Kristian Fraga (Director / Producer / Editor)
Kristian is a graduate of the prestigious film program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His senior thesis film, The Mind’s Eye, was the first digitally shot student film at NYU. In 2005 Kristian directed the feature length documentary Anytown, USA. He won the Emerging Filmmaker Award for Best Documentary at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Film Festival and Best Director at both the Trenton and Staten Island Film Festivals. Anytown, USA was awarded Best of the Fest status at the Atlanta Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, and Newport Beach Film Festival and was theatrically distributed by Film Movement. In 2001 Kristian directed the award winning PBS documentary The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking, which the Hollywood Reporter dubbed a “a must see for anyone loves movies.” He currently serves as producer on the popular television series, The Inside Reel, gearing up for its 10th season.
In 1997 Kristian and his producing partner, Marc Perez founded Sirk Productions, a New York based film and television production company. Together they produced the restoration of the first Robin Hood film shot in 1912 on behalf of the Fort Lee Film Commission. The restoration was screened this past year at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Mike originally joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves as a Private while still an undergraduate at the University of Miami, Florida, where he received a BBA in Finance. After graduation, having attained the rank of Corporal, Mike attended the Marine Corp’s Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, and served 4 years on active duty as an Artillery Officer and Platoon Commander in the First Marine Division. He was among the first American troops into both Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Fall of 2001, and engaged in firefights with Taliban Forces while acting as a Forward Observer with an infantry unit in Southern Afghanistan. Mike deployed to Iraq in early 2003, where he commanded a detachment of Forward Observers, and fought as a First Lieutenant with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, Fourth Marine Regiment in numerous engagements (including the battles of Ah Nasiriyah, Al Kut and Baghdad) along Route 7 in Iraq. Mike was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with Combat “V” for actions under fire, including destroying enemy strong point positions and neutralizing enemy Forward Observers.
After being Honorably Discharged from active duty, Mike attended the New York University Stern School of Business, where he received a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Finance. While at NYU Stern, Mike founded the Military Veterans Club. He is also helped build a charity called Reserve Aid, which has raised over $3 million for the families of wounded veterans, and currently sits on its Board of Directors. Mike remained a Captain in the Marine Corps Reserves until his Honorable Discharge in early 2007. After spending time as an Associate in the Leveraged Finance group at Credit Suisse as a Distressed Syndicated Loan Analyst, Mike left to assist with the turnaround of a $30 million distressed frozen foods distributor, acting as President and CFO for 18 months.
Marc Perez (Producer)
Marc is a graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business. In 1997 he founded New York City based Sirk Productions with Kristian Fraga, producing dozens of projects from feature films to television commercials. In 2005 he executive produced the award winning feature documentary, Anytown, USA, distributed by Film Movement. The film had a 12 city theatrical run and has been broadcast in North America and the United Kingdom. Marc is executive producer on the national broadcast television show The Inside Reel, now in its 10th season. The program covers the film industry and features interviews with the most recognizable faces in the business from George Lucas to Brad Pitt. In 2001 Marc produced an award winning documentary for PBS called The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking. Marilyn Moss of The Hollywood Reporter called it “a must see for anyone who loves movies.”
In addition to producing film and television projects Marc has also produced dozens of award winning commercials and corporate films for clients that include MySpace, GBX and Verizon. Marc is a member of the Fort Lee Film Commission. The commission was created to preserve film made in Fort Lee, New Jersey and secure the towns historic role as the birthplace of the motion picture industry. In 2006 Marc and the Sirk Productions team restored the original Robin Hood (1912) for the Commission. The restored version of the film went on to premiere at the MoMA.
Benjamin Charbit (Executive Producer)
Benjamin Charbit started Charbit & Co., LLC in February of 2005 to produce, finance and distribute low-budget independent features, documentaries and short films. As President of Charbit & Co., LLC, Benjamin functions as executive producer of the projects the company takes on- he solicits and manages financing and investors, as well as coordinating distribution and marketing. In 2004, he co-financed and co-produced Help Wanted, a short film written and directed by Hilary Downes. The film is currently playing on various online venues such as jaman.com and vuze.com.
Benjamin is currently working on numerous projects including executive producing a feature film documentary based on the Debra LaFave story, called After School. That project is currently in post-production. Most recently, Benjamin was co-executive producer of American Cannibal, a feature film documentary based on reality television that was in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006.
John L. Sikes (Executive Producer)
John L. Sikes graduated from Boston University’s School of Public Health Masters program where he studied social and behavioral sciences and health communication. In 2008 he produced and directed the award winning short film Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Chrysanthemum, commissioned by the New York Botanical Gardens. In 2005 John produced the feature length documentary Anytown, USA. The film went on to win several awards at a variety of festivals around the country and was picked up for domestic distribution by Film Movement. In 2006 the film aired on television on the documentary Channel in Canada and the UK.
In 2001 John was an associate producer on the award winning PBS documentary The Inside Reel: Digital Filmmaking, and currently producing the popular television series, The Inside Reel, in it’s tenth season.In 2000 John joined Sirk Productions as a partner, a New York based film and television production company. John is currently working with the Fort Lee film commission on a documentary short film about the first woman director, Alice Guy Blache. In addition to producing films and television John has produced and directed several award winning commercials and corporate films.
Sehban Zaidi (Co-Producer)
Sehban Zaidi studied film production at Oberlin College and at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduating in 2004. He has produced and directed a number of shorts that have featured at international film festivals including Pariah (2004) and Kyaari (2003). Sehban was part of the editing team for the award winning documentary Anytown USA and directed the highly acclaimed Freedom Sound in 2006. He was part of the production crew for the 2007 film A Mighty Heart. Along with his work on documentaries and short films, Sehban has also directed and produced commercials and corporate spots.
ABOUT SIRK PRODUCTIONS
Since 1997, Sirk Productions has been dedicated to producing and distributing original feature films and television programming. From the award-winning feature documentary Anytown, USA to the critically acclaimed television program The Inside Reel, Sirk Productions’ mission is to produce content that is inspiring, thought-provoking, and entertaining. Sirk recently acquired the Zilo College Television Network, the largest campus dorm room television network reaching millions of students nationwide. The network was rebranded as SirkTV and expanded its programming lineup to include fashion and music shows as well as short and feature length independent films. Severe Clear is the first feature film to be theatrically released and distributed by Sirk Productions.