Zoo: Controversial Docu’s Cast and Filmmakers

Cast of Characters

Russell Hodgkinson (H)

Regional theatre credits include Prior Walter in the Southeast premiere of Angels in America, Yvan in Art, and Mordred in Camelot with Terrance Mann. He appeared opposite Mercedes MacCambridge in Harvey and originated the role of Benn Gunn in the musical Treasure Island. He moved to Seattle in 2003 and made his theatrical debute as Uncle John in The Grapes of Wrath at Initiman Theatre and most recently was seen in the world premiere of Broken for You at the Book-It Repertory theatre.

Film credits include Tim Burtons Big Fish, Tough Luck with Armand Assante and Lynn Sheltons award winning We Go Way Back, which premiered at Slamdance 2006.

Richard Carmen (Mr. Hands brother)

Richard got the acting bug early while in a grade school play and was always inspired watching his brothers friend Danny, in all the High School and K.U. plays he did. After many various jobs, at age 20, he joined the Army and after marrying, having a son and divorcing, ended up in San Francisco where he met his longtime girl friend Nok Kyung Kwon. Deciding to follow his dream to act, he enrolled at the Jean Shelton Actors Lab, studying continuously for many, many years and later sought additional training with Actor/Teacher Cliff Osmond, both of which he credits as huge inspirations.

Seeking more opportunities, he moved to Vegas then LA. After working on many, many independent and student films and commercials over the years, he felt uninspired and decided to move to the Seattle area to settle down and buy a bar they knew was for sale in the hopes of doing more theatre there.

Since moving Richard has been finding better film roles and working with directors that inspire him. He can be seen in many films coming out of the Seattle area. Look for him in the recently released horror film Bloddy Mary and other projects soon to be released or at film festivals.

Jenny Edwards and John Edwards, Hope For Horses (HFH)

Hope For Horses (HFH) is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that takes in Neglected, Abandoned and Abused (NAA) Equines (horses, minis, hinnies, mules, donkeys).

Our normal intake event is 1-10 starved, beaten, crazy, withdrawn, parasite depleted, sometimes critically injured horses. We rehabilitate them mentally and physically. Sometimes this takes years. When they are ready we find foster care and then adopt them to carefully screened homes. It is not unusual for us to spend thousands of dollars on a horse that we adopt out for $675. We usually have 25-35 horses in care at a time.

These are rarely grade horses (poorly bred). They are frequently horses that once were worth tens of thousands of dollars (we have had 2 thoroughbreds that at one time were worth over $1M). They have been mishandled, injured, tossed aside. We can usually fix them. sometimes with spectacular results. In the 6 years we have been in business we have become very good at this.

Often horse rescues are back-yard affairs, people trying to dodge taxes, horse traders, or well-meaning individuals. Some groups are well organized but choose to be more aggressive and confrontational when it comes to law enforcement and their traditional lack (or inability) to respond to horse complaints (long history nation wide).

We have overtly chosen to work cooperatively with animal control, law enforcement and prosecutors to get horse abuse recognized for the crime that it is. We have had 3 people attend the law enforcement academy and Jenny is on the board of the Washington Animal Control Association (WACA). We hold seminars for Animal Control Officers (ACOs) to teach them about horse abuse and safe horse handling. HFH has become instrumental in getting felony horse abuse prosecutions started in Washington State.

Our goal is to act as the professional, nonprofit horse rescue for the Pacific Northwest. The problem requires that we grow to the point where we can handle 300-500 horse a year. We expect our role in ZOO to help us do that.

Filmmakers

Robinson Devor (Director, Writer)

In 2005, Robinson Devor premiered his second feature film, POLICE BEAT, in Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2005. The film was called emotionally devastating (Rolling Stone), a visual knockout (Variety) and Sundance at its best (Los Angeles Times), as well as named one of the year’s best films by the New York Times, Film Comment and Art Forum. For his efforts, Devor was nominated for a 2006 Indie Spirit Award and 2005 Gotham Award.

Named one of Varietys 10 Directors To Watch in 2000, Devor made his feature film directorial debut with The Woman Chaser. Debuting at The New York Film Festival and then at Sundance, The Woman Chaser received critical high marks throughout its US theatrical run (Wicked and Brilliant, The New Yorker; A Masterpiece, MovieMaker Magazine).

A 2002 Fellow at the Sundance Institute, Devor collaborated with African-born journalist Charles Mudede (co-writer of Police Beat) on the feature script, Superpower, the story of an African child soldier attempting to recapture his childhood after a civil war.

