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Ark Media is an independent documentary film production company located in Brooklyn, NY. Ark was founded by Barak Goodman and Rachel Dretzin. We produce historical, cultural and public affairs documentaries for the PBS series FRONTLINE and American Experience, as well as cable outlets like The History Channel and AMC. In the last few years, Ark films have been nominated for an Academy Award and won the National Emmy, a Dupont-Columbia, an RFK Journalism, a Peabody, and a Writers Guild Award.

Barak Goodman


Executive Producer, Producer/Director, Writer

Barak Goodman is co-founder of Ark Media and a principal producer, director, and writer with the company. His films for Ark Media have been nominated for an Academy Award and won multiple Emmys and Writers Guild Awards, the DuPont-Columbia, and Peabody Awards, the RFK Journalism Prize, and twice been official selections at the Sundance Film Festival.

Rachel Dretzin


Executive Producer, Producer/Director, Writer

Rachel Dretzin is co-founder of Ark Media and a principal producer, director, and writer with the company. Currently, she is senior producing the ten-part PBS Series Finding Your Roots hosted by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., which premiered in the spring of 2012, as well as the upcoming African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, a six-part series to be broadcast on PBS in fall 2013. Among the many films she has produced and directed for PBS' FRONTLINE are: Football High, Digital Nation, Growing Up Online, Failure to Protect, The Persuaders, Merchants of Cool, The Lost Children of Rockdale County, and Hillary's Class. Dretzin's films have won the Peabody Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize, the Columbia DuPont Award, and been nominated for the Emmy Award. She has also produced for WNET New York, MSNBC's Edgewise, and NPR's "All Things Considered," as well as the NY Times Magazine on the Web.

John Maggio


Producer/Director, Writer

Filmmaker John Maggio's work appears regularly on both of PBS's premier series: FRONTLINE and American Experience, including Kinsey, Billy the Kid, College Inc. and The Private Life of Bradley Manning. Maggio's films have been honored with the National Emmy Award, Writers Guild Award, an Independent Spirit Award nomination as well as multiple News and Documentary Emmy Award nominations. His work has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has screened at festivals around the world. He's currently in production on the four-part PBS series Italian Americans.

Chris Durrance


Producer/Director, Writer

Chris Durrance is a documentary filmmaker, who has worked on more than a dozen films for PBS FRONTLINE, including College Inc. about for-profit education, The Madoff Affair and Return of the Taliban. He has worked all over the world, including Europe, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and China and is the winner of a Peabody, two Emmys, a duPont-Columbia silver baton and an Overseas Press Club award. His most recent project was working with Barak Goodman on Clinton a four-hour presidential biography for PBS American Experience, which airs in February 2012. Chris lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.

Muriel Soenens



Muriel Soenens is a producer and director of feature documentary films. Her work has mainly been for PBS and include FRONTLINE'S Failure to Protect (winner of the Dupont-Columbia award and RFK Journalism Prize), The Persuaders, A Hidden Life, and Pope John Paul II: The Millennial Pope; BILL MOYER'S NOW Global Woman and Poverty; and American Masters' Alfred Stieglitz and Richard Avedon. She also made AMC's Precinct Hollywood, a history of the American cop film genre. Most recently she directed and produced the PBS two-hour special Looking for Lincoln with host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.. Currently, she is developing a film on federal and corporate whistleblowers. Muriel lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Julie Marchesi



Julia Marchesi has been at Ark since 2008 as an associate producer on the Faces of America series and Billy the Kid for American Experience. Before Ark she worked on several family history programs hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. including African American Lives and African American Lives 2. Most recently for Ark she is producing one hour of the ten-part series Finding Your Roots. She is from Connecticut, lives in Brooklyn, and is only half Italian.

Jamila Ephron



Jamila Ephron has been an essential part of Ark Media since 2007. Her work at Ark includes the Emmy and Peabody award winning My Lai, The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and most recently, Clinton, all for the American Experience series on PBS, as well as Looking for Lincoln and FRONTLINE's Growing Up Online. She is currently co-producer of the three-hour documentary Makers: Women Changing America. Next up for Jamila is a major new film on cancer, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning The Emperor of All Maladies. Prior to joining Ark Media, Jamila spent several years working on the American Experience and FRONTLINE co-production The Mormons. A Seattle native and alumna of Sarah Lawrence College, Jamila lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Stef Gordon


Business Manager

Stef Gordon has handled the finances and other business miscellany as Ark Media Business Manager since 2008. With a degree in Theater and ten years spent pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter, managing production companies seemed the next logical step. She has worked on dozens of programs for Frontline and American Experience among others. She is trusted with managing the cash flow, budgets and financial reporting for all Ark productions as well as helping to build a solid organization that has supported Ark's incredible growth. Despite the never ending ribbing she receives about receipts, which certain colleagues always seem to find hilarious, Stef loves her job and takes great pride in her work. If production accounting were an award winning endeavor, she'd have racked up some nominations for sure! Stef lives in the Lower East Side with Steve the boyfriend and Georgia the cat. She makes a mean cocktail and can cure your headache.

R.A. Fedde



Since escaping a successful Silicon Valley career in 2001, Fedde has edited everything from wild horses to Marilyn Manson. Her work includes 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed America: Antietam and Combat Diary, which was nominated for a 2006 Emmy. She has worked on numerous PBS shows, including most recently Digital Nation and Looking for Lincoln for Ark Media. S he also co-owns the Brooklyn Fencing Center, Brooklyn's first Olympic-style fencing club. An alumna of the Rhode Island School of Design, she lives in Brooklyn.


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Ark Media::News


Finding Your Roots


Billy The Kid

Football High

My Lai

Faces of America

Digital Nation

Looking for Lincoln

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln


Growing Up Online

The Lobotomist

A Hidden Life

Einstein's Letter

The Boy in the Bubble

Precinct Hollywood


The Fight

The Persuaders

Failure to Protect


Scottsboro: An American Tragedy

Merchants of Cool

The Lost Children of Rockdale County

The High Price of Health

The Search for Satan

Hillary's Class

Richard J. Daley: The Last Boss