Creators & Filmmakers
KEVIN JOHN FITZGERALD
Kevin is an award-winning and critically acclaimed Producer, and Director of Indigenous (Arawak-Kanak) heritage and African (Tuareg-Bantu), and French-Canadian ancestry born in Lënapehóking, the unceded homeland of the Lenape people, known colonially as New York City. He is known for his renowned classic documentary “Freestyle The Art of Rhyme”. It screened at numerous film festivals worldwide & won several awards including the HBO Documentary Award & Kodak Maverick Award. He is a Netflix Diversity of Voices and WarnerMedia Access Fellow, an Indigenous Screen Office - Solidarity Filmmaker, and a Rogers - Independent Black Screen - Creator. His films have been released theatrically globally & commercially broadcast on MTV Networks/Vh1, B-Sky-B, SBS; & distributed theatrically by Palm Pictures and on home video by Netflix, Universal, EMI, Sony, and Agnes B. He studied acting & dance at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas & his father; an on & off-Broadway Dancer-Actor/Muhammad Ali fight Director & student of Sandy Meisner at The Neighbourhood Playhouse and a dancer in the original Ziegfeld Folies at Radio City Music Hall. Kevin was nominated for a Student Academy Award while at the Center for Enriched Studies where he shot one of his 1st films with actor/friend David Arquette & fellow Unity Committee crew member Lucas "Cut Chemist" McFadden of Interscope music recording artists Jurassic-5 and the Grammy Nominated group Ozomatli. He is also a DJ-musician having performed with Mos Def, Wu-Tang Clan, Young MC, DJ Shadow, Macey Gray, The Black Eyed Peas, and Aloe Blacc. He attended USC Film School & was taught directing by Jay Roach, DGA (Austin Powers), screenwriting by Robert Mckee and Oscar Williams (WGA), acting for the camera with Joan Scheckel, and sound by Tom Holman (inventor of THX) of Lucasfilm. He further studied with and mentored and apprenticed under directors D.A. Pennebaker and John Singleton (DGA) on the feature film “Higher Learning” for Columbia Pictures. He is a co-host and technical support advisor on Club Peace Pipe Radio, formed post-LA 90's Riots as a way to unify the BIPOC community and DJ on KPFK 90.7 FIM. Kevin directed & produced a documentary on Macy Gray for Columbia Records. He followed this with the film “7-Days In Paris” about Ben Harper and his band The Innocent Criminals recording their final album for Virgin Records “Lifeline” at the all-analog Gang Studio in Paris, France. Kevin was also the Director of Photography on the documentary film “Soundz of Spirit,” featuring Common, and was a Producer on the feature film “Half Widow” shot in Kashmir.
Kevin comes from a long Indigenous lineage with a strong understanding of culture and spiritual teachings. He has a passion for traditional cultural filmmaking, music, and dancing traditions that have a sense of identity and connections to the ancestors that is vital to community wellness and development, and sustainability. As a holder of knowledge and living documents, he is humbled by traditional connection to our collective ancestry and stories to carry on these sacred practices with the utmost integrity.
Kevin has diverse and extensive experience as a media arts professional for over 30 years as a documentary filmmaker, multi-media artist, DJ, musician, traditional healer, storyteller, and sound designer, sharing traditional knowledge and wisdom, creating and building collaborative teams and communities, in a collective process. Kevin combines culturally focused filmmaking as a way to share knowledge.
YOUREE HENLEY PGA
Named one of Variety Magazine’s 10 Producers to Watch for Youree is a long-time friend and collaborator of The Art of Dance series creator Kevin Fitzgerald. Having grown up in the same neighborhood of Mid-City, Los Angeles. They produced Freestyle The Art of Rhyme together. Youree, who is of Indigenous/Mexican (Tarahumara) Heritage, is a seasoned producer across multiple platforms. He’s produced several films with Sofia Coppola, such as “Somewhere”, “The Bling Ring”, and including their most recent feature “The Beguiled” for Focus Features starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, and Kirsten Dunst. The Beguiled premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival where Coppola won Best Director. Youree is also a long-time collaborator and producer for Mike Mills. Their most recent project together, 20th Century Women was nominated for Best Picture at the 2016 Golden Globes® and Best Original Screenplay for the 2017 Academy Awards™. It starred Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup. Youree has worked closely with a variety of production companies and distributors in TV and film including, Anonymous Content, Annapurna, A24, Amazon, Focus Features, Regency, and HBO. He produced the feature film “You Are My Friend” starring Tom Hanks about Fred Rogers from Mr. Rogers Nebourhood and The Lighthouse starring William Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. Youree is of Indigenous (Rarámuri/Tarahumara) Mexican Heritage through his mother who was a dancer in the original classic broadway musical and feature film West Side Story choreographed by Jerome Robbins.