It is the mission of On Look Films to reach across cultural divides, document cultural history and contribute to diverse intercultural dialogue, thus creating a more peaceful world.
On Look Films is grateful to have an internationally diverse team of professionals dedicated to realizing Voices and Faces of the Adhan: Cairo. Combined, the team has won over 25 awards for film, visual art and sound projects, and participated in over 100 international film festivals, including the Cannes International Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Globians Berlin Documentary Film Festival.
Anna Kipervaser is a Ukrainian-born Chicago artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Her work has been consistently shown in galleries and arts publications across the country since 2001, she has been the recipient of numerous grant awards and residencies including the George Sugarman Foundation Grant, New York Studio Program Residency, the Bertha Langhorst Werner Award, and the Stephen H. Wilder Traveling Scholarship. Anna's venture into film was inspired by a painting research trip to the Middle East where she discovered the vastness of the soundscape of Cairo through the adhan.
Inspiration for Anna's creative endeavors stems from her fascination with culture. Anna has traveled extensively and has created numerous bodies of socially relevant work. While she has worked in various mediums in her career, her experience in the Middle East has moved her to work with film as a tool for increasing awareness of social and cultural issues globally.
Rodion Galperin is a Belarus-born Chicago based designer and Creative Engineer. Rodion's design background is in print, web and interactive media. His client base is broad, he has worked on national advertising campaigns with Fortune 500 companies and with independent musicians, artists and filmmakers to engineer innovative design strategies that support the unique individual projects. He has been featured in numerous experimental design publications and continues to be actively involved in the New Media community.
Rodion holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Columbia College Chicago and a BFA in Multimedia & Web Design from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Chicago. He is enthusiastic about his move into film, with which he would like to make a relevant impact through his expertise in interactive multimedia, design and photography.
Scott F. Busch is a Chicago based film and video editor whose work includes documentary and narrative film, cinematic weddings, music videos, corporate and small business promotional videos and more. He graduated with honors from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a BA in film and video post-production.
Scott was the post-production supervisor and co-editor for a short films program entitled, "Made in Iran: Seven Short Premieres", which debuted at the 2012 Slamdance Film Festival. He was also the online editor and colorist for "Circles and Signals" which was an official selection at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2011. Scott was the post production coordinator for "Manbird", an official selection at the 2010 Chicago International Film Festival. Recently, Scott completed a feature-length documentary about a woman struggling with cancer entitled "I Am a Visitor in Your World."
Meredith Zielke is an award-winning independent filmmaker, cinematographer and audio producer. She has undertaken topics such as the effective process of dialogue in confronting the Israel/Palestine conflict (Zeitouna), prismatic notions of body in Ecuador (La Curación), nautical illustrations of Restless Leg Syndrome (Jib Halyard), alternatives in public education (Our School), urban compromise within Post-Fordist Detroit (Detroit: Ruin of a City), 'City of Big Shoulders'-Informed Couture (Chic Chicago: Chicago History Museum), Alaskan environmental research (Discovery Voyages), disembodiment and disregard amongst Pakistani refugees, and the dual perception of Asian-American women (Eyes without a Face).
Her work has been selected for competition at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival, FIFEQ (Festival International du Film Ethnographique due Québec), Media City International Film Festival, C-Pop Gallery and Detroit's Fringe Festival. She has spoken and presented at ethnographic conferences hosted by Yale University, Université de Montréal and McGill College in Montreal, and has instructed both audio and video documentary courses at the Detroit Film Center, Mess Hall [Chicago], and in Loja, Ecuador.
Ryan “Catfish” Chindlund is a sound engineer and designer with over ten years’ experience designing, engineering and recording sound in the Chicago area. Catfish is currently sound engineer at Chicago House of Blues. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA, with Honors, and a concentration in Live Sound Reinforcement. Throughout his time as a professional sound engineer Catfish has recorded numerous live events, studio projects, and has installed PA Systems throughout Chicago and its outlying areas. Ryan also continues to play in various musical projects as a percussionist and also as a multimedia sound art collage one-man-band.
Born in Cairo where he currently resides, Islam Khaled graduated at the top of his class from the Faculty of Tourism at Helwan University in 2007. In addition to being a tour guide, he is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Tourism at Helwan University and is working toward his Masters Degree in Egyptology. His goals are to transform negative perceptions of Egypt and Islam through dialogue and action. Islam speaks Arabic, English, French and Japanese, and is an avid athlete and sports fan. He has dedicated his life’s work to fostering cross-cultural understanding, a mission he continues pursuing with On Look Films.
Originally from Kansas, Jeremy Johnson moved to Cincinnati in 1998, where he attended the Art Academy of Cincinnati majoring in Art History and Fine Arts. He specializes in ancient and early modern religious practices of Western and Eastern cultures. Much of his work incorporates historical mediums in modern context as a way of delivering cultural practices to modern viewers.
Jeremy also curates exhibitions in Cincinnati and collaborates in large scale theatrical and performance art productions. Currently, Jeremy is working on a long term project entitled Meddling With Nature which incorporates photography, sculpture, taxidermy, video, animation, and other media. Meddling with Nature is intended to educate viewers on medical practice and biological process through the use of visual art. This recent work has given Jeremy a new skill of translating visual information on a vast scale and has provided him with the opportunity to incorporate his passion for connecting elements.
