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The Rescuers

Team Bios

Michael W. King

(Director)

King has produced, directed and written documentaries, music videos and a feature film. In 1991, his MTV music video on Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech I Have A Dream received national recognition.

In 1995 he produced, directed and wrote a PBS documentary titled Making A Living, the African-American Experience. In 1997, he directed and wrote his first feature film, Vanity Kills, in the Czech Republic.

In 1999, King’s PBS documentary on youth violence in America, entitled Bangin’, won the Emmy and International Television and Video Association Award for Best Documentary and Best Editing. In 2007, he completed a feature documentary entitled Rapping with Shakespeare (2008), which examines how a popular English teacher used hip-hop and rap to help his students to better access Shakespeare’s works. The film also explores the lives of five South Central Los Angeles teenagers attending Crenshaw High School and the parallels between their experiences and that of Shakespeare’s characters. King was nominated for an A&E Indie Filmmaker Award in 2008 for Rapping with Shakespeare. He also was the executive producer for the American Film Institute film, Crenshaw Nights (2008) starring Vondie Curtis-Hall and Judd Nelson.

King graduated from Connecticut College with a BA in Government. He also holds an MA in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and a Degree in Feature Film Directing from the Amsterdam School of the Arts (Maurits Binger Film Institute), Postgraduate. He taught screenwriting and film for two years at Emerson College. Recently, he was the Filmmaker-in-Residence and Professor of Film at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida. In 2009, King was awarded Switzerland’s Carl Lutz Medal of Freedom. He is a former board member of the International Documentary Association. Recently, he received the Lawrence Prize 34’, a lifetime achievement award from Connecticut College for his contribution to society. King is a member of the Directors Guild of America.

Details of Michael King Productions films can be found at MichaelKingProductionsllc.com.

Joyce D. Mandell

(Executive Producer)

 
Joyce is a successful businesswoman and philanthropist who is actively involved in civic, arts and cultural organizations. She and her son, Bruce, have a long-time relationship with Emmy award winning director Michael King.

Several years ago, they introduced him to accounts of heroism by diplomats who saved Jews during WWII. Michael was so taken by these accounts that he developed a concept for a documentary focusing on these diplomats. Joyce was so taken by the unique perspective of the concept that she and Bruce quickly committed to financially support the project. Joyce agreed to serve as executive producer.

Joyce’s commitment to social causes and non-profit organizations runs deep. She is actively involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford; The Greater Hartford Arts Council; and the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. She is past President and Chairman of the Board of the Greater Hartford Jewish Community Center, the first woman to serve in those positions, and presently serves as a Trustee for the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of St. Francis Medical Center where she and her husband, Andy, were involved in the creation of the Mandell Center for comprehensive MS care and Neuroscience Research. Other organizations she supports are Boundless Playgrounds, which works with communities to design and develop accessible playgrounds for children and the Koby Mandell Foundation, whose goal is to help Israeli families who must find ways to cope with the uniquely emotional and psychological trauma that affects victims of terrorists.

Professionally, Joyce is the co-founder and executive vice president of Data-Mail, Inc., a company operating in multiple facilities engaged in the volume direct mail production business since 1971.

Irena Steinfeldt

(Historical Advisor & Narrator)

 
Irena Steinfeldt was born in Jerusalem and graduated from Hebrew University.

She worked with French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann on his monumental documentary “Shoah”, and then joined Yad Vashem in 1994 where she worked at the International School for Holocaust Studies, developing educational materials, coordinating seminars for educators from abroad, lecturing on Holocaust education and participating in international workshops and conferences in Israel and abroad.

Between 2001 to 2007 she served the Executive Assistant of Yad Vashem’s Chairman, and in March 2007 was appointed as Director of Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations Department, where she was responsible for running research of rescue cases, the coordination of the work of the Commission for the Designation of the Righteous as well as the creation of an online database of the Righteous Among the Nations, and various outreach programs, such as exhibitions, educational programs, publications, etc.Steinfeldt retired from Yad Vashem in June 2018.

Steinfeldt is the author of the educational unit How Was It Humanly Possible—a Study of Perpetrators and Bystanders During the Holocaust (Yad Vashem 2002), co-authored an interactive multimedia program Into That Dark Night (Yad Vashem 2003), and is the co-editor of The Holocaust and the Christian World (Kuperard 2000, Continuum 2002, to be re-published in 2019 by Paulist Press) and Our Living Legacy (Yad Vashem 2003).

Keegan Luther

(Project Coordinator)

Keegan is a young, up and coming filmmaker, who is passionate about telling inspirational, human stories. Keegan has wanted to pursue filmmaking all of his life.

From co-founding a now award-winning video production club at his high school to having two of his films in the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival, he has made that dream a reality. He attended Arizona State University and pursued a degree in Film and Media Production. While at school, he directed ten award-winning short films, worked with Emmy-winning creator Kristin Atwell, became an associate producer on a new unscripted show for Hoplite Entertainment, and worked in development at Hutch Parker Entertainment. When he graduated from ASU, he created an entertainment company with his fellow alumni called Random Stuff Entertainment. The company provides the next generations of filmmakers a platform to show off their early work and gives them promotion and support to make their dreams come true. This was all to give those who come after him the opportunities he did not have.

Keegan is also an avid actor and writer, including having a play of his published by Samuel French Publishing. Keegan’s passion for telling stories surrounding the triumph of the human spirit led him to The Rescuers and is currently acting as the production coordinator on the Rescuer – Last Chance Project. Recently he has been a part of music videos, directed a commercial for Unifimoney, and a part of John Mader’s upcoming documentary about space health and the journey to Mars.

Paul Carey

(Assistant To The Producter)

 
Paul Carey is a graduate of Arizona State University. He has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and an associate’s in Film Production from Saddleback College.

Before college, he and his father ran a successful ice cream company focusing on the quality of the flavors over mass distribution. Since graduating, Paul has worked at the Cannes Film Festival through the distribution company Lonely Seal, VMI Worldwide a distribution company in Hollywood, and AIG a management agency based in Beverly Hills. His primary focus is finding and producing great stories, such as the four short films he did in the final years of school and, more recently, a TV show for Random Stuff Entertainment.

Paul has always found joy in the little things and details that can turn something ordering into something memorable. He is driven by his love of stories, especially those based on actual events.