Director: Michele Gisser has been working on feature narrative and documentary films for the past 15 years. Starting her career in Boston as a still photographer and editor for educational television, she moved to CA to work on narrative films and TV dramas. She has continued her documentary work and since moving to Arizona has directed her first feature film, an Eco-Western.
Executive Producer Patricia Watrous is a flutist with the Tucson Symphony and has made her entire career as a Classically trained musician. As such, she has had no prior experience in cinema. As it turns out, an ability to fund the camera action and cook for the film crew was qualification enough to get her roped into the production of the Eco-Western, PATAGONIA TREASURE TRAIL. Her familiarity with the back trails of southern Arizona and her appreciation of the exquisite beauty therein gives her faith in the merits of film projects such as this.
Music : MICHAEL FAN has played violin with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra since his days as a math student at the University of Arizona in the early 1980s.He is known as somewhat of a Renaissance Man among his symphony colleagues, as he is equally at home in the jazz idiom and is a creative composer of children’s music. Several of the Tucson Symphony small ensembles regularly perform his musical stories as part of the orchestra’s educational outreach program. In addition to his musical activities Michael designs and maintains internet websites. Patagonia Treasure Trailis his first foray into film scoring.
Jamie Thierman was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, where her musical career began with a violin on her seventh birthday. By the time she graduated high school, she was playing flute and piano, singing, acting, dancing, and had decided to attend the University of Oregon to earn her Bachelors of Music degree in Music Composition. In the summer of 2010, Thierman moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of California, Los Angeles to continue her studies in music composition as a graduate student. During this time she traveled to Africa for intensive training on Ghanaian drumming, dance, and song. She received the Jerry Goldsmith Award from UCLA in June 2011, and won the Hugo Davise Composition Competition in 2015. Thierman completed her Ph.D. in 2015 in Music Composition and Theory with an emphasis in the synthesis of Western classical music with West-African drumming.
Thierman has had several performances of her compositions across the country and internationally, including a performance by Vox Femina at the American Directors Association Conference in Reno in 2012, and by the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble in Russia in 2013. She has composed music for a number of independent films, ranging from short animations and promotional works to full features. The films she has worked on have won numerous awards and participated in screening all over North America. This year she is looking forward to premieres of her two Wind Ensemble works as well as performances of her chamber music in two festivals in Russia.
Ben Changkakoti is an urban planner in Pima County, Arizona. Originally from India, he moved to the US to complete graduate studies in architecture, and city and regional planning. Patagonia Treasure Trail is his first experience with screenplay writing and he hopes there will be more opportunities. More recently, he completed his first novel, which is in the editing stage.