Before writing and directing The Woman Chaser Devor directed the half-hour documentary, Angelyne, about the eponymous LA billboard queen. Devor currently resides in Seattle, Washington. He was raised in Westchester County, NY and went to college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where he received his BA in Film.

Charles Mudede (Writer)

A writer and leftist culture critic, Charles Tonderai Mudede was born in Zimbabwe and presently lives in Seattle, where he writes for The Stranger weekly and lectures at Pacific Lutheran University. The column he writes in The Stranger, “Police Beat,” was turned into a film of the same name in 2004, directed by Robinson Devor. Police Beat the movie was selected for competition at Sundance 2005. In 2003, Mudede published a short book called “Last Seen” with Diana George. Mudede was also a member of the defunct Seattle Research Institute, a Marxist circle inspired by the Frankfurt School and the work of Hardt and Negri. SRI published two books, “Politics Without The State” and “Experimental Theology.” (Mudede and George edited the former.) Mudede has also published essays and articles with Nic Veroli, a French American Marxist philosopher. Mudede’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The Village Voice, The LA Weekly, and C Theory.

Peggy Case (Producer)

Peggy Case is an award-winning director and producer of documentaries, dramas and art specials. Her directing work includes the Be More national campaign for PBS, a collection of powerful documentary portraits awarded the 2004 Silver Promax and the Cine Golden Eagle. Other credits include broadcast spots commissioned by American Documentary/POV (2004) and Perfect Illusions: Eating Disorders and the Family, a feature documentary for national PBS, distributed throughout Europe. Peggy is the creator of Inside The Box, which debuted on primetime PBS. Critics applauded the series innovative, intimate election-year exploration of America’s most deeply held beliefs. Peggys work has also appeared on the BBC (Jimi Hendrix: The Man They Made God), Channel 4/UK (21st Century Jet), and the Discovery Channel.

Peggys recent feature film experience, besides producing ZOO, includes producing We Go Way Back, directed by Lynn Shelton (winner, Grand Jury Award, Slamdance Film Festival, 2006 and winner of the Grand Prize for Best Feature, 2006 Torun Film Festival, Poland). Peggy is currently producing #2, directed by David Russo and chosen as the 2007 Start to Finish film supported by the Northwest Film Forum. Peggy also directed and produced her own short dramatic film, The Liar, about a little girl who tells her first lie, an award-winner at the USA Film Festival’s Short Film and Video Competition.

Peggy was formerly a producer on staff at KCTS (Seattle Public Television) and served as the first Media Director for 911 Media Arts Center. She is a graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Her production company, Mad As Birds (www.madasbirds.com), is based in Seattle.

Alexis Ferris (Producer)

ZOO is Alexis Ferris second Sundance competition film. As producer, her first feature film Police Beat (Sundance Dramatic Competition 2005), she was instrumental in the financing and managing the monumental task of making a 35mm anamorphic film for under $500K. With ZOO, the second project with Robinson Devor, Ms. Ferris was once again in charge of financing the film, investor relations and worked closely with Mr. Devor about distribution path of ZOO and THINKFilm.

She runs her own production company, Particular Productions, and has the film Available Light in development. Ms. Ferris currently lives in Seattle, WA.

Garr Godfrey (Executive Producer)

Garr Godfrey began investing in independent film in 2005, after a successful career creating independent video games. After creating games for Dreamworks Interactive, he co-founded the company that would eventually be known as GameHouse in 1998. GameHouse, based in Seattle, created independent game hits such as Super Collapse! and TextTwist. Mr. Godfrey began to investigate the Seattle film scene after a friend handed him the script of a film that was to be produced locally, and he was surprised at the number of interesting films that were in the works. ZOO is the second film on which Mr. Godfrey has acted as an Executive Producer.

Ben Exworthy (Executive Producer)

Ben Exworthy grew up in Appalachian, Ohio avoiding prosecution and intervention from concerned local citizenry, before graduating from Columbus of Art and Design with an illustration degree. Since 1991, Ben has worked in multimedia and games, primarily in Seattle, and, for 15 months in LA where he helped create game content for SEVERAL timeless television classics, such as Boston Common and Bailey Kippers POV.

