Wendy Roderweiss-- Director/Writer/Producer (co-founder)

Born and raised in Chicago, Wendy left for the west coast to attend the production program at USC's School of Cinematic Arts.   She spent over a decade in independent film, working in virtually every department.  She decided to leave the daily grind of production work to focus on her own projects as well as making documentary films for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

 

She has written and produced numerous short films that have shown at film festivals across the country, and continues to work on a comedic short film series based on the five stages of grief. The first film in this series, "Stage One" is distributed by Ouat Media and premiered on the Movieola Television Network.  "Stage Three" is distributed by Pacific Voice Inc. in Japan.

 

Wendy directed a feature length documentary "Stopping For Death: The Nurses of Wells House Hospice" which is distributed by Passion River Films and TUGG.  



She also has a passion for audio, and with the group Higher Mammals has contributed to NPR's All Thing's Considered, Day to Day and Radio Lab. She produces a variety of podcasts about medicine and is developing a new science podcast for kids called SHABAM! with Foolyboo Inc.  Most recently she produced the audiobook "Concrete, Invisible, Bulletproof and Fried: My Life as a Revolting Cock" with Chicago Musician Chris Connelly.

 

Wendy is also a full-time instructor at DePaul University's School of Cinematic Arts where she is training the next generation of storytellers in the art and craft of filmmaking.

 

When not working on her films, Wendy can be found singing Soprano in whatever chorus will have her, and talking motorcycle tech with her family at the Bonneville Salt Flats (Where they broke a land-speed record--thank you very much!)



She also hates Cilantro.



Contrarianism: Loves Neil Diamond and doesn't like chocolate or Garrison Keillor (gasp and awe).

 

Natasha Bayus-- Producer (co-founder)

Natasha is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where her long-time collaboration with a then-blue-haired Wendy Roderweiss began.  Post-graduation, Natasha worked in production in Toronto, but quickly moved back to Los Angles to reunite with Wendy and  produce the documentary "Stopping for Death", as well as "Stage One", "Stage Two" and "Stage Three".  After Wendy's move to Chicago, Natasha was left behind to maintain the Los Angeles office for Contrarian Films.  

A pessimist by nature, Natasha's interest in documentaries sparked from a desire to do more than just complain about problems in the world.  Her mission is now also carried out by her day job at School on Wheels, bringing educational opportunities to over 2000 homeless students in Southern California.  Her third job includes raising her spirited daughter with her husband, who has provided major support to do the jobs she loves.

 

Producing for Wendy (also known as her "wife") includes providing the most sought after craft services ever ... chicken/tofu with garlic roasted cherry tomatoes and thyme, honey baked ham, German casseroles, chili cheese dip, cookies from scratch, and even a full sundae bar with s'mores.

Contrarianism:  Ran away from her rural roots but is completely giddy for country fairs.  FAIR!!!!