PatchWorks Films specializes in telling stories exploring contemporary social issues through intimate character stories, and building innovative partnerships for their use with NGOs, activists, and advocates. Their award-winning documentaries have been broadcast worldwide and shown at museums, libraries, schools, universities, community centers, street corners, conferences, and film festivals.
Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider founded PatchWorks in 1994 and have been producing and directing documentaries since. Their previous work includes the ITVS-funded Born in the U.S.A., which aired on the PBS series Independent Lens, and was hailed as the “best film on childbirth” by the former director of maternal health at the World Health Organization. Their last feature, Speaking in Tongues won the Audience Award at the San Francisco Film Festival and is being used as a catalyst for changing language education in public schools throughout the country. American Spring, currently in development with Five Steps Forward Media, will be PatchWorks’ fifth feature documentary.
KEN SCHNEIDER is producer, editor, and sound recordist for PatchWorks Films. He is also an accomplished freelance editor whose credits include award-winning documentaries on a broad range of subjects, from art and literature to war and peace, immigration, disability and social justice. Ken co-edited the feature documentary Regret To Inform, winner of the Peabody Award, Indie Spirit Award and Sundance Film Festival Directing award, as well as the IDA Award for most distinctive use of archival footage. Regret also was nominated for an Academy Award and a National Emmy.
Other editing credits include Bolinao 52 about Vietnamese boat refugees; the PBS American Masters specials Orozco: Man of Fire and Ralph Ellison: An American Journey; P.O.V. special Freedom Machines, about the convergence of disability, technology and civil rights; PBS primetime special The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, which aired on Martin Luther King’s birthday and won best historical documentary awards from both the American Historical Association and Organization of American Historians; PBS special and Golden Gate award-winner Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town; Frontline’s Columbia-Dupont Award winning School Colors, a look at integration and segregation 40 years after Brown v. Board of Education; and Ancestors in the Americas, Part 2: Pioneers in the American West, about the Chinese-American experience.
Ken has collaborated with Nina Wise, the dancer/performance artist; Charlie Varon, the solo theater performer; Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Academy award-winning filmmakers, and Richard Beggs, Academy award-winning sound designer, among others. Ken has consulted on dozens of documentaries, and lectures at San Francisco City College, the San Francisco Art Institute, and New York University.
MARCIA JARMEL founded PatchWorks with Ken Schneider in 1994. She has been producing and directing documentaries for over 15 years. Nine years after its national broadcast, Born in the U.S.A. continues to engage families, communities, and health care professionals. Her best-known production from 2009, Speaking in Tongues, continues to circulates as a valuable resource K-12 schools, public libraries, colleges, and non-profit organizations around the world.
Marcia’s other films include Collateral Damage, a mother’s lament about the human costs of war that screened worldwide in theatres, museums, festivals and schools as part of Underground Zero: Filmmakers Respond to 9/11. Return of Sarah’s Daughters examines the allure of Orthodox Judaism to secular young women. The hour-long documentary won a CINE Golden Eagle, National Educational Media Network Gold Apple, and 1st Place in the Jewish Video Competition. It screened on international public television, and at the American Cinematheque, International Documentary Film Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair, Cinequest and numerous other film festivals. Her first film, The F Word: A short video about Feminism uses whimsical animation and interviews to foster discussion on this so-called contentious topic. Still in distribution after 15 years with Women Make Movies, The F Word screened on KQED’s Living Room Festival, AFI’s VideoFest, and the Judy Chicago film series at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Marcia’s additional credits include producing and directing films for the San Francisco World Music Festival, co-editing the Academy-award nominee, For Better or For Worse, and assistant producing the Academy Award nominees, Berkeley in the Sixties and Freedom on My Mind.
She was a resident at Working Films Content + Intent Doc Institute and has guest lectured at Stanford University San Francisco City College, San Francisco State University, and New York University.