Director & Producer Katina Dunn
I was a journalist for decades starting at City News Bureau in Chicago and The SouthTown Economist, publishing in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader and Newsweek, among other periodicals. As a teenager, I studied at the Art Institute and American Academy of Art; graduated Northwestern University in 1980. Later, was Image Editor and columnist at the Orange County Register and founded the Mt. Wilson Observer newsweekly. The first time I saw the flamencos performing at Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, I was overcome – by their hunger to perform, by their longing to have an audience, and at the same time their desire to be the best artists they could be for each other.
Flamenco artists can be extremely harsh critics of one another and how each person interprets the art form. One of the true tests for flamencos is whether or not a performer is other-oriented. This strong defense of community in making flamenco is counter to the culture of solo stardom in Los Angeles. I was compelled to tell this story which seemed impossible to do in print. Journalism is a great discipline from which to dive into documentary filmmaking. I attended a wealth of seminars at Film Independent and International Documentary Association. Cinematographer Avi Cohen taught me all the tech I could learn, as did film Editor Noah Berlow. I later experienced the jolt of Werner Herzog attending his Rogue Film School. Werner’s effortlessness at the poetic plus technical requirements of filmmaking put the task in perspective.
Cinematographer Avi Cohen
Avi has filmed music videos, commercials and movies. His subjects include Slash (Guns ’n Roses), Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Sully Erna (Godsmack), Zack De La Rocha (Rage Against The Machine) and Scott Stapp (Creed). Cohen works for the VH1 HD Network and received kudos for his 2010 Super Bowl commercial on Doritos. Avi has worked all over the world from Bali to South Africa. He would like to make a documentary on Sade, starring Sade Adu. He was recently Director of Photography on ESPN’s “Depth Chart” Year of the Quarterback’s new series about the Auburn football program. Recent music videos include DJ Chuckie’s “What Happens in Vegas,” Obie Trice’s “Spend the Day,” DMX with MGK’s “I Don’t Dance,” and Travis Barker x Yelawolf “Whistle Dixie.” He has directed Googoosha in “Round Run” and “How Dare,” and Chamillionaire in “On My Way.”
Film Editor & Co-Producer Noah Berlow
Noah was Co-Head Post Production of Steven Spielberg’s “Survivors of The Shoah Visual History Foundation” and edited its award-winning “”Recollections” documentary. He is freelance Director/Editor for Rolling Stone.com and USMagazine.com. Berlow has edited and produced documentary video for Van Halen, Ricky Martin, Taylor Swift, John Mayer, Sully Erna of Godsmack, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the TV shows “Dancing With The Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Noah approached “KUMPANIA” from his understanding of the Holocaust, which he connected to the persecution of the Romani people. He has a brilliant sense of rhythm and music and quickly became expert on flamenco palos.
Sound Design Canyon Cody & Sean Dwyer “Gnotes”
Canyon and Sean have music studios in Granada, Spain and Boyle Heights. Canyon, a Cuban-American, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study the origins of flamenco and produced the CD “Granada Doaba” on the record label he shares with Sean – Gnawledge Records. They sponsor events all over the city, featuring the “New Latin” improvisations of DJ Ethos, JRoz and Zuzuka Ponderosa. Sean recently moved to Seattle, and travels to L.A. often to work. One of their latest projects at East Side Luv in Boyle Heights is jamming to flamenco and cumbia rhythms in a monthly “Subsuelo.” For Canyon and Sean, there are no musical boundaries.
Music Editor Fran Gala
Jose Francisco Gala is a musician as well as recording engineer and producer. He grew up in Mexico City, Fairfax, VA and Peru. After years of touring Mexico as a vocalist in rock ‘n roll bands, Gala moved to Los Angeles to begin his career in audio engineering and producing. He was recording engineer for the 2010 Grammy Award-winning record “Resonance Big Band Plays Tribute to Oscar Peterson.” Gala is recording his solo album “1985” which will be released by Medical Records/Stylus Recs playing guitar, synthesizers and vocals. The documentary’s narrator Bruce Bisenz (retired sound mixer) introduced Fran to the KUMPANIA project. “He hears things nobody else hears,” Bruce said.
Executive Producer Kevin Dunn
Photo by Todd Williamson – © WireImage.com – Image courtesy WireImage.com
Kevin is a veteran actor of more than 100 films and TV shows including the ‘Transformers” movies directed by Michael Bay, “Unstoppable” directed by Tony Scott, “The Frozen Ground” directed by Scott Walker, “Warrior” directed by Gavin O’Connor and the HBO series “Luck” directed by Michael Mann and written by David Milch. He supported KUMPANIA from its start, and can do palmas in many palos.
Co-Producer Margo Alexander
My mom, Margo Alexander, lives in Chicago and her Artist Age is 30. Margo appreciates Maria Callas, bouzouki music, and flamenco. She has another home in Athens, Greece, where she resides when not working at A.C. Alexander Structural Engineers in Chicago.