Filmmaking Team by Will Sweeney

Shooting an interview at the Stonewall National Monument.

Shooting an interview at the Stonewall National Monument.

THE FILMMAKERS:

Cheryl Furjanic (Director/Producer) is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose documentary and fiction films have screened at 150+ festivals worldwide and on television. Her most recent feature documentary, Back on Board: Greg Louganis was broadcast on HBO and nominated for an Emmy Award and Producers Guild of America award in 2016. Her feature documentary, Sync or Swim (2008) premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival and received a Billie Award for Journalism from the Women’s Sports Foundation. In 2014 she was named to the OUT100—Out Magazine’s list of the most compelling LGBT people of the year. Though she has worked in many different filmmaking genres, there is a through-line in all of her work of heart, humor, and hope in the face of uncertainty.

Will Sweeney (Producer) is a filmmaker based in New York City.  Will co-wrote and produced the award-winning HBO documentary film Back on Board: Greg Louganis  and he produced the critically-acclaimed The Royal Tenenbaums. Will co-founded BB Optics, a leading film preservation and digital post-production facility.  He graduated from the New York University – Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Film & Television production.

Eric Marcus (Producer) is the creator and host of the award-winning Making Gay History podcast, which mines his decades-old audio archive of rare interviews — conducted for his oral history book of the same name about the LGBTQ civil rights movement — to create intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history. Eric’s other books include “Is It A Choice?,” “Why Suicide?,” and “Breaking the Surface,” the #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. He is also founder and chair of the Stonewall 50 Consortium, an organization of nearly 100 organizations and institutions planning programming, exhibitions, and educational materials tied to the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Stonewall.

Desireena Almoradie (Producer) is an award-winning producer and director with years of experience creating educational content for PBS shows such as In the Life and TV-411. She has produced programming for A&E Biography, the History Channel, CourtTV, Logo Networks and Here TV. From broadcast television she transitioned into advertising, working as a Senior Producer at DraftFCB for five years, where she continued to produced award-winning content. She is currently in post-production on her first feature length documentary as director, entitled To Germany, With Love.

Maximus Skaff (Director of Photography) is a Brooklyn-Based Transgender writer, director, shooter, and editor who’s visual talents have been featured in Paper Magazine, New York Magazine, Nylon Magazine, Huffington Post, NPR, among others. His abnormal, wacky short films have been screened all over the world at festivals such as the Cannes International Film Festival and SIFF. In 2015, he founded his full service production company, 422Luxe, with his business partner and fellow creative, April Maxey. 422Luxe’s work ranges from narrative short films, to branded content, to music videos that have won awards both in the US and internationally. 422Luxe takes pride in offering diverse female and LGBTQ+ perspectives through their work.

April Maxey (Director of Photography) is a San Antonio, Texas native who graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a BFA in Film/Video. Her writing & directing credits include four short films, which have collectively screened at over 50 festivals and won 7 awards. April was 1 of 9 selected participants for the Berlinale Talents Short Film Station in 2015, with her short film project This Is You And Me. April also directed an episode of the lesbian webseries SameSame, which premiered at Newfest 2016. She just wrapped her most recent short, After You Left in September 2018. Her film work has screened at festivals such as Outfest, Frameline, Iris Prize, and Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival. April also works as a freelance director of photography and editor, on branded content, short doc content, music videos, and more. April and Max Skaff co-founded their production company 422LUXE in 2016.

Viridiana Lieberman (Editor) is a filmmaker and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She worked as an Associate Producer on Back on Board: Greg Louganis which aired on HBO in 2015 and as an Assistant Editor on Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper which aired on HBO in 2016. In 2017, two films she edited premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, I Am Evidence, an HBO feature documentary investigating the national rape kit backlog and Love the Sinner, a short documentary exploring the connection between Christianity and homophobia in the wake of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. In 2018, she edited Special Olympics: 50 Years of Changing the Game which aired on ABC and ESPN and the feature documentary The Sentence, which won the Documentary Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO.