The Filmmakers

Contact the Film Team:




Davy Rothbart is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, bestselling author and journalist, frequent contributor to public radio's This American Life, and the creator of Found Magazine.

Rothbart's film MEDORA, about a resilient high-school basketball team in a dwindling Indiana town, based on the New York Times story by Pulitzer Prize winner John Branch, was Executive Produced by Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci, and premiered at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. MEDORA later aired on the acclaimed PBS series Independent Lens and won an Emmy Award.

Rothbart previously directed two documentaries about the activist band Rise Against, which became best-selling DVDs in the U.S., Canada, Germany, and Sweden. A separate short film featuring Rise Against's song "Make It Stop" was created for Dan Savage's ItGetsBetter project and later won an MTV Music Video Award.

Rothbart's radio stories featured on This American Life have reached more than 20 million listeners, and his books FOUND and My Heart Is An Idiot have debuted on The New York Times Bestseller List. He has made multiple appearances on The Late Show With David Letterman, been featured on ABC's 20/20, Last Call with Carson Daly, MSNBC, and NPR's All Things Considered, and been profiled in The New Yorker and The New York Times. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Rothbart now lives in Los Angeles, California.



Editor, Writer, and Executive Producer

Jennifer Tiexiera is a documentary filmmaker who is currently in post production on her directorial debut, P.S. BURN THIS LETTER PLEASE, a film that begins with the discovery of a box of letters that date back to the early 1950’s and reveal an untold and secret history of New York’s LGBT community. Last year, she produced and edited ZIKR: A SUFI REVIVAL and THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED, official selections of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and 2018 Tribeca Film Festival respectively. In 2017, Tiexiera both produced and edited the documentaries A SUITABLE GIRL, winner of the Albert Maysles Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, and WAITING FOR HASSANA, official selection of the Sundance, SXSW, and Toronto Film Festivals. She edited THE LAST GOODBYE, which made its debut at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, internationally at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival, and won the 2018 Lumiere Award for Best VR Documentary. Her previous work also includes the documentary SALAM NEIGHBOR, the drama ROAD TO PALOMA and the 2011 SXSW Documentary Grand Jury Winner, DRAGONSLAYER. Some of her television credits include documentaries, OPRAH BUILDS A NETWORK and BIGGIE: THE NOTORIOUS LIFE OF B.I.G., the Emmy-nominated 30-for-30 ESPN film THE MARINOVICH PROJECT, and the short film WOINSHET, directed by Marisa Tomei and Lisa Leone for PBS.


Alex Turtletaub


Michael B. Clark


Alex Turtletaub & Michael Clark co-founded Beachside Films, an independent film production company and the west coast affiliate of Big Beach Films (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, LOVING). In 2013, they produced the Emmy Award winning documentary MEDORA, about a small-town high school basketball team in Indiana. Their second documentary, TIG, premiered at Sundance in 2015 along with their first feature, Jim Strouse’s PEOPLE PLACES THINGS starring Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall and Jessica Williams. Beachside premiered LOUDER THAN BOMBS at Cannes 2015, released later that year by The Orchard. In 2016, A24 released MORRIS FROM AMERICA, which had premiered earlier that year at Sundance. The Orchard then released Julia Hart’s MISS STEVENS, for which Lily Rabe won the Grand Jury prize for acting at SXSW 2016. Beachside then produced Adam Leon’s TRAMPS, which premiered at Toronto Film Festival and was acquired by Netflix as an Original. After premiering at Sundance in 2017, their second project with Jim Strouse entitled THE INCREDIBLE JESSICA JAMES was also acquired as an Original. STRANGERS, an episodic series, premiered at Sundance 2017 in partnership with Refinery29 and was one of the first scripted series on Facebook WATCH. MR. ROOSEVELT by Noël Wells premiered at SXSW 2017 where it won the Audience Award and was acquired by Netflix. THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST by Desiree Akhavan premiered at Sundance 2018 and won the US Dramatic Grand Jury prize. It was released by FilmRise in the US and by Elle Driver internationally. MAINE by Matthew Brown also premiered in 2018 at Tribeca and was acquired by MGM’s Orion for a theatrical release. THE SUNLIT NIGHT, starring Jenny Slate, Zach Galifianakis and Alex Sharp, premiered at Sundance in 2019.


Marc Turtletaub


Marc Turtletaub co-founded Big Beach in 2004. He recently directed and produced the Sundance Selects-released film PUZZLE starring Kelly MacDonald. He has produced many feature films over the past 14 years including Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, Jeff Nichols’ LOVING, Colin Trevorrow's SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, and Sam Mendes’ AWAY WE GO.




Rachel Dengiz is a two time Emmy Award winning producer. She began her career working for independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, where she worked on both COFFEE & CIGARETTES and BROKEN FLOWERS. Her recent films include the documentaries BOOM FOR REAL: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, directed by Sara Driver; THE PUNK SINGER, directed by Sini Anderson; the Emmy Award winning MEDORA, directed by Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn; the Emmy Award winning web series PARK BENCH WITH STEVE BUSCEMI, directed by and starring Steve Buscemi; the pilot CHOPPED LIVER, directed by and starring Shannon Plumb, produced with Derek Cianfrance; and the documentary television series ELVIS GOES THERE, with host Elvis Mitchell, directed by Toby Oppenheimer, produced by Zero Point Zero Productions.



Director of Photography

Zachary Shields is a Director of Photography whose most recent projects include the Sundance Grand Jury Award Winning Documentary, THE PRICE OF FREE; a 6-part documentary series for STARZ entitled WARRIORS OF LIBERTY CITY; and XY CHELSEA, which is set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Previously, Shields shot and produced NIGHT SCHOOL, which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Currently, Shields is the DP on a documentary entitled, PS BURN THIS LETTER PLEASE, which tells the story of 1950s New York City drag queens and explores how government-sanctioned discrimination and the forces of oppression shaped their lives.




As a composer, Nick Urata—front man of the internationally acclaimed band DeVotchKa—has scored the multi-Oscar winning film LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and co-scored the hit romantic comedy CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE starring Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. His scores include FLING, I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS, THE JONESES, WAITING FOR FOREVER, FATHER OF INVENTION, and Dustin Lance Black’s VIRGINIA, starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris. Other notable work includes the score for LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ RUBY SPARKS; ARTHUR NEWMAN, starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt for director Dante Ariola; WHAT MAISIE KNEW, starring Julianne Moore; Stephen Gyllenhaal’s GRASSROOTS; A.C.O.D., starring Adam Scott, Amy Poehler and Catherine O’Hara; PREMATURE for director Dan Beers; WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, starring Tina Fey and Margot Robbie; Thomas McCarthy’s THE COBBLER, starring Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman; PADDINGTON, starring Nicole Kidman and voiced by Ben Whishaw; FOCUS, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie; LOVE THE COOPERS, starring Olivia Wilde, John Goodman, and Diane Keaton; and Stephen Gyllenhaal’s SO B. IT starring Cloris Leachman. Upcoming is the feature drama THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF WOLFBOY, directed by Martin Krejcí and starring Eve Hewson and John Turturro.