Shine Board Member Profile: Anne Prost

Shine Board Member Profile: Anne Prost

Blog

Shine Board Member Profile: Anne Prost

As part of an ongoing series, we want to introduce you to the Shine Global family and especially our outstanding and hard working board members who help move Shine forward.

Anne Prost, Chair of Board of Directors, Shine GlobalName: Anne Prost
Joined Shine Board of Directors: 2005
Title: Non-profit consultant
Current Role at Shine: Chair of the Board of Directors (as of Fall 2017)

I was born in the French Alps and grew up just outside Paris where, as the cliché goes, I was fed a solid diet of obscure art-house movies. The closer I got to filmmaking however was probably when taking high resolution pictures of atomic structures during my physics postgraduate studies (carried out in a building that used to house Isadora Duncan’s dance school). After a few years spent as a scientist in an industrial research laboratory in Paris, I moved to London where I worked as a strategy consultant for large multinational corporations, across several European countries.

I eventually came back to science and spent the next 7 years as Scientific Attaché at the French Embassy in London. To fulfil a long-term interest in the not-for-profit world, I became trustee and later chief executive of Medical Aids Films, a charity that produces teaching and training films focusing on maternal and child health in low resource settings, in particular sub-Saharan Africa. My family relocated to the New York City area in 2012, and I decided to focus on advising not-for-profits in a pro-bono capacity, with a particular interest in education, the media and the arts. In addition to Shine Global, I sit on the Board of Children’s Academy, a school in NYC for children with speech and language delays.

Why did you join Shine’s board and why have you stayed on for several years?

I first came in contact with Shine Global as a pro bono consultant, working on its strategic plan with Susan MacLaury and Alex Blaney. Spending a couple of months interviewing Board members, directors, distributors and funders, I found myself in the privileged position of getting to know the organization and its mission quite intimately. I witnessed the high artistic standards of Shine’s productions, the vision and the intense dedication of its founders and executive team, and the great expertise and warmth of its Board members. Shine actually finds itself at the intersection of several of my long-term interests: the power of film to educate and incite change; the condition of children and the extraordinary resilience that they often display; the role that not-for profit organizations can play towards social change. Later joining the Board was really an obvious decision!

These are exciting times for Shine: the organization has worked very hard on consolidating its governance and can now grow confidently from this strong foundation. I look forward to supporting Shine in any way I can for the years to come.

What’s a favorite Shine moment for you?

Being introduced to a new project and watching the first images during a Board meeting is always a rather unique moment. Before being brought to the Board, the project has gone through a stringent evaluation process by Shine’s New Projects Committee and there is always a great sense of anticipation, artfully built up by Susan and Albie. The first few minutes of footage carry the promise of engrossing storytelling and high cinematographic values. And then the hard work of fundraising and production starts.

How do you use your specific skill set in your work as a Shine board member?

I try to bring to Shine’s Board the professional skills that I picked up over the last decade, as chief executive, board member and consultant for other not-for-profit organizations, on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as those acquired as a strategy consultant. I have thus been involved in Shine’s strategic planning and been chair of its Development Committee. I also ask a lot of questions, probably a persistent habit from my “scientific years.”

Hopefully, I will bring to my new role as chair some of the skills retained from my years in diplomacy.

I may also bring a few gallicisms that my fellow Board members have been kind enough to ignore!

What is a Shine challenge that you feel supporters should know about?

There is no doubt that you must be really passionate, persistent and very patient, to produce documentaries. Producing the film in itself is no mean feat, with funding often difficult to gather, but getting the film distributed and watched is also a challenge. Shine supporters can play an important and central role by spreading the word, sending feedback and recommending our documentaries to organizations that they are involved in. And there are so many remarkable children whose stories deserve to be told!

Anything else you want to say?

Shine often works with directors who are at early stages in their careers, mentoring them if needed. Although this is not explicitly part of its mission, I feel that this is also an area where Shine has a very positive impact.

See the full list of Shine’s Board of Directors Members and Board of Governors Members here and read the other profiles of board members Dario Spina here, Keith Brown here, Kay Sarlin Wright here, Marilyn DeLuca here, Al Cattabiani here, Bill MacArthur here, Don Melnick here, and Robert Baker here.

