THOMAS VENDETTI, Ph.D. (Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor), a resident of Maui Hawaii, has produced, directed and filmed numerous documentaries about various cultures as well as the medical profession. Tom presently is working as Maui Mental Health Clinic Chief of the Adult Mental Health Division for Maui County that provides for a comprehensive system of care for the seriously mentally ill in the County. Tom began making documentaries and videos for the mental health community over 15 years ago. As the clinical director of the largest non-profit mental health agency in Northern Arizona, his first project was the film “Therapy on the River,” which chronicled the therapeutic journey of a group of seriously mentally ill patients on a trip down the San Juan River in Utah. Shot on 8mm and edited directly from his VCR machine, the film was aired on a local Flagstaff TV station. From that point on, Tom knew he wanted use the medium of film to make a difference in the lives of other people and better understand the world, a passion that later extended into an exploration and fascination with other cultures and belief systems. His documentaries and informational videos in the psychological arena include “Recovered Dignity” (2005), a moving film he produced, directed and filmed which currently being used around the country to promote the rights of the mentally ill;“Years of Darkness: A Spiritual Journey to Recovery” (2003), distributed nationally by American Public Television and aired on PBS; The video “No Means No – Date Rape" (1999) which he shot and edited and which was made for the State of Hawaii to educate young adults about facts and protective measures to avoid date rape; “Maui Meditation” (1994) which he produced and directed and aired nationally on Oasis TV; “Hopi Rehabilitation Awareness” video (1992) which he edited and was used on the Hopi Reservation to introduce rehabilitation services for head injury victims; “Recovery Trek” (1991), a video documenting a group of individuals suffering with alcoholism and drug addition and their trek in the Grand Canyon and other Northern Arizona locations in an effort to kick their addiction. The experiences and insights Tom gained from making documentaries and videos in the mental health area later brought him to point his camera at different peoples, places and cultures in order to gain a deeper understanding, appreciation and celebration of their lives, customs and beliefs through the medium of film. In 2006, he produced and co-edited the feature length documentary “Sacred Tibet: The Path to Mount Kailish.” The film won a Telly Award honoring the very best local, regional, and cable and television commercials and programs, as well as the finest film and television productions, as well as an Aurora Award, an independent film an video competition for commercials, cable programming, documentaries, industrial, instructions and corporate videos.Tom also directed and shot the 2001 award-winning documentary “Mount Kailish: Return to Tibet” which aired on PBS and was distributed by American7Public Television; and directed and filmed the 1999 award-winning documentary “Journey Inside Tibet” was shown at film festivals including the Hawaii International Film Festival and which aired on and was distributed by PBS. His 2002 documentary “Fiji Firewalkers” which he directed and filmed was distributed nationally by American Public Television and aired on PBS. “House of the Sun” (1998), which he produced and filmed, is the only video on Maui’s Haleakala National Park sanctioned by the National Park Service and still sold at the Park’s Visitor’s Center. His other documentaries which he produced and shot and which aired on Oasis TV include “Canyon Sanctuary” (1997); “Africa: Earth Energy” (1996) filmed in Zimbabwe; and “Paradise Blue: Hawaiian Tranquility” (1995) which was selected by QVC in 1998 as one of Hawaii’s best products and sold on the program.
JOHN WEHRHEIM (Producer, Cinematographer, Writer), a native of Chicago who presently resides on Kauai, Hawaii, discovered his passion for photography and writing as a student at Notre Dame where he contributed to the campus publications and South Bend newspapers. John Wehrheim’s first experience with the Bhutanese was in 1974 when the Dalai Lama gave his first Kalachakra teaching in Bodh Gaya India. There John met a group of Bhutanese who were having a great time and throwing parties day and night. Happy and innocent, confident and secure in their culture and motherland, the Bhutanese instinctively believed all Dharma based on Buddha’s discovery that suffering is unnecessary. The greatest gift in life is a precious human body. This began his intrigue and fascination with a culture and people that he would photograph 18 years later. In 1991 he was offered a consulting contract to go to Bhutan as a hydropower engineer. And so his avocation photographing, filming and writing about Bhutan began, a dream he had held since Bodh Gaya in 1974. Since then John has published and exhibited many stages and excerpts of the Bhutan work.The book Bhutan: Hidden Lands of Happiness will be published by Serindia in the Fall of 2007 as a companion to the feature documentary film “Bhutan: Taking the Middle Path to Happiness.”The book is a geographical and cultural passage through this breathtaking and isolated country featuring 108 black & white photographic images narrated with stories, journal entries, folklore, dharma teachings and oral history creating a portal across centuries.
ROBERT C. STONE (Producer, Cinematographer, Editor) has worked in all facets of the video business for over 39 years including audio production, film editing, technical director, producer, director, cameraman, editor and writer. One of Bob's recent collaborative documentary works, “Kiho'alu” about the life and music of Keola Beamer, was screened at the New York International Film Festival and has thus far garnered 12 awards at film festivals across the country, including an Emmy. Bob previously worked with producer/director Tom Vendetti on four other documentaries: “Sacred Tibet: The Path to Mount Kailish” (2006), “Mount Kailish: Return to Tibet” (2001), and “Journey Inside Tibet” (1999) as well as “Years of Darkness: A Spiritual Journey to Recovery” (2003) shot on Maui and in Cambodia. In addition to documentary work, Bob Stone has a thriving business producing high quality commercials for local businesses, promotional videos, music videos and magazine segments for mainland networks. His most recent projects include two pilot shows for national cable television. Bob came to Hawaii from Los Angeles where he was Supervisor of Audio Visual Services for 13 years at a top advertising agency. He designed, built and managed a state-of-the-art, in-house A-V studio and editing facility where he produced sales training and promotional videos for clients such as Honda Automobiles, The Disney Channel and the California Lottery. Bob is an award winning videographer and editor, a Monitor Awards Finalist and winner of multiple Telly Awards. In 1998, he was awarded the Governor's Kilohana Award for Outstanding Volunteerism.