The Great American Lie RESOURCES





Writer, Director, & Producer

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a filmmaker, advocate, thought leader, and the First Partner of California. After graduating with honors from Stanford University and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, she wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary Miss Representation. As a result of Miss Representation’s impact, she launched The Representation Project, a nonprofit organization that uses film and media as a catalyst for cultural transformation. Her second film as a director, The Mask You Live In, explores how America’s narrow definition of masculinity is harming boys, men, and society at large. And, her third film in the trilogy, The Great American Lie, unveils the underlying cultural causes of inequality in America. She also executive produced the Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated documentary The Invisible War and was an executive producer on the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Hunting Ground.

Jennifer’s films have been seen by over 28 million people worldwide, and The Representation Project’s social action hashtag campaigns have reached more than 830 million people. The Representation Project is responsible for single-handedly shifting the norm of sexist Super Bowl ads with the #NotBuyingIt campaign. Similarly, their #AskHerMore campaign transformed the sexist reporting on the red carpet, and empowered women in Hollywood to address inequalities in the industry, giving early momentum to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.  Since becoming First Partner of California, Jennifer has championed various issues related to gender equity and raising healthy, whole children including the launch of her first initiative, #EqualPayCA.  Jennifer lives in Sacramento, California with her husband, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and their four young children.


Writer, Editor, & Producer

Jessica Congdon has been a filmmaker for nearly 20 years. Most recently, she co-wrote and edited the film Dolores about Latina civil rights icon Dolores Huerta with director Peter Bratt. The film premiered in the documentary competition at Sundance 2017. She produced, co-wrote, and edited the documentary films The Mask You Live In and Miss Representation with Jennifer Siebel Newsom. The films premiered at Sundance in 2011 and 2015. Prior to that, she co-directed and edited the documentary Race To Nowhere. Other editing work includes the documentaries The Way I See It, John Lewis: Good Trouble, Speed and Angels, Motherland, The Bronzer, and the narrative features Big Girls Don’t Cry and Sundance 2003 award-winner Dopamine.



Amanda Mortimer is a Northern California-based journalist and served as Director of Production at The Representation Project where she oversaw the production of feature-length documentaries as well as short-form content. She has a Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Cornell University. She cultivated years of experience in field production and writing for tape and live television from her tenure at NBC’s Today show in New York City and, later, as the Co-Executive Producer of an entertainment program for HGTV. In addition, she has worked extensively in politics on campaigns from California, to Wisconsin, to Pennsylvania.



Sade McDougal brought a broad base of video production and communications experience to her role at The Representation Project. She has a knack for artfully utilizing video storytelling to spotlight individuals who are creating social impact in their community. Prior to joining the organization, she produced an online interview series featuring nonprofit thought leaders from across the country. She has also worked in print and digital journalism and was a media producer for a major textbook publisher. She graduated with honors from Cornell University and earned a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.


Director of Photography

Oakland-based cinematographer John Behrens has a multi-disciplinary background in narrative feature, live music, commercials, TV documentary, live theater, and documentary feature. He uses techniques from the different disciplines to bring richer visual style to the documentary form. His most recent documentary features are The Mask You Live In and Racing Extinction. Other documentary features include Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West, Spark: A Burning Man Story, Frontline: Death by Fire, and Miss Representation. John has focused his career on socially conscious and environmental documentaries.


Director of Photography

Jason Blalock works as a cinematographer on a variety of non-fiction and documentary projects. In 2007, he completed the documentary filmmaking program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Since then he has filmed on documentary series for Al Jazeera, CNN, Discovery, HBO, Netflix, Time, and Vice. Recent feature documentary credits include Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, On The Sly: In Search of the Family Stone, Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing, The Mask You Live In, and XY: The Chelsea Manning Story, as well as films currently in post-production directed by award-winning directors David France, Alex Gibney, Brian Knappenberger, and Jeff Orlowski. He is a regular contributor to the HBO series Vice News Tonight.


Director of Photography

Jeremey Lavoi is a Director and DP with more than a decade of work in non-fiction including television, documentary film, and the digital space. He was part of the Emmy awarding-winning staff at Al Gore’s Current TV in 2007. He became a lead Producer at the web video start-up Seesmic in 2008. Since 2009, he has been a partner at Lavoi Creative, LLC (formerly TeamJADED Productions), a creative video agency. His clients include Google, Youtube(Corporate), Netflix, Pandora Internet Radio, TuneIn Radio, COMPLEX, Discovery Digital,, Squarespace, Autodesk, MindBodyGreen, Keen, SFMOMA, Sierra Club, and many others. Editing, Producing, and Cinematography film credits include, Make it Happen: Lowcard (2009), Supercharged, the Life and Times of Tim Brauch (2009), Rolled (2012), and It’s a Rough Life (2014).