The Wrong Light Review Highlights

The Wrong Light Review Highlights

Blog

The Wrong Light Review Highlights

July 31, 2017

The Wrong Light had its theatrical run in New York City at the Cinema Village and in Los Angeles at Laemmle’s Monica Film Center this month.  Attending opening night in New York were the film team: Directors Josie Swantek Heitz and Dave Adams (who did a Q&A following the premiere), Producer Susan MacLaury, Editors Chris Tuss and Matt Cascella, Executive Producer Albie Hecht, and Co-Producer Alexandra Blaney.  Susan MacLaury and Chris Tuss also attended the LA opening the following week to do the Q&A there as well.

We want to thank all of our supporters who have been on this filmmaking journey with us for the last 6 years and those who were able to come out and support the film in theaters.  We expect to release the film on DVD and digitally this fall.

And check out some of the reviews:

An engrossing cautionary tale

– Daniel Gold, The New York Times

The film sheds valuable light on the potentially damaging effects of grand-scale deception on the needy and vulnerable.

Gary GoldsteinThe Los Angeles Times

[A] prismatic, thought-sparking documentary.

Chris Barsanti , Film Journal International

Some filmmakers would have decided to dismiss their discomfort…Adams and Swantek do something much more interesting, keeping the audience with them as they flounder around trying to make sense of what has happened and navigate an ethical minefield…. 

A truly eye-opening documentary which challenges a lot of our most dearly held beliefs about charity, The Wrong Light illustrates how unexamined prejudice and genuine cultural difference can combine to help conceal the activities of those who see global inequality as a hotbed of opportunity.

– Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

A dramatic account that will make all do-gooders think twice about how they spend their charitable dollars.

John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter

Asks provocative questions about the sometimes dubious motivations behind activism and philanthropy.

Basil Tsiokos, What (not) to doc

And interviews with the film team

Indiewire: What Happens When Your Documentary Subject Lies
‘The Wrong Light’: Lessons learned after being lured into a compelling (but not altogether true) story about human trafficking from Producer Susan MacLaury

Salon: “The Wrong Light”: Sex, lies and the story of Mickey Choosetha; Two documentary filmmakers uncover a massive hoax while shooting a documentary about sex-trafficked girls

ABOUT

In The Wrong Light, a charismatic activist leads a globally-regarded NGO that provides shelter and education for girls rescued from brothels in Northern Thailand. But as the filmmakers meet the girls and their families, discrepancies begin to emerge and the story takes an unexpected turn.

Runtime: 78 minutes
USA, Thailand/ Not Rated
In Mien and English with English subtitles

The Wrong Light opens July 21st in LA and playing in NY

The Wrong Light opens July 21st in LA and playing in NY

Blog

Tickets on sale for LA Opening of The Wrong Light July 21st

July 18, 2017

Tickets are now on sale for the LA theatrical screenings of The Wrong Light starting July 21st at Laemmle’s Monica Film Center in LA.

Premiere on Friday, July 21st at 7:40pm features a Q&A with Producer Susan MacLaury and Editor Chris Tuss
The 7:140 screening on Saturday, July 22nd will be followed by a Q&A with producer Susan MacLaury

And check out some of the first reviews:

An engrossing cautionary tale

– Daniel Gold, The New York Times

[A] prismatic, thought-sparking documentary.

Chris Barsanti , Film Journal International

Some filmmakers would have decided to dismiss their discomfort…Adams and Swantek do something much more interesting, keeping the audience with them as they flounder around trying to make sense of what has happened and navigate an ethical minefield…. 

A truly eye-opening documentary which challenges a lot of our most dearly held beliefs about charity, The Wrong Light illustrates how unexamined prejudice and genuine cultural difference can combine to help conceal the activities of those who see global inequality as a hotbed of opportunity.

– Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

ABOUT

In The Wrong Light, a charismatic activist leads a globally-regarded NGO that provides shelter and education for girls rescued from brothels in Northern Thailand. But as the filmmakers meet the girls and their families, discrepancies begin to emerge and the story takes an unexpected turn.

