DIRECTOR JESSICA YU’s award-winning body of work includes documentaries, scripted films, animation, and commercials. Her film Breathing Lessons won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. Yu’s recent documentary on the water crisis, Last Call at the Oasis, for Participant Media, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released theatrically by ATO Pictures. Other documentaries include the theatrical features Protagonist, In the Realms of the Unreal, HBO’s The Living Museum, and the hybrid short The Kinda Sutra, all of which premiered at Sundance. Her feature comedy debut Ping Pong Playa premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was released by IFC Films. Yu has also directed several television shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood, and The West Wing. Yu just finished The Guide, a film about the restoration of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.
PRODUCER ELISE PEARLSTEIN specializes in theatrical documentaries, recently completing State 194, her third film with Participant Media. Pearlstein was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010 for Food, Inc., directed by Robert Kenner. Food, Inc., went on to win two Emmys for its television run on PBS’ P.O.V. series. Last Call at the Oasis, directed by Jessica Yu, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and Berlin Film Festivals prior to a theatrical release in May 2012. Pearlstein also produced Jessica Yu’s documentary Protagonist and the recently completed short The Guide. Pearlstein’s other credits include The Million Dollar Recipe, a peek inside the competitive Pillsbury Bake Off contest, as well as numerous prime-time documentaries produced and written for Tom Brokaw and the late Peter Jennings. She also co-produced and co-wrote the Oscar short-listed documentary, Smoke and Mirrors: A History of Denial.
CO-PRODUCER SANDRA KEATS is a Los Angeles-based documentary film and television producer, whose work focuses largely on social and environmental issues. Sandra co-produced the 2012 Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary short The Debutante Hunters and was the associate producer on Participant Media’s Last Call at the Oasis. Sandra recently directed and produced Diana, a short documentary about famed marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, which premiered on WIGS, the premium YouTube channel created by producer Jon Avnet and director Rodrigo Garcia. She also wrote and story produced a one-hour special on obscure collectors for the Travel Channel, and was an associate producer on both the IDA Award- nominated documentary web series In Their Boots and the 2009 Environmental Media Award-winning series The Lazy Environmentalist for the Sundance Channel.