Meet The Team

Free for All is a project of Serendipity Films, a San Francisco and New Orleans-based documentary production company specializing in films that open minds and illuminate the most pressing issues of our time.

dawn-300x300Director/Producer Dawn Logsdon

Dawn Logsdon‘s career has been dedicated to making films about civic issues and city life, particularly at the neighborhood level. She directed and produced Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans (2008), which premiered nationally at the Tribeca International Film Festival. It went on to win the SFIFF Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary and was a PBS Black History Month feature presentation three years in a row. Dawn co-directed and edited Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (2013) and Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet (2008). Dawn edited the Sundance Award-winning Paragraph 175 by Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Freidman, Academy Award-nominated Weather Underground by Sam Green, Emmy award-winning Have You Heard from Johannesburg?, and the Peabody award-winning The Castro.

lucie-headshot-300x300Producer Lucie Faulknor

Lucie Faulknor produced and researched Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans and has worked with award-winning directors Dorothy Fadiman and Lynn Hershman-Leeson in the areas of fundraising, publicity, outreach and community engagement. Faulknor has also produced Dublin Ireland’s first Women in Film & Television film festival. She works for a number of arts organizations including City Arts & Lectures, SFJAZZ, Palace of Fine Arts Theater, the Irish Arts Foundation, Stern Grove Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens, Dublin (IRL) Fringe Festival. She has a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration from USF’s School of Business & Professional Studies and a B.A. in Arts Management from SFSU. Lucie is a fourth generation San Francisco Public Library user.

stanley-nelson-300x300Executive Producer Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson is an Emmy-winning MacArthur “genius” and one of the premier documentary filmmakers working today, with five films in competition at Sundance in ten years and multiple industry awards to his credit. His recent films include The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Riders, winner of three primetime Emmys in 2011, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, which was shortlisted for the Academy Awards and won the International Documentary Association Award for its use of archival footage; and more. Currently Nelson is co-founder and Executive Director of Firelight Media, a non-profit that provides technical education and professional support to emerging documentarians.

Marcia Smith photo-300x300Executive Producer Marcia Smith

Marcia Smith is President and co-Founder of Firelight Media, which supports diverse filmmakers, connects media to audiences in service of social change, and through its sister organization, produces feature length and short documentary films. In 2015, Firelight Media was honored with a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

Firelight’s most recent film is Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities, that premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Firelight’s previous film, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, was released in 2015, and after a successful theatrical run, broke PBS records for broadcast viewership, streaming, and social media.

Marcia co-founded Firelight in 2000, and led the organization for the next eight years. Prior to returning to Firelight in 2012, Marcia served as Senior Vice President at The Atlantic Philanthropies, a multi-billion dollar charitable foundation active in seven countries. Among other awards, Marcia has received a Primetime Emmy nomination for writing, won the Writers’ Guild Award for best nonfiction writing, and was honored with a 2016 Muse Award from New York Women in Film & Television.

ellen_color_cropped_500px-300x296Executive Producer Ellen Schneider

Ellen Schneider has been a leader in social justice media strategies for over 20 years. In 2001, with support from MacArthur and Ford Foundations, she founded Active Voice, one of the first teams to leverage story-based media to put human faces on complex social and policy issues. Ellen was formerly the executive producer of P.O.V., PBS’ original series of independent non-fiction film, where she expanded P.O.V.’s parent company American Documentary into production, (Right Here, Right Now, a pilot for one of PBS’ first reality series) and strategic community engagement (High Impact Television® and the Television Race Initiative). She speaks widely about the role of media in public life, from Harvard’s Neiman Foundation to Cambridge University; from the Council on Foundations to Netroots Nation; from Sundance Film Festival to the National Endowment for the Arts. She has worked closely with media-savvy pioneers like Atlantic Philanthropies, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Participant Media.

Ellie headshot-longer hair300x300Associate Producer Ellie McCutcheon

Ellie McCutcheon joined the Free for All team after working with award-winning filmmaker Ellen Bruno with the film SPLIT. She received her BA from George Washington University in anthropology with a focus on visual journalism. She has been working as a videographer and producer since 2013, and her short videos, photos, and writing have been featured in WiredKQED, San Francisco ChronicleHoodlineSF ExaminerThe Mirror, and more.

vicente-franco300x300Director Of Photography Vicente Franco

Vicente Franco was a 2003 Oscar Best Documentary nominee and Emmy nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for Daughter From Danang. That film won the Sundance Film Festival 2002 Grand Jury Prize. Other cinematography credits include the Academy Award-nominated films The Most Dangerous Man In America and Freedom On My Mind. He shot American Experience’s Orozco: Man Of Fire, POV specials Discovering Dominga and Thirst, He also shot Botany Of Desire, The Judge And The General, and The Fight In The Fields: Cesar Chavez And The Farmer Workers’ Struggle.

Elizabeth-Finlayson-300x300Editor & Story Consultant Elizabeth Finlayson

Elizabeth Finlayson has decades of experience as an editor and writer for documentary film and video. In addition to In and Out of Time, her credits include the award-winning films Satya: A Prayer For The Enemy, The Kids of Survival: Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Samsara, Barbie Nation, and Blink.


Editor Manuel Tsingaris

Manuel Tsingaris

Manuel Adrian Tsingaris has been an editor for over twenty years. He edited the feature documentary, Alive Inside, which won the US Audience Award for Best Documentary at Sundance 2014. Recent works include The Latino Americans, a 6-hour Peabody Award-winning PBS mini-series retelling US history through a Latin lens; and the award winning documentary, Purgatorio, a poetic fable exploring the beauty and brutality of the US/Mexico Border. Recently Dogtown Redemption, a film about the homeless recycling community in West Oakland, was featured nationwide on PBS/Independent Lens. To Manuel, the story is paramount and often he comes on board once a rough cut has been assembled to then structure story, develop an aesthetic, and take projects through to completion.

Eric Risher-300x300Associate Editor Eric Risher

Eric Risher has worked as an assistant editor films that have screened at numerous festivals, including AFI Docs, Full Frame, Telluride, and The Cleveland International Film Festival. His first film was a short documentary called FURRIES, which had its world premiere at the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco.



Diana-Chen-headshot-300x300Assistant Editor Diana Chen

Diana Chen joined the Free for All team in early 2016 after graduating from San Francisco State University’s cinema undergraduate program. She has worked on numerous documentary shorts and videos in post-production, including with Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology. Her first documentary short Color Us Love illustrates the aspects and barriers of an interracial couple in the Bay Area

Intern Sanjana deSilva

Sanji headshot300x300

Sanjana deSilva is a recent graduate of UC Riverside’s Theater, Film and Digital Production program, where she focused in Film Production and Management. At UC Riverside, in addition to receiving the Chancellors Performance Award and being a Gluck Fellow, she created her own independent film group, The Angry Elephant Productions where she and her peers write, produce and direct short films. In addition, Sanjana has worked as an assistant, production coordinator, gaffer and script supervisor on a variety of films, mini-series, YouTube productions and commercials.

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