Steve Balderson’s award-winning second feature film, Firecracker, was released theatrically in 2005 to sold out audiences in a first-ever "Freak Show Tour" supervised by Landmark Cinemas, the nation’s largest art house chain. Preeminent film critic Roger Ebert called it "Brilliant" and named Firecracker on his list of the year's best films.
Balderson's third film, the pop art documentary Phone Sex, was released in 2006 as an art installation in Hollywood's Retropia, hailed by the LA Weekly as a "tour de force of freakiness." Phone Sex also opened the 2007 Miami Underground Film Festival.
Balderson’s attention to detail and strong work ethic is chronicled in the documentary series Wamego (Making Movies Anywhere, Wamego Strikes Back). The first installment won Best Feature Film at the 2005 Fox Film Festival and the 2004 Kan Festival Award. Wamego Strikes Back kicked off the San Antonio Underground Film Festival in 2007.
For more information visit www.DIKENGA.com
FIRST UNIT ASSISTANT CINEMATOGRAPHER.
Shittake came to our country in 1978 and has been working steadily since.
ERIC WAINWRIGHT and RUTH SYMES
2ND UNIT DIRECTORS, CAMERA PEOPLE, UNITED KINGDOM.
"I've had a couple of fun days so far filming belly dancing classes and interviewing Plez in the midlands. I was also privileged to film Plez at a burlesque / belly dance fusion show at a jazz club in northampton. I was aided in filming by my wife Ruth Symes; Ruth is an author and actress - details of Ruth can be found at her website." - Eric
KRISTY HIGBY and MARK FLOWERS
2ND UNIT DIRECTORS, CAMERA PEOPLE, NORTH CAROLINA.
Kristy Higby's short documentary, Flag Day, received a juror’s honorable mention at the 2005 AFI/Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS Documentary Conference and Film Festival; a Jury’s Citation at the 25th Black Maria Film and Video Festival and Best Documentary at the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City, Nevada 2006. Her current project, bowl digger, screened at the 2006 Dallas Video Festival in Dallas, Texas, the 2006 Happening at the Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, and will screen at the SNOB Somewhat North of Boston in Concord, New Hampshire.
Higby and her husband, Mark Flowers, a painter, are both employed as visual art instructors at Mercersburg Academy in PA and live part-time in Alexander, NC. They recently had a two-person exhibition, Related Separates, at the Goodall Gallery in Columbia College, Columbia, SC, and a two-person exhibition, Sequences and Events, at the Burroughs Chapin Museum of Art in Myrtle Beach, SC.
For more information visit Mountain TEA films
2ND UNIT DIRECTOR, CAMERA PERSON, KENTUCKY.
Elizabeth Riffe, 21, was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. Her interest in filmmaking started when she was a young teenager, but quickly grew as a senior in high school. After making a few short films for class, and seeing one premiere at a mini film festival at the Kentucky Theater, she decided to pursue film-making. In 2006 she interned under film-maker Herb E. Smith at Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky and worked on the short documentary "Prescription Drug Roulette." She is now working in the Production Department at WAVE 3, an NBC affiliate in Louisville; and is a senior at the University of Louisville pursuing a degree in Communication with a minor in Justice Administration. After graduation she plans to take a year off before going to film school. In her spare time she enjoys listening to music, watching movies, and spending time outdoors. She has one cat, no one specific favorite color, and loves the movie Green Street Hooligans; along with anything Brad Pitt has ever been in.
2ND UNIT DIRECTOR, CAMERA PERSON, UNITED KINGDOM.
Russ had always wanted to be in films one way or another. After showing a passion for theatrics and music from an early age, it would only make sense that he should work in some aspect of the film business one way or another. Russ was born on May 26th 1987 in Southampton, Hampshire UK. He grew up in Swaythling until he was 10 and by the age of 14 he had left school and was studying film and music at home, as well as attending acting classes and performing on the stage in various plays and productions. After impressing tutors with his knowledge of moving image, He was accepted into college studying A levels in Film and Media. After passing both successfully he left college and went on to work on his own films, While Doing acting jobs and composing whenever he had the time. Since then he has worked on almost every aspect of film making, including Writing, Scoring, Editing, Stunts, Makeup and even advertising.
Presented in part by the Kansas Arts Commission, a state agency,
and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency,
which believes that a great nation deserves great art.