About Spirit of Iris

Iris Cummings Critchell embodies the phrase, coined by Louis Pasteur, “life favors the prepared mind”.  After hearing of her marvelous adventures and stores throughout the years, I felt like her American story needed to be shared.  It is a story of inspiration and preparation for life. Yet, many people have never heard this story and it should be told.  The documentary follows a trail blazing woman, who not only swam in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and was in one of the earliest groups of women to ferry planes for the Air Transport Command in World War II.  She has continued flying, teaching and inspiring minds to be prepared for whatever life brings to them. Iris is almost 95 years young.  She still swims daily; maintains a current pilot’s license and instructor rating and has given many historical presentations.

Iris Cummings Critchell embodies the phrase, Spirit of Iris coined by Louis Pasteur, “life favors the prepared mind”.  After hearing of her marvelous adventures and stores throughout the years, I felt like her American story needed to be shared.  It is a story of inspiration and preparation for life. Spirit of Iris Yet, many people have never heard this story and it should be told.  The documentary follows a trail blazing woman, who not only swam in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany and was in one of the earliest groups of women to ferry planes for the Spirit of Iris Air Transport Command in World War II.  She has continued flying, teaching and inspiring minds to Spirit of Iris be prepared for whatever Spirit of Iris life brings to them. Iris is almost 95 years young.  She still swims daily; maintains a current pilot’s license and instructor rating and has given many historical presentations.

The story of Iris exemplifies the pioneering stories of the first women who flew on behalf of the US Military during WWII…and the colorful lives that they led and contributions they made afterwards.

Crew Biographies

CORINNE JAYAWEERA

Director/Executive Producer

Corinne Jayaweera has enjoyed her career in various academic roles and settings. At the DruckerSchool of Business, she lead the Mentor Program and Kravis Concept business plan competition. Corinne left CGU to focus on her fledgling film and event planning company. She has grown from producing her first documentary in 2008 to directing and producing documentaries and narratives. Corinne is active in the PSA program at Women In Film and has produced and has been on the producing team of multiple PSA’s. Outside of her own projects she has worked as a unit production manager, as well as a wardrobe manager. She is extremely proud of her, loving and supportive family. In Corinne’s spare time she enjoys country line dancing, white water rafting and taking walks in the woods.

CHRIS BURGARD

Producer

In 2007, award-winning filmmaker Chris Burgard created the groundbreaking film “BORDER” that defined this generation’s border and immigration reality. As creative and strategic media director for Herman Cain, he was dubbed the most dangerous media man on the planet and was credited with developing the new Avant-garde genre of political messaging.

KAREN MCMILLEN

Consulting Producer

Karen McMillen (Consulting Producer) has been producing, directing and writing award-winning educational video for over 20 years for organizations including The Smithsonian Institution, The National Archives, The Getty Museum, Claremont Graduate University, Harvard University, Children’s Hospital Boston, The Louisiana State Museum, and a host of others

KEVIN LYONS

Camera Operator

Kevin Lyons has more than 15 years of experience in the video and film industry. His professional history includes positions as a Video Producer, Editor, Graphic Designer, Audio Visual Engineer and Web Developer. He truly is a multimedia professional. Since 2006 he has developed and operates his own video production business. He has won such awards as the CINE Golden Eagle Award and the Telly Award for Cinematography and Video Editing

ANTHONY JACKSON

Production Assistant

Anthony Jackson started acting for television and motion pictures at the age of seventeen. Over the years he has found himself behind the camera producing commercial and independent projects.  He has worked as an assistant director, screenwriter and producer.

PHOEBE KRUEGER

Camera Operator

Phoebe Krueger is a documentary cinematographer and camera operator who graduated NYU’s TISCH program in 2004. She moved to the LA area and works on feature film, TV, documentary and live theater projects.

PAIGE OUELLETTE

Paige Ouellette is a 5th grader who enjoys dance, acting and being on stage. She is a dedicated Girl Scout and loves reading a good book.

XANDER LOVE

Post Production

Xander Love is a Post-Production Editor who has worked with Little Bonanza Productions since 2010. In that time, he has been one of the creative minds behind some of the most influence political videos of the decade. His videos and editing style have helped pave the way for many other filmmakers who have produced some of the most shocking videos of the last few years.

KAYLEE-ANNA JAYAWEERA

Photographer/Production Assistant

Kaylee-Anna has been a photographer for 5 years and really enjoys the process of film making and story telling.

Special Thanks

Special Thanks to Iris Cummings Critchell for sharing her time and wonderful shared experiences

Joyce Raef
Pat Raef
Leon Nowlin
Special thanks to my loving always supportive family
BJ Alden
Kristen Alden
Amy Taylor
Surya Jayaweera

About The i Word

A rich tapestry of faces and cultures, the United States is a nation of immigrants.  Despite being built on the strength of this diversity, problems created by a troubled immigration process, combined with increases in illegal immigration have created a rift in the nations unity-sparking heated debates, demonstrations and calls to action. 

