About Warrior Films

“Bearing Witness, Creating Change.”

That’s our shorthand mission. We produce compelling documentary films about solutions to the world’s problems: Everyday people finding ways to overcome oppressive socio-economic barriers. Most known for HOOP DREAMS, we tell transformational stories that transform lives. Though we specialize in stories of the poor, youth, people of color, the dispossessed… each story is issue specific. We go worldwide to tell the right story. Our last film is set in Zanskar, India. Our next film is about the necessity of providing rites of passage for teens to attain mature adulthood. Soon we hope to begin production on a film about returning US combat veterans getting the healing they deserve through Veterans Journey Home. We’re changing the world… one story at a time.

About Our Name

Warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another life. The warrior is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves, and above all, the children, the future of humanity.       Sitting Bull

Warriors, warriors we call ourselves. We fight for splendid virtue, for high endeavor, for sublime wisdom, therefore we call ourselves warriors.       Aunguttara Nikaya

About Filmmaker Frederick Marx

Frederick Marx – Director, Producer

Frederick Marx shooting in snowy mountainsFrederick Marx is an internationally acclaimed, Oscar and Emmy nominated director/writer with 40 years in the film business. He was named a Chicago Tribune Artist of the Year for 1994, a 1995 Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of a Robert F. Kennedy Special Achievement Award. His film HOOP DREAMS played in hundreds of theatres nationwide after winning the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was the first documentary ever chosen to close the New York Film Festival. It was on over 100 “Ten Best” lists nationwide and was named Best Film of the Year by critics Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, Gene Shalit, and Ken Turran and by the Chicago Film Critics Association. Ebert also named it Best Film of the Decade. It is one of the highest grossing non-musical documentaries in United States history.

It has won numerous prestigious awards, including an Academy Nomination (Best Editing), Producer’s Guild, Editor’s Guild (ACE), Peabody Awards, the Prix Italia (Europe’s top documentary prize) and The National Society of Film Critics Award. The New York, Boston, LA, and San Francisco Film Critics all chose it as Best Documentary, 1994. Utne Reader named it one of 150 of humanity’s “essential works,” and the Library of Congress recently added it to its prestigious National Film Registry. HOOP DREAMS (1994) is the film that first interested Marx in the welfare of teenage boys. BOYS TO MEN? (2004) distributed by Media Education Foundation takes that as its central theme. BOYS BECOME MEN, now in production, is the sequel, pinpointing initiation and mentorship as the solutions to the problems teen boys face.

In 1993, Marx received an Emmy nomination for HIGHER GOALS (1992) for Best Daytime Children’s Special. Producer, Director, and Writer for this national PBS Special, Marx directed Tim Meadows of “Saturday Night Live” fame. Accompanied by a curriculum guide, the program was later distributed for free to over 4,200 inner city schools nationwide. THE UNSPOKEN (1999), Marx’s first feature film, features stellar performances from Russian star Sergei Shnirev of the famed Moscow Art Theatre, and Harry Lennix, most known for GET ON THE BUS, BOB ROBERTS, TITUS, ER, and MATRIX. A hobbyist songwriter, in 1991 Marx recorded a number of his songs collectively known as ROLLING STEEL. Two of those 11 songs are used over THE UNSPOKEN tail credits and one is used in BOYS TO MEN?. THE UNSPOKEN and ROLLING STEEL are available through this website.

Having worked for a time as an English and creative writing teacher, Marx began his movie career as a film critic, and has worked both as a film distributor and exhibitor. He has also traveled extensively. He’s lived in Germany, China, and Hungary. He’s traveled repeatedly through Western and Eastern Europe, North Africa and Himalayan India. With a B.A. in Political Science and an MFA in filmmaking, Marx has coupled his formal education with a natural gift for languages, speaking German and some Mandarin-Chinese. His interest in languages and foreign cultures is reflected in PBS’ international human rights program OUT OF THE SILENCE (1991), the widely acclaimed personal essay DREAMS FROM CHINA (1989), and Learning Channel’s SAVING THE SPHINX (1997). He consulted on Iranian-Kurdish director Bahman Ghobadi’s feature TURTLES CAN FLY (2004) and was a teacher of renowned Thai feature filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Three of Marx’s films premiered at the New York Film Festival. His films are distributed throughout the web, on Amazon, and elsewhere. Having dedicated his life to the making and promotion of independent films, Marx, a true maverick in the increasingly commercialized world of “independent cinema,” continues to provide a voice of artistic and social integrity. He repeatedly returns to work with disadvantaged and misunderstood communities: people of color, abused children, the working poor, welfare recipients, prisoners, the elderly, and “at risk” youth. He brings a passion for appreciating multiculturalism and an urgent empathy for the sufferings of the disadvantaged to every subject he tackles. As his mission statement indicates (“Bearing witness, creating change”), his is a voice strong and clear, and profoundly human.

