In 1998 Odile Isralson and Lina Matta produced the documentary Running for Bogota. The award-winning short screened at various national and international film festivals and was broadcast on several PBS stations. Encouraged by their experience, they set up Brown Hats Productions.

In 1999, they started work on Prison Lullabies, a feature-length documentary. After four years Prison Lullabies hit the festival circuit, where it garnered awards and acclaim and was picked up for distribution by Seventh Art Releasing (national broadcast), Filmakers Library (educational distribution), TVF (international broadcast) and the Reentry National Media Outreach Campaign (grassroots outreach for non-profits).

With the popularity of video on the net, Brown Hats Productions wanted to explore the potential of that medium with a literary internet talkshow, Titlepage.tv hosted by former Random House Alum, Daniel Menaker.

ODILE ISRALSON  co-producer/co-director

Odile Isralson has worked as a news producer for the U.S. bureaus of Swiss and German television stations, and was a reporter for the Belgian News Agency and the Canadian Radio Network. As a producer, she covered breaking national and international news stories, from Haiti to Panama, from Somalia to the U.S. Presidential elections.

In 1998, through the newly formed Brown Hats Productions she directed and produced Running for Bogota, a documentary about two very different women, both lacking any political experience, who ran for office in Colombia. She then co-directed and co-produced Prison Lullabies. Her most recent project was creating the new media literary online talkshow, Titlepage.tv

Odile holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston University. Originally from Brussels, Belgium, Odile now lives in New York.

LINA MATTA  co-producer/co-director

Lina Matta was born in Lebanon. After graduating from the Lebanese American University, she went on to receive a Master’s in Film Production from Boston University. She spent nearly a decade as a TV Director and Producer in Washington, D.C., developing and distributing news magazine shows and documentaries to the burgeoning pan-Arab TV satellite market.

As co-founder of Brown Hats Productions, Matta produced/directed two award documentaries Running for Bogota and Prison Lullabies, and developed the literary online talkshow, Titlepage.tv.

For the past five years, she has been a consultant for Dubai Media Incorporated and played a primary role in setting up Dubai One, a 24-hour English-language entertainment satellite channel. She divides her time between New York and Dubai.


Jonathan Oppenheim edited the acclaimed feature documentaries: “Paris Is Burning” (Jennie Livingston), winner of the Best Documentary award from the New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Circles, “Children Underground” (Edet Belzberg), the 2001 Special Jury Award winner at the Sundance Film Festival and 2002 Oscar nominee for feature documentary, and “Sister Helen” (Rob Fruchtman and Rebecca Cammisa), winner of the Sundance 2002 Director’s Award

Oppenheim’s many other credits include: “Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps and their Johns” (Beeban Kidron) for Channel Four; “Lives in Hazard” (Andy Young, Susan Todd) for ABC, an exploration of gang life in Los Angeles, narrated by Edward James Olmos; “A Matter of Trust: Billy Joel in the USSR” (Míartin Bell) for ABC; “Paving The Way” (Emma Joan Morris) for PBS; editing on Streetwise (Martin Bell), a documentary feature which was nominated for an Oscar, and segments for Bill Moyers’ “What Can We Do about Violence for Public Television”.


While composer in residence at the Signature Theater Company in New York, Loren Toolajian composed original music for: Burn This, Urban Zulu Mambo, Two Rooms, June and Jean in Concert, The Sad Lament of Pecos, Bill on the Eve of Killing His Wife, The Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was A Man, Walking Off The Roof, The Last of The Thorntons, and he was the Musical Director for The American Clock and Curse of the Starving Class.

Loren also composed music for films including: Family Secret; Rudy Blue; Sleeping Dogs Lie and The Tavern.

Listen to Loren's Sweet Little Baby.

ANN COLLINS  story editor

Ann Collins has been working in documentary film for over thirteen years. Her editing credits include the feature-length documentaries “The Heart of the Matter”, “Belly Talkers”, “The Charcoal People” and "Sound and Fury", all of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before receiving theatrical and television distribution.

Sound and Fury" was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000. 

She also edited "Porgy and Bess: An American Voice" (PBS), "True Life: I'm on the Runway" (MTV), Martha Stewart's Home for the Holidays" (CBS), "Frontline: Merchants of Cool" (PBS), as well as several independent dramatic films.