Story Syndicate is the brainchild of Emmy and Oscar-winning filmmakers Liz Garbus and Dan Cogan, who founded the company in 2019 in the light of a new and fast-evolving media landscape. In a short time, Story Syndicate’s DUMBO-based production staff has grown to over fifty, while our core team consists of roughly ten producers, creatives, and specialists who span many projects.

Liz Garbus
Two-time Academy Award®-Nominee, two-time Emmy Winner, Peabody Winner, Grammy Nominee, DGA Nominee, and BAFTA-nominated director Liz Garbus is one of America’s most celebrated filmmakers, renowned for her documentary work and also for her breakthrough scripted feature and television debuts.  Her work has been featured in film festivals from Sundance to Telluride to Toronto and the New York Film Festival and has appeared in theaters and across streaming platforms, as well as premium cable television. She is known for her propulsive, socially incisive storytelling across genres.  From THE FARM: ANGOLA USA to WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE? to I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK, Garbus has created some of the most iconic documentaries of our time.
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BECOMING COUSTEAU, Garbus’ latest feature, explores the life and legacy of adventurer, filmmaker, inventor, author, unlikely celebrity and conservationist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Garbus takes an inside look at Cousteau and his life, his ground-breaking films and inventions, and the experiences that made him the 20th century’s most unique and renowned environmental voice — and the man who inspired generations to protect the Earth. Garbus was nominated for a BAFTA for this film which is currently available to stream on DisneyPlus.  

In 2021, Garbus had her scripted television debut, directing the Season 4 finale of the critically acclaimed Hulu Original series THE HANDMAID’S TALE. Garbus was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award for directing the episode.  

Earlier work includes ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY, a prescient rallying cry about the fight for the right to vote, anchored by the story of Stacey Abrams, whose run for governor in Georgia became the subject of national controversy.  The film opened across the country during the pandemic in drive-ins theatres and streams on Amazon Prime. 

Her celebrated seven part series I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK (HBO, 2020), based on the best selling book of the same name, explores writer Michelle McNamara’s investigation into the dark world of a violent predator she dubbed the Golden State Killer. Terrorizing California in the 1970s and ‘80s, the Golden State Killer was responsible for 50 home-invasion rapes and 12 murders. Using stylized visuals subverting the conventions of the traditional true crime documetrary, the series gives voice to the survivors and their families, documenting an era when sex crimes were often dismissed or hidden in shame.

LOST GIRLS (Netflix, 2020) is Garbus’ narrative feature debut, starring Amy Ryan, Gabriel Byrne, and Thomasin McKenzie. When Mari Gilbert's daughter disappears, police inaction drives her own investigation into the gated Long Island community where Shannan was last seen. Her search brings attention to over a dozen murdered sex workers Mari will not let the world forget. LOST GIRLS premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and was released in theaters and on Netflix in 2020.

Garbus’ two-part documentary, WHO KILLED GARRETT PHILLIPS? (HBO, 2019), examines the 2011 murder of 12 year-old Garrett Phillips and the subsequent trial of Oral “Nick” Hillary, a black man in a small rural mostly white community. The series documents Garrett’s grief-stricken family and community relentlessly seeking justice while Hillary fights to prove his innocence. The case illuminates how justice is delivered and delayed in the US criminal justice system. “[Garbus] meticulously and even masterfully brings its viewers to this very place of angry exasperation, laying out the narrative details of a botched murder investigation that some of us might have been vaguely aware of, if at all.” (Washington Post). 
The limited series THE INNOCENCE FILES (Netflix, 2020) details the personal stories behind eight cases of wrongful conviction that the Innocence Project and organizations within the Innocence Network have worked to highlight and overturn. Garbus directed and executive produced the series along with Alex Gibney and Roger Ross Williams.

THE FOURTH ESTATE (Showtime, 2018) was nominated for a 2018 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series, BAFTA TV Award, a Cinema Eye Honor for Outstanding Achievement in a Nonfiction Series, and a Humanitas Prize. “Engrossing...enthralling” (Washington Post), THE FOURTH ESTATE follows The New York Times reporters covering the first year of the Trump presidency, with unprecedented access and intimacy.

WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?, (Netflix, 2016) was nominated for a 2016 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, received a Peabody Award, and six Emmy nominations including Best Directing. It took home the Emmy Award for Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special. The film delves into the life of Nina Simone, drawing from more than 100 hours of never-before-heard audiotapes, rare concert footage, and archival interviews.  

Past work includes: A DANGEROUS SON (HBO), which won a 2018 Peabody Award, NOTHING LEFT UNSAID: GLORIA VANDERBILT & ANDERSON COOPER (HBO), which had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, LOVE, MARILYN (StudioCanal and HBO), which was a Gala Premiere at the 2012 Toronto Film. BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD won the 2011 UK Grierson Award for Best Cinema Documentary and earned an Emmy nomination for Best Documentary Special. Garbus’ first documentary feature film, THE FARM: ANGOLA, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, was awarded ten other festival and critics’ awards including NY and LA film critics awards, and was nominated for an Academy Award® in 1998. Other films as director or producer include: THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH AUNT DIANE (HBO, 2011), GIRLHOOD (Wellspring, 2003), and as producer STREET FIGHT (PBS, Academy Award®- Nominee, 2005), GHOSTS OF ABU GHRAIB (HBO, Emmy for Best Doc, 2007), and KILLING IN THE NAME (HBO, Academy Award®- Nominee, 2010).
Dan Cogan is one of the most prominent non-fiction producers working today. Both an Academy Award® and Emmy Award® winner, Dan founded Story Syndicate with Liz Garbus in 2019. Previously, Dan was the founding Executive Director of Impact Partners. He has produced more than 100 films and series, including ICARUS, which won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, which won the 2019 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, THE COVE, which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and THE APOLLO, which won the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary.

