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In the turbulent 1960’s, an ordinary man rose to face extraordinary challenges. Pat Brown’s granddaughter and award-winning Director, Sascha Rice, gives an inside look into political power and a family dynasty called by some “the West Coast Kennedys.” This premiere account of former Governor Pat Brown’s life takes on startling new significance now that his son, Jerry Brown is Governor of California – again. An exciting tale of the West comes into focus as the filmmaker wrestles with the inherited optimism of her grandfather's legacy. The documentary gracefully pivots from a tumultuous decade in American history to the contemporary challenges that California faces today. This dynamic American Dream story follows the journey of a man overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles to shape the future of modern California.
Sascha Rice – Director/Writer/Producer
Director and co-writer of the romantic comedy Mango Kiss, which screened internationally at over 80 venues, Sascha Rice has received numerous awards including Park City Film & Music Festival's "Director’s Choice Award: Gold Medal for Excellence."
Hilary Armstrong – Executive Producer/Producer
President of Fire of Life Films and Development Director for "My California Now," Hilary Armstrong was appointed to the California Film Commission by Governor Schwarzenegger. Ms. Armstrong serves on the board of trustees of The California Museum, which curates the California Hall of Fame awards, and was a founding board member of Cow Hollow Preschool in San Francisco.
Julia Mintz – Producer
Julia Mintz has produced and post produced programs for PBS, Discovery Channel, NASA, National Geographic, ThinkFilm, and Miramax. Mintz’s recent acclaimed documentary projects include Soundtrack for a Revolution, which premiered at Cannes and the Tribeca Film Festival. The film was nominated for Writers Guild, Producers Guild, and International Documentary Association Awards, and was short-listed for an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature 2009. … read mor, Feature documentary Nanking, which was short-listed for an Academy Award®, won Peabody and Emmy® Awards, and won the Editorial Award at its national premiere at Sundance. Also Emmy® Award nominee The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo. Mintz's feature documentary about the Jewish Partisans of World War II is currently in production.
Laura Nix – Writer
Writer Laura Nix recently produced festival hit The Yes Men Fix the World. Previously, she directed and produced numerous non-fiction presentations at Automat Pictures, which she co-founded. Her award-winning narrative feature The Politics of Fur played at 65 film festivals internationally. Her work has been shown on HBO, IFC, and the History Channel.
Lauren Giordano – Editor
Lauren Giordano was Senior Editor at Imaginary Forces and Prologue Films, and has edited shows at Fox, Universal, Paramount and Disney. Film work includes NewPort South, Titus, and Mango Kiss. Lauren worked on the Reality-TV show, "Bands on the Run," which was nominated for an Emmy® for best editing.
Doug Blush – Editor
Doug Blush has worked in documentaries as a director, producer, editor, writer and cinematographer. Feature credits include the crossword-culture hit Wordplay, the Academy Award® shortlisted I.O.U.S.A., and Outrage, about hypocritical closeted politicians. He is currently co-directing a documentary feature on new understandings of bipolar disorder entitled Of Two Minds with his wife Lisa.
Claire Chandler – Editor
Claire Chandler's feature documentary credits include the festival hit The Yes Men Fix the World, The Light in Her Eyes (in production,) and Long Way Home: The Loving Story. She was Associate Producer and Assistant Editor on BBC World's Egypt: We are Watching You, which aired in 180 countries, and served as Associate Producer of Content for the Pangea Day Film Festival.
Kim Carroll – Composer
Irish-born Kim Carroll was awarded a Sundance fellowship in 2009 and his credits include the thriller The Colony (Gold Medal at the Park City Music Festival), the popular web series "Hellholes," the 2009 Sundance feature The Horse Boy, and the crime drama Across the Line (starring Andy Garcia, Aidan Quinn, Gina Gershon). He currently lives and works in beautiful Topanga Canyon, California.
Honorable Judge Arthur Alarcon
US Congresswoman Karen Bass
Governor Jerry Brown
Honorable Willie Brown
Barbara Brown Casey
Governor Gray Davis
US Senator Dianne Feinstein
State Senator Hugo Fisher
Assemblyman John Knox
US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
US Congresswoman Diane Watson
Governor Pete Wilson
California State of Mind - The Legacy of Pat Brown is an intimate portrait of Governor Edmund G. Brown – my grandfather. Fifty years later and at the beginning of a new century, California faces many of the same critical issues Pat Brown did when he was governor. Infrastructure is under great stress and neglected. Freeways and roads are congested and crumbling. Universities and the public school system are overcrowded and the quality deteriorating. Water and other environmental resources are shrinking as demand increases and pollution spreads. It’s hard not to feel powerless in the face of such big problems.
The process of making this film has been a fantastic journey to discover how my grandfather built a ‘super state’ and along the way I uncover insights into politics, our family, and my role in the legacy. While the state water project is heralded as “the greatest public works project in world history,” I try to understand how we can keep growing with the limits of today. My grandfather was an eternal optimist and he saw California as the pinnacle of the American Dream. It is my hope is that this great story of the West can inspire people throughout the nation.
While I wrestle with this inherited optimism, my aim is to engage people in history and to inspire particularly youth to be leaders and become involved in their communities around issues of thoughtful growth and the environment. The film is grounded in rich archival footage, a treasure trove of photographs, and never before seen home movies. I aim to launch Pat Brown’s story into the 21st century with a contemporary soundtrack and unconventional storytelling. By viewing this great historical figure through my eyes and with a unique graphic style, I hope to offer a compelling and entertaining biography.