TEAM

Our goal is for OUT OF BREATH to be a transformative resource in the fight against sleep apnea, bridging gaps in understanding and promoting a more informed and compassionate society. We envision a future where sleep apnea is widely recognized, accurately diagnosed, and effectively treated, ensuring that no one suffers in silence.

Through a robust impact campaign and film festival screenings, we aim to reach a wide diverse audience, sparking a global conversation about sleep apnea and its consequences. Supported by a team of leading sleep experts, the film provides a comprehensive look at unscripted, real-world experiences. Serving as a catalyst for change.

GTN Pictures

George T. Nierenberg, Producer and Director

George T. Nierenberg is an acclaimed Director/Producer whose career has spanned the worlds of independent features, network, and cable television. His award-winning film, Say Amen, Somebody (originally released theatrically by United Artists Classics) was celebrated at major film festivals including Telluride, New York, Toronto, London, and Cannes. It was named “One of the Ten Best Films of The Year” by People Magazine, Siskel and Ebert, and Rolling Stone, among others. His film No Maps on My Taps screened in theatrical releases before airing on PBS, cable, and international television. Mr. Nierenberg’s That Rhythm, Those Blues opened at the Telluride Film Festival before airing on The American Experience. He has produced, directed and developed projects for CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, AMC, Bravo, Nickelodeon, Sony BMG, and National Geographic Explorer. More recently, Nierenberg film’s Say Amen, Somebody, and No Maps on My Taps were re-released theatrically by Milestone Films and played at the Berlin International and Venice Film Festivals. 

Susan Margolin, Producer

Susan Margolin is a pioneer of digital film distribution and a dedicated creator and supporter of independent film and television with over 25+ years’ experience. She founded NewVideo, a leading global force in independent home entertainment. Through Docurama Films, a NewVideo subsidiary, Margolin championed more than 400 award-winning non-fiction films, making NewVideo the largest independent digital aggregation company in North America. As Co-President of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, Margolin has released many critically acclaimed independent films, including Daniel Destin Crettin’s groundbreaking Short Term 12. In 2016, Margolin launched St. Marks Productions LLC, a production and distribution services company. She produced Alexandra Codina’s feature documentary, Paper Children, for YouTube Originals, Buirski’s critically acclaimed feature documentary, The Rape of Recy Taylor (Starz), and Cheryl Miller Houser documentary feature Generation Startup (Executive Producer). She is an Executive Producer of Judith Helfand’s Love and Stuff, and of Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbuhl’s, Obsessed With Light. Margolin serves on the Board of Directors of Chicken & Egg Pictures, the Documentary Producers Alliance, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the Hamptons DocFest, the Advisory Board of New York Women in Film and Television, and she served on the board of BAFTA New York for over a decade. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the Producers Guild of America (PGA), and the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA).

David Leach, Editor

David Leach has been editing films for over 40 years, beginning in Toronto, Canada, cutting commercials, documentaries, and episodic drama series for Disney, Showtime and CBC. Since moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1991, he’s edited numerous television and feature documentaries. The television films have been broadcast on PBS, TLC, Hallmark, Discovery and National Geographic. The features have been seen widely throughout the United States, Canada and beyond in theaters and on streaming services. These include “Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning”, a film about the famous photographer made for the PBS series American Masters, “Dying to Know: Ram Dass and Timothy Leary”, the story of the long relationship between two 20th-century icons, “Ol’ Max Evans: The First Thousand Years” which chronicles the life of New Mexico author Max Evans, and “The Life You’re Given”, the intimate portrait of a family raising a child with Prader-Willi Syndrome.

Ray Angry, Composer, Co-Producer

RAY ANGRY is a pianist, composer, producer and arranger. Classically trained with roots in gospel, Ray’s resume includes names such as Jeff Beck, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Ronson, Q-Tip, Yolanda Adams, Joss Stone, Sting, Me’Shell Ndegéocello, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, a duo of Mick Jagger & Dave Stewart, Estelle, Richard Smallwood, Dionne Warwick, Dianne Reeves, Queen Latifah, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Christina Aguilera and ongoing associates, The Roots. Ray is the CEO and Founder of Mister Goldfinger Music Group, which released the album, Ray Angry One and his solo piano album, Ray Angry Three. Upcoming projects include an album of Ray’s weekly NYC live show, Producer Mondays. Ray’s film and television work includes composing music for Amy Schumer’s Life & Beth Seasons 1 & 2; Seasons 1 – 5 of Inside Amy Schumer; the award-winning short film Aisle 2; Expecting Amy; the documentary, Why Is We Americans?; the award-winning documentary, Descendant; the feature film, The Lockdown, and Amy Schumer’s comedy special, Emergency Contact. Ray can be seen weekly on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as a member of the house band, The Roots. Ray’s symphonic debut, Black Athena ~ Power recently premiered with the Lexington Symphony. He has been commissioned to compose several new orchestral works that will premiere in 2025.

