About Alternate Focus


We are dedicated to offering to the public media that provides balance to existing coverage of Middle East and related issues. 

Founded by a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim, Alternate Focus is a 501C-3 nonprofit corporation working for peace and justice by offering the American public media which shows another side of Middle Eastern issues.

For over a decade we produced weekly shows that were aired on Public Access Cable TV Stations, Free Speech TV, as well as being shown publicly at screenings and in classrooms. We had over twenty producers who helped with every aspect of video production, broadcasting, and dvd distribution.

Recently, our Board of Directors and Board of Advisors voted to shift our activity from weekly shows to the production of one feature length documentary a year. Thus, The Silencing, is the first in our series of new films.

We are currently, as of June 2013, fundraising. Please consider supporting the making of the film by visiting our DONATE page.


John Odam, Project Manager/Producer

A graduate of Leicester College of Art, U.K, John Odam began a thirty year career in media, first as a cover designer and ultimately as Director of a design studio producing educational books. From articles for design publications, he later wrote four books on digital design. During the 1990s he produced animations and in 2001 won the Grand Jury Prize in the New York Independent Film Festival. In 2009, he edited the feature Mozlym, winning recognition at the Cairo international Film Festival. From 2002 to 2012 he has edited and produced over 100 documentaries for Alternate Focus, a non-profit media group producing film and video on Middle East subjects and broadcasting in 25 cities on cable, the Deep Dish Network nationwide and European satellite.

Andy Trimlett, Script Writer

Andy Trimlett received his M.A. in Middle East Studies from the University of Washington and his B.A. in International Security and Conflict Resolution from San DiegoStateUniversity. Andy has worked as a producer for KPBS, the PBS station in San Diego, for six years. He has produced national television programs about the Middle East and related issues for the non-profit organization Alternate Focus since 2004. Andy has worked as producer, camera operator, editor, writer, and/or narrator for dozens of programs for Alternate Focus, KPBS, and PBS. He recently received a regional Emmy for a documentary he helped produce for KPBS.

Andy Trimlett Videography

  • KPBS Projects (Broadcast nationally on PBS or locally on KPBS TV in San Diego)
  • Billy McLaughlin: Starry Night (HD video, pledge show, 55:00, 2012) - producer, editor
  • Antiques Roadshow: San Diego: Behind the Scenes (HD video, pledge show, 20:00, 2011) – producer, editor, camera
  • The Legacy of Prop 13 (HD video, documentary - Emmy award winner, 26:46, 2010) – co-producer Unstuck with James S. Gordon, MD (HD video, national pledge show, 1:26:30, 2009) – associate producer/editor
  • Panda Tales (HD video, national pledge show, 58:00, 2008) – associate producer/editor
  • The Rise and Fall of Blackwater in Potrero (video, documentary, 26:46, 2008) – producer, editor,narrator, interviewer/camera
  • Greatest Kid Concoctions (video, pledge show, 1:26:30, 2007) – associate producer
  • Best of San Diego Treasures (video, pledge show, 25:00, 2007) – associate producer
  • Alternate Focus Projects (All broadcast nationally on satellite and cable stations and available online)
  • Recognizing Palestine (video, documentary, 28:30, 2011) – camera
  • Palestine Papers (video, multiple interviews, 28:30, 2011) – co-producer, narrator, camera/interviewer
  • Ali Abunimah – BDS Campaign – Freedom, Equality, & Return (video, speech, 28:30, 2010) – camera, editor
  • Diana Buttu: Refugee (video, speech, 28:30, 2010) – camera, editor
  • Ilan Pappe on the Nakba of Palestine (video, speech, 28:30, 2010) - camera, editor
  • Norman Finkelstein: This Time We Went Too Far (video, speech, 28:30 & 28:30, 2010) – camera, editor
  • Blackwater in Potrero (video, documentary, 28:30, 2007) – producer, editor, narrator, interviewer/camera
  • The Bases Are Loaded (video, documentary, 28:30, 2007) – interviewer/camera
  • A Different Path to Peace (video, interview w/ picture, 28:30, 2007 – editor
  • Bridges to Baghdad: Naba Saleem Hamid (video, interview, 28:30, 2007) – interviewer
  • Burning Conscience: Israeli Soldiers Speak Out (video interview, 28:30, 2007) – interviewer
  • Universal Jurisdiction (video, documentary, 28:30, 2006) – co-editor
  • Divesting from Violence (video documentary, 28:30, 2006) – producer, editor, writer, narrator
  • Interview with Ghassan Andoni (video, interview, 28:30, 2005) – producer, editor, interviewer
  • James Zogby: The Mess We Are In (video, speech w/ pictures, 28:30, 2005) – producer, editor
  • Amy Goodman: Alternative Media Are the Message (video, speech, 28:30, 2004) – camera.
Alison Weir, Script Consultant

