Documentaries can be entertaining, life-affirming, joyful and even funny.


“It has been a great pleasure working with Cristan and Andrea. They are passionate, driven, authentic, and uncompromising filmmakers. Andrea has directed a beautiful film that really speaks to my mission with State of Play. I hope that Happiness is the first of many projects we work on together.”
~Peter Berg


Who We Are

Director Andrea Nevins and producer Cristan Crocker created Rare Bird Films in 2008. Their first film as a team was the highly acclaimed documentary comedy The Other F Word, about aging punk rock stars turned fathers. The film premiered at major film festivals nationally and internationally. Distributed by Oscilloscope Laboratories, the film played in every major US market in 2011, and was subsequently broadcast on Showtime. Today, The Other F Word continues to build a cult following on Amazon and iTunes. Drew Pearce and Jason Segel are currently adapting it into a major motion picture at FOX starring Segel.

Inspired to continue to tell stories that explored human transition points, Nevins and Crocker, in partnership with football legend and news host Michael Strahan, created the documentary, Happiness, an examination of NFL super stars Brett Favre, Tiki Barber and Wayne Chrebet and their journey to second chapters in their lives. Happiness premiered in November 2014 as the season opener of Peter Berg’s State of Play documentary series on HBO.

While working with Atlanta Falcons All Star tight end, Tony Gonzalez on Happiness, Nevins observed another football story in the relationship between Tony and his brother, Chris. Play It Forward follows the once reluctant football star, Tony, in his last years in the league, and his older brother and wingman, Chris, whose heart’s desire was to play the game as only his little brother could. Play It Forward, produced in association with Strahan’s SMAC Entertainment, was selected to screen at the opening night gala for the 2015 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.  It was the only non-ESPN film in the festival’s nine-year history to win the coveted opening gala spot.  It premiered on Showtime later that year, and continues to be seen on all Showtime’s platforms.

A documentary about pop culture icon Barbie is currently in post production.  The film includes interviews with feminist leaders such as Gloria Steinem and Roxane Gay. It is being edited by The September Issue’s Azin Samari, with graphics and animation by Smith & Lee, whose inventive design is featured in such films as Juno and Up In The Air.

Stories are compelling because they help us see patterns, explain the inexplicable, and link us to the common themes of human experience.

I find telling the stories of real people, experiencing real pain and joy as they endure the ever-present challenges of life, to be ceaselessly inspiring. I am grateful to my subjects for allowing me and my team in, so that through their journeys we can all make better sense of our lives and the world around us.

– A. Nevins, Co-Founder & Director/Writer

Our Latest Projects

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Barbie – 2017

In Production

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Play It Forward – 2015

A feature-length documentary, Play It Forward, is about the relationship between two brothers, the reluctant football star, future Hall of Fame tight end, Tony Gonzalez, and his older brother and wingman, Chris, who’s heart’s desire was to play the game as only his little brother could. It is available on all Showtime platforms.

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Selected to premiere at the Opening Gala of the 2015 Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, April 16, 2015.

American Film Showcase 2016

American Film Showcase Selection
Play It Forward was selected for the 2016-2017 American Film Showcase. AFS is the premiere film diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is produced by the USC School of Cinematic Arts. AFS promotes people to people engagement, offers contemporary insights into American society and fosters understanding across cultures.

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State of Play: Happiness – 2014

Aired on HBO as part of Peter Berg’s acclaimed documentary series, State of Play in November 2014.
In Happiness, Rare Bird Films examines what happens to the hearts and minds of NFL players when they retire.  With interviews from leaders in the fields of Positive Psychology and Neuroscience, this piece is an intimate look at the transitions of Brett Favre, Wayne Chrebet, and Tiki Barber from NFL Superstar and into the second chapter of their lives.

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The Other F Word – 2011

What happens when punk rockers, the ultimate anti-authoritarians of the 70’s and 80’s, become society’s ultimate authorities — dads? With a large chorus of punk rock’s leading men, including: Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea, and Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath, The Other F Word follows Jim Lindberg, 20-year veteran of skate punk band Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting his band’s anthem, “Fuck Authority,” to embracing his ultimately pivotal authoritarian role in mid-life, fatherhood.

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The Other F Word Website
The Other F Word on Facebook
Watch The Other F Word on Netflix,  iTunes and Amazon.

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Bios

CRISTAN CROCKER /PRODUCER

Cristan Crocker started her career in front of the camera as a commercial and television actress. This production experience, along with more than 20 years as an informal critic for hundreds of television pilots as an entertainment industry insider, gave her a deep understanding of story and audience. After reading the biography Punk Rock Dad, written by her childhood friend, she saw story potential and pulled together director Andrea Nevins and documentary impresario, Morgan Spurlock, to ignite the F Word team. The Other F Word had a nationwide theatrical run, was picked up by broadcast partners worldwide, and was adapted as a feature film by Jason Segel and Drew Pearce for Fox. Crocker has since created collaborations with Michael Strahan and Peter Berg for her and Nevins’ Rare Bird Films, which led to both Play It Forward for Showtime and State of Play: Happiness for HBO. She will continue her role as producer on Barbie.

