2 years ago, I produced a television pilot about social change in Thailand. We focused on the Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage, spearheaded by Thailand’s Princess Mother (The King of Thailand’s Mother) and Diskul Disnadda (whom we called “Khun Chai”), who was deemed “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2009 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

CREDITS:

  • Producer/Host: Bethany Halbreich
  • Location Director/Location Sound: Michael Koehler
  • Location Director/Director of Photography: Ryan Patch
  • Editor: David Vollrath
  • Doi Tung Producer: Witchudakorn “Pui” Wonprasit
  • Interviewees: Patricia & Paula Chungsathasporn, Amanda Raposo, Nick Jensen, Nucha Sibunruang, Kunnaya “Big” Wimooktanon, Charles Mehl, Khunying, Khru Eet, Khun Chai, Orrowan

HONORS&MENTIONS:

RYAN PATCH / LOCATION DIRECTOR / DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Ryan Patch cut his teeth telling campfire stories in the mountains of his native Colorado. He attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, receiving a BFA in Film and Television Production. Pursuing his dream of becoming a feature film director, Ryandirected, assistant directed, and produced showcase work in radio drama, 16mm, 35mm, and HD through his early years, then directed two short films in his Junior and Senior Years. “Chess and the Art of Orange Soda” is a 12-minute comedy shot on super 16mm, and his NYU thesis film “The Sheol Express”, co-written and directed with Michael Koehler, brought his film education to a dramatic conclusion this spring. Since graduating, he has traveled through Thailand, Brazil, and Argentina directing and producing two different documentaries; has been writing his next feature in the mountains of Colorado; and is supervising post-production of “The Sheol Express” in New York. He is also the owner of his own production company, dedicated to telling important stories well, “Storytellers INK”.

MICHAEL KOEHLER / LOCATION DIRECTOR / LOCATION SOUND

Growing up in Uganda, East Africa, Michael Koehler fell in love with storytelling at an early age. He shared his impressions of the culture in writing, radio, and video productions. Returning to the United States in 2000, he spent five years in Annapolis, Maryland, where he participated in theatre, gained national recognition for fiction writing, and directed several short films. A recent graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Michael has written and directed numerous projects: among them, a nationally broadcast television episode for American Life Television; a 35mm short film photographed in Prague; a documentary about predator control in Alaska; and a charity promotional addressing infant mortality in Burma. Before shooting a television pilot in Thailand, Michael co-wrote and directed “The Sheol Express” with Ryan Patch, an upcoming short film about a traveler’s passage into purgatory aboard a fantastical train. A writer at heart, Michael presently is juggling several feature screenplays.

Read more about the filmmakers on their site

DAVID VOLLRATH / EDITOR

David Vollrath was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Northern Virginia in the manicured Korean strip mall between Alexandria and downtown Fairfax known as Annandale. In the fifth grade, David was lucky enough to confiscate his father’s Pentax ME-Super Single Lens Reflex camera and took picture after picture causing his father to lecture him multiple times on wasting film.In middle school David was introduced to hip-hop, and soon after that he took up break dancing and started filming himself and his friends with the family video camera. Through filming his break dancing, David learned two things: 1. The current year was 2001, not 1985, and 2. His signature move was the worm. This phase soon came to an end.Despite quitting break dancing, David continued taking pictures and making videos, and in the ninth grade, he made his first short film entitled “The Bunnyman Project”. Although it received stellar reviews in his English class, David still maintains his later work is much better.After a brief stint on the Freshman Football team that ended due to a lack of helmets, David grew very interested in mountain biking, particularly downhill, freeride, dirt jumping, and urban assault. He often shot pictures and made videos on this subject, sharpening his technical skills and creativity, as well as developing a vast knowledge of first aid.In high school, David was also very fortunate to have the opportunity to take three years worth of B&W darkroom photography and a two-year long International Baccalaureate Film Class, one of the first offered in the United States. So it was no surprise that he was way ahead of the game when he arrived at Elon University to study Cinema.There was, however, something that was still missing in David’s films, something very important that would take years to learn: how to tell a compelling story. And after years of hard work and painful honesty with himself, this has now become his strongest asset and is the very thing that separates David from many other young filmmakers of his time.Today, David lives and works in New York City as a Director of Narrative Films, Commercials, Documentaries, and Web Content. He also provides his expertise as an Editor, Cinematographer, Camera Operator, AC, and Production Assistant.

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