WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO
Stories have the power to change the world; they shape our thinking, drive culture, and impact our lives. Tree Media is a production think tank with a mission to use stories and media to encourage an open society based on wisdom and informed, positive action. Tree has worked to identify pathways to a world we all want to live in and have helped build movements, initiatives and media to support that intention and direction. Tree has been working for more than 20 years on projects that examine the environment, consciousness, human development and global transformation.
Tree Media speaks to an audience that wants to better understand the world. We are operating in a time in which human civilization is being confronted with significant challenges - the life-support systems of the planet are deteriorating, resources are becoming scarce and we are undergoing a dramatic shift in the fundamentals of our economic system around the world. The strain of this uncertainty and rapid change is plunging human consciousness into the fires of transformation. Tree looks for and brings to light stories that help us understand and navigate our time with an aim to inspire us all to create a common and beautiful future.
FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Leila Conners founded Tree Media Group in August of 1996. With a background in international politics, Leila set out to build a production company that creates media to support and sustain civil society by telling inspiring stories.
Leila most recently directed Ice on Fire for HBO with Leonardo DiCaprio producing that premiered in Cannes 2019. Previous to Ice on Fire, Leila directed a documentary on Gorbachev titled The Arrow of Time that premiered at the Zurich International Film Festival 2017. Prior to that, she directed We the People 2.0, a feature doc about community and nature rights that premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival. Leila has also directed short film series for a total of 18 short films. Series include Digital Wampum - Testimony of the Iroquois; Driving Fashion Forward with Amber Valletta for Lexus; Green World Rising narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio; and 2 shorts on Biomimicry with Janine Benyus. The first, Biomimicry, premiered at SXSWeco. Leila produced a documentary film on the explosion of urban farming in Detroit called Urban Roots. Leila’s first feature-length documentary, The 11th Hour, was co-created with Leonardo DiCaprio. She has written a feature film script for Ridley Scotts Scott Free Productions on the state of the oceans.
Leila has also been published in newspapers and magazines around the world including the International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Yomiuri Shimbun and Wired Magazine among others. Projects over the last 10 years with Tree Media Group include work with the Council on Foreign Relations, NASA, JPL, Norman Lear, Green Cross International, Harvard University, and Hollywood studios among others. Her article on “Death and American Culture” was published in War, Media and Propaganda, published by Rowman and Littlefield.
Prior to Tree Media, Leila was Associate Editor of NPQ/New Perspectives Quarterly, an international ournal of social and political thought, and Associate Editor of Global Viewpoint of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, an internationally distributed op-ed column that reaches 200 papers. At NPQ, she interviewed thinkers and policy makers including: Kofi Annan, Nafis Sadik, Betty Friedan, Hans Bethe, Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Boutros Boutros Ghali among others. She is now Editor-at-Large for NPQ.
In 1991, Leila translated Jacques Attali's book from the French for Random House entitled, Millennium. Leila is often invited to speak on issues of sustainability and the environment and has served on panels nationally and internationally.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & PRODUCER
With a lifelong background in Waldorf education based on the principles of Anthroposophy, Mathew has turned his attention to creating an educational curriculum to support individual and group development. Mathew is currently producing Ice on Fire for HBO and The Arrow of Time, a feature documentary on Gorbachev. Prior he most recently produced We the People 2.0 and was the Executive Producer and Producer of Urban Roots, a film about urban farming in Detroit; and produced and directed Giving Birth as well as produced "Driving Fashion Forward with Amber Valletta". Mathew also produced "Green World Rising with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Mathew’s path of inquiry and interest in understanding how the soulful and spiritual values of personal development unfold has led him to careers grounded in communications, writing, and teaching. After attending UCLA Extension for Graphic Design and completing his Masters at the Pädagogische Hochschule Stuttgart, Germany in pedagogy, Mathew founded schmid:zone, a design and marketing company, giving a voice and face to various schools and organizations in Germany and the United States. He has also taught the Waldorf Curriculum and Methodology for several years. It is through his teaching experience, and through dialogue with faculty and parents, that Mathew felt the need for a deepening exploration of human development, and thus the idea of creating a global curriculum was born and which we now call Treemagination. The idea extends to the creation of a real center where the practice and study of subjects like Education, Eurythmy, Biodymanics, Relationships, and Health can prosper.
Mathew’s observation of pop culture and our consumer society has led him to write and create new concepts and approaches that add a clarity to understanding human development.
HEAD OF PHYSICAL PRODUCTION & CINEMATOGRAPHER
Harun is the cinematographer and co-producer on Ice on Fire, a Leonardo DiCaprio-produced feature documentary for HBO which premiered in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2019, and a co-cinematographer on Akicita, a documentary film which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2018.
He is a regular video and photography contributor to BBC Earth, and has contributed photographs and videos to Vogue Italia, National Geographic, Astronomy Magazine, BBC Travel, Discovery Science, and Blindfold Magazine. Harun’s photography work has been featured by various media outlets, including The New York Times, Wired, Time, Forbes, NPR, CNN, Gizmodo, Slate, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Vice, and Washington Post. It has also been the subject of a TEDx Talk.
Harun is the author of three books, portrait series Seance and Persona, as well as the Astrophotography Book and Timelapse Series: SKYGLOW. His videos have been used at various events, most notably by The Rolling Stones on their ZIP CODE tour & 2016 Tour, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters 2016 Tour, Desert Trip Concert, Paul Simon's 2018 Farewell Tour, and Cosmic Gate music video "am2pm," and National Park Service’s “100 Years” centennial video; among others.
His photograph of the cloud-inverted Grand Canyon was listed among the 2015 best travel photos of the year by National Geographic, and in 2016, he was on the BBC Earth Instagram team that won a Webby Award for “Best Photography and Graphics.”
Prior to his venture into photography, Harun’s film In the Name of the Son premiered at Telluride Film Festival and won over thirty international awards, including Shanghai, Savannah, and Cleveland film festivals. It was the first live action short film to receive an exclusive screening for the members of United States Congress on Capitol Hill.
HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCER
Whether it’s wolves in war zones or veterans overcoming PTSD with psychedelics, Josh has worked to tell stories that create common ground, while exploring our world's most compelling questions in conservation, science, culture, health, and social justice. His producing credits include the landmark series Dirty Money (Netflix), Explorer (National Geographic), Yukon Men (Discovery) and Brain Games (National Geographic), plus the forthcoming Murder in Madison (HBO). He has also written features for National Geographic, Motherboard/Vice, Reality Sandwich, and Prime Mind.