Llewellyn Smith, Producer/Director
Llewellyn Smith is co-founder and project director at Blue Spark Collaborative, and created a number of award-winning films with his producing partner Christine Herbes-Sommers at Vital Pictures. Llew was co-executive producer for the PBS series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (2008) — a look at the surprising impact social and economic conditions have in determining health and longevity. Llew also served as director-producer for the Vital Pictures documentary Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness (2010) a look at the consequences of race identity politics. In 2012, Llew directed and produced Vital Pictures’ Gaining Ground: Building Community on Dudley Street. The film follows community organizing and community building effort over a two-year period in a remarkable low-income Boston neighborhood where he grew up. Other films or series contributions include Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery (1997), Race: The Power of an Illusion (2003), Forgotten Genius (2007), and American Denial (for Vital Pictures, 2013).
Christine Herbes-Sommers, Producer
Christine Herbes-Sommers is President of Vital Pictures, Inc. and has produced over 100 hours of documentary, dramatic, and educational programming for PBS since 1976. Her film Joan Robinson: One Woman’s Story won the duPont Columbia Award in 1981, and her work over the years has garnered many other awards. At Vital Pictures she partnered with Llew Smith and California Newsreel to develop and produce the award-winning, four-part series Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? and was executive producer for the ITVS documentary Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness. She is currently producer for Raising of America and is spearheading the Coming of Age in an Aging America project. She and Llew Smith were also producers for the groundbreaking series Race: The Power of an Illusion in 2001. Prior to Vital Pictures, Christine was a staff producer at WGBH/Boston. She has a BA in Political Science from Knox College and a MA from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy.
Vincent Brown, Associate Producer
Vincent Brown is the Dunwalke Associate Professor of American History at Harvard University. He is an award-winning author and media maker with a keen interest in the political implications of cultural practice. Professor Brown teaches courses in Atlantic history, African diaspora studies, and the history of slavery, and is the author of The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery (Harvard University Press, 2008), which received the Merle Curti Award, the James A. Rawley Prize, and the Louis Gottschalk Prize in 2009.