Bryan D. Hopkins is an independent filmmaker based in Detroit, MI. He is best known for his narrative film QING LOU NU (The Prostitute), for which he was awarded "Best Director" at the Detroit Independent Film Festival. The film also won two "Best Short Film" accolades at the Detroit Windsor International Film Festival and the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.
DIRTY ENERGY is his feature directorial debut, and highlights Bryan's passion for raw and honest storytelling. Although a narrative filmmaker at heart, Bryan embarked on this documentary journey because of the anger and helplessness he felt watching the television screen as oil gushed into the sea from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. He perceived a void in mainstream media coverage of the disaster. Where were the stories on the tough personal struggles of those immediately affected by the spill? He passionately felt these stories needed to be explored more fully, and with an unblinking eye. Producing the film on a micro-budget, Bryan slept on couches and lived in the homes of the "local" people featured in DIRTY ENERGY. Ultimately, this allowed him to capture the real stories of ordinary folks more deeply than he imagined. Hopkins is currently in the process of producing two narrative features that continue in his favored mode of storytelling—raw and with a social justice theme.
Former Gulf Coast Shrimper, Executive Board Member of the Commercial Fishermen of America, North American Coordinator of the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers.
For twenty years, Margaret Curole was a commercial shrimper off the Louisiana Gulf Coast. She has since become instrumental in representing the rights of fishermen and fishing communities, especially in the wake of the BP Oil Spill. She is a founding member of the Commercial Fishermen of America and works with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization to protect the rights of fishing communities around the world as the North American Coordinator of the World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers.
President of the United Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, Oil Spill Clean-up Crew.
George Barisich, a third-generation commercial fisherman, is from Arabi, Louisiana. Barisich, along with the United Commercial Fishermen's Alliance, filed a class action lawsuit against BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and others responsible for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in May of 2010. In July of 2010, Barisich became part of the oil spill clean-up effort.
Former Gulf Coast Shrimper, Environmental Activist, Oil Spill Clean-Up Crew Member.
Kevin Curole, husband of Margaret Curole, is a fifth-generation shrimper in the Gulf Coast area. After the BP oil spill, Curole worked as a water clean-up crew member, which allowed him to witness firsthand the many issues that were supposedly covered up by BP and the U.S. government. He and his wife have since become outspoken activists both within their local community and in the international forum.
Owner of Dean Blanchard Seafood Inc.
Dean Blanchard is the owner of the largest shrimp business in the area of Grand Isle, Louisiana. Established in 1983, Blanchard's company is estimated to generate revenues between $10 and $20 million each year. Since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Blanchard has been an important advocate of Gulf Coast businesses.
President of Plaquemines Parish.
Billy Nungesser was elected president of Plaquemines Parish in 2006. Since he began his four-year term on January 1, 2007, he has represented the area that consists of the final stretch of the Mississippi River, just before it connects to the Gulf of Mexico. Nungesser has made many media appearances in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Commercial Seafood Buyer, Activist.
A former Grand Isle, LA resident that became a strong voice for change for the fishermen effected by the BP Oil Spill. Karen has extensive experience working in the Seafood Industry as manager of Blanchard Seafood.
The wife of a commercial fishermen, Kindra became an outspoken critic of the BP clean-up operation and worked closely with officials pushing for improved safety standards for workers and local residents.
Campaign Deputy Director of the Gulf Restoration Network
Aaron Viles leads several campaigns for the Gulf Restoration Network, including their effort to ensure sustainable fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, their work on global warming issues in the Gulf, and their campaign to protect important habitats, such as cypress forests throughout the Gulf. He has a B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Conservation, Ecology and Evolution from the University of Washington and worked for many years as a Campaign Director/Organizer for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
Environmental Activist, Public Speaker, Author
Originally from Valdez, Alaska, Riki Ott has a degree in marine toxicology with a speciality in oil pollution. She garnered nationwide attention for her outspoken activism during the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Ott has published a variety of articles and was a guest blogger on the Huffington Post. Her books include Not One Drop – Betrayal and Courage in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Sound Truth & Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and Alaska's Copper River Delta.
Director of Coastal Sustainability for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
Dr. John Lopez has been the director of the Coastal Sustainability Program for the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation since June 2005. He has multidisciplinary training in Geology, Engineering, and Biological Sciences and has handled project assignments for the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act while working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. Lopez received the Conservationist of the Year Award in 2008 from the Louisiana Wildlife Federation and the Coastal Zone 05 Conference Award from NOAA.