RENGA FOR THE WEST explores the relationship between new refugee arrivals to the state of Montana and long-time residents through self-directed first person stories from refugees navigating their new physical and emotional realities.
Bryan Bello founded the nation's first homeless filmmaking cooperative with eight men and women surviving the streets of Washington D.C. The group's five documentaries have been viewed across the country, screened by the Department of Justice, Smithsonian museums and covered by The Atlantic, PBS NewsHour and the Washington Post. He is a former Center for Media and Social Impact fellow.
Ryan Seitz is the founder of Highway Goat Productions, LLC which has produced the award-winning films Freeload and Skips Stones for Fudge. Ryan has guest lectured at NYU for the Ethnographic Journalism Department and has had his work showcased at dozens of accredited film festivals worldwide. Ryan has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine,The Boston Globe, and on NPR.
Gabe Sweeney is a filmmaker and audio engineer living in Missoula, MT. Sweeney works currently as a bioacoustician and wildlife filmmaker for the conservation research group, MPG Ranch. He is currently working on the Vision Maker Media project, When They Were Here, directed by Ivan and Ivy MacDonald. The film investigates the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls epidemic.
Claire Haughey is a documentary filmmaker with a background in commercial photography and a passion for community filmmaking and intimate, first-person narratives. She is currently a graduate student in Media Studies at The New School.
Saif Al-saegh is a filmmaker and a poet in both English and Arabic. He is originally from Baghdad and currently lives and works in the United States. His volume of poetry Iraqi Headaches was published in 2013. He directs short experimental films. His works include Motorola Jockeys (2016), Bukhari Chant (2016) and A Dance (2015). His 2016 film, Alazeef, received special mention at this years Cinéma Du Réel film festival.