Dan Cogan
Dan Cogan
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Dan Cogan is one of the most prominent non-fiction producers working today. Both an Academy Award®- and Emmy Award®-winner, Dan founded Story Syndicate with Liz Garbus in 2019. As the founding Executive Director of Impact Partners from 2007 to 2019, Dan oversaw the financing of over 100 films, including: ICARUS, which won the 2018 Academy Award® for Documentary Feature; THE APOLLO, which won the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary; WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, which won the 2019 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary; OF FATHERS & SONS, which was nominated for the 2019 Academy Award® for Documentary Feature and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; DINA, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was named Best Feature by the International Documentary Association; THE EAGLE HUNTRESS, which was nominated for the 2016 BAFTA Award for Best Documentary; HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, which was nominated for the 2013 Academy Award® for Documentary Feature; THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, which won the U.S. Directing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; HELL AND BACK AGAIN, which was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award® for Documentary Feature and won the Grand Jury Prize and Cinematography Awards at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival; and THE COVE, which won the 2010 Academy Award® for Documentary Feature. In 2013, Cogan co-founded Gamechanger Films, the first for-profit film fund dedicated exclusively to financing narrative features directed by women. Its films included THE TALE and LAND HO!
Mala Chapple
Chief Operating Officer

Mala oversees Story Syndicate’s production and business operations. Before joining in 2021, she held senior executive positions at Viacom and Sundance Channel. Credits include the Peabody award winning Brick City featuring Cory Booker, Spectacle with Elvis Costello, Iconoclasts, and other work with Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock, and Al Franken among others. In addition to her work, Mala has served on the Board of the Producer’s Guild of America and the Advisory Board of Reelworks. 

Jon Bardin
Head of Documentary and Nonfiction

Jon is an Emmy-winning producer who oversees the creative development of Story Syndicate projects as well as the creative execution of all projects in production. In this role, he is responsible for developing and creatively overseeing series, feature documentaries, podcasts, and scripted projects. Prior to joining Story Syndicate, Jon served as VP of Documentaries and Specials at Discovery Channel. He loves to run long distances, travel far afield, and, most of all, relax at home with his wife Ali and their two kids.

Kate Barry
Head of Current

Kate oversees multiple projects and has been a member of the Story Syndicate team since day one. Her most recent projects include the Netflix Film Britney Vs Spears and the HBO Series I'll Be Gone in the Dark. Prior, Kate was Head of Production for PULSE (VICE) and a Production Executive for National Geographic Channel overseeing multiple series including the Emmy Nominated Series’ Cosmos and Brain Games, and produced multiple Emmy nominated films and series for HBO. Kate started her career in scripted film in NYC and Europe.

Shane Tilston
Head of Production

Shane manages the day-to-day running of the Story Syndicate Production Department.  Before joining this team, Shane was the VP of Production at VICE TV, overseeing and supporting development and series productions across doc-follow, talk shows, true crime, comedy, live specials and series.  His projects included American Boyband, the first two seasons of Bong Appetit, Cari & Jemele Won’t Stick To Sports, Desus & Mero, Desus & Mero Live Election Special, Dopesick Nation, Jungletown, My House, The Trixie & Katya Show and season three of Dark Side of the Ring.

Ariel Greenberg
Co-Head, Business and Legal Affairs

Ariel oversees legal and business affairs at Story Syndicate. She previously worked at boutique law firm Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, counseling independent producers, networks, and other talent. She also acted as in-house counsel at RadicalMedia and Group Nine Media, advising busy production and development teams on entertainment matters relating to film, television, digital content, commercials, music videos, apps, websites, and experiential installations. Ariel loves using her legal toolkit to help filmmakers tell important stories—an interest born from her time as an educator in NYC museums before law school.

Brendan Waterhouse
Co-Head, Business and Legal Affairs

Brendan oversees business and legal affairs for Story Syndicate. Before joining Story Syndicate, Brendan's career started on the network side at Viacom and A&E Networks. He later took on the role as the head of legal for Eastern TV. Brendan has also represented NorthSouth Productions, 2 Point 0 Productions, CNBC, as well as individual producers and on-screen talent. Brendan's projects include perennial favorites such as Impractical Jokers (truTV), Lil Jon Wants to do What? (HGTV), 100 Day Dream Home (HGTV), the Love & Hip Hop franchise (VH-1), Outlaw Chronicles: Hells Angels (History), Unexpected (TLC), and Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta.

Jack Youngelson

Jack is an Emmy winning filmmaker who oversees a number of documentary series and feature filmmaking teams at Story Syndicate on both creative vision and narrative structure. Jack had previously collaborated with Story Syndicate as the Emmy and WGA nominated writer on All In: The Fight For Democracy (Amazon). Other credits include: Take Every Wave: The Life Of Laird Hamilton (IFC Films and Hulu), Ethel (HBO), Ghosts Of Abu Ghraib (HBO), Mission Blue (Netflix), The Gene: An Intimate History and Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies (PBS), and HERE. IS. BETTER., which premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival in 2021.