Sean Astin; Executive Producer
With well over 100 acting credits, Sean Astin is best known for his iconic roles in The Goonies, Rudy and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Fan favorites also include Memphis Belle, Toy Soldiers, 50 First Dates, 24, Moms’ Night Out and Stranger Things.
Astin has lent his voice talents to a wide variety of animated and video game projects, including Disney's Special Agent Oso, Nickelodeon's popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bunnicula, Men of Valor and Kingdom Hearts.
His narration has been heard in Animal Planet's beloved Meerkat Manor, A Long Run and Video Games: The Movie among others. Astin has produced three short films of his own, one of which, Kangaroo Court, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1995. He served as executive producer for recent films The Final Season and The Surface.
Jim Michaels; Executive Producer
One of the busiest and most knowledgeable producers working in television, Chicago native, Jim Michaels, began his career Producing the NBC series, Midnight Caller. From 1993 to 1996, Michaels Co-Produced the ABC series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, as well as Nick's Game, a one-hour drama pilot for CBS.
His long list of Producing distinguished credits includes Charlie Grace and Escape From Atlantis. He also Produced the CBS series, Turks and Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family series for the USA Network. Having established a standard of excellence, networks looked to Michaels, to produce among others The Guardian pilot for CBS, the Odyssey 5 series for Showtime and Dr. Vegas for CBS. From 2005-2007, Jim raised the bar again, producing the Golden Globe-nominated, Chris Rock-inspired series Everybody Hates Chris.
Jim currently serves as Co-Executive Producer for the hit television series, Supernatural, on the CW network. He has been with the series since 2007.
"Mark is a friend, and I've been moved by his passion for this story. For me, documentary filmmaking is about stewardship. I'm proud to help lead a team of professionals who are so dedicated and whose sense of purpose is so clear."
Matthew C. Egan; Executive Producer
Matthew Egan is the Managing Partner of Image Freedom, a San Antonio based Internet Marketing Consultancy. Starting with 2012’s TechStars Cloud program Matthew began mentoring startups on internet marketing and messaging, as well as mentoring numerous 3DayStartup programs and mentoring with the Trinity University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
“The Sultana tragedy should be taught on more than a historical level, but an ethics in business level as well. No amount of profit is worth risking lives and the Sultana tragedy is proof of that.”
Steven Kalodner; Executive Producer
Steven began his career in 1986 after graduating from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in financing. Over the past 26 years he has helped clients manage their wealth throughout good times and bad.
With his clients, he emphasizes asset allocation and total portfolio management with a focus on retirement income planning. Always looking to improve his service, Steven most recently initiated a process that painstakingly applies a supply and demand analysis to stocks, ETF’s, and mutual funds, resulting in a proactive, tactical and hands-on approach to sustained wealth management. Steven and his wife Jodi enjoy traveling and spending time with their three children, Nicole, Brooke, and Dylan.
Mike Marshall; Producer/Director
General partner in River Rock Entertainment, LLC, with over twenty years of experience in the field of video production.In addition to owning his own companies, Mike has worked for three television stations. One station, licensed to a college in northeastern Oklahoma since 1987, continues to serve its viewing area as a full-power, UHF facility.Mike was the station’s first production manager. He's taught video production and other mass communication subjects at two Oklahoma universities. History is more than an avocation for Mike, it’s a true passion. He has produced over 200 hours of educational programming for broadcast and has co-produced a number of documentary projects. The Sultana represents the culmination of a lifetime working to preserve history.
Mark Marshall; Producer/Director
A native Oklahoman, Mark Marshall began his career in 1978 when he joined Lucasfilm Ltd., serving as production assistant on More American Graffiti, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed by Steven Spielberg. In 1984, he joined Amblin Entertainment as personal assistant to Mr. Spielberg. During that time, Marshall assisted on a varied slate of projects includingIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Goonies, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as well as Spielberg’s television series, Amazing Stories. In 1989, Marshall joined Donner Shuler-Donner Productions as a production representative to producer/director Richard Donner on HBO’s hit series, Tales from the Crypt. During hiatus on that series, Marshall joined producer Jennie Lew Tugend as her assistant on Radio Flyer and Lethal Weapon 3. In 1992, Tugend tapped Marshall as a Producer on the Free Willy trilogy for Warner Bros. Marshall also brought his considerable post-production experience to such films as Assassins, Lightning Jack, Star Kid, Message in a Bottle, Billy Crystal’s 61*for HBO, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen’s big-screen debut, New York Minute. He also served as production manager on the Academy Award-nominated short film, Kangaroo Court, directed by Sean Astin.
Leah Cevoli; Co-Executive Producer
Leah Cevoli has worked in front of and behind the camera as an actress, host, and producer of film, television, and web, including appearances on high profile tv shows like My Name is Earl, and Deadwood. As a voice actor, she is most notably known for having voiced 30+ characters on Robot Chicken. A professional live event host, Leah has hosted 1000s of rock & roll concerts and charity fundraisers. Leah is a regular panelist at workshops and conventions on both coasts, and the founder of “All Shapes and Sizes Welcome! Body Image & Women’s Issues in Entertainment,” a traveling group of women on the comic con panel circuit, who’ve gotten rave reviews and interviews from major media outlets such as FOX News, and CNN.