Meet Our Board of Directors

Michael Bonahan, President

Michael BonahanMichael Bonahan grew up in Hawaii, went to the Kansas City Art Institute and the University of Missouri in KC – where he studied theatre and film production, and moved back to the Big Island in 1986. He co-owned and operated a film & TV company for 10 years, worked for Universal Pictures in production management, served as President of the Big Island Film & Video Association and eventually as the Hawaii County Film Commissioner. He now works as a Developer and General Contractor, owns several small businesses, and volunteers in his community. Michael is the Co-Founder of Boys to Men Hawaii Mentoring Network, currently serves as President Emeritus of Halalai Ohana Foundation, sits on the NHCH Community Advisory Board, and is the Outreach Coordinator for the Hawaii Council of the ManKind Project.

Frederick Marx, Creative Director & Founder

Frederick MarxFrederick Marx is most known as a Producer, Director, Writer, and Editor with 35 years in the film and television business. His latest film Journey from Zanskar, called “Heartbreaking… [It] shines a light on a place and a way of life that are rapidly changing,” by the NY Times, is now in worldwide distribution. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Hoop Dreams – also named “Best Documentary of All Time” by the Intl. Documentary Association and “Best Film of the 1990s” by Roger Ebert. Having premiered three of his films at the New York Film Festival, Marx has screened his films at the world’s most prestigious festivals and venues and garnered many international awards, including Chicago Tribune Artist of the Year, Village Voice Sports Journalist of the Year, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Robert F. Kennedy Special Achievement Award.

Kwame Scruggs

Kwame ScruggsG. Kwame Scruggs is Founder and Executive Director of Alchemy, Inc., a non-profit organization in Akron, Ohio. Since its inception in 2004 Alchemy has worked with over 1,750 male youth in a group setting. 26 of 28 from their core group (having been with the program 4-7 years) enrolled in college. In 2012 Alchemy was one of 12 programs to receive the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the nation’s highest honor for after-school and out-of-school programs. Kwame has over 20 years experience using myth with urban male youth and holds a Ph.D. and MA in Mythological Studies with an emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Kwame also holds a MS degree in Technical Education with an emphasis in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Akron where he also completed all coursework for a masters degree in Community Counseling. He has conducted numerous workshops on the use of myth to engage urban youth and is also a Certified Facilitator of the Akan System of Life Cycle Development (African-based rites of passage).

Arley Marley

Arley MarleyFormer aeronautics engineer with Boeing and co-patent holder for the first automated landing system in the world. Founder, Info-Scan Technologies, Inc., providing software, equipment, labels, and consulting for bar coding. Rotarian since 2000 and “Rotarian of the Year” in 2001. Passionate creator and instructor for Rotary Enterprise Leadership Conference, an entrepreneural experience for high school juniors. Represents Rotary on local community Challenge Teams for at-risk youth. Sunnyvale Rotary Club President in 2006-2007, holding key positions within Rotary including serving as District Governor from 2011-2012. Past Chair of the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and recipient of the Murphy Award. Recipient of Outstanding Volunteer award in 2005 from Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Most recently, a recipient of the Sunnyvale Mayor’s Award of Excellence.

Gareth Higgins

Gareth HigginsGareth Higgins was born in Belfast in 1975, grew up during the northern Ireland Troubles, and lives in North Carolina. He writes and speaks about connection to the earth, cinema and the power of dreams, peace and making justice, and how to take life seriously without believing your own propaganda. In northern Ireland he co-founded a non-profit organization focused on promoting peace and social justice activism and organising culturally engaged activist events; more recently serving as founding director of the Wild Goose Festival, organizing national events at the intersection of justice, spirituality and art. He is the author of ‘Cinematic States’, published in 2013 by Burnside Books.

David Woolley

David WoolleyDavid R. Woolley has been a pioneer in online social media since before that term existed. In the early 1970s he created PLATO Notes, an online message board system that was the basis for the world’s first online community and the direct progenitor of Lotus Notes. He was also the co-creator of the world’s first online chat room, Talkomatic. He has designed online conferencing facilities for many applications and built authoring tools for computer-based training. He was a founding board member of E-Democracy.org, an internationally renowned organization that uses internet technology to engage citizens in local political discussions and neighborhood issues forums, and has held top leadership positions in several other organizations including the Twin Cities Free-Net and Friends for a Non-Violent World. In recent years he has been a consultant in the field of web conferencing and social media software.

Bryan Balch

Bryan BalchBryan M. Balch, Business Consultant, Author, and certified Life Coach, has over 25 years experience at the executive level working with organizations serving various disadvantaged populations. His diverse experience includes serving the elderly, individuals with disabilities, at-risk youth, low-risk offenders, substance abusers, parolees, and entire socially and economically disadvantaged communities. As an entrepreneur, he has founded five companies in four different industries. He has led expansion of two bay area companies into national companies. Bryan recently published “How to Create Value First and Other Lessons: Helping Organizations Go From Surviving to Thriving”, a book designed to help non-profits and small businesses create a foundation for sustainability and develop their respective leaders.

