Atlas Films is a production company located in Southern California.
Founders Michael and Michelle Walrath and Stephanie Soechtig started Atlas Film in 2008 with the goal of creating films that educate, entertain & inspire change.
Stephanie Soechtig is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Atlas Films. She is a 2016 Sundance Institute Catalyst fellow, and her most recent film, The Devil We Know, premiered at Sundance in January 2018.
Under the Gun (2016) received a prolonged standing ovation when it premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Lionsgate and Epix acquired the award-winning film, which critics called “masterfully crafted” and "the best film on firearms since the 2002’s Oscar-winning doc Bowling for Columbine.”
Two years earlier, FED UP, premiered at Sundance where it was acquired by Radius/TWC and received a wide theatrical release. A New York Times Critic's Pick, many have likened FED UP to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth for the way we eat. The film spotlighted our addiction to sugar and the ensuing obesity epidemic, and succeeded in bringing the issue into the mainstream.
Stephanie's directorial debut documentary, Tapped, focused on the high cost -- to both the environment and our health -- of the bottled water industry. Hailed by critics as “stunning” and “whip-smart,” Tapped swept film festivals across the country while picking up six awards for Best Documentary Feature.
Kristin Lazure is a 2016 Sundance Institute Catalyst fellow and a 2018 Sundance Institute Creative Distribution fellow whose past three films have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
The Devil We Know is an eco-thriller that tells the story of citizens in West Virginia who took on a chemical giant when they realized it was dumping a toxin into their drinking water. Kristin also served as executive producer on this film.
Variety said Under the Gun (2016), about America's gun violence epidemic, “potently combines statistics, expert commentary and personal stories into a well-researched and easy-to- consume piece of nonfiction filmmaking.”
Kristin co-produced the critically-acclaimed documentary, FED UP (2014), focusing on securing and producing on-camera expert, political, and high-profile interviews for the film.
Kristin also coordinates the social impact campaigns of Atlas' feature films.
Before joining the Atlas Films team, she spent almost a decade working in television news.
Michelle Walrath is founder and executive director of the Walrath Family Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to having a positive impact on our environment, and furthering awareness of conservation and sustainable practices. In addition to her work with the foundation, Michelle is an active member of the community at Holy Child Academy, where her 3 children attend school.
Michelle has a masters degree in elementary education and an undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond, where she was a double major in health and women's studies. She also earned a yoga teaching degree and teaches children's yoga classes. Michelle was born and raised on Long Island, where she lives with her husband and three children. Michelle co-found Atlas Films with her husband Michael and Stephanie Soechtig with the goal of creating entertaining films with social messages.
Jennifer recently received the IDA Award in 2018 for Best Short Series with her team at MEL Films. Prior to this, Jennifer worked in development on the scripted side for both film and television, as well as the digital marketing team at Warner Brothers managing the social media for the Harry Potter franchise. Jennifer has worked on documentary, digital and branded content for HBO, Warner Brothers, Netflix, Starz, Freeform, Sony Pictures, and the Hallmark network. Her projects have screened at 150+ festivals worldwide including world premieres at TIFF, SXSW (Audience Award), Sheffield, IDFA, and AFI FEST (Audience Award). Jennifer was selected as a panelist for the Comic-Con Independent Documentary Filmmaking panel, and guest lectures at Relativity’s Studio School for independent filmmaking. Following her love of a great story, she has a passion for social impact projects and loves the challenge of creating significant change through storytelling.
Michael Walrath founded Right Media in 2003. He was CEO of the company before its acquisition by Yahoo! in July 2007. Guiding and following through on Right Media's vision to create a more open, fair environment for online advertising, Mike helped to transform the industry and introduce a new sector: the exchange marketplace.
Mike had a successful career at DoubleClick (and later MaxWorldwide) where he was director of direct marketing and SVP of strategy and development. In 2001, he was responsible for the creation of DoubleClick Direct, the company's direct marketing offering.
