The Transmedia project was a multi-platform media project originated and directed by Jonathan Stack. The project was produced by iDeal Partners, Jonathan Stack and Stephanie Wang at HCD Media Group for The Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund (AOCMF). The project was about the effects of negative and positive media on social norms and behavior based on cutting edge research conducted at Harvard University, MIT and The New School, and the revolution in the global media landscape.
The AOCMF is a dynamic partnership that seeks to promote, support and sustain media content that can effect positive change amongst currently polarized cultures and societies through more balanced representation of ethnic and religious minorities. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations was created by global leaders in the wake of 9/11 to combat the pernicious and self-fulfilling belief that humanity was engaged in a “Clash of Civilizations”. Sharing a common goal with its institutional partner, AOCMF draws directly from recommendations to the media sector contained in the Final Report of the UN’s High-Level Group. AOCMF Advisory Board members include Sir Richard Branson and Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan.
Content copyrighted by Alliance of Civilizations Media Fund
This project was originated and directed by Jonathan Stack, and produced by Jonathan Stack and Stephanie Wang at HCD Media Group for the X PRIZE Foundation. We designed, created and produced twenty grassroots, spreadable online videos and one presentation video as part of a campaign to inspire and galvanize high school students across the U.S. to participate in the DASH+ Contest – a ‘green’ car dashboard design competition, and to raise awareness for environmental sustainability. We engaged the target audience by filming high school students around the country who were influencers in their schools, and asking them to share their vision of an environmentally sustainable automobile, thereby integrating the production process into the contest’s marketing strategy.
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity thereby inspiring the formation of new industries, jobs and the revitalization of markets that are currently stuck. Today, it is widely recognized as the leader in fostering innovation through competition.
Content copyrighted by X PRIZE Foundation
Falling For Grace is a feature film and romantic comedy, written and directed by Fay Ann Lee, and produced by Stephanie Wang, Fay Ann Lee, Susan Batson, Carl Rumbaugh and Juan Carlos Zapata, and produced and edited by Michelle Botticelli. Stephanie Wang was also the Chinese language consultant and coach. It is the story of Grace Tang, an ambitious banker determined to work her way up the ladder of life and out of working-class Chinatown. Mistaken as an heiress from Hong Kong, Grace is suddenly swept into the inner circle of Manhattan’s elite, and ushered into the arms of New York’s most eligible bachelor.
Cast includes Gale Harold (Desperate Housewives), Fay Ann Lee (Miss Saigon), Christine Baranski (Mamma Mia), Ken Leung (Lost) and comedians Margaret Cho and Lewis Black. Featuring a delightful ensemble cast, with “winning performances from Lee, Ken Leung, and a scene-stealing Margaret Cho” (The Huffington Post), Falling For Grace has charmed audiences around the world with its authentic, universal blend of humor, romance, heartbreak and forgiveness
The film was self-distributed in fifteen cities culminating in a New York theatrical and DVD release in 2010 with zero P&A dollars, solely through grassroots and guerilla marketing.
“This is one of those opportunities where you are seeing something that’s really kinda wonderful, and not everybody gets those kinds of opportunities, so pass the word around. People who see Falling for Grace love it, that means that people get it. Do what you can to encourage people to see this and to recognize that filmmakers and actors and all kinds of folks come in different complexions, and the complexion on the filmmaker does not denote whether the film is good or not, the film denotes whether it’s good or not. Fay and I don’t go way back…I’m not in the movie, but she’s in it and that’s pretty much just as good.” – Whoopi Goldberg
“…stands out as both a legitimately funny romantic comedy, and a dynamic glimpse of New York City…” — S.T. Vanairsdale, The Huffington Post
“….Comedic magic…Falling for Grace is worth the tumble.” – Tim Plant, Metro Weekly, Washington, D.C.
“The next My Big Fat Greek Wedding!” — Scott Hoffman, moviepicturefilm.com
Tribeca Film Festival, 2006
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2007. Nominated for Grand Jury Award
Vancouver Asian Film Festival, 2007
Phoenix Film Festival, 2008
Reel Film Festival for Women, Los Angeles. Winner: Best Dramatic Feature, 2009
Delray Beach Film Festival. Winner: Best Feature Film Audience Award, 2009
Content copyrighted by Social Grace Holdings LLC.
A promotional and fundraising video was created by Jonathan Stack and produced and shot by Stephanie Wang at HCD Media Group, in conjunction with David Belle, for Haiti’s only film school, Ciné Institute. Led by Jonathan Stack, Stephanie was part of the team which taught a documentary filmmaking workshop as part of the school’s program to empower local youth with the creative, technical and business skills for a professional career.
Ciné Institute is a not-for-profit organization based in Jacmel, Haiti, that provides Haitian youth with film education and edutainment, technical training, and media related micro enterprise opportunities. They integrate educational film screenings into classrooms of public schools, train aspiring filmmakers in all aspects of production, and develop and produce films of all kinds in partnership with their students and graduates, with a goal to grow local media industries that can provide jobs and spur economic growth.
Content copyrighted by Ciné Institute
A recipient of the Sundance Insitute’s Skoll Foundation grant for “Stories of Change”, Connected is a feature documentary originated, directed and produced by Jonathan Stack, executive produced by David Deniger and Mara-Michelle Batlin, currently in development at HCD Media Group, about the story of Nigerian entrepreneur Dr. Aloy Chife and his unrelenting effort to shrink Africa’s digital divide. Less than a decade ago Dr. Chife returned to Africa from the United States committed to using the power of information and communications technology to level the playing field for the planet’s poorest by bringing the most efficient and advanced technologies to improve social services. Five years later, his Nigerian company SW Global is bringing innovative software solutions to institutions across the continent in schools, governments and hospitals.
