Producer/Director Stephen DeBro is a product of 1970s Los Angeles, when the city was wilder, more visceral, and dangerous. DeBro has spent most of his career championing outsider stories and unique artists, primarily musicians. He served as head of the Jazz Department at Atlantic Records under legendary founder Ahmet Ertegun, and worked closely with Kris Kristofferson, Norah Jones, George Carlin, The Watts Prophets and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band among many others. He’s devoted the past several years developing the feature documentary 18th & Grand and the Olympic Auditorium Project, using art, music, and cultural events to create community and remember and honor L.A.’s vital past. 18th & Grand is his directorial debut.
Producer Kellie Cunningham has nearly 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. She began her career assisting the creative director of the historic Freedom Theater in Philadelphia and has gone on to work as a consulting producer for documentary films and television programs. Her work can be seen on Spike TV, National Geographic Channel and Discovery Networks. She also busies herself with creating original scripted content for television.
Producer Robert Benavides is an Award Winning and Grammy Nominated filmmaker whose work has taken him all over the globe. He served as Director of Photography and Producer on the critically acclaimed documentary “Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,” which premiered at The Sundance Film Festival and was an Official Selection of The Tribeca Film Festival. The Film won the Audience Award at the L.A. Film Festival for Best Documentary and received a Grammy Nomination for Best Long Form Video. He has worked with recording artists Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kings of Leon, Jill Scott, and Justin Timberlake. Commercial work includes the brands Honda, Toyota, Pepsi, Adidas, American Express, NBA Entertainment and many more. Robert is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild and lives in Los Angeles.
Tony Peck is the Director of Photography and Executive Producer for 18th & Grand. A graduate of ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, Tony has worked with a who’s who of creative and corporate clients such as Sprint, IBM, Nissan, Easter Seals, McGraw Hill and others. Tony heads Peck Media, a boutique video production and post production company.
Executive Producer Willard Ford is a downtown Los Angeles pioneer. He redeveloped the historic Kim Sing Theatre in Chinatown and is co-owner of Strong Sports Gym, a modern combat sports and training facility with a clean and classic look. Ford has been a serious student of martial arts since childhood, and has strong relationships across MMA and boxing, cycling, real estate, design and the entertainment industries.
Eric Matthies is a filmmaker and producer specializing in the logistics, tactics and imagery for producing documentary, transmedia narratives. Matthies’ 25 years of filmmaking experience in more than 36 countries includes documentaries, experimental films, narrative shorts, multimedia installations, television specials, digital broadcast, BluRay content, commercials and music videos. He has produced globally recognized documentary films, garnering a PGA Award, Grammy nomination, NAACP Image Award nomination, LAFF Audience Choice Award, Saturn Award, and a Social Justice Fund nomination. Festivals and venues that have shown work that Matthies has produced or directed include The Venice Biennale, Sundance, SXSW, LAFF, The Whitney Museum, AFI & TriBeCa.
Gene Aguilera, also known as the Duke of East L.A., is an Associate Producer for 18th & Grand, bringing his encyclopedic knowledge of local boxing history and the music to the project. Gene has been inducted into the National Boxing Hall of Fame and is the author of Mexican American Boxing in Los Angeles.