Leah has a reputation for crowdfunding success and social media magic. To date, Cevoli has managed 50+ campaigns and has successfully raised over $5,000,000.00. She is a certified Yoga Teacher, a beginner fire dancer, and a certified Reiki practitioner.
Linda Iroff; Co-Executive Producer
Linda Iroff is Director of Desktop Resources for Oberlin College & Conservatory in Oberlin, OH. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemistry from University of Virginia and Princeton University, respectively, and has published in both professional journals and mass market magazines.
A longtime geek with over 30 years experience in technology in higher education, she has recently entered the world of social media management and crowdfunding for a wide variety of projects including film, entertainment, politics and more.
“I had no ancestors on the Sultana, or in the Civil War, or even in the country at that time. But this story has become my story, my history, as it should be for every American, and I’m honored to help tell it.”
Lawrence Fleming; Associate Producer
Lawrence has had a diverse career. After his term in the Navy he returned to the San Francisco area and began working in 'Silicon Valley' during the birth of computers. After many years working in computer design, programming and a brief time in Aerospace he began to return to his roots.
He grew up in West Hollywood and got the film bug at an early age. He spent many days on set as a guest watching, but never got involved with the business until a friend of his started putting together an independent film and asked for help. That was all it took and he has since helped many young film-makers get their projects, their dreams off the ground.
Mr Fleming is also an avid Cosplayer (Costume Player). You can find him at a number of Comic Conventions like Dragoncon in Atlanta and ComicCon in San Diego. Look for him and get your picture taken with him and we will post it on our gallery. You can see some of his characters and addition information on his IMDB site.
Brendan Hedges; Writer & Associate Producer
While studying film and theatre at the University of Southern California, Brendan was always mindful of the mantra of his mentor, producer-director Peter Tewksbury: if you want to make movies, you must first learn how to write. "It's a lesson I'm grateful for every day," Hedges says.
For 'Sultana,' he cites Chester Berry's remarkable collection of first-person accounts of the disaster, The Loss of the Sultana and the Reminiscences of the Survivors, as a major inspiration. "Without it, there would be no documentary," Hedges says.
Hedges also notes his collaboration with 'Sultana' composer Michael Allison as a high point in the production. "We're friends, and early on, Mark (Marshall) and I talked about him scoring 'Sultana.' His music has long been a muse, but this was the first time we've worked together from the start of a project. I'd email Michael some script pages, and very quickly he'd send back a haunting strand of theme, or even - to my astonishment - a beautifully realized, complete track. Every time, my heart wound up racing - and I'd rush back to the script, hugely inspired."
As a writer-director, Brendan's work has been included as official selections to the inaugural 'Range of Light Film Festival' in Yosemite Valley and the emerging 'Wild & Scenic Film Festival' in Nevada City. Both of Hedges' parents were lifelong educators; his endearing documentary on his own retired high school teachers, Learning Never Ends, recently had a prime-time, PBS-affiliate airing in Northern California.
Jeff Hoopingarner; Director of Photography
Jeff Hoopingarner is an award winning multimedia producer/director with over twenty years of experience in video and film production. Jeff served in the United States Air Force as a combat camera videographer. Considered one of the top videographers in the military, he won many awards including 1994 military videographer of the year. He served as an assistant editor on A&E channel documentaries and worked on a variety of industrial film and video productions.
In 2001, Jeff joined the Federal Aviation Administration's Media Solutions team in Oklahoma City as a Producer/Director. Throughout his tenure Jeff managed the FAA video team and continues to “raise the bar” in the quality and creativity of production in his home state of Oklahoma with his company, Raptor Media Group.
Jeff fell in love with the story of the Sultana in 2013 and began the journey of telling this story by attending one of the annual reunions of the Sultana survivors' descendants where he recorded numerous interviews with the attendees.
Dave Edison; Editor
Dave Edison toured for years as a stand-up comedian before turning his attention to writing, directing and editing. He co-wrote the sci-fi film “Steel And Lace,” was post production supervisor for "The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show," produced and edited the stand-up comedy DVD “Dom Irrera: Is This Thing On?,” won AFI’s Visions of US Award and was an editor on the Emmy-winning courtroom reality series, "Last Shot with Judge Gunn."
Dave directed and edited the award-winning short film “Shorty & Morty,” edited feature films including the Big Bear International Film Festival selection “Shotokan Man,” the indie sci-fi "Starship: Rising" (for which he was honored at the 2014 Action On Film Festival), the documentary "Remember The Sultana," and is currently editing the sci-fi feature “Space Command.” Dave lives just outside of Hollywood with his favorite writer, his wife Amy.
David T. McKenna; Sound Designer
David T. McKenna, owner of Bearcat Productions, started experimenting with sound when he was 16 years old and he’s been doing it ever since. After earning his M.A. degree specializing in Recording Engineering and Production from San Francisco State’s BECA department, he became Lead Engineer at Cherokee Recording Studios in Los Angeles. There he engineered on Gold, Platinum, and GRAMMY winning albums for several years. Looking to cut back on the 100-hour work weeks, he went into teaching where he met the love of his life, Beth Sweeney, who also happens to be the Sound Designer for Remember the Sultana. This was their first film project together and he looks forward to many more.
Michael Allison; Music Composer
Bio to follow.
Beth Sweeney; Sound Designer
Bio to follow.