Mike was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2007. He spends his non-business time enjoying his family and an occasional golf game. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Richmond.
THE DEVIL WE KNOW
''The latest in a long line of eco-docs that leave viewers hoping pitchforks will be distributed as they leave the theater, Stephanie Soechtig's The Devil We Know uses just a single case study to find ample reason to want decision-makers at DuPont jailed or worse."'
''First she took on BPA. Then sugar. Now, documentary filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig is going after Teflon — the chemical that coats so many of our nonstick pans."'
The 22 Best Documentaries of 2018
“Stephanie Soechtig's award-winning documentary is more than just an informational watch about the scandal—it will alter the way you live.”
"Masterfully crafted…the details are mind-boggling (...) The film is nothing if not comprehensive"
“It’s a tight, slick polemic which doesn’t shy from the complexity surrounding the debate or the fact it wants you the viewer to get up and do something about it. With Soechtig’s track record, more than a few people probably will.”
“Rather than becoming a screeching polemic that plays to its intended audience, Under the Gun is a fair look at both sides of the national debate”
“It’s a grim opening for a film that explores the gun control debate across both political aisles, anchored by vignettes of interviews with grieving parents who’ve lost sons and daughters from both highly publicized mass slayings like Newtown and the still unsolved shootings that claim Chicago’s children every night.”
“The film’s achievement is its deep understanding of the people who worship guns…Under the Gun acknowledges that gun control won’t solve everything, but it makes a profound target of the gun fetishists who seem to value their rights more than they do life itself.”
“The highest-profile of the bunch is arguably Under the Gun…Details are what make these stories so upsettingly relatable…a mosaic portrait of a complex problem that’s more diffuse but tries to illustrate the breadth of the crisis.”
“It’s effectively unnerving, infuriating, and heartbreaking, and the best film on firearms we’ve seen since the 2002’s Oscar-winning doc Bowling for Columbine.”
"The first scene in Under the Gun, a documentary about gun violence in the U.S. by director Stephanie Soechtig and executive producer Katie Couric, is only words: "Before this film is over, 22 people in America will be shot." It’s a sucker punch of a beginning—and it's an awful fact of modern life in the U.S."
'“Fed Up” is probably the most important movie to be made since “An Inconvenient Truth”'
“The movie that will change the way people think about eating.”
"Judging by the audience reaction as Soechtig detailed the many lost battles that have attempted to regulate the sugar industry, Fed Up is poised to be theInconvenient Truth of the health movement."
Is 'Fed Up' the Most Successful Documentary of the Year?
'According to RADiUS co-president Tom Quinn, the film's popularity in the digital marketplace is comparable to its success with far bigger digital releases, such as "Snowpiercer" and "Bachelorette." While those films technically had higher cumulative grosses, Quinn said that based on units, "Fed Up" was more successful on both iTunes and Amazon. "It had a more robust release than any of them," Quinn said. "It's the number one digital launch of any film we've done. For a documentary, that's saying a lot."
"With style, verve and righteous anger, the film exposes the bottled water industry's role in suckering the public, harming our health, accelerating climate change, contributing to overall pollution, and increasing America's dependence on fossil fuels. All while gouging consumers with exorbitant and indefensible prices."
"There's a not-so-new boogeyman in town and it's the bottled water business, whose troubling tentacles are persuasively exposed by director Stephanie Soechtig in her compact, clear-headed documentary "Tapped." Soechtig's cautionary tale is well supported by interviews with a variety of activists, environmentalists, community leaders and, especially, several small-town residents whose health and welfare have been compromised by the encroachment of the bottled water industry. If their stories don't persuade you to ditch the Dasani, vivid shots of how water bottle refuse is turning our oceans into "plastic soup" should do the trick."
"Eye-opening, informative and incredibly important for you to see... Tapped is another example of realizing film's potential to inspire. This is a passionate documentary, well-executed from engaging and intelligent voices who will inform and entertain you with their movie. See it! "