Susan Stern is an award-winning poet, investigative reporter and filmmaker. Her early investigation of admissions at UC San Francisco's medical schools unseated a bigoted member of the admissions committee. Her expose of Bay Area military base closings was credited by the Wall Street Journal with "saving thousands of local jobs." Her documentaries Barbie Nation and The Self-Made Man played worldwide at festivals and on television, winning numerous awards and two Emmy nominations. Susan has worked as a writing consultant on many films, including Connected (Sundance 2011) and Ballets Russe (Sundance, 2005.) She is also past chair of New Day Films.
Susan's father and brother were pioneers in solar power. After her father's suicide, explored in The Self-Made Man, she wanted to make a documentary about the economics and environmental issues surrounding energy production. She chose to focus on Nigeria, where in 2006 militants began kidnapping oil workers. She received support from the Sundance Documentary Fund and Chicken & Egg Pictures. But four trips to Nigeria, research in Nigerian and oil worker communities in New York and Texas, and consultations at the Sundance Producers Lab convinced Susan that the stories she had uncovered could best be told in a narrative feature. Only fiction could capture both the geopolitical and environmental scope and the most intimate details of this urgent story. Susan has just returned from her fifth trip to Nigeria. Nigerian director Izu Ojukwu is attached to direct their narrative feature, titled Blessing.
Films by Susan Stern
The Barbie Nation: Collectors' Edition DVD is now available. Four brand-new extra features explore how Barbie Nation stars Nora & Claire survived playing Barbie as children and what Bratz dolls and Muslim Barbie have done to Mattel's profit margins. There are more Weird Barbies, and a film on Fandom - the world of Barbie collectors. The Barbie Nation Collectors' Edition is closed captioned. Barbie Nation is in the collections of more than 1,000 colleges, universities and libraries. The Collectors' Edition has nine additional short films on Barbie -- including Black Barbie, about African-American dolls.
A funny, poignant look at the "right-to-die" issue told through the story of the filmmaker's father.