Lina Fruzzetti was educated in the Sudan and the USA, and did field research in India, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Italy joined the Anthropology Department at Brown University in 1975, where she is now Professor of Anthropology. She holds several national and international appointments and has taught at the Universities of Khartoum, Dar es Salaam, Helsinki, ISCTE (Lisbon), and IIT Gandhinagar (India.)
Ákos Östör was educated in Hungary, Australia, and the USA. He carried out fieldwork in India (West Bengal and Varanasi), Sudan, Tanzania, Italy and Eritrea. He taught at universities in the USA, Portugal, Sudan, India and Tanzania, and was a fellow at research institutes in Hungary, Australia, India and the USA. Currently he is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Film Studies at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
Franco Sacchi is a documentary filmmaker, video journalist and educator based in Cambridge MA. His first feature length film aired on the Sundance Channel and was an official selection in numerous film festivals, including the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA). In 2005 he directed This is Nollywood a film about the Nigerian movie industry that won the Audience Award at the Abuja International Film Festival (Nigeria), and was broadcast internationally (TBS Latin America, SKYY Arts, UK, SABC 1 - South African Broadcasting Corporation).
Francesco Dragone is an Italian freelance director, cameraman and editor. His interests shifted from the humanities and languages to the social sciences as expressed through visual and artistic media.
He received a postgraduate certificate in Digital and Visual Cultures from ISCTE Lisbon (Portugal, 2011) where he attended a course given by Ákos Östör.
Subsequently he obtained a MA in Visual and Media Anthropology from Freie Universität, Berlin (2013). When he moved to Providence in 2014 he reconnected with Akos, ending up as co-editor of In My Mother’s House.
Lina Fruzzetti and Ákos Östör are, among other things, anthropologists and filmmakers.
Separately, then together they authored award-winning films and wrote over a dozen books. They collaborate closely with the participants and with other filmmakers.
Their films are visually interpretive, respecting the integrity of the culture and the people. They use narration or not, subtitles, voice over, and inter-titles, or no words at all, just as the particular film demands it.
In My Mother’s House is their first, deeply personal film. Their previous films in India and Tanzania concern individual lives in small communities, in contexts ranging from sacred rituals and festivals in a town, to women scroll painters and singers in village West Bengal; from fish markets in Dar es Salaam, to a handicapped people’s cooperative in Zanzibar.
All were shown at festivals around the world and won numerous awards.
In addition, they collaborate in creating museum exhibitions and catalogues (Helsinki, Lisbon, Geneva) as well as websites around their work. Their written work is independent yet related to the films.
Lauren Cheung is an animator and filmmaker based in New York City. She recently graduated from Brown University (2015) with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology; during her time in school, she directed several short films, free-lanced in editing, and had a science animation she created featured in the New York Times. After college, she worked as a Directors Guild of America Trainee on several TV shows, including Law and Order SVU & The Americans. Currently, she works as the executive assistant to Mr. Woody Allen.