Sandra Kofler is a Chicago journalist reporting on everything from entertainment to the lives of everyday people. As a child of Eastern European immigrants, her experience straddling cultures both American and foreign has been life-long. Sandra began her career in journalism at the College of Media at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she was the recipient of the Glenn Hanson scholarship in visual communications. While studying abroad in Moscow, she interned at the city’s oldest independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, alongside her role model, late human rights journalist Anna Politkovskaya. As a final project, she composed a thesis in Russian about the deteriorating state of mass communications and free speech in Russia, topics that have formed her perspective as a journalist. After earning a BS in Print Journalism in 2004, she worked in New York City as a reporter and researcher at local and national publications including Entertainment Weekly, The Village Voice, Spin Magazine and TV Guide Magazine. She is a freelance writer with a column in TV Guide Magazine. She is currently living in Chicago and honing her photography skills and learning Romanian as part of her ongoing research on the Republic of Moldova for a future book project.
Ahmed Rasheed is an ambitious independent filmmaker in Cairo, Egypt. He has directed and produced films such as Morphine and The Lost Valley, and directed a TV spot, Sailing the Nile to End Poverty, for the United Nations Development Programme. With his work, Ahmed continues to be interested in culturally relevant films that deal with urban life as well as the fabric of Cairo’s diverse social classes. His films have been featured around the world in festivals and residencies such as the Berlinale Talent Campus and the Culture Wheel Independent Film Festival. Ahmed holds a BA in Broadcasting from Modern Sciences and Arts University, Cairo.
He has worked as Assistant Director on numerous films including The Yacoubian Building, Ibrahim Labiad, and Dam El Ghazal. Currently working on several projects locally and internationally, Ahmed Rasheed works independently and with Lighthouse Films, one of the biggest production houses in Egypt, where he is Assistant Director and Producer.
After participating in the first American-Syrian cultural exchange program with the Middle East Fellowship, where she volunteered with the health awareness program for Iraqi refugees, Jen Reinhardt became a passionate advocate of media and educational reform with regards to the Middle East. Graduating from the University of Chicago in 2009 with a Bachelors in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Jen relocated to Los Angeles to become program coordinator for the Levantine Cultural Center and also contributing film editor for the Levantine Review. Seeking to bridge community activism and civic engagement with the arts, Jen continues her fierce dedication to cross-cultural communication through her current positions as programs associate for the Chicago Cultural Alliance and associate producer for the International Voices Project.
Michael Pfirrman is a multi-instrumentalist and visual artist. Over the last decade, Michael has performed with experimental ensembles and cross-eyed rock bands from Brooklyn to Cincinnati. A self-taught musician, Michael specializes in guitar and bass instruments. He studied Fine Art at Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he was the recipient of the prestigious McAuley Art Award. Michael draws upon many musical influences, and his creative endeavors are informed by improvisation, melody and harmony, texture and noise. In 2010, Michael released his debut solo album, Abattoir. In his lifelong pursuit of musical exploration, Michael is currently studying the Egyptian oud, a stringed instrument of the Middle East and northern Africa belonging to the lute family.
Yoni Goldstein is an award winning Chicago based filmmaker, cinematographer, and editor whose work puts forward multi-sited interpretations of myth, conflict, and diaspora. Developing multiple variations on the documentary, Yoni has gone on to work on a number of socially critical film projects: from examining hybridized healing practices in the Northern Andes (La Curación) to diaristic journeys through post-revolution Lithuania (Cousin Kasyte) to windows of dialogue in the Palestinian/Jewish Diaspora in (Zeitouna).
His films have circulated in numerous regional, national and international festivals, conferences, and showcases.
In 2003, Yoni Goldstein opened Standing Point Films, an independent film and video production house. He and Meredith Zielke envision, design, and lead this organization from the ground up to develop independent and experimental media projects. Since its inception, Standing Point Films has produced and supported over thirty films and video projects and continues to operate as a successful documentary production company.
Menna Khalil is an independent researcher and writer working between the Middle East and the United States. She holds an MA in International Human Rights Law at American University in Cairo and a BA in International Studies, French, and Economic Theory from DePaul University in Chicago. Menna served as coordinator and interpreter for Research Journalism Initiatives' Leadership Institute in Nablus during summer 2010. She documented the impact of the killing of Palestinian youth in the village of Iraq Burin in the West Bank in 2010 and the uprising of Egyptians in Cairo during early 2011. She is currently back in Egypt, carrying out ethnographic work following the ouster of former President Mubarak. Menna looks forward to pursuing further graduate studies in Anthropology.
Jason Reeder is a translator based out of Cairo, Egypt. He is a graduate of Brown University, with a degree in Linguistics, and from the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA) program in Cairo. While translating Voices and Faces, he is pursuing certification in simultaneous translation from the American University in Cairo.
Jason grew up in Oakland, California, where much of his heart still resides, and throughout his life has worn many hats, including that of a musician, teacher, meditator, and life-long student of language and linguistics.