LESLIE IWERKS- Founder & Creative Director
Leslie Iwerks is an Academy Award® and Emmy® nominated director and producer. For over a decade, she has produced, directed, and edited award-winning feature and short documentaries, television specials, tributes, corporate films, and digital content. Her clients have included Disney, Pixar, Hearst, Starz, Bravo, GE, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, among others.
Her body of work encompasses enterprise feature films (The Pixar Story, Citizen Hearst, ILM: Creating the Impossible, The Imagineering Story, The Hand Behind the Mouse) to her acclaimed environmental and social issue documentaries (Recycled Life, Pipe Dreams, and Downstream).
Leslie is an adventure and travel enthusiast, and has filmed on all seven continents around the world.
Her desire to innovate and push boundaries in documentaries, film, animation and new technologies has been cultivated and inspired by her family upbringing. Her grandfather, Ub Iwerks, was the original designer and co-creator of Mickey Mouse and multi Academy Award-winning visual effects pioneer. Her father, Don Iwerks, also an Academy Award® winner for Technical Lifetime Achievement, was founder of the large format film company, Iwerks Entertainment, building systems in over 200 theaters around the world.
As a young girl, Leslie would accompany her dad to the Disneyland parks, getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at everything from attraction design and animatronics, to the filming of Michael Jackson and Francis Ford Coppola’s Captain EO. On weekends, Leslie would tag along with her dad to the Studio Machine Shop and escape into the imaginative back lot movie sets, a period of time that solidified her passion for the behind-the-scenes aspects of moviemaking.
MICHAEL E. TANG- Co-Producer
Michael E. Tang Michael E. Tang is a versatile producer with extensive experience filming in domestic and international locations throughout North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
While working towards his dual degree in visual arts and history at the U.C. San Diego, Michael began his entertainment career in the film critics circle. His creative prose would ultimately earn him the San Diego Union Tribune's Young Critics Award.
After graduating cum laude, he relocated to Los Angeles to collaborate with several commercial production companies. His complementary interests in artistic craft and unscripted material prompted him to enter the non-fiction scene. Since joining Iwerks & Co. in 2011, Michael has overseen production on shorts, long form, and series based content. In addition, he also devotes his time to project development and corporate strategy.
KAROL MARTESKO-FENSTER- Executive Producer
Karol is an Austrian-born American entrepreneur and media industry innovator with broad motion picture, broadcast, publishing, event, and Internet backgrounds and his career spans over two decades including leadership in the American independent film industry.
Karol spearheads the licensing, acquisition, development and cross platform distribution of the documentary and narrative originals on the Iwerks and Co. slate. He is the primary liaison to international film festivals and collaborates closely with Leslie Iwerks on the burgeoning activities with diversified media publishers and broadcast networks.
Karol is EVP of specialized theatrical distributor Abramorama, Managing Partner of Cinelan, and President of Thought Engine | Media Group. He was the President of Film & Media for Michael Cohl’s S2BN Entertainment Corporation, SVP of Film & Animation at Babel Networks, and Head of Film at Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures. He has produced over 25 television and satellite broadcast music programs and he co-founded FILMMAKER Magazine, RES Magazine, and the media content enterprises indiewire.com, cinelan.com, conditionone.com, and hackateerventures.com.
Way back when Karol was a Coordinating Producer for PBS & WNET’s Great Performances Music Division and Market Director for the breakout 1989 Independent Feature Film Market and in 1990, as the Executive Director of the IFP, he restructured the organization and co-initiated the inaugural Gotham Awards.
SUKI MEDENCEVIC, ASC- Director of Photography
Suki Medencevic has been working with Iwerks & Co. as director of photography since Leslie's first feature documentary, The Hand Behind the Mouse. He has traveled with Leslie to Canada, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Guatemala and many other regions throughout the United States filming numerous shorts and feature documentaries, including The Pixar Story, Dirty Oil, and Downstream.
Suki was born in Derventa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and studied at the renowned National Film School (FAMU) in Prague, where he earned his Masters Degree with Honors in cinematography. Since shooting his first feature film in the US in 1994, Suki has become a household name on feature length films, television projects and numerous commercials and documentaries.
He keeps lecturing as an important part of his professional life and is currently teaching the art of cinematography at USC - School of Cinematic Arts, New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, and at the Global Cinematography Institute, a newly formed school founded by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC and Yuri Neyman, ASC.
