Sarah Koenigsberg, director of Tensegrity Productions in Walla Walla, WA, is a filmmaker, photographer, and educator whose work focuses on stories of art, environment, and community in the American West. Her commercial clients include Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Knowm Inc, the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, Grand Canyon Trust, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation,and Schoen Guitars. As a cinematographer she has shot for Discovery Chanel Canada, Scholastic children's book publishing, and The US Department of Energy. As an educator she has teamed up with Whitman College's field studies program Semester in the West, teaching the students audio recording, photography, and documentary video, and developing the curriculum for their comprehensive final project. The Tensegrity Productions studio doubles as a community events venue, hosting everything from the Sweet Onion Cinematheque film screenings to live music performances to yoga retreats. Sarah loves strong coffee, dark chocolate, organizing cupboards, and finding an excuse to climb up high things to "get the shot." She hates sticky jar lids, tangled power cords, and lima beans. Learn more about her work and production company at www.tensegrityproductions.com.
Phil Brick is Miles C. Moore Professor of Politics and Director of Environmental Studies at Whitman College, an independent liberal arts college in Walla Walla, Washington, where he has taught since 1990. In 2002 he founded Whitman College Semester in the West, an environmental studies field program focusing on the human and natural ecology of Western public lands in the interior American West. An award-winning teacher and recognized expert on public lands and environmental policy, Phil has recently shifted his work to focus on climate change, with an emphasis on regional adaptations to expected changes. When he’s not hunkered down in his office, you might find Phil floating a river or relaxing in a ponderosa forest. He appreciates the art of a quality latte, hiking through canyon country looking for rock art, and incorporating lines from The Big Lebowski into daily conversation. More information about Semester in the West can be found at www.semesterinthewest.org.
Chris is a freelance documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and editor based in Portland, Oregon. He's been working with Sarah Koenigsberg as part of the Tensegrity Productions family since 2010. Check out his work at www.chriscresci.com.
After graduating from Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film, he co-founded the doc production house, Rainhouse Cinema. As a freelancer, he has worked on a variety of documentary, commercial, and narrative projects for companies like Patagonia, The Home Depot, and The Atlantic. His work has screened on PBS stations across the country, and film festivals across the world including AFIDocs, Banff, Big Sky, Wild and Scenic, and MountainFilm.
Chris strives to create compelling and inspirational films that connect people to and emphasize the importance of the natural world. He loves running in the rain, a good hoppy beer, and he spends entirely too much time working in his basement.
Faith hails from the sunny Sacramento Valley. Her passion for the visual arts began early, and upon receipt of her first point and shoot camera in 6th grade, so began an era of annoying her family with incessant attempts at curious snapshots. Since then, she has grown (thankfully) to become more graceful behind the lens, but she hasn’t put it down since. She has worked as a journalistic, communications, and theatre photographer for her recent alma mater, Whitman College, in addition to contracting photos and videos in recent summers for a small lumber company in rural Montana, the Grand Canyon Trust in Utah, and an urban farm in Sacramento. As an Environmental Humanities major, Faith focused her undergraduate education around critically examining the relationships between human beings and their natural surroundings. She is happy to combine both of her passions, the environment and the visual arts, with The Beaver Believers. Joining the project predominately for post-production, Faith has enjoyed crafting compelling character sketches and further exploring the art of storytelling with this fun tale of quirky, compassionate folks who love our favorite watershed friend, the beaver! You can view her work here.
Cathryn is a seventh generation Arkansan. She was born, bred, and raised on dirt roads and bad chicken, and four years ago she left all that behind to move to Walla Walla, WA, to attend Whitman College. She recently graduated (phew!) with a degree in Environmental Studies – Humanities summa cum laude. She is most interested in story – in her writing, art, and film editing, Cathryn tries to bring attention to the ways in which the environment literally encapsulates the self – even going so far as to become part of it. Cathryn is tired of the word "environmental" and hopes that through story, we might be able to tell new climate change narratives, narratives that blur the seemingly thick divide between the self and everything that surrounds it. She couldn't be more excited to be a part of The Beaver Believers. When not tucked away writing, Cathryn teaches yoga, tutors writing, and designs blueprints for her tiny house project (so close!). Some of her favorite things are: early early mornings, picking fruit, eating fruit, freezing fruit to eat later, oolong tea, old books, new books, kombucha, Radiolab, Joan Didion, big dogs, Christmas lights, really good pens, organizing drawers, running down old highways, and solitude.
production intern/the sound guy
Keenan grew up in the remarkably mild and often damp climate of McKinleyville, California, a small town nestled between the redwoods and the roaring Pacific. What a surprise, then, to find himself chasing beavers through the interior deserts of the American West! Keenan has graduated from Whitman College with a degree in Politics-Environmental Studies, and he jumped on the opportunity to be a part of this filmmaking process. His involvement with The Beaver Believers saw him brandishing a microphone at a pulse of a southwestern flash flood, carefully recording Methow Valley silence, and consistently finding serene and private wooded pockets for the "groover" (the field toilet). Keenan could not get enough of the staggering landscapes that beavers of the American West call home, and he cannot wait to share them with you! In his free time, Keenan takes great pleasure in making small jokes with his friends.
production intern/additional camera: Utah, Colorado, Washington
Originally from a small, quaint, and honestly fairly dull suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, Brennan came to Whitman College out of a love for the Pacific Northwest, a sense of adventure, and a desire for a small community. Fans and critics across the nation have described him as having "a dismal sense of fashion," "constantly struggling to be on-time," and being a "pencil-necked geek." As a dedicated production intern he spent the summer doing some camera work, doing some audio work, wearing strange pants, and carrying heavy things. The baby of the crew, Brennan has two more years at Whitman and plans to major in Environmental Humanities with a possible second major in Film and Media Studies. Outside of the classroom, he can usually be found playing Frisbee, baking bread, taking photos, or pondering the meaning of life. He also love kittens. Check out his photography here.
Perry Grant recipient/assistant to the director
Molly grew up with a love of the outdoors and has never stopped spending time enjoying and learning from her surroundings. Molly graduated from Whitman College with a combined Biology and Environmental Studies major. She spends her free time frolicking in the outdoors, climbing, and making art. Molly has recently become a believer in the role of beaver in combating the effects of climate change through storing water on landscapes, and she looks forward to learning more and teaching others about this fascinating species and the people working with them.
additional camera: Colorado
Chase, a passionate amateur photographer from Grand Junction, Colorado, first found himself waist deep in murky beaver ponds on Whitman College's 2012 Semester in the West program. Six months later he realized that The Beaver Believers film was the ultimate opportunity to use his love for photography to help convey a positive message about climate change, ecosystem health, and our furry beaver friends. His energy for photography is surpassed only by his spirit for chemistry and cooking, and his love for wandering in desert landscapes. Chase compiles his ongoing photography ventures under the title Sadalsuud Photography. Check out his work here.