In 1998, Ben and his long-time friend and collaborator, Garr Godfrey, started GameHouse, Inc., a relatively successful casual game company, before being acquired by RealNetworks in 2004. Ben and Garr still work at GameHouse creating games that entertain tens of billions of people daily. In his personal life, Ben is the proud father of his 10 month old daughter, Odessa, has the worlds largest collection of superballs and lenticulars, collects his own fingernails, eyelashes and teeth is glass vials, uses entire issues of local newspapers to explore his narcissism and heads the Well-Endowed Exworthy Foundation for the Arts and Irregularities.

Sean Kirby (Director of Photography)

Sean Kirby is a graduate of Syracuse Universitys School of Visual and Performing Arts with a degree in painting. After graduating, Sean attended the New York Film Academy where he learned to combine his artistic understanding of light with the techniques and equipment used in motion picture production. His first credit as a director of photography for Fidelis won the award for best short at the 1998 Hampton Film Festival. Seans first 35mm anamorphic feature film, Police Beat, directed by Robinson Devor, premiered in the dramatic competition of the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and was praised by national film critics, in addition to being named one of that years best films by the New York Times, Film Comment and Art Forum. At the 2005 Seattle International Film Festival, Sean won the Seattle Filmmakers Award for both his cinematography on Police Beat and on the documentary The Gits. Most recently, Sean divides his time between commercial work and independent film production nationally and internationally. His most recent credits are Marvelous (directed by Siofra Campbell) which starred Ewan Bremmer, Martha Plympton and Amy Ryan, and Cthulhu (directed by Dan Gildark) which starred Jason Cottle, Cara Buono and Tori Spelling.

Sean lives in New York City and is represented by Rebecca Fayyad at the Sheldon Prosnit Agency in Los Angeles.

Joe Shapiro (Editor)
Joe Shapiro is an award-winning editor based in Seattle. His films have shown all over the world at festivals including Sundance, Edinburgh, Karlovy Vary, and Clermont-Ferrand. He is best known for his work on Robinson Devors 2005 indie masterpiece, Police Beat. His previous features, The Naked Proof and Borrowing Time, have both garnered praise and festival awards as well.

Paul Matthew Moore (Composer)

Award winning composer Paul Matthew Moore started playing music very young. His formal training began with guitar and moved onto percussion and piano. While in high school he studied jazz piano/theory with Jose Bowen at Stanford University. He also sang and played keyboards played in a rock band with Timothy Young. After high school Paul attended the College of Creative Studies at The University of California Santa Barbara where he received a BA in Music Composition in 1993. He moved to Seattle in 1995. Since that time Mr. Moore has held the post of Music Director for the University of Washington Dance Program where he accompanies classes, teaches, and performs with the Chamber Dance Company. Mr. Moore has scored 16 films, has been commissioned to compose works for orchestras, chamber ensembles and commissioned to compose new works for dances by many choreographers. Mr. Moore has performed and/or recorded with numerous inspirational musicians including: Aiko Shimada, Alex Guilbert, Andy Roth, Bill Frisell, Brad Hauser, Brad Moen, Brent Arnold, Briggan Krauss, Craig Flory, Dan Rieser, David Brogan, Degenerate Art Ensemble, Doug Haire, Evan Schiller, Eyvind Kang, Hans Teuber, Jay Ralston, Jim Knapp, Kane Mathis, Keith Lowe, Lori Goldston, Matt Jorgensen, Mel Detmer, Mike Stone, Ollie Glatzer, Paul Taub, Randall Dunn, Reggie Watts, Rick Bishop, Ron Weinstein, SIL2k, Skerik, Smile Project, Scallywags, Stuart Dempster, The Sharpshooters, The Stares, The Youngs, Tim Luntzel, Troy Swanson, Tucker Martine, Very Special Forces, Wayne Horvitz, Zeke Keeble, and very especially Timothy Young.
Megan Griffiths-Co-Producer/1st AD
Before moving to Seattle, Megan Griffiths received her MFA in Film Production from Ohio University School of Film. While there, Megan wrote, directed and edited three award-winning short films. Her thesis film not Waving but Drowning, was a 2001 Student Academy Award nominee and recipient of awards for cinematography, directing and editing. In 2002, Megan wrote, directed and produced the feature-length First Aid for Choking, which screened at festivals in Telluride, Portland, Washington DC, and Seattle before securing distribution through Film Threat. As a Seattle-based freelancer, Megan has been a sought after cinematographer, 1st AD and editor for features locally and around the US. Megan is currently working on her second feature as a writer/director, The Off Hours (www.theoffhoursfilm.com), which will go into production in Winter 2007/08.