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DAVID FRANCE (Director) is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, New York Times bestselling author, and award-winning investigative journalist. His directorial debut, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, is hailed as an innovative and influential piece of storytelling and is regularly screened in university classrooms, and by community groups and AIDS service organizations. After a theatrical run in over 30 cities, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE was aired on PBS’ Independent Lens, reaching an audience of millions and garnering Academy and Emmy nominations and a Peabody Award. His 2017 film, THE DEATH & LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON, a Netflix Original Documentary, won numerous festival prizes and was awarded the Outfest “Freedom Award” and a special jury recognition from Sheffield International Documentary Festival. Critics put it on multiple “Best of the Year” lists. David premiered his newest documentary, WELCOME TO CHECHNYA (HBO Max 2020), at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the special jury award for documentary editing, and it received the Panorama Audience Award and Amnesty International Film Prize at 2020 Berlinale. The film was further recognized with a Peabody Award, a BAFTA Award, and the Seigenthaler Prize from RFK Human Rights. It was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.


MIRA CHANG (Producer) has over two decades of experience in documentary filmmaking, covering an array of topics from international socio political issues, science and history. Her work has taken her around the planet, and has been featured across outlets like PBS, CNN, HBO, Netflix, Amazon, National Geographic, Discovery, A&E, ABC, MTV, VH1 and Sundance. She was a cinematographer for award winning feature documentaries, several Emmy award winning programs for ABC’s long-form news division, and co-directed photography for the Academy Award nominated film JESUS CAMP. As VP of Development and Production at the Emmy and Peabody award-winning company, Show of Force, she developed and produced a slate of film, television, digital and social impact campaigns for issues surrounding girls and women, voting and democracy, climate change and the international refugee crisis. Chang is faculty at the School of Visual Arts MFA program in Social Documentary.


JON COHEN (Science Consultant, Advisor) is an award winning magazine writer and author of four nonfiction books on scientific topics and one of the world’s leading journalists covering Covid-19 vaccine research today. Cohen is a senior correspondent with Science, and also has written for the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Magazine, BuzzFeed, Smithsonian, Technology Review, Outside, Slate and many other publications including Surfer. He specializes in biomedicine, and is widely known for his coverage of epidemics (HIV/AIDS, Covid-19, Ebola, influenza), immunology, vaccines, and global health. He also has reported extensively on genetics, primate research, evolution, bioterrorism, research funding, ethics, reproductive biology, credit battles, and the media itself. Cohen’s books have covered a wide range of topics for a lay audience, including the search for an AIDS vaccine, the science of miscarriage, the scientific differences between humans and chimpanzees, and a critical analysis of Tijuana, Mexico’s faltering response to its HIV/AIDS epidemic. His work has received awards from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the National Association of Science Writers, the American Society for Microbiology, the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Treatment Action Group, the Pan American Health Organization, the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, the Global Health Council and the National Institute of Healthcare Management.


SUZANA PERIĆ, born in Zagreb, Croatia, amongst echelon of Film Music Editors in the industry. Active since 1985, her work has been awarded by The Golden Reel Award and an Emmy. Her work traverses an array of genres, for studio and independent films as well as documentaries— including Casualties of War (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), Silence Of The Lambs (1992), Philadelphia (1993), Kundun (1997), The Human Stain (2002), The Pianist (2002), Angels In America (2003) , The Agronomist (2003), All Is Lost (2012), The Life and Death Of Marcia P. Johnson (2017), Jane (2017), Welcome To Chechnya (2019) Little Women (2019), Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2019), Frankie, as well as the forthcoming series Pachinko (2022) and the forthcoming documentary, How We Survived A Pandemic (2022). Suzana has collaborated frequently with such directors as Roman Polanski, Jonathan Demme, Ira Sachs, David France, JC Chandor and Greta Gerwig. Composer alliances include Ennio Morricone, Rachel Portman, Philip Glass, Howard Shore, and Alexandre Desplat. Perić holds a degree in English and Italian Literature and Language from the University of Zagreb, and a BA in Film Studies from Columbia College, Chicago. She has lectured and given master classes throughout the world — at the Film University of Stockholm, Sweden; Cinematographer Film Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil; University of Rome, Cinecittá, Italy; Berklee School of Music in Boston . She has served as an Artist Faculty at the Film Academy Zagreb, Croatia; and currently, in New York University’s Screen Scoring program in its Steinhardt School.


