Bio’s – Hope in Heaven (2007)

Meredith Ralston

Canadian filmmaker, Meredith Ralston, has written, directed and produced groundbreaking, provocative films. She tackles relevant social issues, especially those impacting women. A graduate of the prestigious UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Ralston’s films have been broadcast nationally and screened at leading film festivals.

Her latest documentary, Hope in Heaven, examines the lucrative and demeaning sex tourism industry in the Philippines. Seen through the eyes of two idealistic female students and a male university professor, the film depicts a young bar girl and the people who befriend her, the poverty she lives in and her hope that one day a foreigner will rescue her are both poignant and heartbreaking. Kiefer Sutherland narrates the film.

Ralston is currently a professor in the Women’s Studies and Political Studies Departments at Mount Saint Vincent University and President of Ralston Productions Ltd. She resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland’s first major role was in the Canadian drama, The Bay Boy (1984), which earned him a Genie Award nomination for best actor. Following his success in this film, Sutherland moved to Los Angeles and landed various television appearances.

In 1992, Sutherland starred opposite Ray Liotta and Forest Whitaker in Article 99 and in the military drama, A Few Good Men, with Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise. He also starred with Jeff Bridges in the American version of The Vanishing (1993) for Twentieth Century Fox. He co-starred with William Hurt in Dark City (1998), which was a special presentation at the Cannes Film Festival. Sutherland made his film directorial debut and starred in Truth or Consequences, N.M. (1997) alongside Kevin Pollak, Rod Steiger and Martin Sheen. Most recently, he appeared in the films Phone Booth (2002), directed by Joel Schumaker, and Taking Lives (2004) with Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke, and River Queen (2005) with Samantha Morton. He has earned both a Golden Globe and SAG Award for his role as Jack Bauer in the Fox television drama, 24.

Sutherland is the son of actors Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas. His grandfather, Tommy Douglas, known as the “Father of Medicare,” was recently voted the Greatest Canadian of all time following a nationwide contest.

Rona Edwards
Executive Producer

Rona Edwards began her career as an actor, performing in such diverse roles as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun, Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie and Dorothy Gale in The Wizard Of Oz. She also appeared in the motion picture Staying Alive and in television shows such as Knot’s Landing and King’s Crossing.

Before entering the world of independent film producing, Edwards was Vice President of Creative Affairs for Emmy Award winner, John Larroquette (Night Court), Academy Award winner Michael Phillips (The Sting, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Taxi Driver) and Emmy-winning producer, Fern Field (Monk, Heartsounds).

Edwards co- and executive produced One Special Victory (NBC), The Companion (USA/SCI FI CHANNEL), I Know What You Did (ABC) and Out Of Sync (VH1) and recently set up a feature, Matchmakers, at Warner Bros. She directed a documentary, Dreams Of Peace, about Soviet children performing with American children in a musical show called Peace Child, and is currently working on a new documentary, Johnny Got His Gun: The Passion of Dalton Trumbo.

Edwards met Meredith Ralston while teaching “Introduction to Feature Film Development” at UCLA. They are currently collaborating on future projects.

Greg Pretty
Video & Sound Editor/Composer

Greg Pretty incorporates a range of talents to compose, perform and produce audio and visual media. A gifted guitar player since his teen years, Pretty uses his musicality to guide all projects. A two-year honors degree from the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology led to a university position as Technical Advisor in the Public Relations degree program at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU). Here, Pretty shared his audio editing and recording background with students and continued to develop his professional breath with video technologies.

Today, he continues his technology support role with the PR program, manages the audio-visual department of MSVU, and owns and operates his private studio, Garrick Lane Productions.

Donna Barnett
Assembly Editor

Donna Barnett has worked in the film and still photography industry for twenty years. Her experiences range from photographing Canada’s arctic to documenting the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. Her film credits include Making the Links: The Road to Beijing, Upstream in the Mainstream and Stewards of the Park.

Barnett’s photographs can be seen in several books, travel publications and magazines such as Up Here, Canoe and Kayak, Canadian Geographic, Above and Beyond, Travel and Leisure, Explorers’ Guide, Wild Waters and Canada North of 60. She has published two books, River of Dreams: The Saga of the Shubenacadie Canal and Halifax Regional Municipality.