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. Her most recent film, Under the Gun, 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.
Stephanie's film about chemical contaminants in drinking water, The Devil We Know, is currently in production. She also produced the documentary The Last Animals, about Africa's poaching crisis, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017. Dubbed by Fortune Magazine as one of the "Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink," Stephanie has also directed political campaign commercials, short films, and viral videos for nonprofit groups, including the Environmental Working Group and Food and Water Watch.
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.
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.
Kristin Lazure was a producer on Under the Gun, with a concentration on research and development, as well as expert and character interviews. Variety said the film “potently combines statistics, expert commentary and personal stories into a well-researched and easy-to- consume piece of nonfiction filmmaking.” In addition, she spent time in the field and worked extensively on outreach and the film’s social action campaign.
Kristin co-produced the critically-acclaimed documentary, Fed Up, focusing on securing and producing on-camera expert, political, and high-profile interviews for the film. Both Under the Gun and Fed Up were official selections of the Sundance Film Festival, in 2016 and 2014, respectively.
Before joining the Atlas Films team, she spent almost a decade at the Fox News Channel, producing interviews with presidents, policymakers, and newsmakers. During her tenure in the cable news industry, she worked on multiple investigative reports, including an award-winning piece on the 9/11 charities.
Before leaving FNC, Kristin spent several years senior producing the O’Reilly Factor, the network’s #1 rated show. She is currently working on the development of multiple Atlas Films projects. She is based in New York, where she lives with her husband and two young children.
Josh Kunau studied law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and after working as an attorney for a number of years, he decided to follow his love of film and his desire to bring forth issues of truth and justice. Josh’s introduction to production began with the award-winning film, DIVE!: Living off America’s Waste, which won awards at 22 film festivals around the world
Following DIVE!, Josh began producing the critically acclaimed and highly contentious documentary, GMO OMG, which premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival and was released in theaters across the country. During that same time, Josh worked on a number of independent projects designed at creating change, which included a series of celebrity PSA’s for the Environmental Working Group and Prop 37 in California.
Most recently, Josh, produced Under the Gun, which tackled the devastating issue of gun violence in America. Under The Gun premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by EPIX and Lionsgate.
Josh currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and daughter.
Carly Palmour is a producer on the upcoming Atlas Films documentary, The Devil We Know.
In 2012, Carly moved from Birmingham, Alabama to Los Angeles to pursue a career in documentary film. She began at Atlas Films as an assistant, eventually becoming an associate producer on the 2014 film Fed Up, and the 2016 film Under the Gun - both of which premiered at Sundance.
Carly was recently an associate producer on Eve Marson's documentary Dr. Feelgood, about the controversial prescribing practices of pain specialists. She also assisted with the archival research and production in Sam Pollard's documentary Two Trains Runnin', about the search for two forgotten blues singers.
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."'
"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! "