recent credits include – for PBS: CANCER: THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES (2015), THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2013), CLINTON (2012), FINDING YOUR ROOTS, with Henry Louis Gates Jr., Season 1 Ep. 2 (2012), AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: MY LAI (2010), and BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL (2004); for ABC: FINAL WITNESS, Ep. 4 (2012); for HBO: SOUTHERN RITES (2015), DEAR TALULA (2006), and Spike Lee’s WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE (2006), which earned Nancy an Emmy award for Outstanding Picture Editing of a Nonfiction Program. Nancy has also co-written and co-produced SONGS OF ODESSA, a feature-length documentary about turn-of-the-century Odessa in Russia, told through the music and life of composer David Nowakowsky. And, she is a co-producer and the editor of ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY (2020).