TYLER H. WALK (Editor) is recognized with a Sundance Special Jury Award for Editing, a Cinema Eye Award , and an Emmy nomination. Named to DOC NYC's 40 Under 40, his films include David France's Welcome to Chechnya, the Oscar-Nominated How to Survive a Plague, and Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next. A graduate from Penn State University ('06) and The Edit Center, Tyler is also an amateur pinballer and pretend rock star by night. His Bacon number is 2.


ADAM EVANS (Editor) is a British filmmaker who has worked in the post-production world for over ten years on series and features for broadcasters such as HBO, BBC and Netflix. His most recent work as an editor includes ‘Tasmania: Weird and Wonderful’ and ‘Super Pigs’ and, as an assistant editor, ‘David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities’, ‘Earth From Space’ and ‘The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52’. He has also directed several short films, including the upcoming ‘The Ballad Of Tombstone, AZ’. He is a graduate of the School Of Visual Arts and The Edit Center.


OSEI ESSED is a multi-platform artist, performing and writing for screen and stage. Recent credits include: Amend: The Fight for America (Netflix), High on the Hog (Netflix), Farewell Amor (IFC), As well as the forthcoming docuseries: Lincoln’s Dilemma (Apple) and documentary How to Survive a Pandemic (HBO). Essed performs with the Brooklyn-based bands The Woes and Big Hands Rhythm and Blues Band.

Filmmaker Bios
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Dr. Chris Beyrer is the Desmond M. Tutu Professor of Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a Professor of Epidemiology, International Health, Health, Behavior and Society, and Nursing. He was president of the International AIDS Society from 2014 to 2016.


Dr. Gagandeep Kang is a Professor of Microbiology at the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences at the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, India. Her work focuses on enteric infections in children and the development and use of vaccines.


Dr. John P. Moore is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College. A former section editor of the Journal of General Virology, he is known for his research on HIV/AIDS.


Dr. Risha Irvin is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Associate Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion in the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She has been working with the Covid-19 Prevention Trials Network on community engagement both locally and nationally.


Dr. Ruth Karron is a Professor of International Health in the Division of Global Disease Epidemiology and Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Vaccine Initiative.

Scientific Advisors


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Impact Partners is dedicated to funding independent documentary storytelling that entertains audiences, engages with pressing social issues, and propels the art of cinema forward. Over the span of 14 years, Impact Partners has been involved in the financing of over 100 films, including: ICARUS, which won the 2018 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature; WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, which won the 2019 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary; DINA, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was named Best Feature by the International Documentary Association; THE EAGLE HUNTRESS, which was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary; HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, which was nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature; THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, which won the U.S. Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; and HELL AND BACK AGAIN, which won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature.


The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a New York-based, philanthropic institution that makes grants to support original research and education in science and technology. The Foundation's program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, directed by Doron Weber, supports books, radio, film, television, theater, and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience and to bridge the two cultures of science and the humanities. Sloan has partnered with a dozen of the top film schools in the country and established annual awards in screenwriting and film production. The Foundation also supports screenplay development programs with the Sundance Institute, Film Independent, SFFILM, the Black List, the Athena Film Festival, and the North Fork TV Festival. The Foundation has helped develop over 30 feature films and feature documentaries such as Werner Herzog’s upcoming Theater of Thought, Father of the Cyborgs, Picture a Scientist,Coded Bias, In Silico, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, The Bit Player, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Particle Fever, and Oceans. For more information, visit or follow @SloanPublic on Twitter and Facebook.


Sandbox Films is a mission-driven film company that specializes in creative and boundary-breaking documentaries rooted in scientific ideas that inform society and culture. We collaborate with production partners and visionary filmmakers, providing co-production and financing opportunities for bold, artist-driven ideas. Our films have premiered at top-tier festivals around the world — including Sundance (winning the Special Jury Prize for Nonfiction Experimentation), SXSW, Telluride, TIFF, and CPH:DOX; and our films have been acquired by Netflix, Apple Original Films, NEON, National Geographic Documentary Films, BBC, and PBS, among others.


Wellcome supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone. We support discovery research into life, health and wellbeing, and we’re taking on three worldwide health challenges: mental health, infectious disease and climate. Wellcome is a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation, funded by a £38.2 billion investment portfolio.

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