Javi Zubizarreta
Writer, Director

Growing up, Javi was immersed in the tales, the tastes, and the language of Euskadi – splitting time between the vibrant Basque community in Boise and the Basque Country overseas. As a filmmaker, he strives to communicate this Basque heritage into films that are not only unique but uniquely Basque. 

In 2010, Javi received the Princess Grace Undergraduate Film Scholarship and Cary Grant Award to make Zuretzako, his largest project to date. With the film, he hopes to give thanks and recognition to the many family and friends who made him the filmmaker he is today. Using his own father and brother in the lead roles, Javi tells a story of sacrifice and gratitude, the gifts of family and the work of our forefathers.  

In 2009, Javi co-directed the documentary Artzainak: Shepherds and Sheep, about modern-day shepherds in Idaho. The film has since aired on the Basque television station EiTB in addition to festivals in Spain, France, Ireland, New Zealand, the Czech Republic and other countries.

In addition to his films, Javi has conducted research on the political and social ramifications of Basque Cinema through travel grants from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. In the summer of 2010 he traveled to Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the Basque Country to study the depiction of nationalism, terrorism, and violence in film by Basque and Irish filmmakers in hopes of finding constructive means of national expression. Additionally, his research has been published in the journal Film Matters.

Michelle Carlisle Lee
Assistant Director

When she isn't helping children in central Uganda through her non-profit, Response Inc, Michelle is an outstanding and tireless filmmaker. Whether it's an orphanage in Haiti, a school in Africa, or a mountainside in Idaho, Michelle brings a constant and much-appreciated exuberance and dedication to any project. Completely devoted, Michelle even drove from northern Indiana to Boise to work on Zuretzako.

Her documentary films offer a unique perspective into people and communities normally overlooked. She is committed to helping others tell their story, rather than just poking a camera in their face.  Michelle currently lives and works in Northern Indiana with her husband Mike. She is available for freelance work on narrative films, documentaries, and videography throughout the Midwest.

For more information about Michelle and her work, visit her website at

To learn more about her work in Uganda and to support her non-profit, Response, Inc, please visit

Jacob Griswold

Jake is currently based out of New York and Pennsylvania where he works as a freelance filmmaker and videographer. His films are uniquely inspired by his passion for creative and socially-conscious storytelling. He traveled to the Dominican Republic in 2009 and Uganda in 2010 to produce documentaries and is deeply committed to his craft.

Zuretzako marks the second time that Jake and Javi have teamed up to create a film about sheepherding. In 2010, they co-directed Artzainak: Shepherds and Sheep, a documentary about modern-day shepherds in Idaho, that has played in festivals across the world. When it comes to filming sheep across the Idaho countryside, there are few people as talented as Jake.

For more information about Jake and his work, visit his website at

Allen Murphy
Production Sound Mixer

Before moving to LA where he currently works at Big Picture Entertainment, Allen was the executive producer at Notre Dame Television where he helped elevate and diversify programming for the university's campus. He was awarded the Outstanding Television Student Award upon graduation. A talented and creative filmmaker, he has created several short films including Ecosystem, his latest project which will play at festivals this fall.

With a sharp wit and great sense of humor, Allen brought a much-appreciated levity to shooting. Ready and willing, Allen not only ran audio, but worked as best boy and stuntman, donning long-john underwear and crashing through sagebrush late at night. If not for the many hours running power cables, he truly earned his "Best Boy" credit.