The Finding Family Team
Meredith Binder—Producer, Screenwriter
Meredith was inspired to write Finding Family after watching several of her friends grow their families through fostering. Some of her friends adopted their foster children while others opened hearts to children in need of a temporary home. As she got to know these children, Meredith noticed that some of the children had developed coping mechanisms to help them deal with rejection and disappointment. Their behaviors were similar to those that her own child had exhibited before he was treated for Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Knowing that these behaviors can be overcome, Meredith wanted to tell a story that would both educate the public and encourage families to consider fostering older children, especially those who may need to learn to behave more appropriately when triggered by fear.
Finding Family is a unique story about fostering because the story is told through the foster parents’ perspective. Telling the story from the parents' perspective makes the film a valuable educational tool for foster agencies.
Meredith is an award-winning film producer with ten years of experience producing films in Seattle and New York City. Meredith has written and produced nine short films that have played in festivals around the world and garnered a total of fourteen awards and several nominations. Two of her short films have also gained distribution.
In addition to her narrative work, Meredith produced the Integrated Pest Management Training Video for the US Department of Urban Housing and Development (HUD). The video was produced in collaboration with Cornell University and Boston University.
An accomplished actress, Meredith has 43 acting credits on her imdb page. In 2015 Meredith won the award for Best Lead Actress in the NYC 48 Hour National Film Project.
Sherie Suter—Equine Consultant, Location Scout, Actress
Sherie and her husband Marcel adopted a sibling group of three older children through the foster system nine years ago. As she states in the trailer, "there were struggles.... these kids have developed coping mechanisms such as lying and manipulating. Breaking these habits is not for the faint of heart but it was definitely worth it! And through all of it we found family with our kids."
Sherie became interested in training horses at the age of seven when she saw the Royal Lipizzaner stallions perform. Sherie has been a competitive horseback rider, riding instructor, and horse trainer in Thurston County for 27 years. She has won two national riding championships (and several other championships). Her students have taken Washington State championships in showmanship, hunt seat, bareback, and dressage.
Sherie also specializes in “horse whispering,” i.e. teaching horses to do tricks such as lying down, fetching an object, taking a bow, etc. Sherie’s horse, Stacia, will be performing some of her tricks in Finding Family. As a local equestrian, Sherie has been instrumental in securing shooting locations in Thurston County. Her students and their horses will be featured extras in the film.
As an actress Sherie has worked in many independent films and local theater productions. She is also a professional photographer and has worked on film sites as a still photographer.
Richard A. Williams—Director of Photography
Richard grew up around many troubled teens and is now honored to have an opportunity to work on a project that will benefit older foster children, undoubtedly some of the most at-risk youth in our society.
Richard is a cinematographer and gaffer with over 30 years experience in the industry and has worked on over 35 feature, documentary, and independent films in addition to national TV shows, corporate videos, music videos, and commercials.
Dean is excited to work on Finding Family. As a parent of two sons, he welcomes the opportunity to help build awareness of the plight of older foster children through his work
As a life-long musician and composer Dean has a passion for non-traditional and non-genre-specific musical forms. He found a home for his diverse musical interests and unique style in film composition when he began studying film scoring with Hummie Mann at the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program in 2003. To date Dean has scored eight short films and one feature film. In 2012 Dean was commissioned by SIFF to score the main title music for the Fly Film Program’s Revenge of the Fly.
Prior to discovering film scoring, Dean received a B.A. in music from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in composition and electronic music. After college Dean moved to Chicago and studied with Robert Fripp in his Guitar Craft program. After completing his studies, Dean toured nationally with the League of Crafty Guitarists from 1985 to 1989. In 1990 Dean and three other Guitar Craft alums formed an instrumental trio, the Loud Shirts. Dean and the Loud Shirts released several recordings and toured across the Midwest and East Coast. In the late 1990s Dean performed with the rock and roll band the Ping Jockeys, produced an oral history program Speakin’ of the Blues for the Chicago Public Library, and appeared on Gingrich’s CD The White Time of Heaven.
In 1998 Dean moved to Seattle and began working with the Seattle Guitar Circle. He also toured regionally with the Atomic Chamber Ensemble. Dean composed the title track and performed on the Atomic Chamber Ensemble’s full-length CD, King for a Day.
