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The Oldest Person in the World

Producers Alison Byrne Fields, Josh Penn


From director Sam Green:

“In 2014 I made a film about the Guinness Book of World Records called The Measure of All Things. The film featured all sorts of records: the person with the longest name, the tallest man, the biggest cat, the longest period of time a person has gone without sleep. But one record struck me above all the others: the oldest person in the world. Whenever someone dies, they take with them all of the knowledge and experiences in their memory. The last Titanic survivor died in 2010. The last WW1 veteran died in 2012. When Albert Woolson, the last veteran of the Civil War died in 1956, Life Magazine wrote: There was an open door to the past, but when the last notes of the bugle hung against the sky, that door swung shut. It cannot be reopened. It strikes me that one day there will be no one alive who saw the Twin Towers fall, or who experienced the election of America’s first Black President. As you can imagine, the record is passed down frequently from one super old person to one slightly younger super old person. I intend to film every one of them from here on out. This will be a life work.”

About The Team

Sam Green (Director) is a New York-based documentary filmmaker. He received his Master’s Degree in Journalism from University of California Berkeley, where he studied documentary with acclaimed filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Green’s most recent live documentaries include A Thousand Thoughts (2018), The Measure of All Things (2014), The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller (2012), and Utopia in Four Movements (2010). With all of these works, Green narrates the film in-person while musicians perform a live soundtrack. Green’s 2004 feature-length film, The Weather Underground, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for an Academy Award, included in the Whitney Biennial, and has screened widely around the world.

Alison Byrne Fields (Producer) is Founder of Aggregate, a Seattle-based creative strategy group that works with philanthropic foundations, nonprofit organizations, authors, and filmmakers to bring people and resources together to creative positive, progressive social and policy change. Alison is also the former Creative Director and Chief Strategist for Rock the Vote, which aims to engage more young people in the political process. Byrne Fields received her BA in Media Studies from Hampshire College and her Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University. In addition to serving as a producer for The Oldest Person in the World, Alison has served as an impact producer for directors Kim Reed and David France.

Josh Penn (Producer) is a producer with the Department of Motion Pictures and Court 13. He produced Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), which won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize, Cannes’ Caméra d’Or, and was nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Picture). In addition, Josh received the Sundance/Indian Paintbrush’s Producer’s Award and was nominated for Outstanding Producer at the 2013 Producer’s Guild Awards. Josh also produced the Ross Brothers’ films Contemporary Color and Tchoupitoulas (2012), The Last Season (2014), and Monsters and Men (2018) among other films. Executive producer credits include A Thousand Thoughts (2018) Patti Cake$ (2017) and Western, which won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2015. Co-producer credits include the 2014 SXSW-winning The Great Invisible. Josh previously worked as the Michigan New Media Director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and as a Senior Digital Program Manager for the re-election campaign.

The Oldest Person in the World is a Cinereach grant-supported film.