Pop-Up Magazine Tour

Skin of Glass | June 13, 2019

I was invited to join Pop-Up Magazine’s spring tour this May and after sold-out premiere events in San Francisco and Oakland, I traveled to Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York and DC. Pop-Up is a beautiful “live magazine” evening that features writers, photographers, filmmakers, radio producers and illustrators performing true stories in mixed media with live music.

It was an exciting creative challenge to translate a film project into a live event and I’m thankful to producers Tina Antolini and John Woo for their collaboration and to the whole Pop-Up team for an unforgettable experience. So many people spoke to me after the events to say how moved they were by the story.


Tell me a story: Two tales of parents and their children

The San Francisco Chronicle | May 14, 2019

The first performance of Pop-Up Magazine’s spring 2019 issue show was at the Sydney Goldstein Theater on Friday, May 10. This, the third such show that I’d seen, made the best use of a startling array of stories and what seemed to be the most naturally integrated elements: music (by Minna Choi’s Magik*Magik Orchestra), photos and graphics that moved each story along.

In an evening of high points, it’s hard to pick the highest, but I won’t forget Denise Zmekhol’s “Skin of Glass,” a fragment of a documentary she’s working on about a Sao Paulo skyscraper that was her architect father’s masterpiece. The piece was both a love letter to her father and a horror story about urban poverty and economic disaster. I knew little about Brazil, less about Sao Paulo. But listening to this unfold, I was a child at bedtime, magically transported to a time and place that seemed at once foreign and familiar.

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Skin of Glass | June 4, 2019

So wonderful that @abstractsunday (Christopher Niemann) made his drawing with the building my father designed in São Paulo (the one on the right). Ed Conde Andrea Matarazzo, Av Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil. #rogerzmekhol

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15 Bay Area Filmmakers to Watch

Better | February 19, 2019

Denise Zmekhol is a Brazilian-American journalist and an award-winning producer and director of documentary films that span the globe. Now living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Zmekhol has directed and produced commercials, feature documentaries, and transmedia projects for nonprofit organizations. Her 2008 film, Children of the Amazon, follows Zmekhol as she returns to the Amazon rainforest for the first time in 15 years to discover alarming environmental degradation and widespread poverty. She was later a co-producer and co-director for the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Digital Journey. She is now currently working on Skin of Glass — a film that explores how a Sao Paulo high-rise built by her celebrated architect father became the city’s largest slum.

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