PURELAND PICTURES is a Berkeley based production company founded in 2000 by award-winning filmmaker Emily Abt. Our documentary features have aired on networks such as Showtime, Starz, PBS, OWN and the Sundance Channel. Our first narrative feature (written and directed by Emily Abt) "Toe to Toe" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and was later released theatrically by Strand. A.O. Scott's glowing review of the film can be read HERE. During its 18-year tenure, Pureland has built a strong reputation for taking on delicate subject matter with skill and diplomacy.
EMILY ABT, WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/CINEMATOGRAPHER (Pictured far right)
Selected as one of Variety Magazine's 'Top 10 Directors to Watch', Emily Abt is a critically acclaimed filmmaker dedicated to creating character-driven fiction and documentary projects with social issue themes. Her first narrative feature premiered at Sundance in 2009. She has also shot, produced and directed documentaries for PBS, OWN, MTV, Showtime, Starz and the Sundance channel. Abt taught both narrative and documentary filmmaking at Princeton University and is a seasoned branded content creator who has directed numerous projects for clients such as Johnson & Johnson and Oracle.
Abt's first feature documentary “Take It From Me” (PBS’s POV series, 2001) was created when she was a 23 year-old caseworker in New York City. She then went on to receive her MFA in film directing from Columbia University and was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to make her thesis film. “All of Us”, Abt's second documentary feature, was the Showtime Network's World AIDs Day film in 2008. Abt’s third documentary feature, “Daddy Don’t Go”, is currently airing nationwide on the Starz network. The film is executive produced by the actors Omar Epps and Malik Yoba and premiered at DOC NYC in 2015. Since then, “Daddy Don’t Go” has screened at over 35 festivals and won eight “Best Documentary” awards including ones from Urbanworld Film Festival and American Black Film Festival (ABFF).
Abt's first narrative feature “Toe to Toe” (which she wrote and directed) premiered in dramatic competition at Sundance in 2009 and was released by Strand. The film featured break-out performances by the actresses Sonequa Martin-Green (star of "Star Trek:Discovery") and Louisa Krause (star of "The Girlfriend Experience"). Abt was then hired by media mogul Troy Carter to adapt the hood-lit classic and NYT bestseller "True to the Game" for the screen. Her current fiction feature project is "Audrey's Run" which won the Athena Award for scripts featuring outstanding female protagonists. Jurnee Smollett, Pablo Shreiber and Lili Taylor are attached to star; Blythe Robertson and Mike Bowes are producing; Paul Schnee is casting and ICM is packaging the film.
Abt was a Brooklyn based filmmaker for 19 years but relocated to the Bay area in 2016 with her husband (UC Berkeley Professor Shamik Dasgupta) and their two daughters. She recently completed post-production on a new documentary feature for the Showtime Network about two transgender people living in rural America which will be airing in 2018.
Abt is represented by Ava Greenfield at ICM and managed by Neda Niroumand.
ANDREW OSBORNE, CINEMATOGRAPHER (Pictured second to left) Andrew Nam Chul Osborne is a Brooklyn-based director, producer, cinematographer and editor. He has directed commercial campaigns for LinkedIn, Rawlings and The American Red Cross. A frequent collaborator with Pureland Pictures, Osborne has directed and produced over a dozen projects for Pureland Pictures alongside award-winning filmmaker Emily Abt. He was the Associate Producer on Abt’s narrative feature “Toe to Toe,” and has been the cinematographer on many Pureland projects. He holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Osborne is currently a producer for BBDO Worldwide.
KERYN THOMPSON, PRODUCER (Pictured far left) An alumna of the Rhode Island School of Design, Thompson is a longtime collaborator of Pureland’s and associate produced the 2009 Sundance feature “Toe to Toe.” As an animator/illustrator, her work has been featured in films, television shows, music videos, and print campaigns. These include “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee” (premiered Berlin International Film Festival, 2009), the Sundance Channel show “Love Lust,” and pieces for Stevie Nicks’ release of “Crystal Visions.” Thompson has also produced several genre based films under Penny Spent Films, including the 2017 psychological thriller “The Abduction of Jennifer Grayson.” She is currently in preproduction on the comedy "Area 718."
SUZETTE BURTON, CO-PRODUCER (Pictured second to right) Suzette Burton graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA in Film/Video in 2006. During her time at Pratt, Suzette created the first part of a documentary entitled “Disconnected” about her father's mysterious death and his absence from her life. Since graduating from film school, Suzette has worked as a producer on “The Maury Povich Show,” “The Tyra Banks Show” and “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane.” Suzette currently works at The Moth and John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a videographer and video editor.
OMAR EPPS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Omar Epps is an award-winning actor who starred in the hit FOX medical drama “House” for 8 seasons. Epps received an NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” in both 2007 and 2008. As someone who grew up fatherless, the issues in “Daddy Don’t Go” resonate with Omar personally and are close to his heart.
MALIK YOBA, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Malik Yoba starred in FOX’s hit drama “New York Undercover” for five years, played a pivotal role in the first season of “Empire,” and has gained cult status with the sci-fi epic “Alphas.” As a father of three children and a lifelong advocate for community building, Yoba believes “Daddy Don’t Go” will inspire a much-needed conversation.
JENNIFER FOX, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Jennifer Fox directed “Beirut: The Last Home Movie” (Best Film and Cinematography 1998 Sundance Film Festival), the ten-hour “An American Love Story” (1999 Sundance Film Festival), the six-part “Flying Confessions of a Free Woman” (2008 Sundance Film Festival), and the feature “My Reincarnation” (IDFA Audience Award 2010; POV 2012; Emmy nominated 2013). Jennifer's narrative feature film debut "The Tale" (starring Laura Dern and Common) will premiere in Dramatic Competition at Sundance 2018.
JEFF MARCELLO, EDITOR has been telling stories through editing for fifteen years. Notable documentary credits include “Planet B-boy” (Tribeca, 2007), “Cultures of Resistance” (IDFA, 2010), “Return to Afghanistan” (Margaret Mead Film Festival, 2003). Marcello also edited Emily Abt's narrative feature, “Toe to Toe” (2009 Sundance Film Festival) and has cut television shows and commercials for major cable networks such as MTV, Spike, Nickelodeon, Discovery, Travel Channel, TLC and NBC Sports.
ERIC HOLLAND, COMPOSER Holland has been working with music and sound for over 20 years. Past projects include the documentaries “The Mask You Live In,” "Representation,” “Desert Runners,” “Speed & Angels,” and “Motherland,” the PBS/Sundance Channel series “e2 – the economies of being environmentally conscious” narrated by Brad Pitt; and commercial campaigns for Nokia and Blue Cross. Eric lives with his wife and two daughters in the Bay Area.
ANDREW GERSH, CO-EDITOR Editor Andrew Gersh’s work has appeared on PBS, ABC, MSNBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Turner Broadcasting, the BBC and Channel 4, UK and in theaters worldwide. He is a Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab Fellow. His latest feature documentaries include "SPARK: A Burning Man Story," which premiered at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival.