The Film Makers
Screen Writer / Director
John and Suzanne first visited the Nkomo Primary School in 2002 and have returned nine more times, becoming increasingly involved with the school, Mrs. Zikhali, and many of the learners.
John has had a passion for the Performing Arts his entire life. He has experience as an actor in film, television, and the stage. He holds a Masters Certificate in Arts Administration and was the Managing Director of a mid-sized theater company for four years. John has simultaneously been actively involved in education, having taught at a number of colleges for over twenty years.
His experience on both sides of the “camera” provides him with the insight as to the artistic and management challenges that are involved with making a film. This unique set of skills together with his passion to tell this story, enhances his role as Director.
John is a Certified Public Accountant specializing in not-for-profit organizations with over twenty years of experience. In addition to his Masters in Arts Administration from Golden Gate University, he holds an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Vermont.
Suzanne’s interest in improving children’s education flows from her B.A. degree in Education. She continued to teach children through programs in Connecticut and Tanzania. Suzanne has been a weekly, classroom volunteer at Argonne Elementary School in San Francisco, since 2005. Her passion for the well-being and educational opportunities of the Nkomo School learners is a major force behind the successful completion of this film project.
Suzanne’s connection and financial support for Nkomo Primary School began in 2002 and includes providing educational supplies, solar study lights, uniforms - so needy learners may continue on to high school, and computer education for both teachers and students. In addition, she collaborates with five Argonne teachers, engaging their students with the needs and challenges of the Nkomo students through an annual “Read-A-Thon” that has provided over $17,000 to build classrooms and purchase educational supplies at Nkomo School. She has facilitated a pen pal letter exchange between Argonne students and Nkomo learners since 2006.
In 2000, she created the Suzanne Cross Scholarship, East Haven High School, CT, which awarded $5,000 annually to graduates for higher education.
Ms. Cross has been a consultant to the University of California, Office of the President (UCOP), since July 2003, providing technical advisory on planned giving trusts to the finance, development, and legal departments. She formerly held several management positions at State Street Global Advisors. She is currently a Board Member of Unite to Light, which distributes solar reading lights worldwide to those without electricity, and was formerly on the boards of La Casa de las Madres, CORO Northern CA, and Nonprofits Insurance Alliance. Ms. Cross holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Connecticut.
Film Maker / Editor
Christopher is an Emmy-Award winning documentary filmmaker who lives in Sausalito. California
His awards as a producer-director include a Grand Prize in Documentary at the U.S. Film Festival (now Sundance) and a national Emmy in News and Broadcasting, both for the film Dark Circle, a feature documentary on nuclear proliferation.
He recently directed the feature documentary Racing to Zero about the pursuit of sending zero waste to landfill by the city of San Francisco. The film appeared in two dozen film festivals and broadcast by 200 public television stations more than 700 times.
In this current year, Christopher directed and edited the soon-to-be-released feature documentary, "Once Was Water", about water conservation in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Jeremy Ambers is an Emmy winning video editor based in San Francisco, CA.
With nearly 20 years of experience in production and post production, he has vast experience working in television, film and commercial marketing.
In 2014, his feature-length documentary debut, "Impossible Light" world premiered in the Grand Jury competition at the South by Southwest Film Festival. The film went on to receive an Emmy nomination, as well as screen in multiple festivals worldwide.
Over the past five years, Jeremy has worked on twelve short animated films by Google's Spotlight Stories. He received a Primetime Emmy for his work on the Oscar Nominated short film, Pearl, and most recently was shortlisted for an Oscar nomination on the animated short, "Age of Sail", by Academy Award winning director, John Kahrs.
He is currently working on a new feature-length documentary that is set to release in Spring, 2020.
Alexis is a New York based director and field producer. She has worked on programming for the Hallmark Channel, MTV, and WE networks as well as independent productions.
Her recent work in reality television includes the Emmy Award winning series, MADE.
She also has a background in both narrative and documentary filmmaking, as well as creating and producing a women’s film festival.
In addition to film and TV production, Alexis has extensive experience working as an educator and advocate to end domestic and sexual violence.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Film Production and Women’s Studies.