Music Inn - A Documentary Film - Producers


Music Inn Production Team

Director/Producer: Ben Barenholtz
Ben Barenholtz is a film industry veteran with an outstanding career that spans over fourty-five years. In 1968 he opened the Elgin Cinema in New York City where he originated the “midnight movie” format with the exhibition of El Topo, Pink Flamingoes and The Harder They Come. In 1975, Mr. Barenholtz formed Libra Films, a specialized film distribution company launching such directors and films as John Sayles’ Return of the Secaucus Seven, David Lynch’s Eraserhead and Jean-Charles Tacchella’s Cousin Cousine. In 1984 Mr. Barenholtz started Circle Releasing, launching and distributing films that include Guy Maddin’s Tales from the Gimli Hospital, Alain Cavalier’s Therese, Ward’s The Navigator, John Woo’s The Killer and Joel and Ethan Coen’s acclaimed first feature, Blood Simple. He went on to co-produce their following films: Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing and Barton Fink, which won the Palme d’Or (Best Film) at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, as well as awards for Best Director and Best Actor for John Turturro -- the first time in 44 years that three top honors have gone to the same film at Cannes. Recently, Mr. Barenholtz was the Executive Producer of the highly acclaimed film, Georgia, directed by Ulu Grossbard and Co-Executive Producer of Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream among others.

“I first met Stephanie Barber (co-founder of Music Inn) in 1972 and over 30 years of our friendship, I was regaled with stories about Music Inn and all that was accomplished there in the 1950s.  Throughout that period there were rumors about books and films that were going to be done about Music Inn, but nothing happened.  When John Lewis died I decided that something had to be done before they all, to quote Percy Heath, were “outta here.”  Thus, with the help of a lot of dedicated people, I became a first time director, by default.  The importance of the contribution to “America’s Music” that was made at Music Inn cannot be overstated and I feel very lucky to be able to have a small part in preserving its legacy.”

 Producer: Naomi Bombardi-Wilson
Naomi Bombardi-Wilson was the Head of Development and Production at Barenholtz Productions from 2002 through 2006 before going back to on-set production with the David Fincher film A Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.  At Barenholtz she oversaw the development of over a dozen feature narrative films and one documentary, producing two including Music Inn about the first school of jazz.  Naomi still works with Ben Barenholtz on a freelance basis, associate producing The Night Fisherman, produced by Barenholtz and HDNet Films (Enron: The Smartest Guy In the Room, Fay Grimm) and to be directed by Joseph Cahill and set for production in Prague in July 2007.  After graduating from New York University in 1998, Naomi joined Grey Direct Marketing (sub: Grey Global Group) as a receptionist and by 2001 had worked her way to Director of New Business Development. Naomi left Grey Direct in July of 2001 to continue her pursuit of film production.  Naomi has worked in various production positions from PA to Assistant Director to Line Producer on films, music videos and commercials for such well-known companies as Paramount Pictures, Grey Global Group, Smuggler, Ghost Robot, Universal Music and Greencard Pictures with such artists as Fatboy Slim, The Spinto Band, The Tragically Hip and Brandi Carlile and brands like Diesel Jeans and Absolute Vodka to name a few.

Producer: George Schuller
George Schuller (Drummer, Composer) has released several albums as a leader including “Round'bout Now”  (Playscape Records) and “JigSaw” (482 Music). He leads several groups (Circle Wide, Schulldogs) and co-leads several others (Free Range Rat, Conference Call). Schuller appears on Joe Lovano's “Rush Hour” (Blue Note) and has also recorded and/or produced CD's with Orange Then Blue, Ran Blake, Luciana Souza, Mike Musillami, Lisa Thorson, Ballin' The Jack, Mili Bermejo and Gunther Schuller. Currently Schuller has been touring with such sonic mavericks as saxophonist Lee Konitz and pianist Burton Greene. Since graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1982, he has performed with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Nnenna Freelon, Jaki Byard, Dave Douglas, George Adams, Fred Hersch, Tim Berne, Mose Allison, among many others. Schuller, son of former School of Jazz faculty member Gunther Schuller, was only 8 months old when he was first brought to Music Inn with bib and stroller. Since then, many summers were spent at neighboring Tanglewood including frequent visits to the Music Inn during the 70s. 

