MAYA ALBANESE, DIRECTOR

THE SIOUX CHEFS

 
 

A SHORT DOCUMENTARY ABOUT TWO NATIVE AMERICAN CHEFS REVIVING INDIGENOUS CUISINE

Long before the North American diet was ruled by imported and processed foods — beef, chicken, pork, wheat flour, sugar — Native Americans and indigenous people learned to eat what was available on the land. Oftentimes the terrain was difficult to grow in, but they learned to adapt to the landscape. Included in their diet was game meat, foraged plants and spices (think choke cherries, sage, and juniper), and other native fruits and plants.

While Native American food may be forgotten to most, two Native American chefs are devoted to bringing it back to the table. To Sean Sherman, co-founder and chef at the nonprofit Sioux Chef, it only made sense to return to what people had eaten before on the land for millennia. “Nobody had any sense of what Native American food was,” he said. “It was something I had to figure out.”

Sioux Chef is a collaboration of many chefs, foragers, ethnobotanists, event planners, artists, and more, who come from a number of different Native American tribes. They work with indigenous food producers, who help them source authentic ingredients for catering, events, and a soon-to-open restaurant. You won’t find any of the European-imported staples like beef, chicken, and dairy products on the menu; instead, Sioux Chef serves proteins like venison and river trout, and native vegetables like turnips and blueberries.

 

 
 
 

Katie Meyler's story is a unique and harrowing one.  Katie founded a girls school in one of the most impoverished slums in West Africa only to have ebola hit and decimate the local population. But when all the foreigners in the country fled because of the deadly epidemic, Katie stayed back. She turned her car into an ambulance, and she saved a lot of lives. She documented it on her social media, resulting in her being awarded "Time Person of the Year" in 2014. 

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Nadia Lopez is the inspiring founder and Principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Against all odds, she opened a public school in the most violent and underserved neighborhood in New York City. And just as she was about to give up, due to seemingly infinite challenges, a fateful street encounter launched a new era of her school, career, and life.

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Nancy LIEBERMAN is one of the only female coaches ever of a male professional sport as the Assistant Coach of the Sacramento Kings. But, that's just the beginning of her accolades. She was also the youngest competitor ever, man or woman, in the Olympics. She was the first women ever to play in a men's professional sports league. She was the oldest player ever to play in the WNBA at age 39. And, she's been inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

 
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Blind Date

 

WATCH THE FILM TRAILER

 Blind Date is a character-driven documentary that incites an important global conversation about technology accessibility and has the potential to be a catalyst for positive change in the way we treat disabilities in America. Technology is transforming the way we date, with online services like Tinder and OkCupid whetting our appetites for instant visual gratification. But, if you’re single and blind, you face a distinct set of challenges to finding love. A digital divide has emerged between sighted and blind people in search of partnerships. Blind Date is a short documentary co-directed, shot, and edited by Maya Albanese that follows three blind New Yorkers on their quests for love in the digital age.

 
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Cuba's violin

 

  Cuba’s Violin tells the story of a charismatic and talented sixteen-year-old violin student, Jose Osvaldo Hernandez. He is at the top of his class at the oldest music conservatory in Havana: Amadeo Roldan. But he, like most Cuban children, does not have the resources to own an instrument despite his exceptional talent and work ethic. How did this economic-cultural paradox arise, and what role has the U.S. played in it?   Over the last two decades since the Soviet Union fell, American individuals and organizations have been stealthily sending music supplies to Cuba...

El Nuevo Herald - http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/cuba-es/article81355057.html

Miami Herald - http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article81199817.html

En Cuba Hoy - http://www.encubahoy.com/noticias/article81353627.html

In Cuba Today - http://www.incubatoday.com/news/article81197557.html

Narrative.ly - http://narrative.ly/a-cuban-prodigy-and-the-king-of-instruments/

 
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JESSIE GRAFF: REAL-LIFE SUPERHERO

 Jessie Graff has gotten farther on the hit TV series, American Ninja Warrior, than any other woman- and beating many of the men too!  She’s also a top female stunt double and martial artist. Follow Jessie as she trains for Ninja Warrior and her stunt double roles.  Maya Albanese directed this short documentary that shows Jessie accomplishing death-defying feats and paving the way for women in athletics and Hollywood.

