Enabler Bios

Searching for Mr. Rugoff

Executive Producer/Supervising Director of Photography: Peter Gilbert

Peter Gilbert has had a distinguished career in producing, directing, and photographing documentaries, feature films, commercials and music videos.

Gilbert is one of the filmmakers who made Hoop Dreams, serving as a Producer and Director of Photography. The film won numerous awards, including The Sundance Film Festival Audience Award, Producers Guild of America, Independent Spirit Award, and The Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Journalism. Hoop Dreams was on 100+ top ten lists for 1994.

Also, with Kartemquin and Steve James, he co-directed, co-produced and was D.P. on At the Death House Door, which premiered at South by Southwest in 2008, and won awards at several other festivals, including the Inspiration Award at Full Frame. It aired on the Independent Film Channel in May of 2008.

In 2004, Gilbert produced and directed With All Deliberate Speed, which was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for Distinguished Work in Non- Fiction Film.

His earlier work includes All the Rage (1999); the Emmy Award–winning Kartemquin documentary Vietnam: Long Time Coming (1998)—for which he also won the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Directing—Prefontaine (1997), as Cinematographer and Producer; Stevie (2002), as Co-cinematographer and Co-producer; and Married in America (2002), as Principal Photographer. His cinematography work also includes Barbara Kopple’s Academy Award-winning, American Dream (1991).

Executive Producer: Susan Lacy

Susan Lacy has been an award-winning originator of primetime public television programs since 1979. As the creator and executive producer of American Masters, she has been responsible for the production and national broadcast of more than 150 documentary films about artistic and cultural giants who have made an indelible impact on the American landscape.  Now celebrating its 23rd season on PBS, American Masters has garnered unprecedented awards and is consistently recognized by television critics as “the best biographical series ever to appear on American television.”

In addition to her executive producing role, Lacy is an award-winning filmmaker. Her 2004 Judy Garland: By Myself earned her an Emmy® award for writing and an Emmy® nomination for directing.  She wrote, directed and produced Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind (IDA nomination for Outstanding Documentary) and Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note (Emmy® award and DGA nomination).  She produced the Peabody award-winning Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time, directed and produced Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval, and directed and produced Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice – all for American Masters. Her most recent films were Spielberg and Jane Fonda in Five Acts, which she made for HBO.

Editor: Brian Gersten

Brian Gersten is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and non-fiction writer based in NYC. Some of Brian’s most recent work can be seen on PBS, Kanopy, and The Atlantic. His writing has been published in the likes of Sunday Salon, Gastronomica, YES! Magazine, and Hot Doug’s: The Book.

Gersten quickly grew fond of storytelling while growing up outside of Chicago and has since crisscrossed the country documenting countless stories on film and on paper. He received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado in 2010 and graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2012. From there, Gersten began working as an intern at Kartemquin Films and eventually became the outreach coordinator for the Emmy Award-winning KTQ film, The Trials of Muhammad Ali.

Gersten then shifted his focus to producing, editing and directing his own documentaries, and in 2016 he completed an M.F.A in documentary film at Wake Forest University. Over the years, his films have gone on to screen at notable film festivals all over the world. Searching for Mr. Rugoff is his first feature as editor.

Composer: Leo Sidran

Leo Sidran is an award-winning musician, producer, arranger, composer, recording artist and podcast host.

Raised around music and musicians, Sidran started writing songs professionally as a teenager when the Steve Miller Band recorded four of his songs for their 1993 Wide River album. Around the same time, he began performing regularly as a drummer with his father, renowned and multifaceted jazzman Ben Sidran.

While attending the University of Wisconsin to study history and Spanish, Leo spent a year abroad living in Sevilla and fell in love with Spanish music and the Spanish language. After college he began to spend time back and forth between his homes in the States and Spain. During that period, he met and befriended Jorge Drexler and years later, would co-produce the Academy Award-winning song, “Al Otro Lado Del Rio” from the film The Motorcycle Diaries for Drexler.

Sidran has made five solo albums. The most recent, “Cool School [The Music of Michael Franks]” was released on Warner Music in April, 2018. In addition to his solo career he has produced or co-produced projects for artists including Argentine-American songwriter Kevin Johansen, Cuban born Alex Cuba (which won a Latin Grammy), Spanish-Swedish songwriter Ana Laan, French singers Clementine and Matthieu Bore, and Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown’s original funky drummer). Leo has produced all of Ben Sidran’s records for the last 15 years, most recently “Picture Him Happy” from 2017.

Living in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and young daughter, he also scores music for television and film, and his music has been featured in hundreds of advertisements over the years for brands including American Express, Coca-Cola, Visa, Google, and many more. His documentary credits include As If They Were Angels (Independent, 2017) At the Death House Door (IFC, 2008) 30 for 30: No Crossover The Trial of Allen Iverson (ESPN, 2010), and Race to Execution (Independent Lens, 2007).

Sidran is also the host / producer of the much-heralded podcast, “The Third Story,” featuring interviews with musicians, producers, songwriters, and others in the creative class about their personal stories and professional journeys.