Narration: Benjamin Barber
Benjamin R. Barber is the Gershon and Carol Kekst Professor of Civil Society at the University of Maryland and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, a non-partisan progressive New York think tank. A distinguished and internationally renowned political theorist, Dr. Barber brings an abiding concern for democracy and citizenship to issues of politics, culture and education in America and abroad. Dr. Barber consults regularly with political and civic leaders in the United States and Europe, including former President Bill Clinton, and President Roman Herzog of Germany; as well as with institutions such as the United States Information Agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities, UNESCO, the European Parliament and "Mission 2000" (the French Millennial Commission). His books include the classic “Strong Democracy” (1984) and the recent international best-seller “Jihad vs. McWorld” (1995 with a Post 9/11 Edition in 2001, translated into twenty languages). Dr. Barber's latest book is the just published “Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole” (WW Norton, 2007).  Barber co-wrote the ten-part CBC/PBS/ITV television series “The Struggle for Democracy” with Patrick Watson, and has participated in writing, editing and narrating a number of successful documentaries, including Channel Four's Greek Fire.  Benjamin Barber is also the son of Philip Barber, and Stephanie Barber’s stepson. He was 11 when they bought the Music Inn property and spent some of his most formative years as a teenager in this unique, revolutionary, creative and inclusive environment.

Co-Producer: Stephanie Sharis
Stephanie Sharis graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wesleyan University in 1994. She continued her education at Harvard ’s Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School and MIT, and earned a Master ’s degree in Public Policy. From 1999 – 2001, Ms. Sharis worked in the new media and entertainment industry as a project consultant for JP Morgan, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Urbanworld Films, Content Film, New York Office, and Walden Media. She co-produced The Party’s Over, a feature documentary starring Philip Seymour Hoffman that was released in theaters internationally and aired on the BBC. In 2001, Ms. Sharis became Co-Founder and Co-President of Transmission Films, an online distributor of Independent and foreign films. Since 2003, she has been at AOL, currently in the role of Director of Creative Development where she oversees AOL True Stories, a broadband channel for documentaries, and other original programming for the web. As a side project in 2005, she co-produced a short film The Promise starring Saundra Santiago and Kevin Conway. She has been a guest lecturer at The New School on the topic of digital film distribution and a panelist at various film festivals and new media conferences.

Co-Producer: Casey Meade
Casey Meade is a filmmaker and founder of Projectile Arts, Inc. a nonprofit organization created to support art as a tool for communication and education across cultural boundaries. Film credits include Take Me To The River (2002), a feature documentary about a Hindu pilgrimage called the Maha Kumbh Mela, and Scratching Windows (1998), a short documentary about Graffiti writers in New York City. Other Projectile Artsproductions that Casey is currently working on in a variety of capacities include, New York City Spirit, anexperiential documentary about the wide variety of Spiritual Practices in New York, and Kokoyakyu, a documentary about high-school baseball in Japan. Casey has known Stephanie Barber since childhood. He grew up on the Music Inn property which his father, David Rothstein owned from 1970-79. His mother, Nancy Fitzpatrick, still resides in the renovated Potting Shed, which was once the after hours cocktail lounge and folk performance space of Music Inn.

Editor: Tamino Castro
Tamino Castro majored in Film and Television at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.  He began his career as assistant producer and editor for various national and international productions.  He worked closely with Academy Award winner director Nigel Noble, and Oscar nominated editor Ann Collins on the feature length documentary The Charcoal People of Brazil.  After NYU Tamino worked as editor and producer for various shorts and documentaries.  His wildlife documentary Protecting Africa's Natural Heritage won awards at international wildlife film festivals in the US and Spain.  Tamino's passion for photography and design is the source for his unique sensibility in editing.  Recently, he also engaged in advertising, traveling to France and Monaco to work on a video and print campaign for P. Diddy's Sean John fragrance line under Estee Lauder.  Tamino has already traveled the globe extensively visiting some 45 countries. He was born in Brazil and is fluent in four languages.