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CARRIE HAMMER IS REDEFINING THE GLOBAL STANDARD OF BEAUTY

 

WATCH FULL FILM

 No one knows better than Carrie Hammer just how much fashion fashion can lift women up rather than put them down. Carrie is now famous for her Role Models Not Runway Models campaign, which has changed the face of fashion forever. Carrie puts successful, inspiring women doing positive change in the world on her high fashion catwalks instead of traditional runway models. In doing so, she’s made history multiple times, including having the very first model in a wheelchair and the first with down syndrome go down a fashion week runway. Maya directed this documentary about Carrie’s groundbreaking campaign and the role models within it.

 
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TRAGEDY LED MEGAN SULLIVAN TO THE 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD IN 13 DAYS

 

   In 2014, Megan Sullivan fell 50 feet, got hit by a car, and was diagnosed with cancer — in just three weeks. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she decided to set off on a life-altering journey around the world. Megan journeyed to the seven wonders of the world in just 13 days, documenting it all along way. Click play to see how Megan's tragedy turned into her finding her true calling.

Watch full Film

http://www.popsugar.com/celebrity/How-Megan-Sullivan-Saw-7-Wonders-World-13-Days-41656261?ref=41664407

 
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GOLDIEBLOX IS DISRUPTING THE PINK AISLE

 

   Debbie Sterling’s shock started as an Engineering student at Stanford where she saw an utter lack of female graduates in STEM fields: science, tech, math, and engineering. She made the connection between this gender disparity in school and the experience of walking into toy stores in America that have segregated aisles for boys and girls; dolls and pink stuff for girls and construction sets just for boys. These shocking experiences fueled her to create ‘Goldieblox’  a line of toys that encourages young girls to become builders.

 

MARIA TERESA KUMAR IS EMPOWERING MILLENNIAL LATINOS TO VOTE

 

   Maria Teresa Kumar is the CEO and Co-Founder of Voto Latino with Rosario Dawson. The Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization educates and empowers young Latinos about their power to change America and their families’ futures by voting. Maya Albanese worked with a co-director to produce this documentary short about her inspiring mission.

Watch full Film

http://www.popsugar.com/latina/Who-Voto-Latino-CEO-Maria-Teresa-Kumar-40589349

 
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MEET THE BAUBLEBAR FOUNDERS, BEST FRIENDS & FAST FASHION STARTUP QUEENS

 

   Amy & Danielle were just two best friends who met in business school and loved to shop, but they found well-designed jewelry products were expensive and elitist. Together, they founded BaubleBar to bring affordable, on-trend jewelry to everyday women. Today, they are huge startup queens, paving the way for other young women entrepreneurs. Maya Albanese directed this documentary which showcases the entire process of how Amy & Danielle scout a necklace on a celebrity and get it you in 45 days or less.

Watch full Film

http://www.popsugar.com/fashion/How-BaubleBar-Brought-Fast-Fashion-Jewelry-Industry-41092028

 
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IN MISTY COPELAND’S FOOTSTEPS

   Misty Copeland, the first black Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater, has inspired the next generation of ballet dancers to believe that no matter what color their skin is or place they come from, they can dance at the highest professional level. Maya Albanese made this video with City Ballet of Los Angeles to show just how inspired many tiny ballerinas are by the legacy Misty is leaving behind.

 

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DEAR JK ROWLING

JK Rowling brought inspiration and awe to the world through the magical world of Harry Potter. Maya Albanese made this video about JK, which is one big, heartfelt letter from her biggest fans about how much her triumph-over-adversity story has changed their lives.

 

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