BASELINE: part 1 

A FILM BY JOHN D. SUTTER

In development with support from:
National Geographic Society
Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
UNIONDOCS: Center for Documentary Art

 
 
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BASELINE

Four locations. Every five years. Until 2050.

The BASELINE documentary series is an unprecedented look at the climate crisis, checking in with four locations every five years until 2050. Think of it as the environmental "Seven Up!" The goal: combat "shifting baseline syndrome," a term coined by Daniel Pauly, an advisor on this project, to refer to "a phenomenon of lowered expectations in which each generation regards a progressively poorer natural world as normal." Sign up for our newsletter, read about us in Nieman Reports and follow the project on John D. Sutter's Instagram. Consider funding production through UNIONDOCS, the project's fiscal sponsor.

 

THE TEAM

JOHN D. SUTTER

Director

John D. Sutter is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker who focuses on the climate crisis. He is a National Geographic Explorer and CNN climate analyst. . His work has won the Livingston Award, IRE Award, Edward R. Murrow Award, Peabody Award and has received two EMMY nominations. At CNN, he created and directed several of the network’s award-winning projects, including TWO DEGREES, on the climate crisis; VANISHING, a CNN International documentary on extinction; and CHANGE THE LIST, which asked CNN’s digital audience to commission stories on social justice. His documentary SLAVERY’s LAST STRONGHOLD, with Edythe McNamee, aired on CNN International and received an EMMY nomination for new approaches to documentary. Sutter led CNN’s investigative reporting on Hurricane Maria, breaking the story of uncounted storm deaths. He was a Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard and is a visiting instructor at The Poynter Institute. He lives in Salt Lake City.

 

EDYTHE McNAMEE

A videographer for CNN and National Geographic magazine, Edythe McNamee is a Washington-based Director of Photography and Editor. She is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and EMMY nominee. Her work has received the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as awards from the Ellies (American Society of Magazine Editors), the Webby Awards, the Foreign Press Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors and Amnesty International, among others. Her recent film, KATIE’s NEW FACE, for which she was Director of Photography, aired internationally on National Geographic TV and digital channels.

SU KIM

Producer

Su Kim is a producer of award-winning films including MIDNIGHT TRAVELER (2019 Sundance - World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for No Borders), as well as the Oscar-nominated HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING. Based in New York, Kim is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She has been nominated for several Peabody Awards and was a 2015 Women at Sundance Fellow.

EMELIE MAHDAVIAN

Emelie Mahdavian is a filmmaker whose work often looks at women’s experience. She produced, wrote, and edited MIDNIGHT TRAVELER, which won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2019, was nominated for a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, was distributed theatrically in the US by Oscilloscope Laboratories, and broadcast on PBS’ acclaimed series POV.

 

Emelie was nominated (with Su Kim) for Best Production at the Cinema Eye Honors and was awarded Best Editing at Salem Film Festival. She is currently editing the documentaries DREAMS OF DARAA (dir. Reilly Dowd) and SINGING IN THE WILDERNESS (dir. Dongnan Chen) and is directing BITTERBRUSH.

 

She was previously a professional dancer, and her dance film work has screened at museums and international festivals including Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center. Emelie studied filmmaking at London Film School, and has a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She is currently Producer in Residence at the University of Utah.

DEREK S. HOWARD

Derek Howard is an acclaimed director and cinematographer who has collaborated on some of the most innovative climate-change films in recent years, including Brett Stroy’s THE HOTTEST AUGUST, which was listed as one the best films of 2019 by Variety, and AQUARELA, Victor Kossakovky’s opus on the power of the water cycle.

 

His collaborations have led to screenings at Venice, TIFF, Sundance, HotDocs, IDFA, and many others. He was a participant in the IDFA Summer School, IDFAcademy, Reykjavik International Film Festival’s Trans Atlantic Talent Lab, and the Berlinale Talents program. Derek was the assistant director and 2nd cinematographer for Kossakovky’s VIVAN LAS ANTIPODAS. He directed THE HARVESTER, which premiered at True/False.

PAILIN WEDEL

Pailin Wedel is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist based in Bangkok, Thailand. Her most recent documentary, HOPE FROZEN, is about a Thai family attempting to reconcile their Buddhist faith and their faith in science after cryopreserving their two-year-old when she died. HOPE FROZEN screened at more than twenty film festivals. It won the Best International Feature Documentary Award at Hot Docs in Toronto and the Student Jury award at the InScience film festival in the Netherlands.

 

She is a regular reporter/director on Al Jazeera English’s flagship 101 East current events documentary program. Her television films include ASIA’S METH BOOM, MYANMAR: FREE AND FAIR?, and SOUTH KOREA’S GENDER WAR. Aside from her television work she also films pieces for The New York Times, National Geographic and Washington Post. Before she created 2050 Productions in Thailand, she was the Asia Interactive producer for the Associated Press, where she directed online interactive coverage for the region. She began her career as a photojournalist at newspapers. 

MASUMA AHUJA

Masuma Ahuja is an author, multimedia journalist and producer based in London. She is the author of a forthcoming book on girlhood around the world, published by Algonquin Books. Previously, she was a news producer and digital editor at the Washington Post and CNN, where she specialized in telling stories in collaboration with audiences. She shares in a Pulitzer Prize, a Murrow Award and a Webby. Her projects have asked women around the world to photograph motherhood through their own eyes and have turned voicemails into stories about love, migration and human rights. 

 

ADVISORS

University of British Columbia

Colby College

Harvard University

Harvard University

Yale University

UnionDocs

Utah State University

University of Delaware

Harvard University

Marshallese Writer and Performer

Alaska Institute for Justice

University of Miami

fmr EPA Administrator

Harvard University

©2019 by Baseline Productions, LLC. ATL, GA.