Tiffany Laine DeMott—Production Designer, Graphic Artist, Colorist
As the mother of a six-year-old son and a self-appointed second mother to many of her students, Tiffany is excited to work on a project that supports foster children and the parents who raise them.
Tiffany holds an MFA in Design and Multimedia from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been teaching in the Design Department of Cornish College since in 2004 and in 2013 she became an Associate Professor. Her multimedia research explores the relationship between form, function, storytelling, and how design affects the human psyche.
As a graphic designer, Tiffany’s clients include: Simon and Schuster, The NCHERM Group, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Northwest Film Forum, City Arts Magazine, the Seattle International Film Festival, KEXP, Starbucks, and Amazon.
Tiffany’s art has been featured in multiple galleries including the Paul Robeson gallery, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, the Sol Coffer gallery, and the Tap Room and Smoke Farm.
Her award winning films have run in several film festivals including Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, Vancouver Women in Film, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, and Cinequest.
J. Grant Boling—Location Sound, Post-Production Sound Design
Finding Family is a story close to Grant’s heart. He believes there is no greater generosity than opening one's home to children in need. Grant’s two sisters were each (thankfully) adopted before the age of one. He can only imagine the anxiety that foster parents face knowing that the children they care for could be taken away from them without notice.
Grant earned an Associate of Applied Arts degree in Audio Production from the Art Institute of Seattle in 1997. After graduating Grant launched his own audio engineering studio Glass Bomb Shell (formerly DI; PH) where he works in analog, digital, and hybrid recording. He has produced recordings for numerous local bands including The Archives and Monkey Hill. He was recently hired by the Blood Drugs (Good to Die record label) to create a dub remix for their LP.
In 2006 Grant began working in film. His first project Alistair Maclean: Y'did Nefesh, played in film festivals in both the US and Israel. The film gained distribution from both Kids First and IndieFlix. Since that time he’s worked on several other short films and the 48 Hour National Film Challenge in 2015.
Debbi Fisher—Equine and Equine Therapy Consultant
Debbi was a foster mother for two years, and knows the impact that loving foster families (and horses) can have on a child’s future.
Debbie is the founder and training director for Hope for Heroes Equine Therapy Consulting. Hope for Heroes is the largest equine therapy program for treating returning veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the United States. The program is located at Rainier Acres Ranch in Thurston County and currently employs 12 equine therapists.
Debbi and Hope for Heroes have attained a national reputation. Debbi now helps other people start similar programs across the country. In addition to running Hope for Heroes, Debbi trains horses and competes in Extreme Trail Challenge on horseback.
In 2014 Oscar nominated director Robin Fryday's short documentary, Riding My Way Back, was shot at her ranch, Rainer Acres. The film chronicles the recovery of Staff Sergeant Aaron Helker from Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD after serving multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through the Hope for Heroes equine therapy program, Aaron learned to reconnect to the world around him and heal both physically and mentally. The film screened at festivals across the US and won the Soldiers Sacrifice Award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Tyler Arnes—Story-Board Artist
Tyler is known for his ability to quickly visualize and efficiently draw handsome storyboards. He began his career in the theater department at Highline Community College. In 2011, he worked on his first film, Fat Kids Rule The World. Since that time he’s worked on several more films, television, music videos, and shorts. He has worked as a grip, assistant camera, digital image technician, and of course a storyboard artist.
Carob Bartholomew—Foster Care Consultant, Script Reviewer
Carob grew up in foster care and is now a full time wife and mother to her eight year old birth son and several foster children.
Carob entered the foster system at the age of eight and lived in 18 foster homes in nine years until she aged out of the system upon graduating from high school. She endured racial prejudice, neglect, and abuse in some of her foster homes. Despite her past, Carob was determined to make her way in the world and create a family of her own.
Recently Carob has begun building a career as a motivational speaker and blogger on creating a good life despite the odds. In public speaking and blogging Carob uses her own story to inspire others to overcome unfortunate circumstances by finding kindness within themselves and to never give up hope.
Carob is thrilled to be part of the Finding Family project. She believes that having a film that portrays a realistic view of fostering older children will benefit both families considering fostering and children already in the foster system.
Mark Weinstein—Foster Care Consultant, On-set Social Worker, Script Reviewer