Filmmakers’ Bios

Our Statement:

These days, vaccination ranks alongside religion and politics as one of those subjects “not to discuss around the Thanksgiving table.” The Greater Good aims to change that. The film takes a step back from the recent divisiveness, discusses the issue’s complexity and nuances, and brings the bigger picture into focus. We strive to create a safe space to bring rational and reasonable ideas back to this important discussion. We hope that our film will serve as a resource for parents, physicians and other concerned audiences to support a national dialogue on vaccines and vaccine safety.

Who We Are:

Leslie Manookian - Writer / Producer, The Greater Good movieWriter / Producer, Leslie Manookian was a successful Wall Street business executive and is now a documentary film producer and activist. Manookian chose to leave Wall Street at the height of her career in order to pursue a more meaningful path. Her career in finance took her from New York to London with Goldman Sachs. She later became Director of Alliance Capital in London running their European Growth Portfolio Management and Research business. While living and working in London, she learned of the vaccine debate and determined that one day she would make a documentary exploring the issue. The award winning documentary The Greater Good is the result of 11 years of  work. She has been featured in dozens of TV, radio, print and internet interviews as well as appearing at numerous conferences discussing vaccine issues. She has been featured in a cover article in Barron’s as well as in other financial publications. She has served on the board, managed or consulted for many organizations in her community and successfully led the charge to defeat a proposed coal plant in her state and helped secure legislation providing consumer access to raw milk. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Middlebury College.

Kendall Nelson - Director / Producer, The Greater Good movieDirector / Producer, Kendall Nelson was raised in California, where she attended San Francisco State University and the Brooks Institute of Photography.

Nelson’s photographs are exhibited in museums and art galleries nationwide and her images have been featured by numerous publications, including National Geographic Online, Camera Arts, Photo District News, and USA Today. Nelson’s fascination with diversity and culture has led her to photograph a wide range of subjects—from herdsmen in Mongolia to women’s health issues in Africa with the United Nations.

In addition to her career as a still photographer, she worked as a segment producer and assistant director at Fox Television before moving to Sun Valley, Idaho, where she began traveling the West photographing cowboys.

She published her first book Gathering Remnants – A Tribute to the Working Cowboy in 2000. Following the success of her book, Nelson was determined to tell the cowboys’ stories on film.

She completed an award-winning documentary also titled Gathering Remnants, which aired on European and Canadian television.

Chris Pilaro - Director / Producer, The Greater Good movieDirector / Producer, Chris Pilaro has been producing documentary films since 1994. Most recently Pilaro produced the documentary Everything’s Cool that focuses on climate change and human nature.

The film debuted at Sundance in 2007, enjoyed a theatrical release, aired on the Sundance Channel, and is being distributed by Citylights Media Group, Red Envelope Entertainment and Bullfrog Educational Films. Working Films is heading up the Community Engagement Campaign surrounding Everything’s Cool.

Pilaro was also Field Producer and Still Photographer on the Sundance award-winning film Blue Vinyl (HBO 2002). Blue Vinyl focused on PVC, health, and the environment and collaborated with Working Films to create the My House is Your House campaign that generated awareness and changed building practices nationwide.

He was the Associate Producer and Still Photographer on the Emmy nominated film Children in America’s Schools with Bill Moyers (PBS 1996). The film was introduced as evidence in many State Supreme Court cases across the country and was successful in helping overturn how schools were funded.

Editor, Penelope Falk, winner of the 2010 Sundance Award for Editing for her work on Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, has been working in the documentary field for over 10 years. Her credits include A Letter Without Words (Sundance Film Festival), Bombay Eunuch (winner of the New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival), Stagedoor (debuted at the New York Film Forum), Toots Shor: Bigger Than Life (Tribeca Film Festival), Election Day (SXSW Film Festival), and Smile ‘Til It Hurts (Slamdance).

She has also completed numerous films for television. These credits include Afghan Stories (Sundance Channel), Uncle Sam Wants You (A&E), Escuela (PBS) and Unfinished Country (PBS).

Director of Photography, Daniel B. Gold won the 2002 Sundance Excellence in Cinematography Award for his work on Blue Vinyl, which he co-directed and co-produced. That film also garnered two Emmy Nominations: one for Research, and one for Best Documentary. Blue Vinyl was broadcast on HBO.

Gold also co-directed, produced and was the Director of Photography (DP) on Everything’s Cool (2007), an official selection at the 2007 Sundance Festival and winner of the Audience Award at the Eckerd Film Festival. Prior to that, Gold’s work as DP was featured in Coma, a 90 minute Moxie Firecracker special on HBO; New Orleans, an Insignia Films two hour PBS special American Experience; Saint Misbehavin: The Life and Times of Wavy Gravy; Coal Miners, a Barbara Kopple one hour special; and a theatrical release of Toots Shore: Bigger Than Life, which premiered at Tribeca film festival in 2006.

Prior to concentrating on feature documentaries, Gold’s camerawork was frequently seen on Saturday Night Live, Dateline NBC and The Hallmark Channel.

Archivist, John Miller-Monzon has been producing, developing and researching films and television for 20 years. His career has spanned documentary, comedy, human interest, and social commentary.

Most recently he was consulting producer on the upcoming feature documentary I Heart New York and researcher on The Cove, winner of the Audience Award, Sundance 2009. Miller-Monzon was head researcher on the 2008 documentary miniseries Black Magic, which was nominated for the NAACP Image Award. He was co-producer on the award-winning documentary film Crazy Love that won the Independent Spirit Award, The Boston Society of Film Critics Award and the San Diego Film Critics Society Award.

Other projects include Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and numerous projects at the Independent Film Channel.

Composer, Stephen Thomas Cavit received a regional Emmy Award for his work on the series Community Stories in 2008 and was named Composer-in-Residence of the prestigious St. James Cathedral Choir in Seattle, the first such award in its 100 year history.

Animation Team, Awesome + Modest, headed by Sean Donnelly. His previous project was animation for Waiting for Superman, which won the 2010 Audience award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Community Engagement Campaign Created by Celia Alario and Leah Lamb

Celia and Leah bring a combined 26 years of expertise to offline and online organizing and engagement design. Together they offer an alchemic mix of PR and marketing savvy, traditional media prowess, grassroots organizing experience and social media innovation essential for creating meaningful opportunities to engage key audiences with stories that really matter.