Ellen Bruno’s three films on human rights in Asia (Samsara, Satya, Sacrifice) have won numerous awards and have aired on national public television and in over a dozen foreign countries. She served as coordinator for the International Rescue Committee’s family reunification program in refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, and she later served for four years as director of the Cambodian Women’s Project for the American Friends Service Committee. Ellen completed a Master’s Degree in Documentary Film at Stanford University in 1990. She was the recipient of a 1998 Guggenheim, a 1997 Rockefeller, a 1995 Shenkin (Yale), and 1992/1994/1997 Western States Regional Media Arts Fellowships. Her most recent film is Split, part of a project to help families and children of divorce.
Steven D. Goodman, PhD, is co-director of Asian and Comparative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He has lectured and taught Buddhist philosophy and comparative religion at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara, Rice University, the Graduate Theological Union, Nyingma Institute, and Naropa Institute, and was the recipient of a Rockefeller Fellowship at Rice University Center for Cultural Studies. He is the co-editor of Tibetan Buddhism: Reason and Revelation, a source book for the study of Tibetan philosophical and visionary literature (SUNY Press, 1992), and author of “Transforming the Causes of Suffering” in Mindfulness in Meaningful Work (Parallax Press, 1994).
One of the founding directors, the late Buddhist scholar and filmmaker Richard Kohn taught at Indiana University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, and was a Research Associate at the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He wrote and directed the award-winning film Lord of the Dance/Destroyer of Illusion. He was curator of the 1991 international exhibition “Wisdom and Compassion: The Sacred Art of Tibet” at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco for which he also programmed the film series “Tibet: Dreams and Documents.”
Executive Director Gaetano Kazuo Maida is a media professional and strategic planner. He was a founding director of the Buddhist quarterly Tricycle, and was producer/director of Peace Is Every Step, a film profile of Vietnamese Zen teacher/activist Thich Nhat Hanh, narrated by Ben Kingsley. Among his other films as director and/or producer are The Simple Life, On the Luce, Rock Soup, Milarepa, Touching Peace, Robert Bly: A Thousand Years of Joy, and the forthcoming Swans at the Lake. He is currently also executive director of the nonprofit Tea Arts Institute. He has served on the boards of Point Foundation, the Japanese Cultural Arts Center, the Society for the Study of Native Arts and Sciences, and other nonprofits in New York and California, and is a principal of Maida+Associates, a consulting firm with media, hospitality/housing, and nonprofit clients.
Steven Rood is a lawyer in private civil practice in Oakland, California. In addition to business and real estate transactions and litigation, he represents writers, artists and publishers. He has been a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, a Deputy City Attorney for Beverly Hills, and a Professor of Law at Southwestern University in Los Angeles.