The Five-Finger Discount Filmmakers

Helene Stapinski

Helene Stapinski is the author of three memoirs: Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family and Forgiveness in Southern Italy; Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History, and Baby Plays Around. Her essays have appeared in several anthologies, most recently, Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up. Stapinski has also written extensively for The New York Times, for Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, Salon, Real Simple, New York magazine and dozens of other newspapers, magazines and blogs. She’s been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, The Today Show and as a performer with The Moth main stage. Stapinski has taught journalism and creative writing at Fordham and New York University, her alma mater, and has lectured at Columbia University, where she received an MFA.

Steven Fischler

Steve founded Pacific Street Films with Joel Sucher in 1971 and they have produced, directed, written and edited over 100 films on a wide variety of subjects, including the widely-praised From Swastika to Jim Crow (for PBS), the story of Jewish refugee scholars driven from Germany by the Nazis who found new lives teaching at black colleges in the Jim Crow South.  PSF is also well known for documentaries about Hollywood filmmakers like Martin Scorsese Directs (for American Masters), Oliver Stone Inside/Out (for Showtime and the BBC) and Jessica Lange: It’s Only Make-Believe (for HBO/Cinemax).  Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Harvard Film Archives have celebrated Pacific Street Films with career retrospectives.  Fischler is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in film; he is the director of Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans & The Movies, a look at Italian Americans in Hollywood; and he is the producer of Dressing America: Tales From The Garment Center,  recently broadcast on PBS.

Rosanne DeLuca Braun

Executive Producer
President of Beachcomber Films, Rosanne created and produced Beyond Wiseguys:  Italian Americans & the Movies, executive produced by actor/director John Turturro, and co-produced with award-winning Pacific Street Films. It aired on PBS stations in the United States and on public television worldwide. Previously Rosanne was Director of Marketing and Fundraising for the Cinema Arts Centre, a leading New York and national showcase for classic and contemporary films, where she produced programs and film festivals on cultural, social and film-related topics.

Charles Hobson

Executive Producer

Charles Hobson heads Vanguard Documentaries, a production company known for its successful collaborations with PBS and the BBC, among others. Hobson’s most recent PBS co-production, “Treasures of New York: The Flatiron Building,” aired in April 2014 and commemorates the 110th anniversary of the world famous structure. His acclaimed four-decade career has included films such as “Harlem in Montmarte,” (Arte, PBS), “Porgy and Bess: An American Voice” (PBS), “Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant” (FOX), “Jump Street: The History of Black Music” (PBS), “Negroes with Guns” (PBS) and “Like It Is.” (ABC-TV). Hobson’s awards include an Emmy, a Fulbright (Germany), The Japan Prize (Special Citation), CINE “Golden Eagle,” and the Best Documentary Prize at the 2010 International Pan African Film Festival, 7th edition, in Cannes. He has taught at SUNY, NYU Tisch School for the Arts, Vassar, and lectured at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. In 2010, Hobson was Artist in Residence at Art Workshop International, in Assisi, Italy. He has recently expanded his scope of work to include film for corporations and non-profits, such as Verizon Wireless, New York University Medical Center, and Broadway Housing Communities.

John Miglietta

Director of Photography, Editor

John is a cameraman, editor and producer.  His work has been seen on many broadcast and cable networks and he has shot and produced stories in Europe,the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America, as well as in inner cities and rural areas of the USA.  His own independent productions, both documentary and narrative, have focused on social and political issues and have been distributed widely by sponsoring activist organizations. Miglietta’s PBS documentary The Delhi Communication Project won a Regional Emmy Award in 2005. He has worked for many years with Director Steve Fischler and Pacific Street Films as an Editor and Director of Photography.