Journalist Alison Weir is president of the Council for the National Interest, founded by former Congressmen and ambassadors, and executive director of "If Americans Knew," a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Americans with information on topics of importance that are misreported or under-reported in the American media.
Weir speaks widely throughout the country, including two briefings on Capitol Hill, presentations at the Center for Policy Analysis on Palestine (one of which was broadcast nationally on C-Span) and at such universities and colleges as HarvardLawSchool, Columbia, Stanford, Berkeley, Yale, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Vassar,the Naval Postgraduate Institute, and others.

If Americans Knew has completed seven in-depth statistical studies of US media coverage of Israel-Palestine, releasing reports on the New York Times, the Associated Press, the major primetime news broadcasts, and various other news media, research that is increasingly cited by analysts on Israel-Palestine.

Weir has received awards from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and in 2004 was inducted into honorary membership of Phi Alpha Literary Society, founded in 1845 at IllinoisCollege. The award cited her as a: "Courageous journalist-lecturer on behalf of human rights. The first woman to receive an honorary membership in Phi Alpha history."

Mark Day, Associate Producer

Mark is an award winning journalist and filmmaker. He holds master's degrees in journalism and professional writing from the University of Southern California. He is the author of the book, Forty Acres: Cesar Chavez and the Farm workers. Day has worked as a journalist in the U.S. and in Latin America. He won two Emmy's for his films on sex trafficking and he has written, produced and directed several documentaries. He has also worked as a labor organizer. He and his wife, Fredi, live in Vista, Calif.

Sidney Wildesmith, Associate Producer

Sidney Wildesmith is a professional creative facilitator, "he helps people make things happen". His creative focus over the past 45 years has been directed at making a positive difference.

Trained as a scientist and educator, he has added a significant arena of artistic and expressive talents that together, forge a unique matrix that are applied to the projects he undertakes.

Currently he is the founder and CEO of "CleantekTV" an InterNetwork showcase promoting clean technology. He was the Host and Producer of "The Wild Side News", that produced over 250 in-depth hour-long shows featuring interviews with the world's leading voices about and for nature and the environment. Over the past 3 years he has taken a creative role in producing over 200 video features for clients from a diverse spectrum. He provides a full array of production talents from concept, scripting, shooting and editing video, voice over, sound and music, and posting to social media. He is as well, an accomplished artist and designer, and has served as the US National Park Services Artist-In-Residence in 7 National Parks, and continues his work the summer of 2013 in Yosemite. His focus is generally and specifically, to help American Culture

develop a natural sustainability through a celebration of our diversity, empowered by tolerance and with a wholistic balance with the living systems of which they are allied. Visit his website at www.wildedsmith.com to learn more.

Chris Belcher, Director of Photography

Chris is a videographer based in Washington, DC. In addition to freelance work, he has held staff positions as a news photographer/editor at the Washington bureau of Venezuelan TeleSUR TV, and the BBC Arabic World Service. In 2005/6, he documented the Palestinian presidential and legislative elections in Gaza and the West Bank with a delegation from the Council for the National Interest Foundation. He is currently a volunteer tech administrator for the DC Independent Media Center, and a stringer for Democracy Now.

Marwan Kheirredian, Fundraising consultant

Marwan was born 1950 in Jordan to Palestinian parents from Jaffa/ Palestine, who lived in a refugee camp after 1948 Al-nakba. He was educated in Amman /Jordan and then joined the faculty of Engineering at CairoUniversity 1966, and graduated from DamascusUniversity in Syria as civil Engineer 1973. He practiced Engineering in Jordan for 15 years building and managing several projects. Marwan moved to California 1989 where he owns and manages a small business in the field of sales and financing cars.

Marwan has been a community activist, participating in organizations like; ADC the American Arab Anti-discrimination Committee, Palestine Children Relief Fund. House of Palestine, and Alternate Focus.