Laura Flaxman

Laura FlaxmanLaura Flaxman brings twenty-five years of experience in urban education to her current role of doctoral candidate at Harvard University and “resident” at Mills College. In addition to various consulting roles, Laura is also working on developing a new model of higher education. Laura was the co-founder, co-principal and Executive Director of ARISE High School, as well as the co-director of the Reach Teacher Incentive Fund Consortium. Laura co-founded the Oakland New Small Autonomous Schools Foundation, now the Oakland Education Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening public schools in Oakland. She is also the co-author of Small Schools, Big Ideas: The Essential Guide to School. Laura holds two Master’s degrees: one in Educational Leadership from Harvard University and the other in English from the Bread Loaf School of English. She earned her Bachelor’s at Wesleyan University and her high school diploma at the Bronx High School of Science.

Linda Alvarez

Linda AlvarezThe first twenty years of Linda Alvarez’s professional life were spent pursuing a successful career in the Arts. Trained in theatre, she and her husband produced and managed theatrical and media productions across the United States. In the mid-1990’s Linda reentered the academic world earning her law degree, magna cum laude, in 1997. She entered private practice in the large firm environment — including Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (Palo Alto) and Vinson & Elkins (Houston). Beginning with her engagement as a member of the team successfully defending the first mp3 player to come to market, Linda has remained active on the frontier where digital technology pushes the boundaries of legal concepts designed for the analog and print-based era. In 2012, Linda was recognized by the American Bar Association as a “Legal Rebel” for her work in bringing change to the legal system.

Katharine Krueger

Katharine KrugerKatharine Krueger is Founder and Director of Journey of Young Women, whose mission is to empower girls, educate parents, and train women online to mentor girls, lead Girls’ Circles and offer Coming of Age to girls. In Coming of Age Circles, girls learn to take responsibility for their physical, emotional, social, spiritual and sexual well-being. This work is transformative for the girls, their families and the mentors. Katharine’s past roles include mechanical engineer, industrial engineer, strategic planner, facilitator, co-founder of a Waldorf-inspired homeschool coop, Director of Youth Practice at a zen center, and co-catalyzer of a local boys mentorship initiative. She parents with joy and respect two awesome young adults. Camping and growing her own food are her passions. She serves many girls and women on the educational Facebook pages Journey of Young Women and OccupyMenstruation.

Jerry Ostrander

Jerry OstranderJerry Ostrander, MBA, AAMS, is a BS Mechanical Engineer from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Golden Gate University. He spent about 30 years in high tech manufacturing including a time as CEO of a $40 mil aerospace company manufacturing airplane parts and satellite structures. More recently, he has had a second career as a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments. He and his wife live in Oakland; they have a son and a daughter and 5 grandsons. His passions are spiritual growth, family, and giving back to others in some small way. He also loves teaching and bike riding.

Sean Norris

Sean has joined startup TKS Capital Advisors a Corporate Financial Advisory and Intermediary firm dedicated to providing access to capital for Small and Mid-Sized businesses. Sean oversees Business Development and manages all sales activities and operations. He also has a seat as a Board Member and is on the Executive and Finance committees. Sean has over 25 years managing, advising and leading Corporate Business Development and Financial Service Sales and Analyst professionals at entrepreneurial startups and global organizations such as JP Morgan Chase and Praetorian Consulting Group.

Selena Wellington

Selena is a sculptor of sound, storyteller, healer, goddess, and dreamer, among other things. Born in 1995, Selena has had her own tumultuous dance with her shadows, and while the dance always continues, she is on a lifelong journey of self-care and healing. She attributes the beginnings of this journey to rites of passage ceremonies and is continuously called to the woods to dance and to fast. Selena attends the University of Colorado – Boulder, where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in music composition and psychology

What it Takes to Join Our Board

Warrior Films Board Members – What we’re looking for:

  • Our Specific Objectives: We’re seeking a Secretary and some non-officers. Secretary keeps minutes.
  • Our General Objectives: We’re establishing our first ever proper fundraising Board. We’re seeking fresh blood, new energy and ideas. We’re seeking support for the making and distribution of our new film Rites of Passage: Mentoring the Future. Ideally, all Board members meet the following criteria. But that’s not possible for most folks so everything’s negotiable. We seek the win/win with all our partners.
  • Deep alignment with company mission and values. You have to be interested in changing consciousness worldwide (and subsequent specific policy objectives) through powerful film stories around key themes: youth rites of passage, mature masculinity, supporting U.S. combat veterans, Buddhism, the endless human capacity for positive transformation…
  • Skill set: Prior Board experience and film business experience are welcome but not requirements.
  • Three year commitment.
  • Raise a minimum of $10k each year. The “give or get:” through soliciting donations from your contacts, donating yourself, and/or hosting one or more fundraisers with me coming and making a presentation.
  • Meet roughly 5 x yearly for max 2 hours per meeting. All meetings by phone and/or Skype. Occasional specific committee and officer tasks taking a max of 1-2 hours/month. Plus one yearly 1.5 day face to face Board retreat in Oakland, usually in April.
  • Extend your support through personal and professional contacts/connections/resources.
  • Recruit your replacement.

If you’re interested in joining our board, please reach out to us on our Volunteer Match page.

Volunteer Match for Board Members