Producers, Alan Parker, Moira Simpson, Basani Ngobeni, and Pietro Levine: A Look into Their Careers

Film Producer Bio

Producers are responsible for providing or raising funding, hiring key crew positions and overseeing all physical aspects of production. They also provide creative feedback and are often the backbone of a film.

A producer’s bio may highlight their past profession, family life and hobbies. Having spent ten years as a medic, for example, could be catnip to casting directors for medical dramas.

Alan Parker

Alan Parker began his career as a copywriter in advertising, crafting TV commercials that would help him move into film directing. His debut feature, 1976’s Bugsy Malone, was a cheeky parody of gangster dramas that featured child actors and musical numbers. Parker worked in a wide range of genres and styles throughout his career, including sexy noir that flirted with X-rating territory (Angel Heart), the Dublin-set musical comedy The Commitments, the screen adaptation of Frank McCourt’s bestselling autobiography Angela’s Ashes, and Madonna’s turn as Eva Peron in the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage-to-screen musical Evita.

Like other New Hollywood filmmakers such as Scorsese, Friedkin, and Coppola, Parker made movies that pushed the envelope while staying within the studio system. His films often had a dark, noirish look and used music to add atmosphere and emotion. A prolific filmmaker, Parker won 19 British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards throughout his career. He died in July 2020.

Moira Simpson

Moira Simpson is an award-winning freelance director, cinematographer and editor of documentary films. Her work in film, video and new media is informed by her passionate belief that film can be a powerful impetus for social change. She is especially drawn to projects that feature women who are change-makers. Simpson’s career spans over thirty years and includes many National Film Board of Canada, independent and television docs. She is known for her works Marker of Change: The Story of the Women’s Monument, The Least We Can Do, and Kosovo: Fragile Peace.

In addition to her film and television work, Simpson has voiced several characters in popular video games and animated series. She played the character of Karliah in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Elara Dorne in Bioware’s MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. She also portrayed Phyla-Vell on The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Hannahr the blacksmith in DreamWorks Dragons: Rescue Riders and Kingdoms of Amalur action role-playing video game.

Basani Ngobeni

Basani Ngobeni grew up in the village near Jopi where The Thinking Garden was filmed. She is Elizabeth Vibert’s research collaborator and interpreter, and her skills, expertise and local knowledge were indispensable to the production of this film. The Thinking Garden tells the story of a South African women’s community food sovereignty project in rural Limpopo province. It has received critical acclaim and is touring festivals and screenings across Canada and South Africa. Elizabeth Vibert’s research is based in rural South Africa and examines women’s household micro-economies and alternative economies, especially the ways that they confront poverty, malnutrition, AIDS, climate change and other challenges. She was co-producer and co-writer of the film with Christine Welsh, editor/cinematographer Mo Simpson and assistant director Basani Ngobeni.

This is her first film as a producer.

Pietro Levine

Pietro Levine is an entertainment lawyer who began handling important clients in the world of film and television in the early 1980s. He has worked on many blockbuster films and is a member of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the State Bar of California. He is also a director at Imperial Energy Corp. Plc and Executive Chairman & Secretary at Molecular Energies Plc.

He is also an accomplished composer, with several works appearing on TV and in theaters around the country. He has been featured at the Metropolitan Opera House, Koch Theater and Lincoln Center in New York City as well as Los Angeles’s Grover Cohn and Orange County’s Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

A self-described “teacher-conductor,” Levine has brought modern works into the MET Orchestra’s repertoire and personally coached such talent as Domingo in definitive roles like Otello. A documentary about his life, James Levine: America’s Maestro, premiered on June 1 on THIRTEEN’s American Masters.

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