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Reviews / Press Room

“The Silver Belles”

The Filmmakers


Heather Lyn MacDonald
Heather Lyn MacDonald, the founder of Toots Crackin Productions, is the maker of the Sundance Award-winning documentary feature Ballot Measure 9. Called a political thriller, the film won such other awards as a Teddy Bear at Berlin, Best of the Fest at Edinburgh, People’s Choice at Denver, Grand Jury Prize at Los Angeles Outfest, and a GLAAD Media Award for best documentary. It was released theatrically by Zeitgiest Films prior to broadcast on Cinemax, the Sundance Channel, then PBS affiliates. It aired throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada and continues to be distributed on DVD, streaming platforms and the educational market. Other award winning documentaries which Heather directed and edited include Kiev Blue and Kitchen Talk USSR, both shot in the Soviet Union just prior to its collapse.  Each was broadcast on PBS and distributed by Filmakers Library. Kiev Blue continues to be used by those in the GLBTQ community seeking asylum in the USA.  Prior to filmmaking, Heather was for many years an actor and is a long-standing member of Actor's Equity, SAG and AFTRA.  She is also a screenwriter, and her black & white photos have received exhibitions in New York City.

BB Jorissen (Co-Editor)
Bob Jorissen is the winner of an Emmy Award and two BDA Gold Awards. Currently editing features and independent documentaries, Bob's background is in theatrical and television lighting and sound.  He edited The Simian Line, Linda Yellen's feature film with Harry Connick Jr., Tyne Daly and Lynn Redgrave, and he will also edit her upcoming feature The Hive.  Recently, Bob edited Vis-à-vis: Native  Tongues for PBS, Dialogue with the Dalai Lama for Link TV,  Lives Together, Worlds Apart, also for PBS, and a feature piece for National Geographic called Wade Davis, A Charmed Life.  Bob was for six years a lead editor for PBS station KTCA in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  With producer Robert Byrd, he created the Diary series: Black Minnesotans (Emmy for editing), Asian Minnesotans and Native American Minnesotans.  Among others for PBS, he has edited The Dakota Conflict, Not Quite American: Bill Holm, Understanding Hate, How to Talk Minnesotan, Music in the Americas, St. Paul Past and Get Over It.

Jon Miller (Cinematographer)
Trained on film, but embracing the advantages of digital video, Jon Miller is a skilled cameraman,  shooting shorts, documentaries, commercials, industrials, and numerous independent features.  He was the DP for the feature "Calling Bobcat" (Showtime and home video), in which he executed some extraordinary hand-held sequences and provocative lighting designs.  Some of his recent credits include work for the History Channel, the digital feature "Limbo", the documentary "American Beer" and the shorts "The Christmas Party," "She Found Red" and "Raccoon."  He also shot the feature "Jimmy Whispers Returns to Mulberry Street."  The documentary "History of Sound Film" which Jon shot, won a NATAS Award. 

Pete Whitman (Composer)
Pete Whitman created the original score using the evolving styles of 70 years of jazz, including the big band sounds of Jimmy Lunceford and Ellington. He is the leader and composer for the jazz sextet Departure Point, which has released two CDs, both of which feature Whitman’s compositions, arrangements and saxophone.  He has a third CD due out this fall (Artegra), featuring his compositional talents applied to a 10 piece ensemble.  Often performing as a guest soloist with jazz ensembles, Whitman has been a regularly featured performer with the Jazz MN Big Band, Voice Trek, Adi Yeshaya and the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with such distinguished musicians and ensembles as the Minnesota Orchestra, Jack McDuff, Randy Brecker, the Woody Herman Orchestra and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.  He toured internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra for several years, performing on tenor sax and clarinet, and for many years was the leader of the Cedar Avenue Big Band. As a freelance musician Whitman has backed up such names as Cab Calloway, Harry Connick Jr., Aretha Franklin, the Temptations and Frank Sinatra, Jr. Since 1999 he has served as music director and arranger for Columbian songwriter Carlos Diaz, whose fusion of jazz, classical and traditional Columbian musical elements has earned him significant critical acclaim.

Orlando Richards (Sound and Additional Camera)
A skilled and passionate documentarian, Orlando Richards has traveled widely — producing, shooting, editing and teaching.   He has produced and shot in Jamaica, for Cultural Arts Media, in Ecuador for director Tish Bravo, and in Durban, South Africa where Richards was dispatched to send back programming via streaming video during the International Conference on Racism.  Currently he is a cameraman for "Yue-Sai's World" for Chinese television, as well as for "Democracy Now!"'s live web/cable broadcasts.  For seven years he has been a video teacher at New York's Downtown Community Television.  He often teaches video production workshops at high schools in New York City, and has produced videos with homeless youth for Envision TV, and led a summer workshop for youth to produce a documentary on teenage pregnancy.  Richards was the cameraman on four political documentaries for Deep Dish TV, and was the youth outreach coordinator for public television's P.O.V. series, as well as for Paper Tiger public access television.  He continues to shoot his own "Ja Live," a documentary about Rastafarianism.