Documented America examines the current and proposed policies and challenges, presenting facts and dispelling myths at the core of this emotionally charged issue. Weaving together statistics, discussion, and personal stories, this exploration seeks to unify though a commitment to an immigration policy that is fair and welcoming to all seeking access to this great nation, while protecting those who call it home.

The i word A rich tapestry of faces and cultures, the United States is a nation of immigrants.  Despite being built on the strength of this diversity, problems created by a troubled immigration process, combined with increases in illegal immigration The i word have created a rift in the nations unity-sparking heated debates, demonstrations and calls to action. The i word 

The i word Documented America examines the current and proposed policies and challenges, presenting facts and dispelling myths The i word at the core of this emotionally charged issue. Weaving together statistics, discussion, and personal stories, this exploration seeks to unify though a commitment to an immigration policy that is fair and welcoming The i word to all seeking access to this great nation, while protecting those who call it home. The i word

Crew Biographies

CORINNE JAYAWEERA

(CJ Raef)

Executive Produced/Edited

Corinne Jayaweera has enjoyed her career in various academic roles and settings. At the DruckerSchool of Business, she lead the Mentor Program and Kravis Concept business plan competition. Corinne left CGU to focus on her fledgling film and event planning company. She has grown from producing her first documentary in 2008 to directing and producing documentaries and narratives. Corinne is active in the PSA program at Women In Film and has produced and has been on the producing team of multiple PSA’s. Outside of her own projects she has worked as a unit production manager, as well as a wardrobe manager. She is extremely proud of her, loving and supportive family. In Corinne’s spare time she enjoys country line dancing, white water rafting and taking walks in the woods.

DABLING HARWARD

Executive Produced/Filmed/Edited

When Dabling was eight years old, he filmed his first home movie with an 8mm camera.  It was a fun little spur of the moment project involving a magician making his friend disappear.  The results were better than anyone could’ve ever imagined.  Ever since then, he was hooked.  He knew he was going to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.  Dabling has worn many hats pertaining to all aspect of filmmaking as well as the music industry.  He is the “Grip” as well as the “DP”, the “Editor” as well as the “Gaffer”.  Presently, he formed his own production company, Spinflight Studios which is a full-fledged production company.  Spinflight Studios handleseverything from digital acquisition to final product for distribution. Dabling  has a Grammy nomination for his recording work with Justin Timberlake and has worked on hundreds of projects over the years from Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls”to Jack Black in “Kung Fu Panda”.  Whether he’s shooting music videos or shooting commercials, Dabling has found a path to be able to walk which applies his love of creating something from nothing to share with the world.  He is presently working on a couple of documentaries, one of which is entitled “Love Unplugged”.

ALAN SMITHEE

Executive Produced/Directed/Edited

After working on several independent film crews for “fun”, on a DARE, Angelina decided to commit one year to creative endeavors.  Her decision to become a filmmaker was affirmed when she received two James Bridges cash awards – “Best Writing” and “Best Directing”; for her short “Type Me Up, Type Me Down” (1999). Since then, Angelina continued creating films, featured in festivals and showcases around the world.  Often producing short films for $150 or less, she became known as a guerilla filmmaker; and is frequently invited to speak on filmmaking and finance panels.  Angelina is currently completing a feature length project entitled “Love:UNPLUGGED”

Reviews

Very compelling quotation from President Roosevelt. Focus of movie was clear and direct. Well documented
I thought your documentary was very well done. Thank you for the work you have done to bring out the illegal alien invasion of our country to the American People. I hope you continue to make movie and I also hope your travels take you here to Vegas to document our alien invasion and let the world know that Vegas in not the most fabulous place in the world
-Kricket Las Vegas Americans4America
I felt that this film was very educational very informative. I inspire those who haven’t seen this film to watch it.
-Betty Rodriguez
The movies brought out, for one its letting people know its ok to say no! and that you’re not a racist to say enough. Starting out with Roosevelt was a good concept
–Buck
Informative, Well done,
-Randy California
This movie shines a big spotlight on a problem that affects every American. This powerful presentation could help inspire grassroots America into action
Excellent film to educate the public on illegal immigration. The film shows passion of the American people for their country and preserving the culture of their nation. I think this documentary if on the cutting edge films coming forward to document the American peoples opposion to illegal immigration
-Robin California
Film was educational, and informative. I think more Hispanic need to be filmed that are against this illegal immigration.
-Sylvia
Very informative! The film touched every aspect of how illegal’s impact the US and the costs associated with this issue
-Tracy El Paso TX
The film is excellent and exposes many immigration problems. Some areas or aspects I feel could be exposed more in the film are interior immigration problems or problems not necessarily along the border but in the interior U.S.
Documented America put the light on the truth
-Lucy
A very factual and compelling movie. The average American needs to see it.
-Jeffrey