After KGB raids on church services and religious gatherings people were taken away in trucks like the one shown above. Many times the people were never heard from again. Family members would never know what had happened to their loved ones.
Kevin Gonzales: Producer/Director
Kevin Gonzales has been in the broadcast video production industry for more than decade and has a keen eye for telling a story in a powerful way. Kevin graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Radio and Television Broadcast Production. His career as a news reporter led him on a three year journey in the industry that finally ended in Los Angeles at the famous KFWB in Hollywood California. There he got the bug to start his own company and moved back up to the San Francisco Bay Area where he started 12 Point Productions. Being heavily involved with his church, Christian City Church, he met the Bobarykin family who told Kevin of their persecution horrors while they lived in the USSR. Thus sparked the idea for the documentary.
Tammy Ninichuk: Co-Producer/Co-Director
Tammy graduated from Moscow Academy State & Municipal Management, majoring in Television Writing and Producing. She later graduated from LA Film School, majoring in directing and producing. In less than a decade Tammy has worked with several international directors; New Life (Mikhail Makeyev - Russia), Death of an Agent (Alexis Bicat – England), 59 Middle Lane (Greg Ammon – Hollywood) and Holodomor (Bobby Leigh – Hollywood). Holodomor won “Best Documentary” at the Hoover Dam Film Festival, and was nominated for “Best Documentary Film” at the British Film Festival. Tammy worked at UGOL Productions as director and producer in the documentary feature film Quest for God: History of Protestantism in Russia. This film won “Best Film” at the Light Film Festival in Ukraine. Tammy’s passion is to create visual art that captivates and wholly submerges people into the very heartbeat of the story.
John Das: Lead Archivist
John is medical student and is currently working in a pathobiology laboratory at the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. He received his Bachelor of Science degree, with the magna cum laude and Honors College Scholar distinctions, from Kent State University and graduated as the salutatorian of Tuscarawas Central Catholic High School prior to this. Outside of academia, John is active in the Church. His interest in theology, linguistics, apologetics, and world history has led him to research the persecution of believers in the USSR, which has helped to make the production of the film Martyred in the USSR possible.
Ben Ferrer: Director of Photography
Ben is the Director of Photography at Transvideo Studios in Mountain View, CA where he leads the camera and lighting crews in creating live action elements for the company’s outstanding digital imagery. He studied photography at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, CA and earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Sacramento. He also teaches Lighting courses for De Anza College in Cupertino, CA and at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) in San Francisco, CA. Notable projects include: Gila River and Mama: Winner Best Documentary San Francisco Peninsula Press Club 2012. Award winning Crime After Crime – Co-cinematographer – Premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Broadcast premiere November 2011 on The Oprah Winfrey Network.The Legend of Chloe – Producer & Cinematographer – Winner Best Film 2009 San Francisco 48 Hour Film Project.
Larisa Seago: Archivist
Larisa is a native of Samara, Russia. She came to the states and is now is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Church-State Studies at Baylor University. While at Balyor she has become the head archivist for the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society.
Fr. Georgiy Gulin:
Archpriest George Gulin was born on April 24, 1963 in the Ukraine, at that time part of USSR. He graduated Moscow Theological Seminary in 1988, was ordained as a deacon in 1989, and was appointed to St. Archangel Michael Church in Moscow. In 1992, Fr. Gulin was ordained to the priesthood and was appointed to St. Adrian and Natalia Church in Moscow. In 1998, he was transferred from the Jurisdiction of Russian Orthodox Church, Moscow Patriarchate to the Jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). From 1999 to 2011, he served as a rector in several OCA parishes: in Coldale, Pennsylvania; Summit Argo, Illinois; Royalton, Illinois; West Sacramento, California. In 2011, Fr. Gulin was attached to St. Nicholas OCA Cathedral in Washington D.C. and was “on-loaned” to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. In July 2011, he was appointed by Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America (ROCOR) to lead the Mission Parish of St. Barbara the Great Martyr, in Orange County, CA, where serves today, fulfilling the spiritual and administrative duties as the parish rector.
Dr. Christopher Marsh Ph.D: Expert in Russian Religious Studies
Dr. Marsh spent ten years at Baylor University as a professor of Political Science and Religious Studies in Russia. In addition, at Baylor, Dr Marsh was the Director of the Keston Institute Currently he is the Associate Professor of Political Science at US Army School of Advanced Military Studies.
Rev Michael Bourdeaux: Founder of the Keston Institute & Expert in Russian Religious Climate
Rev. Michael Bourdeaux, founder of Keston College in England, spearheaded a laborious, often lonely struggle to examine and explain the systematic destruction of religion in Iron Curtain nations during the Cold War. From his time as an exchange student in Moscow in 1960, he worked to defend the rights of faiths in these countries to worship as they chose. When the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc regimes collapsed, Bourdeaux's efforts for universal religious freedom were embraced by authorities, evidencing the strength of his beliefs. (Bio courtesy from the Templeton Foundation)
Photo courtesy of the Keston Institute