The Team

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Ilse Fernandez (Producer/Director) is a Colombian-born U.S. immigrant, documentary filmmaker and docu-series showrunner with over 20 years of experience. She has produced and directed over 200 hours of nonfiction and long-form documentaries for ABC, NBC, Vice, MTV, Netflix, Discovery, A&E, National Geographic and The History Channel. Ilse began tackling pressing social issues via documentary as a director and story producer on five seasons of A&E’s “Intervention” series, including the 2009 Emmy Award-winning season. Her “Rachel” episode, about a homeless 21-year old heroin addict, was nominated for both an Emmy and Producers Guild Award. As a showrunner on Viceland’s cutting-edge eight-part documentary series “Cyberwar,” she explored geopolitical-digital conflicts, from NSA whistleblowers to Anonymous hackers. On Spotify’s “Music Happens Here” documentary series, she served as both director and showrunner finding innovative stylistic ways to bring different music genres to life from Pink Floyd to A$AP Mob. The series won three Clio awards. In 2018, she founded Viva Vida Productions, dedicated exclusively to creating non-fiction films and content. She is a 2021 Logan Non-Fiction Fellow, 2019 SFFilm/Catapult Documentary Fellow, and recipient of both the 2019 LPB Current Issues Fund and 2020 LPB Public Media Content Fund grants. “Exodus Stories” is her first feature documentary.

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Felipe Lacerda (Editor) is one of the top feature and documentary editors working globally and best known for editing the two time Academy award nominated film “Central Station." His films have screened at major festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, Havana, São Paulo, San Sebastian, Full Frame, and Rotterdam. He has edited 25 feature films and 16 feature documentaries that have won awards including Berlin's Golden Bear, the BAFTA, an Emmy, a Golden Globe Award, and a Peabody award. He’s been nominated for best editing in Grand Cinema Brazil 8 times, won Gramado’s Kikito in 2006 and currently holds the title for Best Editing in Brazil, by the Brazilian Academy of Cinematography. He co-directed and edited Bus 174. The film was shortlisted for the Academy Awards, and was the winner of 12 International prizes. His most recent documentary, "The Edge of Democracy"  explores the rise and fall of Brazilian Presidents Dilma Rousseff and Lula da Silva and screened in the 2019 Sundance World Documentary Competition.

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Michele Farinola (Executive Producer)  is an award-winning producer who has been working in documentary features and television for over twenty years. She recently produced LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE, the 2020 Grammy® winner for Best Music Film, the 2019 Critic’s Choice winner for Best Music Documentary and 2020 Emmy® nominee for Outstanding Arts & Culture Documentary. The film premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically by Greenwich Entertainment, becoming one of the highest- grossing documentaries of the year and broadcast on CNN, where it was one of highest-rated documentaries. Michele also produced the critically-acclaimed DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME in conjunction with Cameron Crowe’s Vinyl Films and BMG. Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, the documentary was a 2020 Grammy® nominee for Best Music Film.

Heading production, development and operations for PCH Films, Michele has executive produced a half-dozen other film projects over the past five years, before starting her own company, Pearl Moon Films in 2020. She previously served as Co-Head of Documentary Features at Spitfire Pictures, a unit of Exclusive Media, where she was an executive producer of the Academy Award®-winning documentary UNDEFEATED, released by the Weinstein Company, and the 2012 Grammy® Award-winning documentary FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH. Michele was the executive in charge of production for HBO’s 2012 multi-Emmy®-winning documentary GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD, directed by Martin Scorsese, as well as THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA, re-leased by Lionsgate and Showtime. Her entertainment career began at Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, where she worked for a studio chairman.  Michele eventually segued into producing and directing dozens of high-profile, award- winning cable documentary series and specials for AMC, A&E, USA Network, SciFi Channel, Starz, and Animal Planet, under the Fox Television Studios banner.

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Andrew Mayling  (Composer) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and member of two notable UK hit bands: The Boxer Rebellion and Freya Ridings. With his band, he has written music for several feature films and many programs on the major television networks. He has also scored the documentary "Mercy: An Orphan's Story of Survival.”

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Alejandro Guzmán Montemayor (Director of Photography) is a cinematographer born and raised on the Mexico. Notable productions he's worked include, "Here Comes The Devil", "Against the Sun", "Dogma", "Tijuana" and most relevantly Ai Weiwei’s “Human Flow”.

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Paige Gresty (Post-Production Supervisor/Associate Producer) is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and writer from Washington, DC by way of London, England. Paige’s most recent credits include “And She Could Be Next,” “Walk Run Cha Cha,” and “The Infiltrators.” She received her MFA in film directing from UCLA. As an emerging filmmaker, she's worked extensively in film from pre- to post-production. She has been a semi-finalist and beyond in many prestigious screenwriting competitions, including the Academy Awards' Nicholl Fellowships. She’s worked for places such as Sundance, the BBC, Frontline Club, and Underwire Film Festival. She has also been on nominating committees for the Peabody Awards and Women in Film. Her work has been featured in places such as The Guardian. Additionally she has recieved the Prudence MacGowan Faxon, Edie and Lew Wasserman, Motion Picture Association of America, and Mary Pickford Awards.

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Tom Corrao (Associate Producer) is a Los Angeles based Writer and Producer with more than five years of experience in the film and television industry. After graduating from Emerson College with a degree in Visual Media Arts, he has gone on to produce content for worldwide brands such as Kitchenaid, New Era, Spotify and Peloton. His recent work includes the award winning documentary series Music Happens Here. As an associate producer for Exodus Stories he has contributed to development and grant writing in addition to providing production support and outreach.

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Alejandro Ramirez Corona (Cinematographer) is a Mexican cinematographer who studied at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos. He has photographed more than eight feature films and documentaries and worked on productions from HBO, Netflix, Disney, Fox and TVChile, in collaboration with directors like Ernesto Contreras, Enverado González and Lucia Gajá. His film “Mind Revolver” is the winner of the “Alhambra de Oro” and was nominated for Best Film at the Guadalajara International Film Festival.

Alex Roa (Cinematographer) is a  Director, Cinematographer and Producer who was born in Mexico City. He has locally produced TV documentary projects with iconic characters such as Anthony Bourdain for his “Parts Unknown” series. He has also contributed to documentary programming featured on CNN, Apple+, Netflix, NatGeo and The Discovery Channel. He has been recognized for his documentary work on mexican television and has been invited several times to collaborate in global projects as director and cinematographer. In 2006 he created De Milagro Films, one of the most trusted production companies in Mexico. Alex studied Communication Science at Universidad Nuevo Mundo(México), and earned a degree in Production at Specs Howard of Broadcast Arts in Southfield, Michigan.