Screenwriter & Director
After early careers as a professional actor, musician and mime artist Nathan Buck began working in film and video production in the UK in the early 2000’s. He started learning the business of film assisting producers Nick O'Hagan and Paul Raphael on feature films and worked his way up to the role of line producer before moving into writing and directing.
After arriving in NYC in 2005 his feature length documentary Real Gone! Dance competed successfully at the American Dance Film Festival in 2009. He specialized in arts documentaries while living with his wife, Megumi Eda, a professional dancer and filmmaker, and their 2 children in Harlem. Nathan began directing narrative shorts in the 90’s and has worked extensively as a video editor and shooter for 20 years. Nathan was invited to be filmmaker-in-residence at the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts in 2015, where he also directed the short film “Solitude” by Mia McCullough.
In 2018 he and his family moved to Berlin where he shifted his focus back to writing and narrative drama. Before El Finâ is Nathan’s first full length narrative film. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he majored in Performance Studies.
A film producer and photographer with a background in teaching underachieving students in inner city schools, Christina has worked with war refugees as well as human rights organizations. With her husband and two children, she has lived in the USA, Africa and Europe.
Christina founded Airlift Pictures with Nathan Buck in 2019 with the goal of producing high quality, independent, arthouse feature films. The company seeks international co-production partners and actively develops a wide range of projects in North America, Europe and Asia. Christina is particularly focused on developing stories that have an African focus and is thrilled to be producing Before El Finâ, her debut feature, which goes into production in the summer of 2019.
Alex Mallet was born in Stuttgart, Germany to a German mother and a Ghanaian father. At age 7 his family moved from Germany to Cape Coast Ghana so his physician father could practice medicine in his home country. Alex attended St. Augustine’s College in Cape Coast and then completed his final years of high school in Accra at Ghana International School. Alex studied computer science and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and completed his Masters degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Computational and Systems Biology. Alex worked for Microsoft for 10 years, before moving to Amazon in 2011, where he is a Director of Software Development.
Megumi Eda was born in Nagano, Japan. Leaving Japan at 16, she was invited to join the Hamburg Ballet School. For the next 15 years, as a member of the Hamburg Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet and the Rambert Dance Company, she worked with choreographers including John Neumeier, Christopher Bruce, Jiri Kylian, Lindsey Kemp, William Forsythe, Hans van Manen and David Dawson.
In 2004, she moved to New York as a founding member of Armitage Gone! Dance and has continued a close collaboration with Karole Armitage to this day. In addition to her work with Armitage she has begun to incorporate other art forms including sculpture and video into her own installations and performances. She has been collaborating with Yoshiko Chuma since 2014 as a performer/filmmaker. She won a Bessie Award in 2004.
Sally was born and raised in New York City to Egyptian parents. She attended The City University of New York earning a degree in Global Studies and English. She completed her Masters degree in education and was the receipt of the prestigious Howard Mann Humanitarian Award because of her outstanding work in NYC public schools fighting for social justice and disciplinary reform.
Sally’s keen interest in social justice and policy, led her to interview Dr. Cornell West, Khalil Jamal Muhammad, Noam Chomsky as well as contribute to the 2013 NYC Mayoral debates, alongside Bill DeBlasio. From 2013-2017 she was literature teacher in New York City public schools. In 2017, she moved to post-revolution Egypt to work as an educator in a Cairo International School. In 2019, Sally joined the Before El Finâ team as a Production Assistant, where she excelled and then joined Bearlift Films as Associate Producer.
Joanne Cregg Smith & Daniel C. Smith
Joanne and Daniel are passionate supporters of the arts, having served as producers of film and theater, including the upcoming American Utopia starring David Byrne on Broadway and last season's Parisian Woman, starring Uma Thurman. Other film projects include the acclaimed documentary The Walking Hospital, Road to Lomanthang. They have both served on the Board of Directors for the West Fulton Puppet Festival, bringing the arts to children in rural New York. Daniel currently serves as Director of Finance at St. Ann’s Warehouse, one of New York’s pre-eminent theaters and has served in similar roles for Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater and Signature Theater. Joanne, a former actor, is currently Chief Operating Officer of Innovest Systems, LLC.