Melissa Regan - Director / Producer / Cinematographer
Melissa is a Sundance award-winning filmmaker, tech entrepreneur, educator and mechanical engineer. Her 24-minute documentary No Dumb Questions -- about 3 young sisters whose Uncle Bill becomes a woman -- received an award at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and appeared on HBO, PBS and Oprah. The film and related educational campaigns are changing hearts, minds, and policies in schools, colleges, and communities around the world.
Melissa has produced award-winning social change films for nonprofit and corporate clients, designed award-winning educational software, co-founded an early Internet software company, taught math, science and engineering, and published research on innovative uses of technology for learning. Client projects include an award-winning short documentary series for The Coca-Cola Company about water and sanitation in Africa and an e-learning Executive Education product line for the Stanford and Harvard Business Schools. She has a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
Granted exclusive, behind-the-scenes access, Filmmaker Melissa Regan captured the intimacy, joy, struggles and truth of the nuns' incredible 5 year journey. She has filmed Sister Simone and the Nuns on the Bus since the very first day of the first bus trip in 2012, to the 2017 Women’s March on Washington; at home, in hotel rooms, at motherhouses, in Rome and everywhere in between.
Robin Blotnick - Editor
Robin is a 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow. His feature documentary debut, Gods and Kings (2012), about masks, magic and media in the Guatemalan highlands, won the Intangible Culture Prize at the RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Films (Scotland, 2013) and was the opening night film at Ethnocineca (Austria, 2014). His latest documentary, The Hand That Feeds (2014), about a bitter struggle for justice at a New York City deli, broadcast on PBS and picked up awards at several festivals (including Full Frame, DOC NYC and AFI Docs) and press acclaim at its theatrical run this Spring. His latest project, City of Movement, an archival collage, is currently playing on infinite loop at the Museum of the City of New York. Between directing projects, he works as an editor, shaping stories in a variety of genres for independent filmmakers and companies like AMC and Vox Creative.
Sara Archambault - Producer
Sara is the Program Director at the LEF Foundation and Programmer/Founder of the award-winning films series The DocYard. Sara’s professional history connects to production, programming, and foundation work. She was Executive Director of the RI Council for the Humanities, Managing Producer on Emmy-nominated documentary Traces of the Trade, and Producer for Christopher Lydon’s Open Source. Sara is producing the feature documentary Street Fighting Men which is supported by IFP, Hot Docs Pitch Forum, San Francisco Film Society, Film Independent, and the Sundance Documentary Fund. She is an advisor, juror, and panelist with a number of festivals and foundations including RIDM, Chicken & Egg Pictures and the NEA. Sara is a 2013 Sundance Creative Producers Lab Fellow and was sited among the "Ten to Watch" in 2013 by The Independent. She has a BFA in film from Syracuse University, an MA in Cultural Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a certificate in radio production from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
Sara's parents were a former Catholic nun and priest, both active in social justice networks throughout their lives. Connected to the Berrigan brothers and further radicalized by the death of their friend Maura Clark who was one of the four nuns brutally killed in El Salvador, Sara’s parents committed the lives of their family to direct action. For Sara, watching the nuns discussions on tour reminds her of protest planning in her living room - conversations full of nuns and priests who to her were “aunts” and “uncles.” Radical nuns are a familiar terrain for her and many of her parents’ cohort are still active in groups like the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and have even spent some time on the bus.
Rachel Lears - Producer
Rachel's most recent documentary, The Hand That Feeds, won awards and recognition at Full Frame, DOC NYC, AFI Docs, Chicago Latino, and numerous other festivals in 2014-15. It was supported by Sundance Documentary Film Program, Ford Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, Chicken & Egg Pictures, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), Bertha BRITDOC Connect Fund, and the Cinereach Project at Sundance Institute, and was featured at Good Pitch NY, Sundance Creative Producing Lab & Summit, and IFP's Spotlight on Documentaries. Rachel’s first film Birds of Passage (2010) was supported by Fulbright and the National Film Institute of Uruguay (ICAU), had two screening tours of Uruguay sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and was broadcast throughout Latin America. Rachel was a 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, is bilingual in Spanish, and holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology and a graduate certificate in Culture and Media from NYU.
Rachel comes from a long line of progressive Catholics active in antiwar and social justice movements. Rachel's first cousin Sister Louise Lears is a radical nun based in St. Louis, who was personally admonished and issued an official interdict by the Archbishop of St. Louis in 2007 for participating in and advocating for women's ordination, a feminist cause within the Church. Sister Louise is closely connected with the networks of Nuns on the Bus, and Rachel also feels the film's subject matter connects deeply with her family roots.