Runtime: 78 minutes
USA, Thailand/ Not Rated
In Mien and English with English subtitles

Tickets on sale for NYC Premiere of The Wrong Light July 14th

Tickets on sale for NYC Premiere of The Wrong Light July 14th

Blog

Tickets on sale for NYC Premiere of The Wrong Light July 14th

July 3, 2017

Tickets on Sale The Wrong Light in NYC with Director Q&A

Tickets are now on sale for the NYC theatrical screenings on The Wrong Light starting July 14th at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Premiere on Friday, July 14th at 7:15pm features a Q&A with Directors Josie Swantek Heitz and Dave Adams
The 7:15 screening on Saturday, July 15th will be followed by a Q&A with producer Susan MacLaury

Fri, 7/14 – Thurs 7/20 

1:15 PM
3:15 PM
5:15 PM
7:15 PM
9:15 PM

 

In The Wrong Light, a charismatic activist leads a globally-regarded NGO that provides shelter and education for girls rescued from brothels in Northern Thailand. But as the filmmakers meet the girls and their families, discrepancies begin to emerge and the story takes an unexpected turn.

Runtime: 78 minutes
USA, Thailand/ Not Rated
In Mien and English with English subtitles

LA Screenings begin July 21st at the Laemmle Monica Film Center

Evening Premiere on Friday, July 21st features a Q&A
with Producer Susan MacLaury

Fri, 7/21 – Thurs 7/27

Tickets for “The Wrong Light” in Santa Monica will go on sale Tuesday, Jul 18th at 7pm.

Shine Board Member Profile: Robert Baker

Shine Board Member Profile: Robert Baker

Blog

Shine Board Member Profile: Robert Baker

As part of an ongoing series, we want to introduce you to the Shine Global family and especially our outstanding and hard working board members who help move Shine forward.

Name: Robert Baker
Joined Shine Board of Directors: 2005
Title: Chief, Office of Political Programming, Federal Communications Commission
Current Role at Shine: Member of the Board of Directors

Born and raised in Washington D.C. where I met Marla, my wife of 47 years, together raised our two daughters, attended Georgetown Law School, and began my first career as a communications attorney.   Detoured from the law to a career in the music business and spent some intensely interesting years managing recording artists.  Met Shine’s future Co-founders Albie and Susan during that misspent youth, and all of us became the very best of friends for over forty years and counting.  Returned to relative calm at the FCC where I head the staff of attorneys dealing with all political advertising issues in radio and television broadcasting, cable television, and satellites.  Enjoy extensive travel around the country speaking about political advertising issues on behalf of the FCC.  Proudest moment in my career was the national Federal Communications Bar Association’s singular yearly Award for Excellence in Government Service, a lifetime achievement recognition from my peers throughout the country.  Prior to joining the Shine Global Board as a founding member in 2005, I sat on the Boards of The New Playwrights Theater in DC and the District of Columbia Arts Center.

Why did you join Shine’s board and why have you stayed on for several years?

When Albie & Susan began describing their vision for Shine over dinner in NYC, and told us about their idea for documenting a story about the horrors of child soldiers in Uganda, the basis for Shine’s first film, War Dance, I wanted to be a part of the experience by joining with them on what promised to be an amazing and fulfilling journey.  Nothing in my work life has been quite so thrilling and rewarding as my association with Shine and its ascendency to great heights in presenting films and doing outreach about the bold spirit and resiliency of children faced with and overcoming extraordinary challenges.  Our friendship with Albie & Susan and their level of passion, vision, boundless energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm, is inspirational and motivates me to continue my involvement with Shine.

What’s a favorite Shine moment for you?

Sitting with Albie & Susan in the packed audience at the Sundance Film Festival in early 2007, we waited nervously for the premier screening of Shine’s War Dance.  The audience remained still as the story unfolded making it difficult for us to gauge just how well the film was being received.  Then came a moment in the film when a pervading sense of danger is felt as village boys walk through the tall brush.  It is unexpectedly interrupted by a touching moment of humor when the boys at the end of their walk playfully jump into a river laughing — the audience erupted with joyous laughter in union with the boys.   We knew at that moment that War Dance had captured the audience completely.  A close second occurred at the end of that screening when the audience jumped to its feet for a rousing standing ovation.

What is a Shine challenge that you feel supporters should know about?

There is a common thread that runs through all non-profit Boards — finding the funds and resources to operate at a sustainable level.  For Shine, this is compounded by its remarkable evolving success with the number of potential projects growing and the relative increase in the costs of operation.  Shine has a new film, Liyana, premiering at the LA Film festival later this month, with several other important projects in varying stages of development.   Couple increasing film production and development with Shine’s successful outreach to school educational programs and you have a recipe for expanding need.   For our existing supporters, we need to keep reinforcing the importance of supporting our mission.  We do that through our bi-monthly newsletters, our yearly gala in NYC, and, of course, continuing to present only high quality documentaries.  In less than twelve years Shine has produced an amazing array of films telling compelling stories about children from all over the world.   At a time when funding for the arts is imperiled by political forces, we must continue to find new and innovative ways to garner support for our projects.  I ask supporters to consider how important it is to tell stories to inspire us at a time when there is a movement in our country to diminish the artistic communities ability to inspire for change.