As a cinematographer, he has earned many international awards including a nomination for The Golden Frog at Camerimage 2004, International Film Festival of The Art Of Cinematography, and “The Best Photography Award” at Mostra di Valencia International Film Festival in Spain.
Suki continues to explore cutting edge technology ranging from the 70mm format to 3D on a large variety of locations all over the world. In 2010, Suki became a member of the American Cinematographers Society, and is currently living and working in Los Angeles.
MATT KLEIN- Post Production Coordinator / Assistant Editor
Matt Klein is the newest addition to the Iwerks & Co team. Born in Pennsylvania and raised in Arizona, he now resides in Los Angeles, CA, with his lovely wife and two cats.
Beginning his entertainment career as an actor, he earned his B.A. in Theatre from Pepperdine University. Eventually, he shielded away from the spotlight, and moved towards a life behind the camera, subsequently earning an MFA in Film and Television production from Loyola Marymount University.
His professional work has been mostly focused in post-production, and he has years of experience ranging from sound mixing to color and visual fx work.
Mark Catalena- Writer / Editor
Mark Catalena is a Peabody Award winner and a multiple Emmy nominated producer, director and editor. For nearly two decades, Mark has achieved excellence in the fields of non-fiction programming and documentary filmmaking of the highest journalistic integrity.
In 2009, he received a Peabody for the documentary feature Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times. Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, became the highest rated documentary in the 28-year history of the PBS series American Masters, and for which, he received a 2012 Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Picture Editing.
He collaborated with multiple filmmakers on over 25 films for the Emmy Award-winning A&E series Biography, including six two-hour specials on such icons as Charlie Chaplin, Ozzie and Harriet Nelson and Brian Wilson. The exclusive on the life and career of Georgia O’Keeffe marked his directorial debut. He co-directed Goldwyn for PBS and the Emmy Award-winning Stardust: The Bette Davis Story for TCM.
In 2016, Mark joined the independent production company, Iwerks & Co., where he wrote and edited The Imagineering Story and Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table. From authoritative character studies to fly-on-the-wall observations, his emphasis on story and his constant endeavor for high production values has made Mark a consummate documentarian.
MO STOEBE- Editor
Austrian-born Mo Stoebe is a multifaceted editor for scripted and unscripted content. He is currently a full time editor with Iwerks & Co. working on the feature documentaries 'Ella Brennan: Commanding the Table' as well as 'The Imagineering Story.' In the edit bay he draws on his experience as visual artist, motion designer for music videos, title sequences and commercials to give his work a unique quality.
After completing film school, Mo started his career at Universal Games in video post-production where he edited and designed commercials as well as in-game content. In 2004, he relocated to the UK to obtain a Masters Degree at London’s renowned Royal College of Art where he graduated with distinction in Communication Art & Design.
While living in the UK, he worked on video projects with the Royal Opera House, Tate Modern and the Barbican Center and frequently collaborated with the Award-winning photojournalist Gideon Mendel to create short films for UNICEF, Actionaid as well as photofilms exhibited at the ICP in New York and the Haus der Kunst in Munich.
After returning to Los Angeles in 2012, Mo has focused his practice on long form editing and has since completed work on documentaries ‘Out in India’, ‘State of Control’, ‘The Three Hikers’, ‘Kedi’ as well as the scripted feature 'The Green Ghost’.
MICHAEL FEY- Music Supervisor
Michael’s career in film and television music includes ten years as Director/Vice President, Music Creative Affairs at Disney-Touchstone Pictures, where he made significant contributions to countless films and soundtracks, including The Sixth Sense, Crimson Tide, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, Grosse Pointe Blank, The Princess Diaries, Pearl Harbor and Remember The Titans.
As an independent music supervisor, he has handled many music-driven projects, including Kelly Clarkson’s musical for Fox, From Justin To Kelly, The Reagans for Showtime (nominated for seven Emmy’s), The WB’s Superstar USA, I-See-You.Com for Warner Premiere Video and High Road Entertainment’s feature, The Perfect Game.
Next, he began an ongoing period of several significant documentaries. In addition to the Discovery Channel’s A Year On Earth (a 2007 Emmy nominee) and film festival favorite The Fighting Cholitas, he has supervised many projects for Iwerks and Co. These include the Oscar-nominated Recycled Life (HBO), The Pixar Story released by Disney/Pixar, Citizen Hearst for Bio, Mushroom Man for GE’s Focus Forward initiative, as well as trailers for Citizen Hearst and the upcoming doc, Disney’s The Imagineering Story.