The Team

The People of Little Monster Films

Chai.jpeg

Chai Vasarhelyi
Producer I Director

Chai Vasarhelyi is an Academy® Award-winning filmmaker. Most recently Vasarhelyi directed and produced “The Rescue,” a documentary chronicling the enthralling, against-all-odds story that transfixed the world in 2018: the daring rescue of twelve boys and their coach from deep inside a flooded cave in Northern Thailand. Prior, she directed and produced “Free Solo,” an intimate, unflinching portrait of rock climber Alex Honnold, which was awarded a BAFTA and the Academy® Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2019. The film also received seven Emmy® awards. Vasarhelyi’s other films as a director include “Meru” (Oscars Shortlist 2016; Sundance Audience Award 2015); “Incorruptible” (Truer Than Fiction Independent Spirit Award 2016); “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love” (Oscilloscope, 2009), which premiered at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals; “A Normal Life” (Tribeca Film Festival, Best Documentary 2003); and “Touba” (SXSW, Special Jury Prize Best Cinematography in 2013). 

Vasarhelyi has directed two New York Times Op Docs, two episodes for Netflix’s nonfiction design series “Abstract” and two episodes for ESPN’s nonfiction series “Enhanced.” She has received grants from the Sundance Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bertha Britdoc, and the National Endowment of the Arts. She is a member of the DGA as well as AMPAS. She holds a B.A. in comparative literature from Princeton University and splits her time between New York City and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with her husband Jimmy Chin, their daughter, Marina, and son, James.

Jimmy_edited.jpg

Jimmy Chin
Producer I Director

Jimmy Chin is an Academy® Award-winning filmmaker, National Geographic photographer and professional climber and skier. He has led and documented cutting edge expeditions around the world for over 20 years. He has climbed and skied Mount Everest from the summit and made the coveted first ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru. His photographs have graced the covers of National Geographic Magazine and the New York Times Magazine.

 

Jimmy co-produces and co-directs with his wife, Chai Vasarhelyi. Their latest documentary, “The Rescue," won the People’s Choice award for best documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival. Their previous film, "Free Solo," won a BAFTA® and the Academy® Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2019, as well as seven Emmy® awards. Their first film together, "Meru," won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015 and was on the 2016 Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary Feature.  Jimmy splits his time between New York City and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with Chai, their daughter, Marina, and son, James.

Anna Barnes
VP of Development & Production

Anna runs all aspects of Little Monster Films, developing content and overseeing the production of films and series from inception to release. Prior to LMF, she worked on many of the top nonfiction films of the past decade, including a long roster of Oscar® winners and nominees such as Ezra Edelman’s OJ: MADE IN AMERICA, Matthew Heineman’s CARTEL LAND, Bryan Fogel’s ICARUS, Yance Ford’s STRONG ISLAND, RaMell Ross’ HALE COUNTY: THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING and Gianfranco Rosi’s FIRE AT SEA. As an executive at Cinetic Media, she oversaw the distribution campaigns for many successful documentaries such as the Oscar®-nominated Banksy documentary EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP and Asif Kapadia’s SENNA. Having first worked with Chin and Vasarhelyi on their 2015 hit MERU, she re-teamed with them and National Geographic on the record-breaking theatrical release for the Oscar®-winning FREE SOLO. Anna started her career in Boston working with legendary filmmaker and Oscar®-winner Frederick Wiseman.

Jordan Hart
Director of Development

Jordan is a producer and executive with a background in both documentary and scripted development. Under Oscar-winning director, Barry Levinson, she worked on films including PATERNO (HBO) and THE SURVIVOR (BRON Studios). Other television projects have aired on Showtime, TBS, Starz, AppleTV+, A&E, NBC, and CBS. Presently, she oversees the development of fiction and non-fiction films and series at Little Monster Films. Jordan began her career in Los Angeles, developing narrative television with showrunner DJ Nash. She has also produced many independent projects and was a fellow in Film Independent's Project Involve.

Kelsie Collins
Production Manager

In her work managing shoots and production for LMF, Kelsie draws on almost a decade of experience in documentary production. Before joining Little Monster Films, she worked on productions including AMEND: THE FIGHT FOR AMERICA (Netflix), SUGAR TOWN (Investigation Discovery) and JONESTOWN: TERROR IN THE JUNGLE (SundanceTV). She has worked with networks including Netflix, SundanceTV, National Geographic, History, Investigation Discovery, CNN and Quibi. Kelsie began her career working in unscripted TV in New Zealand.