Keith M. Brown, Consulting Producer

Keith M. Brown is a Consulting Producer on the Academy Award-winning short documentary Inocente and the Oscar nominated feature documentary War Dance. Vice President of Content for Firelight FIlms, the premiere non-fiction content company for stories about the contemporary experience, culture, and history of diverse communities of color. SVP of News and Public Affairs at BET Networks and VP of News and Documentaries for Spike TV garnering more than 50 awards, including a national Emmy Award, two NAACP Image Awards, numerous NABJ Awards for Excellence in Journalism and a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism.

ADVISORS

Michael Twery, PhD

Consultant to non-profits, researchers, and businesses. Dr. Twery draws on 25 years of
leadership experience with the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
representing sleep and circadian health sciences to federal agencies, professional societies, and public audiences. He led the oversight of $2 billion in federally-funded sleep disorders research ranging from mechanistic discovery and research training to genomics and multisite clinical trials.

Susan Redline, MD, MPH

Susan Redline is the Peter C. Farrell Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Programs in Sleep and Cardiovascular Medicine and Sleep Medicine Epidemiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She has led major cohort studies and clinical trials.

Meir Kryger, MD, FRCPC

Meir Kryger, is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. He is the chief editor of the most widely used textbook in sleep medicine, The Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine and author of A Woman’s Guide to Sleep Disorders. Dr. Kryger was the first to diagnose and report obstructive sleep apnea in North America. He has been president of both the Canadian Sleep Society and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He is on the Board of Directors of the National Sleep Foundation in Washington, D.C., and served as Board. He received the William C. Dement Award for Academic Achievement in sleep medicine. In 2011 he received a Distinguished Scientist Award from the Canadian Sleep Society at the meeting of the World Association of Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Charles Czeisler, MD, PhD

Dr. Czeisler is Chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders in the Medicine and Neurology Departments at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine and director of Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine. He has over 40 years of experience on circadian disorders and the impacts of sleep deficiency on health, wellness, and the economy.

Dr. Girardin Jean-Louis, PhD

Dr. Jean-Louis is a Professor of Population Health and Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health and is the Director of the NHLBI-funded Program to Increase Diversity in Behavioral Medicine and Sleep Disorders Research (PRIDE) Summer Institute. Currently serving on the National Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Jean-Louis has pioneered the field of sleep medicine as it particularly applies to low-income and minority communities.

Dr. David Rapoport, MD

Dr. Rapoport is director of research in integrative sleep medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He holds multiple US and European patents for improvements on nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) as a treatment for sleep apnea. Dr. Rapoport is Founder and President of the Foundation for Research in Sleep Disorders, a nonprofit that has contributed to the education of future sleep scientists and has funded research leading to development of new techniques in sleep medicine.

Dr. Omar Burschtin, MD

Dr Burschtin is Clinical Professor of Medicine, Director, Ambulatory Sleep Medicine, NYU Langone Health, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Preston R. Tisch Center for Men’s Health.   

Dr. Michael Grandner PhD, MTR, CBSM, FAASM

An internationally recognized sleep and health expert, and a licensed Clinical Psychologist certified in Behavioral Sleep Medicine, he directs the Sleep and Health Research Program and is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, covering fields from Psychiatry to Clinical Translational Science. His research and clinical work delve into the vital role of sleep in health, encompassing its impact on obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more, while emphasizing non-medication treatments for sleep disorders.

Dr. Azizi Seixas, PhD

Dr. Seixas is Associate Director of the Center for Translational Sleep and Circadian Sciences (TSCS), and Director of Population Health Informatics in the Institute for Data Science and Computing. He is a key leader in the NIH-funded AIM AHEAD program which aims “to increase the participation and representation of researchers and communities that are currently underrepresented in AI/ML”. His studies entail identifying barriers which hinder the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders among racial and ethnic minorities.

Dr. Gilles Lavigne, DMD, PhD, FRCDC (oral med)

Dr. Lavigne is a professor of Dental Medicine at the Université de Montréal. He is a leading investigator of how sleep disorders influence the perception of pain and the medical management of these conditions.

Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD

Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, PhD is the Mary Jane and Lino Sertel Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. He received his MD from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and post-doctoral training in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary/Critical Medicine, and Sleep Medicine all at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, where he remained on the faculty until moving to his current position at the University of Miami. His research focuses on the clinical and population epidemiology of sleep apnea with a particular emphasis on outcomes including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.

Steve Carstensen, DDS

Steve Carstensen is a well-known expert in Dental Sleep Medicine and has been treating sleep apnea and snoring since 1998. He is Chief Dental Editor of Dental Sleep Practice magazine, the Consultant to the American Dental Association for Sleep Related Breathing Disorders, a clinician, author, editor, and educator. He’s a fierce advocate for children’s airway health and a devotee of listening to music on vinyl records.

Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Neal, DMD

Lieutenant Colonel Neal is a clinician, educator, and leader with 30 years of federal service. He serves as the lead action officer on strategic readiness initiatives to enhance dental sleep medicine support.