Elemental Productions is a Los-Angeles based ethnographic documentary film company dedicated to the production of films focusing on the relationship between culture, psychology, and personal experience. Elemental Productions was founded in 2007 by anthropologist Robert Lemelson and evolved out of years of fieldwork and thousands of hours of footage gathered in Indonesia since 1997.
Robert Lemelson is a cultural anthropologist, ethnographic filmmaker and philanthropist. Lemelson received his M.A. from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles. Lemelson’s area of specialty is transcultural psychiatry; Southeast Asian Studies, particularly Indonesia; and psychological and medical anthropology. He currently is a research anthropologist in the Semel Institute of Neuroscience UCLA, and an adjunct professor of Anthropology at UCLA. His scholarly work has appeared in numerous journals and books. Lemelson has directed and produced over a dozen ethnographic films related to culture, psychology and personal experience. He founded Elemental Productions in 2008, a documentary film company. He is also the founder and president of the Foundation for Psychocultural Research, which supports research and training in the social and neurosciences.
Born in Sicily, Pietro Scalia won two Academy Awards for Best Editing including JFK by Oliver Stone and Black Hawk Down by Ridley Scott. His other editing credits are Body of Lies, American Gangster, Memoirs of a Geisha, Hannibal, Good Will Hunting, The Quick and The Dead, Stealing Beauty, Little Buddha and many others.
Alessandra Pasquino has produced broadcast commercials, documentaries and special projects for over 10 years. She has collaborated with many filmmakers and artists including: Oliver Stone, Wayne Wang, Klaus Kinski, Gregory Colbert, Leonardo Di Caprio, Pietro Scalia and Matthew Rolston. She is currently a freelance documentary producer and independent filmmaker.
Dag Yngvesson was the cinematographer on “Stoked: the Rise of Gator,” a documentary about the rise and fall of skateboard legend Mark “Gator” Ragowski and wrote, produced and edited “Rated X: A Journey through Porn,” about the Los Angeles porn industry. Yngvesson studied film and anthropology at Pitzer and Hampshire Colleges, where he made his first films: “The Kaos Company,” a documentary on squatters in Gothenburg, Sweden, and “Making Skateboards in New Russia,” about skateboarder/entrepreneurs in St. Petersburg after the fall of communism.
Heidi Zimmerman was brought on to the film by supervising editor, Pietro Scalia. She was initially moved by the state of lead character, Budi, a boy born 30 years after the tragedy of 1965 yet still affected by it. It also intrigued her that an event of such magnitude could be so easily silenced and erased from the world’s history. “If there’s one thing I’d like the audience to take away from the film,” she says, “It’s that violence unaddressed leads to more violence.” Ms. Zimmerman has a BFA in Film Production from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. She has cut documentaries, narratives, commercials, and music television. She is currently editing another short documentary for Elemental Productions and looks forward to more provocative work in the future.
Kathy Huang’s career as a filmmaker began in the dusty fields of South Texas. Inspired by her experiences teaching in a rural high school, she produced her first documentary on a teenager coming of age along the US-Mexico border. Her work has continued to center on underrepresented communities facing unique challenges and has played at festivals such as Tribeca and SILVERDOCS.
Through the course of his career, Ko has collaborated with a who’s who of trendsetting artists, musicians and filmmakers. He worked with Spike Jonze on several music videos and edited the pilot for MTV’s “Jackass,” which Jonze co-created and executive produced. As a founding member of the innovative production company H-Gun, Ko helped create more than 80 music videos for Nine Inch Nails, Sound Garden, Smashing Pumpkins and other top bands of the time. For more than 15 years, he crewed skateboard videos and traveled the globe with world-renowned installation artist Doug Aiken, working on his films “Eraser,” “Into The Sun” and “Electric Earth.”
Ko has just finished directing his long-gestating documentary, “The Brotherhood,” about the up-and-down lives of three prominent Chicago skateboarders. The film premiered April 2012 at the Foundation for Asian American Independent Media Showcase (FAAIM).
Emily Ng was a writer and contributing editor for 40 Years. She completed her undergraduate studies in psychological anthropology and women’s studies at UCLA in 2006. Emily has long been interested in the ways pain, ambivalence, and hope color the human experience, which has inspired work in academic research (The Foundation for Psychocultural Research, UCLA Autism Project), alternative journalism (FEM Newsmagazine, Mother Jones), and psychiatric case management.
Malcolm Cross BSc Mus. Studied music performance and composition in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, additional Post Graduate studies in Jazz and Studio Music. Malcolm has been a professional composer for film, television and stage since 1996. Past work has included Music Director for the Cambridge ADC Touring Theater Co, writing original music for touring versions of ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Hummingbirds’; Musical Director for City at Peace Los Angeles in 2008; he has had music featured in the tv shows ‘MTV Road Rules’ and ABC‘s ’America‘s Prom Queen’(theme song), ‘Men in Trees’ and the Focus Features romantic comedy movie ‘Something New.’ His original film scores include ‘Insomniac Obsession’ (directed by Paul Cameron Carter/PS Films) and ‘Oh Saigon’, a feature-length documentary for Sundance Channel directed by Doan Hoang, ‘I Dream of Dog’ an independent comedy short directed by Jessica Rice and ‘The Grey’, a supernatural thriller directed by Norman Trotter IV.
Pursuing a circuitous route to something resembling a career, Richard Henderson attended S.U.N.Y. Buffalo in the late ‘70s in an attempt to earn a Master’s degree in film history. Fate and romance dictated a relocation to New York, where he bought a synthesizer and promptly forgot all about film. He was briefly affiliated with Jon Hassell’s concert group in the early ‘80s, whose membership at the time included Brian Eno and Michael Brook. In fits and starts, soundtracks for television commercials and short films emanated from Henderson’s Manhattan studio; he opted to write about music through the decade that followed and beyond to the present day. Henderson’s writing on ethnomusicology, film music and avant-pop still appears in The Wire (U.K.) and his reportage has previously graced the pages of Billboard, The Beat, Soma, Escape, LA Weekly and Murder Dog; work on four film scores as assistant to his one-time band mate, the justly lauded solo artist, producer and film composer Michael Brook, led to music editing and music supervision for films such as Borat, The Life Aquatic and Into The Wild (the latter earning Henderson the 2007 Golden Reel Award for Music Editing in Feature Films).
Luis Lopez received a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design. Luis is an LA-based freelance creative working in the fields of new media, motion graphics and design since 1988. For 40 Years of Silence, Luis worked on motion graphics, digital media, and collateral artwork design.
Ninik Supartini assisted Dr. Lemelson in two research projects about community mental health in Java and Bali. Since 2006, Supartini has served as a mental health and psychosocial consultant for international humanitarian organizations working in post-disaster and conflict areas in Indonesia and Myanmar.
Supartini studied English teaching as an undergraduate at the Yogyakarta Teacher Training Institute and lectured in English for more than ten years before turning her interests to community mental health. In 2004, she returned to school at Gadjah Mada University to earn her Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology. Supartini was honored with a Donald J. Cohen Fellowship in 2006 and East West Center Fellowships in 2006 and 2007.