On June 15th 1971, a young lawyer received a call in the middle of the night that would change American history. The case, known as “The Pentagon Papers,” established one of the most important legal principles in our nation’s history– freedom of the press. It also propelled Floyd Abrams to become one of the most important First Amendment attorneys in the country. Now, five decades later, Abrams sees the First Amendment being tested like never before. Avirulent pandemic has pit free speech against public health. Hate speech and hate crimes are on the rise while public squares have been supplanted by timelines and tweets. Against the backdrop of rampant disinformation and gut-wrenching new questions around the meaning of free speech in America, Abrams is now working on one of the most important cases of our time, taking on the challenging issue of online privacy with the potential of changing history once again.
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YAEL MELAMEDE, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
YAEL MELAMEDE is the co-founder of SALTY Features. Yael was an Executive Producer on the Jigsaw Productions/Amblin Entertainment six-part series WHY WE HATE, which premiered on Discovery in November 2019. Yael’s directorial debut, the critically-acclaimed (DIS)HONESTY – THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES (2015) combined the work of behavioral scientist Dan Ariely with personal stories to illuminate how and why we lie. Melamede’s documentary producer credits include STRAIGHT/CURVE (2017), INOCENTE (Academy Award Winner, Best Doc Short, 2013), DESERT RUNNERS (2015), WHEN I WALK (News & Doc Emmy Award Winner, 2015), and MY ARCHITECT (Academy Award Nominee, 2004). Yael was an architect before becoming a filmmaker and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
CLARE SMITH MARASH, WRITER/PRODUCER
CLARE SMITH MARASH is an award-winning writer and producer, and the head of development for SALTY Features, where she has written and produced short films on ethics, politics, and medicine.She has written on topics ranging from particle physics to political music, and has been published in The Scientific American, Time, TheWeek, The Oxford American, among others.
XAN PARKER, PRODUCER
XAN PARKER collaborated with Ron Howard on his first verite documentary REBUILDING PARADISE (National Geographic). She most recently wrapped MIND/TRIP, a series of short films about psychiatric illnesses for Quibi. She produced Academy Award Winner Ross Kauffman’s TIGERLAND (premiere at Sundance 2019, Discovery). Xan’s political documentaries include THE END: INSIDE THE LAST DAYS OF THE OBAMA WHITE HOUSE (CNN Films), Ivy Meeropol’s critically acclaimed political series THE HILL, and THE CONTESTED CONVENTION (538/ESPN Films). Her credits include the Academy Award nominated LALEE’S KIN (Sundance 2001, Columbia-duPont Award, HBO), Rachel Boynton’s 2013 epic BIG MEN (PBS), and Academy Award Winner Marshall Curry’s coming-of-age tale RACING DREAMS (Winner Best Documentary Tribeca FilmFestival, PBS).
NELSON HUME, CINEMATOGRAPHER
NELSON HUME Nelson Hume was planning a career in art when an internship introduced him to the world of New York independent film. Inspired, he enrolled at NYU Graduate School of Film and Television where he won the Johnson Fellowship Award. Recent documentaries include WHITNEY, directed by Academy-Award-winner Kevin Macdonald, LONG STRANGE TRIP, directed by Amir Bar-Lev with Executive Producer Martin Scorsese, the Emmy-Award-winning SOLITARY, directed by Kristi Jacobson, and the series WHY WE HATE, from Executive Producers Steven Spielberg and Alex Gibney, directed by Academy-Award-nominated Sam Pollard and Emmy-Award-winning Geeta Gandbhir. Current projects include SURVIVING DEATH for Netflix, directed by Ricki Stern, and an upcoming doc series for Apple TV directed by Kevin Macdonald.