Executive Producer

Regina K. Scully is the Founder/CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, a nonprofit committed to projects in media, education, the arts and spirit. She is executive producer of the Emmy, Peabody and Academy Award-nominated film The Invisible War. She is also executive producer of more than 40 socially and culturally transformative films such as: Fed UpMiss RepresentationAlive InsideAnita: Speaking Truth to PowerBrave Miss World, and The Hunting Ground. She is the founding sponsor of both the Robin Morgan Radio Show and The Athena Film Festival, NYC – created to promote leadership and talent among female artists. A national speaker, former journalist, and communications veteran, she is also founder/CEO of Rpr Marketing Communications, a premier marketing and brand PR agency in NYC, representing clients such as Johnson & Johnson, LVMH, and a variety of top consumer brands. She recently created and co-produced segments on PBS TV show Healing Quest about the transformational and healing power of trauma. She serves on the boards of Stanford Philanthropy and Civil Society; Harvard Women’s Leadership; the Representation Project; Project ALS, the Women’s Media Center, and


Executive Producer

Brenda Robinson is an entertainment attorney and producer with extensive experience in the film, television, and music industries. Brenda is a partner in Gamechanger Films, an equity fund that finances feature films and television series. Brenda is a graduate of the University of Michigan and obtained her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a certificate in business and public policy from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. As a dedicated philanthropist in the arts and entertainment community and advocate on behalf of creative artists, Brenda currently serves on the boards of The Representation Project, Film Independent, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and the International Documentary Association (IDA). In addition, she is a founding advisory board member of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative. Brenda is also active in the Sundance Institute as a member of the Women at Sundance Leadership Council and serves as an advisor to The Redford Center. She is a proud board member of Cinema/Chicago and the Chicago International Film Festival and currently serves as legal counsel to the festival, known as the longest-running international competitive film festival in North America. On the music side, Brenda is a member of The Recording Academy and sits on the GRAMMY Museum Foundation board.


Executive Producer


Executive Producer


Ruby De Tie is a dedicated public school principal fighting for better opportunities for some of Oakland’s most vulnerable and underserved youth. Through Ruby’s work, we see the effects of trauma on an entire community, particularly on a growing population of immigrant children, newly arrived, in search of the American Dream.

Saru Jayaraman is a social justice advocate who travels the country working to raise awareness about the experiences of low-wage workers. Saru’s story shines a light on the crisis of economic inequality in America, in particular the struggle of so many women and people of color in the restaurant industry who face poverty wages, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.

Zachary Norris is a human rights advocate fighting for criminal justice reform. Zachary’s story unveils the impact our criminal justice system has on women and communities of color, in particular the emotional and economic costs of incarceration. Zachary’s work highlights the importance of valuing care and community-building over punishment and separation.

Scott Seitz is a steelworker in Trumbull County, Ohio, who works seven days a week to provide for his family in a region where many feel abandoned economically. Scott’s story illustrates the real-life impact of globalization and changing labor needs on a small, working-class town where entire industries have disappeared, leaving families in despair and vulnerable to the opioid epidemic.

Sharon Galicia is a hardworking, Southern conservative whose hardened exterior softens when she meets pastor Tony Bourque and begins an empathy journey that awakens her to poor people’s struggles in achieving the American Dream. Through Sharon’s eyes, we see what intergenerational poverty and systemic homelessness really looks like when experienced by people in her own community.


David Adler, Constitutional Scholar, Alturas Institute

Angela Glover Blackwell, Lawyer & Economic Equity Advocate, PolicyLink

Charles M. Blow, Journalist, New York Times

Prudence Carter, Dean, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education

Raj Chetty, Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Kimberlé Crenshaw, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School and UCLA

Riane Eisler, Historian & Systems Scientist, Center for Partnership Studies

Robert Friedman, Economic Justice Advocate, Prosperity Now

Linda Darling Hammond, Professor of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Caroline Heldman, Professor of Critical Theory, Occidental College

Jackson Katz, Educator & Advocate, Mentors in Violence Prevention

Nicholas Kristof, Journalist, New York Times

Ian Haney Lopez, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law

Heather McCulloch, Economic Justice Advocate, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative

Gavin Newsom, California Governor

Ai-jen Poo, Labor Activist, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Steve Schmidt, Political Strategist

Raj Sisodia, Professor of Global Business, Babson College

Bryan Stevenson, Public Interest Lawyer, Equal Justice Initiative

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate Economist, Columbia University

Niobe Way, Professor of Applied Psychology, New York University