Meet The TEAM
Before starting American Issues Initiative, Mr. Heller was co-head of Goldman Sachs Investment Banking Division, and after Goldman, he went on to become Executive Chairman of CODA Automotive, an electric car manufacturer. His interest in starting the film project stems from his belief in fairness and the simple notion that democracy only works when everyone can vote. His mantra is “voters should choose their politicians, not politicians their voters.”
Tim Smith is an accomplished and award-winning television producer, having worked for The PBS NewsHour, Unapix Entertainment, Newsweek Productions, Docere Digital Studios and MSNBC, where he executive produced their documentaries and series. He has also produced for HBO, NBC, A&E, National Geographic Channel, CNBC, History Channel, AMC as well as NHK, BBC, Channels 4&5, CBC, SABC & TV Global. His work has merited two Emmys and five Emmy nominations, two Gracie Awards, a Grierson, a Cable Ace and Genesis Award nominations.
Associate Producer/ Shooter/ Editor
Christina Shaman is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. She is a journalist, documentary filmmaker and podcast producer. Before starting at American Issues Initiative, Christina was a multimedia fellow at the Texas Tribune and an associate producer and editor on Inside/Outside, a feature-length documentary about mass incarceration in Pennsylvania. She is also the producer and editor of the duPont-Columbia Awards' podcast, "On Assignment".
Social Media Manager
Ellis Feldman is the Social Media Manager at digital marketing agency 3rd Impression. She is a recent graduate of Columbia University with a BA in history and philosophy. She worked as an intern at media company Bungalow Entertainment and documentary production company Firelight Media. She focuses on increasing engagement and building the Rigged following across social platforms. She is particularly excited about helping to re-register purged voters so that everyone who wants to vote can vote.
Social Impact Marketing Strategist
Kristi is the founder of The 2fifty Seven Group, a full service marketing and communications firm specializing in social impact and experiential marketing campaigns. Kristi has worked with and consulted for leading companies & campaigns like Color of Change, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Essence, Time Inc., Microsoft, American Airlines, Weber Shandwick, THINX, Viacom, TRUTH, Proctor & Gamble, Obama For America ‘08/’12, Elizabeth Warren For President, and gubernatorial campaigns for Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum.
Ms. Henderson is also a co-founder of The Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN). She is a recipient of the Young Gifted and Black Entrepreneurial Award, Culture Creators Award and a member of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles Board of Directors.
Chief Digital Strategist
Matt Delman is the Founder and Principal Strategist of 3rd Impression, a data-driven digital marketing agency that specializes in social media advertising for independent film. He has worked on many political documentaries such as Oscar-nominated The Edge of Democracy, Oscar-shortlisted Unrest, and SXSW-winning The River and the Wall. He was recently featured in Filmmaker Magazine for his innovative digital strategies, including for some of the work he is doing for Rigged. Matt and his team have been promoting Rigged and its impact campaign since the 2018 midterms across a variety of channels. He is most excited about our upcoming effort to help purged voters get back on the voter rolls before election day.
Virtual Screenings Coordinator
Darnell Sharperson is a recent graduate of The University of Alabama with a BA in Public Relations accompanied by minors in French and global & cultural perspectives. Skilled in Creative Writing, Brand and Event Management, Entertainment, Client Relations, Public Speaking and Intercultural fluency, Darnell is a passionate art and culture curator with a mission centered on a globalized environment where diversity is the standard. Currently, Darnell is exemplifying his strategic PR & communications skills by assisting the American Issues Initiative with virtual screenings of their latest film, RIGGED: The Voter Suppression Playbook across the nation. Previously, Darnell interned at the Spears Group, an award-winning communications firm, where he project managed the 2019 Millennial Awards presented by Yelp and helped to produce ESSENCE's "Day in the Park" festival.
Florian Eenkema van Dijk
Florian is a recent college graduate from Tufts University who previously served as a Field Organizer for the Pete For America campaign in New Hampshire and California. He is also an avid sports fan and participant and is deeply intrigued by new media technologies and their effects on the human psyche. He is thrilled to help out with the American Issues Initiative and believes that many American values and Democracy itself are in peril. The continued efforts of activists and ilmmakers are truly inspiring and critical in the leadup to the 2020 election season. Currently, he is trying to locate and contact voters who have been purged from their respective voter registration rolls and make sure that they are registered to vote prior to election day.
Barbara has covered politics as a producer and writer for most of her distinguished television news career – at Al Jazeera America, and at ABC where she is working currently. She has won two Peabodys, a Dupont and an Edward R. Murrow Award for her work. She has also taught journalism at Stony Brook University.
Director / Editor
Michael Kasino is an editor and director based in NYC, who has worked in the industry for the past 10 years. He is best known for directing Pay It No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson, which screened at the British Film Institute and the IFC Center in New York.
Jesse Moss is a Sundance Award-winning director and cinematographer. His new film, Boys State, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, in the US Documentary Competition and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize. His other films include The Overnighters (Sundance Special Jury Prize, DGA Nomination); Full Battle Rattle (Berlinale Panorama, SXSW Special Jury Prize); and Speedo: A Demolition Love Story. He is a creative adviser to the Sundance Documentary Film Program, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Sam Pollard has been an accomplished director and editor of documentaries and non-fiction television series for 30 years. Some of his best known work includes When the Levees Broke, Four Little Girls, and Rise & Fall of Jim Crow. One of his most recent documentary films, ACORN and the Firestorm, premiered in 2017 at the Tribeca Film Festival. In addition, Sam has edited numerous feature films for Spike Lee including Jungle Fever and Mo’ Better Blues. He has won numerous Emmys and been nominated for an Oscar. He is also a professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Ann Collins is best known for her work as an editor on Griffin Dunne's documentary, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold and on the vérité documentary Swim Team. Her work has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and the Berlin Film Festival, and has been nominated for an Academy Award.
Alex Ostroff came to Rigged with a passion for politics and journalism, and was lead producer and researcher of archival footage for the project. His background includes experience working in PR, as well as in theatrical production, and has been a sound designer and stagehand for a variety of off-broadway productions.