Ben Leonberg, Director
Ben Leonberg is a film director and a graduate of Columbia University's MFA film program. Despite living in NYC, Ben makes movies that feature exciting outdoor locations like caves, deserts, and remote forests. He's also a cinematographer and special-effects enthusiast. After learning his technical craft in the New Zealand film world, Ben worked as a DP/producer in commercial advertising and independent film. In 2010 Ben worked as an in-house director at Reebok LTD where he shot over 20 videos including his first television commercial, which premiered at the broadcast of the 2011 Stanley Cup. His short film The Bacon Tree won the 2010 Ivy Film Festival’s Best Comedy, and his post-apocalyptic short The Fallen Forest opened the 2013 Wasteland Film Festival. www.benleonberg.com
Scott Riehs, Producer
Scott Riehs is a NYC-based producer and filmmaker with a background in editing, acting, and Circle Rules Football. Among several ambitious short films, his Columbia Producing credits include Devil’s Work, directed by Miguel Silveira. (Alfred P. Sloan Production Award; DGA Student Film Award). Scott recently worked as a Locations Assistant on the feature film Three Generations, starring Naomi Watts and Elle Fanning, as well as the ill-fated Carey Fukunaga adaptation of Stephen King's It. Bears Discover Fire is Scott’s seventh major collaboration with director Ben Leonberg, but first featuring bears and torches. www.scottriehs.com
ALEX CANNON, CO-WRITER
Alex Cannon has been making movies since his dreadful all-boys high school days. His work has been featured in festivals and venues, including SXSW, SPIN, Fader, NME, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He's presently pursuing an MFA in Directing at Columbia University
Jan Reichle, Director of Photography
Growing up in the cultural melting pot of Hong Kong and mastering his craft in Sydney and Melbourne, Jan now is based in New York City. He enjoys a healthy mix of advertising, indie feature film, TV promo, music video, TV & web series work. He is a passionate collaborator, works fast & efficiently, whilst remaining calm. His images punch above their budget weight. His first feature credit as cinematographer, Jucy, premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. 2014 will see the release of You Must be Joking, his second feature film credit. http://janreichle.com/
Chloe Lenihan, Co-Producer
Chloe is a current MFA Candidate in Creative Producing at Columbia University. She has worked for the Academy-Award winning GK Films (on films like The Departed, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, The Young Victoria), balancing work in both Creative Development and Business & Legal Affairs. After studying acting under Bill Esper at the William Esper Studio in NYC, she co-founded Buds of May Productions, developing content for the stage and screen. Her directorial debut, Red Dot, has screened at domestic and international film festivals. http://chloelenihan.com/
Peter Todd, Co-Producer
Peter Todd is a film producer based in NYC, also pursuing his MFA in Creative Producing at Columbia University. In June 2014, Peter founded his own production company Shady Deals Productions while working on his thesis project Parents of the Groom. Prior to that, Peter produced six short films and co-produced five other short films at Columbia. Peter began his entertainment career working for Henderson Hogan Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, and the Independent Producers Pete Lengyel (Super Troopers) and Rich Perello (Super Troopers).
Ali Petre, Production Designer
Ali grew up “shooting” movies in her mind since she was a little girl. Like pages of a book flipping madly, her imagination has created endless virtual photographs, snapshots of cinematic and animated lives with tales to tell. For in her creations, the mundane becomes extraordinary, and the impossible becomes a celluloid reality playing before our very eyes. Ali has been working on commercials with companies including Oscar Mayer, Nascar, Walmart and Reebok and is currently working with HGTV's Love It Or List It on their new season. http://alipetre.com/
R.e. Smith, composer
Hailing from Western Australia, Rebecca Erin Smith specializes in collaborative media and concert works. She works primarily with large ensembles and voice, at times electronically manipulated and set alight with found sounds. She is currently living in NYC as a Masters of Music candidate in composition at the Manhattan School of Music. A Fulbright Scholar, the past year has seen Rebecca also awarded the Deolus Husband Scholarship in composition from MSM. She has scored seven short films to date, as well as a 10 part comedy series. http://www.rebeccaerinsmith.com/
CHUCK TESTA, BEAR EFFECTS ARTIST
Chuck Testa is a Master Taxidermist/Youtube Sensation based out of Ojai Valley, California. Chuck has thirty years experience as one of the premiere taxidermists in the country, and was commissioned to help create the main bear puppet for Bears Discover Fire.
Terry Bisson, Author of the short story "Bears Discover Fire"
Terry is an award-winning science fiction writer, known mainly for his short stories. Check out his awesome website “Terry Bisson of the Universe” for his full story: www.terrybisson.com