Simon Bishop
Production Coordinator

Simon is a Production Coordinator who has worked at Little Monster Films since the Spring of 2019. He began as a Production Assistant and quickly took on more responsibilities as the company took on more projects. Although he always had an interest in movies and production from a young age, he spent three years working at a plaster crown moulding studio in Brooklyn before landing at LMF. His interests outside of directing and producing his own projects include road-tripping, hiking, and motorcycles. 

Bob Eisenhardt
Editor

Bob is a filmmaker renowned for editing documentaries and a frequent LMF collaborator. He is an Oscar nominee, a four-time Emmy winner, and a two-time winner of the Eddie award from the honorary society of American Cinema Editors. He has over sixty films to his credit. His film, SPACES: THE ARCHITECTURE OF PAUL RUDOLPH, was an Academy Award nominee for Best Short Documentary. Bob edited FREE SOLO, the 2019 Oscar and BAFTA award winner, for which he received the ACE Eddie for Best Editing - Documentary. Other recent films include: SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD; RESTLESS CREATURE: WENDY WHELAN, shown at the 2016 New York Film Festival; and HBO’s EVERYTHING IS COPY: NORA EPHRON, SCRIPTED AND UNSCRIPTED, shown at the 2015 New York Film Festival, a Primetime Emmy nominee, and winner of ACE Eddie for Best Editing – TV Documentary. Other films include WAGNER'S DREAM, which received an Emmy nomination for editing; MERU, Sundance Film Festival audience award winner; VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR; DIXIE CHICKS: SHUT UP & SING; LIVING EMERGENCY: STORIES OF DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS; and CONCRT OF WILLS: MAKING OF THE GETTY CENTER. When not in the edit room, Bob teaches at the School of Visual Arts MFA Program and the thesis master class at the New York Film Academy.

Simona Ferrari
Junior Editor

Simona was born and raised in Italy, where she started her career working as a director and lead editor on countless TV shows aired on the most prominent networks in Europe such as Rai and Mediaset. She traveled the world, directing, shooting and editing documentaries and television episodes for various Italian TV shows. Since her move to New York City in 2015, Simona has worked for several documentaries and films for HBO, National Geographic, Hallmark, and others. She started working at Little Monster Films in 2016 and was associate editor on the 2019 Oscar-winning documentary film, FREE SOLO. Her editing work with LMF includes the Op-Doc WHAT IF HE FALLS? for The New York Times, the web series PAS DE DEUX for the American Ballet Theatre, BRIE LARSON CLIMBS THE GRAND TETON, and several short films for independent directors.

Pagan Harleman
Showrunner

Pagan Harleman is an award-winning showrunner and producer with a impressive background and a gift for shaping innovative and entertaining stories. After attending NYU Grad film she worked with directors Spike Lee, Ang Lee and Alan Rudolph in post-production before transitioning to documentary. For the last decade she has focused on developing original docu-series for network and streaming including ABC, Showtime, Pivot, CNN, TNT, BET, Discovery, Nat Geo, and HBO. She has collaborated with a wide range of celebrated Oscar and Emmy-Award winning filmmakers including Murray Lerner, Robert Redford, Sam Pollard, Terence Wrong, Marc Levin and Matthew Heineman.  Her projects include SOME KIND OF BLUE; CHICAGOLAND; the Emmy Award-winning THE STORM; and the Peabody Award-winning HOPKINS. Most recently she developed and Executive Produced the IDA Award-winning docu-series THE TRADE, which premiered at Sundance and screened on Showtime, and Executive Produced Matthew Heineman's upcoming documentary feature THE FIRST WAVE, which will be released by Participant and Nat Geo. She is currently producing two new projects with LMF for Nat Geo.

Suzanne Giordano
Line Producer

Suzanne is a Brooklyn-based Line Producer who has been working in production management for over a decade. She has a wide range of experience, from commercials to reality, and most prominently, documentaries. As a Line Producer, Suzanne has overseen production on a number of projects, most recently MURDER IN THE BAYOU for Showtime, and EMPIRES OF NEW YORK for CNBC. She is currently working on two new series projects for LMF.

Clair Popkin
Cinematographer

Clair is a cinematographer working mainly in the commercial, documentary and film fields, and a frequent collaborator of LMF. Clair first worked with Chai Vasarhelyi on her episode of the Netflix series ABSTRACT: THE ART OF DESIGN and has been working with Little Monster Films ever since; Clair was a Co-DP on FREE SOLO, for which he earned a Primetime Emmy. Clair shoots documentary films and commercials all over the world for a diverse set of clients including, Netflix, HBO, Apple, Hulu And National Geographic.