ANDREA NEVINS /DIRECTOR & WRITER

Andrea Blaugrund Nevins is a Academy Award-nominated, Emmy award-winning producer, director and writer. Early in her career, she married her work as a newspaper writer and photographer, and her work with National Public Radio, and joined Peter Jennings’ documentary unit, where her work on Peter Jennings Reporting: Guns, garnered her an Emmy. At NBC, for Tom Brokaw, her documentary on a town tipping from white to black, Why Can’t We Live Together, won her a DuPont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

Her keen interest in lives in transition led her to chronicle retired dancers given a late-in-life chance to perform. Still Kicking, her first independent documentary, earned an Academy Award nomination. Her first feature length theatrical documentary, The Other F Word, about anti-authoritarian punk rockers donning the cloak of paternal authority, premiered at SXSW, and won quick theatrical distribution by Oscilloscope and network broadcast on Showtime. In examining the huge transitions NFL football players make from super stardom to relative invisibility, she directed the 2014 season-opening piece for Peter Berg’s HBO series, “State of Play.” Entitled Happiness, it follows three players looking for fulfillment in second chapters. Another documentary that grew out of this work was Play It Forward, about two brothers at mid-life as their dreams and sacrifices for NFL glory collide. This film was selected to open 2015’s ESPN/Tribeca Film Festival in 2015, and is featured on all of Showtime’s platforms. It was also selected by the U.S. Department of State as part of their film diplomacy program, American Film Showcase, because it depicts the rise from poverty to wealth that embodies the American dream, but also examines the enormous family sacrifices that are often hidden in the wake of success.

GEOFFREY FRANKLIN /CINEMATOGRAPHER

As both director of photography and supervising producer for Rare Bird Films, Geoffrey Franklin has a hand in all Rare Bird Films productions, from beginning to end. He joined Rare Bird Films in 2009, and  served as DP and editor on The Other F Word, HBO’s State of Play: Happiness and Showtime’s Play It Forward. Prior to joining Rare Bird Films, Franklin served as linear general manager and producer for the first-ever interactive jukebox show on DIRECTV: Havoc on the 101. In this position, he produced 30 hours of live programming each week, trained and managed production staff, and developed viewer interactivity across mobile, web, and broadcast platforms. Franklin is director of photography on Barbie and will be working as assistant editor on the project as well.

GRAHAM CLARK /EDITOR

Graham Clark is a Los Angeles-based editor, writer, and sound designer. His breadth of work encompasses nearly all corners of the media and production landscape including theme park motion picture franchises, independent shorts, scripted television, and feature-length documentaries.

Graham began his career at Universal Creative in Orlando, FL. There he worked alongside some of the best ride designers and engineers in the world, producing content for the Harry Potter and Transformers theme parks at Universal Orlando, Philippines, and Hollywood Resorts.

His 16mm film, The Sprint Down Magnolia, was selected for the Oak Cliff and Dallas International Film Festivals in 2012. Shortly after, he moved to Los Angeles and joined Andrea Nevins and Cristan Reilly at Rare Bird Films. Their first project together, Happiness, garnered the attention of Director and Producer, Peter Berg, and was selected to kick off the second season of State of Play, HBO’s Documentary Series chronicling unique stories in sports. The 30 min episode aired in 2015.

Graham had his feature-length, editorial debut with Play It Forward, Rare Bird’s documentary about NFL Great, Tony Gonzalez, and his older brother, Chris. The film premiered at the ESPN Gala at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2015 and distributed as a Showtime Original in 2016.

While collaborating with Rare Bird Films on the Barbie Documentary for Hulu, Graham is also expanding into scripted television assisting writers and producers on Showtimes’ Drama series, I’m Dying Up Here, and Amazon Studios’, The Last Tycoon.

ANZIN SAMARI

Azin Samari is an Emmy nominated documentary film editor who has worked in film and television for two decades. Her first feature documentary, RJ Cutler’s The September Issue, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her editing work on Rory Kennedy’s Ethel, an HBO documentary from 2013. Her work has aired on PBS and HBO and has debuted at the Telluride, Toronto, Sundance and London Film Festivals. Through the years, her work has been focused on telling the stories of strong, groundbreaking women including 1960s artist Eva Hesse, Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, and global icon Barbie.

VERONICA BRADY

Veronica Brady is a producer, director and archivist. She has directed over 100 plays, founded three theatre companies, worked on countless television and film productions, unearthed highly specialized archival footage for documentaries, and received an Emmy, as well as numerous Ovation and LA Weekly awards. Her most recent projects include documentaries Love 99, Not Carol, Ethel (an Emmy-nominated/Television Critic Award-winning documentary produced for HBO), Every Fifteen Minutes (a Telly Award winning short film), Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? (Emmy-winning and Television Critic Award-winning HBO documentary), and Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans (a 5 episode series produced for Discovery/Velocity).