See the full list of Shine’s Board of Directors Members and Board of Governors Members here and read the first five profiles of board members Dario Spina here, Keith Brown here, Kay Sarlin Wright here, Marilyn DeLuca here, Al Cattabiani here, Bill MacArthur here, and Don Melnick here.

The Wrong Light in US Theaters starting July 14th in NYC

The Wrong Light in US Theaters starting July 14th in NYC

Blog

The Wrong Light in US Theaters starting July 14th in NYC

May 30, 2017

We are pleased to announce that The Wrong Light will be opening in US theaters this summer starting Friday, July 14th, 2017 at the Cinema Village in New York City.  Stay tuned for screening times and information about Q&As with the directors, Josie Swantek Heitz and Dave Adams.

In The Wrong Light, a charismatic activist leads a globally-regarded NGO that provides shelter and education for girls rescued from brothels in Northern Thailand. But as the filmmakers meet the girls and their families, discrepancies begin to emerge and the story takes an unexpected turn.

WINNER – Grand Jury Prize – NJ Films – Montclair Film Festival
Official Selection – Cleveland International Film Festival
Official Selection – Atlanta Film Festival
Official Selection – Heartland Film Festival
Plus an Official Selection at UNAFF Film Festival, Milwaukee Film Festival, Louisiana International Film Festival, Cine-World Film Festival

“The Wrong Light plays like a film noir set in the tropics.” 
— Bob Cannon, The Montclair Times

“A swirling mystery…heartbreaking and hopeful all at once.” 
— Darren Dean, producer of Tangerine

Synopsis: Amidst growing international concern about human trafficking, a nonprofit organization named COSA was founded in 2005 by Mickey Choothesa with the stated mission of serving as a refuge for at-risk and trafficked girls in Northern Thailand. Mickey, a self-described war photographer-turned-activist with an “upstream” prevention approach to trafficking, promoted COSA as a sanctuary providing educational opportunities for young girls. His work drew international donors, a steady stream of western visitors, and global press attention.

Filmmakers Josie Swantek Heitz and Dave Adams were fascinated by the story of two young girls who had been sold into the sex trade by their parents and were later rescued by COSA. They believed they had found a harrowing and uplifting story of heroism worthy of a feature-length documentary. With this in mind, they traveled to Thailand where they interviewed many of the rescued girls at COSA and travelled to their villages to speak with their families.

Unexpectedly, their conversations with both the girls and their families contradicted Mickey’s version of their stories, making the truth that much more elusive. Reluctantly, they became subjects in the film, revealing the story as it unfolded for them. THE WRONG LIGHT is the fascinating and troubling account of their quest to find answers and tell the real story of COSA, its work, and its impact on the young girls.

Who is Mickey Choothesa? Who are these girls? And who is responsible for their representation and exploitation?

Official Movie Website:
http://www.thewronglight.com

Official Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/TheWrongLight

Credits:
Directors: Josie Swantek Heitz, Dave Adams
Produced by: Susan MacLaury, Josie Swantek Heitz
Executive Producers: Albie Hecht, Barbara Dobkin
Co-Producer: Alexandra Blaney
Dir. of Photography: Dave Adams
Editors: Chris Tuss, Matt Cascella
Music By: Adam Taylor
Animation: Jonathan Ng, Grace An
Production Company: Shine Global, Inc

Shine Global, a non-profit media company, gives voice to children by telling stories of their resilience to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. The organization’s films have won more than 50 major awards including an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Inocente and an Academy Award®-nomination and two Emmys® for War/Dance.

Cinema Guild is a premier distributor of independent, foreign and documentary films. Upcoming releases include Theo Anthony’s Rat Film and Patrick Shen’s In Pursuit of Silence. Recent theatrical releases include Albert Serra’s The Death of Louis XIV, Mehrdad Oskouei’s Starless Dreams, Asghar Farhadi’s About Elly and Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja.

Runtime: 78 minutes
USA, Thailand/ Not Rated
In Mien and English with English subtitles

 

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER