The following is a list of partners who have supported our work:

  • Sundance Institute
  • Catapult Film Fund
  • JUST FILMS/FORD Foundation
  • Britdoc/Puma
  • HBO/Film Independent
  • Investigative Reporting Program, UC Berkeley
  • International Documentary Association: Para Lorenz
  • ITVS
  • California Humanities
  • Chicken & Egg
  • Berkeley Film Grant
  • Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • Novo Foundation 
  • The Sierra Club
  • Banff Mountain Culture
  • Patagonia Environmental Program
  • Fledgling Fund
  • Filmmaker Fund
  • Chicago Media Fund


awards and praise for past films produced or directed by lead creative team

The Return wins Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary 

The Return is nominated for National Emmy

The Return is named a Peabody Finalist for Best Documentary

The Return is named San Francisco International Film Festival Best BA Documentary 

Better This World wins Writers Guild Best Documentary Screenplay

Better This World wins Gotham Award for Best Documentary

Better This World wins Barbara Hendricks Foundation Prize for Peace & Reconciliation

Better This World wins IDA's new Creative Recognition Award

Better This World wins Best Documentary at San Francisco International Film Festival

Better This World wins Best Documentary at Sarasota Film Festival

Better This World wins Audience award for Best Documentary at DOCUWEST

Better This World nominated for a National Emmy for Best Documentary

Better This World nominated for a National Emmy for Best Investigative Journalism Doc

Better This World nominated for a National Emmy for Editing

Better This World nominated for Grierson Award

Monumental nominated for an Emmy

Monumental wins Best Environmental Documentary at Vermont International Film Festival

Monumental wins Best Environmental Docmentary at the Wine Country Film Festival


“Dramatic, inspiring ‘El Poeta’ targets Mexico’s War on Drugs”  
-- Robert Lloyd, The LA Times

“Docu thriller with twists that will catch many by surprise…Playing out against the high drama of the GOP gathering in St. Paul, Minn., compounded by the U.S. policy of targeting terrorists as a top priority, Better This World delivers the kind of case study, rich in national and personal dimensions, that would have made the New Journalists of the ’60s and ’70s swoon.” --Robert Koehler, Variety

“Riveting. Structured like a taut thriller, Better This World delivers a chilling depiction of loyalty, naïveté, political zealotry and the post-9/11 security state — and it features one doozy of a kicker in the “where are they are now” category.” -- Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

“★★★★ – The stark reality of America’s post-9/11 surveillance state is laid bare in this riveting documentary.” -- Tom Huddleston, Time Out London

“…viewers should also be disturbed about the ease with which that label — “terrorist” — is applied.”
Brian Stelter,  New York Times

“A direct reflection of post-9/11 paranoia” -- Stephen Holden, The New York Times

David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“Sharply focused and superbly put together…”
John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“Searching and provocative…”
Chris Barsanti,

“Very nearly perfect.”
Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters

“Combining solid investigative journalism with a compelling storytelling format that plays like a grungier Man On Wire with much higher stakes, the filmmakers probe the facts and principal actors from all angles, and come away with a series of truly shocking dramatic twists sure to anger and incite the even the most stoic viewers.”
Ilya Tovbis, IndieWire

“A gripping and disturbing film”
Martin Knelman, Toronto Star

“A fascinating study of the methods employed in combating terrorism in the wake of 9/11.”
Ian Buckwalter, Washingtonian Magazine

“It’s superbly made, structured like a thriller and, while it clearly has one point of view, it forces people to think about two kinds of zeal – of paranoid governments and of active dissidents. And it suggests that everybody has been naive about the post-9/11 world.”
John Doyle, The Globe & Mail

“From a pure story standpoint, de la Vega and Galloway play it out like a tense legal thriller that tests the bounds of friendship and loyalty, and ends with a punchline that gives the entire saga a tint of the surreal.”
Matthew Singer, Willamette Week

“★★★★ – Better This World is beyond frightening…”
Chris Faraone, The Boston Phoenix

Eric Kohn, IndieWire

“Extraordinary access…to normally secretive prosecutors and FBI agents…the result is both a compelling news documentary and a stunning character study of young activists in a chaotic political time.”
Michael King, The Austin Chronicle

“Gripping and suspenseful…”
Paul Sbrizzi, Hammer to Nail

“Highly emotional and engaging…a must-see for anyone who pays attention to the political climate”
Monica Castillo, Reel Straight

Better This World is a damning piece of documentary filmmaking, turning what would seem to be a cut-and-dry story into something much bigger, with a twist that will make you gasp.”
Kate Erbland,

“The unfolding of the events is spine-tingling.”
Don Simpson, Smells like Screen Spirit

“A poignantly effective experience…”
Brian Prisco, Pajiba