In Dr. Chife’s newest venture he will be tackling how Nigerian driver’s licenses and SIM cards are issued as the world’s economic superpowers, from Google to the Chinese government, take notice. In the process he and his company will be giving Nigerians verifiable identities online and the ability to participate in the global economy for the first time in history.
Content copyrighted by HCD Media Group
In 1998, feature documentary The Farm, co-directed and co-produced by Jonathan Stack and Liz Garbus, captured the reality of six men living and dying inside Angola Prison, Louisiana’s maximum security penitentiary and America’s largest and oldest penal institution. By revealing a powerful and universal truth – to err is human and to forgive divine, The Farm spoke to an enormous and receptive audience and garnered many of cinema’s top awards, including the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, the LA Film Critic’s Award, the New York Film Critic’s Award, an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary, two Emmys and four Emmy nominations. When it was broadcast on A&E, it attracted the largest audience for a documentary in the network’s history.
Ten years later in 2008, broadcasted on National Geographic Channel and NPS, Netherlands, feature documentary The Farm: 10 Down goes back inside Angola to reconnect with the characters and to witness first hand time’s impact on their spirits, their bodies, their sense of hope and their sense of purpose. The film was directed and produced by Jonathan Stack, written by Jonathan Stack and Susan Shea, co-directed and edited by Nancy Novack, executive produced by David Deniger and Mara-Michelle Batlin, produced by James McKay and co-produced by Stephanie Wang at HCD Media Group,
Reflecting Masters Series – International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, 2009
Flagstaff Film Festival, 2009
Mountain Film Festival, 2009
Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Greece, 2009
First Factual Films Festival (F4), Adelaide, Australia, 2009
Content copyrighted by HCD Media Group
The Road To Redemption, directed and produced by Jonathan Stack, co-directed by Lila Place and Susan Shea, executive produced by David Deniger, Mara-Michelle Batlin and Elma Shaw, and co-produced by Stephanie Wang at HCD Media Group, documents Liberian novelist Elma Shaw’s quest to heal her country from a brutal civil war through the power of stories. Elma Shaw’s novel, Redemption Road, is a powerful exploration of the emotional debris civil war brings to citizens on both sides of conflict. This documentary short depicts her efforts to heal her country by acknowledging the stories of the people who still suffer from the war’s aftermath.
Jury Prize, Ismalia International Festival for Documentary & Short Films, 2009
International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, 2008
Documenta Madrid, 2009
Content copyrighted by HCD Media Group
Feature film Peter and Vandy, written and directed by Jay DiPietro, and produced by Peter Sterling, Austin Stark, Benji Kohn and Bingo Gubelmann at Cook Street Productions, with production consultant Stephanie Wang, takes the audience through the relationship of a young New York couple – just not in chronological order. Most movie romances end when the relationship is beginning. Peter and Vandy’s love story goes much further than that. The story shifts back and forth in time, whipping between their romantic beginnings and the inevitable struggles that follow. With “star-making performances” (The Hollywood Reporter) by Jason Ritter and Jess Weixler, Peter and Vandy is a unique take on the exhilaration and frustrations love can bring – a love story in disorder.
Sundance Film Festival, 2009
Content copyrighted by Cook Street Productions
Year of The Fish is an animated independent feature film that is a modern-day adaptation of Cinderella based on an old Chinese version of the story, written, directed and edited by David Kaplan, and produced by David Kaplan and Rocco Caruso at Funny Cry Happy. It was developed at the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs and was the recipient of a 2005 Annenberg Fellowship. Stephanie Wang was the Chinese language and cultural consultant for the film.
The story is a mix of fantasy, romance, and suspense. A young hopeful girl named Ye Xian (An Nguyen) travels alone to New York City to try to make some money for her ailing father back home in China. She falls into the clutches of Mrs. Su (Tsai Chin), who runs a massage parlor in the heart of Chinatown. But Ye Xian refuses to do the requisite sex work for the clients, so she is made into a menial servant who must do all the laundry, cleaning, shopping and cooking – a Cinderella. However, she finds solace in a magical fish given to her by the strange hunchback Auntie Yaga (Randall Duk Kim) and in her fleeting, tender encounters with Johnny (Ken Leung), a local jazz musician.
The film features a first-rate Asian ensemble cast including Tsai Chin (The Joy Luck Club), acclaimed Broadway veteran Randall Duk Kim (The Matrix Reloaded), Ken Leung (X-Men 3, Rush Hour) and introduces An Nguyen as Ye Xian.
The animation was created with an advanced algorithmic digital painting technology to achieve a living, fluctuating painterly look. The aesthetic effect is totally unique, less like a graphic novel and more like a painting brought to life.
“IMAGINATION, CHARM… FANTASTICAL DELIGHTS” – Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times.
“Appears to have leapt directly from a painted Chinese screen onto the silver screen.” – Bob Mondello, NPR.
Sundance Film Festival, 2007
Avignon Film Festival, 2007. Winner: Best Film
Asheville Film Festival, 2007. Winner: Best Film
Independent Film Festival of Boston, 2007. Winner: Audience Award
Independent Spirit Awards, 2009. Nominated for the Piaget Producers Award
Content copyrighted by David Kaplan