Sara Newens is a Los Angeles-based documentary filmmaker and Emmy-award winning editor who began her career working for CBS News in New York City. She recently collaborated with Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering on the HBO docuseries ALLEN V. FARROW, which garnered 7 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Picture Editing as well as Cinema Eye Honors and ACE Eddie award nominations. She also served as Editor/Writer for Dick and Ziering’s feature, ON THE RECORD, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. She is known for Directing/Producing/Editing the documentary feature TOP SPIN and The New York Times Op-Docs film, FOOTPRINT. A graduate of the MFA Documentary Film Program at Stanford University, she continues to create original work through her production company Wild Pair Films.
Mina T. Son is a Korean American documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She founded Wild Pair Films with filmmaking partner, Sara Newens. Their debut documentary feature, TOP SPIN, was acquired by First Run Features and was hailed by the L.A. Times as “table tennis’ HOOP DREAMS.” She is currently in post-production on a longitudinal documentary about the recovery of a Japanese town after the 2011 tsunami. Mina holds an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University and a BA in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. RACIST TREES is Wild Pair Films' second documentary feature
Cut off from the glitz and glamor of Palm Springs, and overshadowed by towering sixty-foot Tamarisk trees, lies the historically Black Lawrence Crossley neighborhood. Allegedly planted by the City in the late 1950’s to line the 14th fairway of a City-owned golf course, these trees have become the focal point of frustration and animosity for locals who see the trees as an enduring symbol of segregation. For decades, residents have been forced to put up with the tangled overgrowth from a species so invasive, they have been officially categorized as a pest by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Until now.
Racist Trees investigates the timely story of racial conflict in an unlikely, liberal pocket of America, uncovering an even darker racist history that few would equate with the city’s progressive image. An intimate, sobering, and at times humorous look at the intersection of local politics, news media, race, class, gentrification, and social justice, Racist Trees reveals a microcosm of racial tension that continues to percolate across the country today. Directed by Sara Newens, Mina T. Son (85 minutes)