Elemental Productions is a Los-Angeles based ethnographic documentary film company dedicated to the production of films focusing on the relationship between culture, psychology, and personal experience. Elemental Productions was founded in 2007 by anthropologist Robert Lemelson and evolved out of years of fieldwork and thousands of hours of footage gathered in Indonesia since 1997.
Robert Lemelson is a cultural anthropologist, ethnographic filmmaker and philanthropist. Lemelson received his M.A. from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles. Lemelson’s area of specialty is transcultural psychiatry; Southeast Asian Studies, particularly Indonesia; and psychological and medical anthropology.
Lemelson currently is a research anthropologist in the Semel Institute of Neuroscience UCLA, an adjunct professor of Anthropology at UCLA, and a visiting professor at USC. His scholarly work has appeared in numerous journals and books. Lemelson founded Elemental Productions in 2007, a documentary film company. He has directed and produced over a dozen ethnographic films related to culture, psychology and personal experience. He is also the founder and president of the Foundation for Psychocultural Research, which supports research and training in the social and neurosciences.
Chisako Yokoyama has worked as an editor and assistant editor on studio motion pictures, independent features and narrative and documentary films. Her credits as editor include the English and Japanese language independent films “Saki,” “Takamine” and “Goemon” and as first assistant editor, “American Gangster,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Black Hawk Down” and “Good Will Hunting.”
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY & EDITOR
Briana Young is a visual anthropologist and award-winning documentary filmmaker. She has worked on the Emmy-nominated documentary Superheroes, directed and produced a series of videos for Novica in association with National Geographic, co-directed the multimodal ethnographic documentary Tajen: Interactive, has been published in the American Anthropologist, and has produced, directed, and filmed in over 35 countries around the world from the Galapagos Islands to Nepal. Her short film, Screw It I’ll Play Make Believe, was broadcast nationally on the Documentary Channel and screened internationally at festivals, and her thesis film, Ladies of the Gridiron, was selected to be part of KQED Truly CA Shorts, and is used as a teaching tool on gender norms and women in sports, in classrooms across the country. Briana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in cultural anthropology from UCLA and a Master’s degree in visual anthropology from USC.
RESEARCHER & WRITER
Annie Tucker is a translator, writer, and educator specializing in contemporary Indonesian culture, literature, arts, and health. After working as a dancer and choreographer in her early twenties, she received her PhD from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures. Her dissertation addressed the treatment of autism in Java with a particular focus on the therapeutic use of traditional arts and the philosophies of development embedded within them. She is an adjunct lecturer for UCLA’s Disability Studies minor and a writer for Elemental Productions, an independent ethnographic film company making documentaries about Indonesia. Her translation of Beauty is a Wound has been recognized by a PEN/Heim Translation Award, the World Reader’s Award, and is a New York Times Notable book of 2015.
Field Producer & Researcher
Ninik Supartini has assisted Dr. Lemelson in several research projects about community mental health in Java and Bali. Since 2006, Supartini has served as a mental health and psychosocial consultant for international humanitarian organizations working in post-disaster and conflict areas in Indonesia and Myanmar.
Supartini studied English teaching as an undergraduate at the Yogyakarta Teacher Training Institute and lectured in English for more than ten years before turning her interests to community mental health. In 2004, she returned to school at Gadjah Mada University to earn her Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology. Supartini was honored with a Donald J. Cohen Fellowship in 2006 and East West Center Fellowships in 2006 and 2007.
Visual FX Designer & Studio MANAGER
Yee Ie is a graphic designer and studio manager that has worked with Elemental Productions since 2007. She graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Anthropology and English. In addition to design, she also handles project management and planning, distribution and marketing, human resources and finances, production and event planning, logistics, scheduling, and more.