The Gardner Group started in Rocky Hill, New Jersey in 1990 and was incorporated in 1997 as a not for profit organization. The company facilitates the production of documentaries for educational television, schools, colleges and libraries. The Gardner Group receives foundation grants, individual contributions, corporate donations and government funding for the production of socially responsible and educational documentaries. The Gardner Group has a special interest in films about hidden history.


Janet and Richard

Director-Producer Janet Paxton Gardner is the producer, director and writer of award-winning documentaries on Vietnamese and Cambodian subjects as well as a notable film on the life of American Peter Cooper. In recognition of her work with the Gardner Documentary Group, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2015-2016. Her latest project is Quakers: The Quiet Revolutionaries.

Ms. Gardner began her career as a film editor, field producer and news writer for WNBC and WRC-TV. She also was a staff feature writer for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and contributor to major newspapers such as The New York Times and Boston Globe.
She is an alumna of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and Cooper Union.



Richard A. Nurse is an accomplished administrator in public education, having served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Education for Rutgers University. He was also the first African American headmaster of a New England boarding school, the Stockbridge School in Massachusetts. Added to his academic credits is a five-year stint as Executive Director of the Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Nurse has degrees from Brown University and the University of Rhode Island.


Janet and Thai

Associate Producer has worked on fundraising and image research for Lost Child: Sayon's Journey. On Mechanic to Millionaire: The Peter Cooper Story, she conducted archival research, cleared licensing rights, organized screenings, and handled broadcast correspondence. She also assisted with grant writing, publicity, outreach and broadcast carriage for The Last Ghost of War.

Mitsuko received a BFA from Cooper Union School of Art, and has exhibited nationally at The Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Momenta Art and The Oakland Asian Cultural Center.


Janet and Thai

Photo Credit: Sopheap Theam

Cinematographer has distinguished himself in a career that spans more than twenty years experience in broadcast television and independent documentaries. Four-time Emmy Award winner, he has also been honored for his work for CBS's 60 Minutes, as well as Bill Moyers Journal and more recently Need to Know. He has worked and prospered in some of the most demanding news and documentary situations, from New York City to Mongolia and Haiti.

He has been collaborating with The Gardner Documentary Group as Director of Photography since 1993 on documentaries broadcast on PBS stations and worldwide. They include Lost Child: Sayon's Journey; Mechanic to Millionaire: The Peter Cooper Story; The Last Ghost of War; Precious Cargo; Siberian Dream; and Dancing Through Death.


Sopheap Theam

Co-Producer for Lost Child: Sayon's Journey, Ms. Theam was born in Cambodia, speaks conversational Khmer and leads translation, outreach and publicity for Child Soldier. As Program Director for Light of Cambodian Children, she is coordinating transit refugee photographs for the national exhibit "More Than a Number" and serving as consultant. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of University of Connecticut, she has run youth sports camps and served as Public Relations and Relocation Director from 2003 to 2009 for a Florida real estate firm.


Janet and Thai

Photo: Jill Krementz

Born in Vietnam, Pham Thai came to the U.S. in 1971 to attend SUNY-Buffalo. He joined The Gardner Group as an assistant producer in 1992 for the production of Vietnam: Land of the Ascending Dragon (International Video Network). As an associate producer, he collaborated with The Gardner Group on A World Beneath The War, a PBS documentary about the secret tunnels of Vietnam, broadcast on 18 PBS stations. The program won a Silver Apple at the National Educational Film & Video Festival and broadcast worldwide by Discovery International in 1998. A World Beneath The War is distributed by NAATA and Filmakers Library, Inc.

He is currently co-producing a history of the babylift entitled Precious Cargo, which is supported by Independent Television Service.

He is fluent in Vietnamese, English, and French, and translates for courts. Pham Thai has also presented slide lectures on the history of Vietnam at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.


Thai, Janet, and Nicole

Thai, Janet and Nicole

As editor and post-production supervisor of Precious Cargo, Nicole Domenici's editing style is driven by her understanding of music, influenced in part by her formal training in classical music and jazz. From 1992-95, she was responsible for editing, overseeing graphics, and packaging as Coordinating Producer at National Geographic Television.

Her credits include National Geographic Explorer, the two-hour magazine show, and editing short segments for National Geographic Moments. As editor for The Gardner Group on A World Beneath the War, she integrated traditional Vietnamese music into an original musical score and was responsible for graphics and titles. Other assignments include editing for The Learning Channel's Science Times and Paramedics series. As senior editor and producer at Engel Brothers Media, she edited and produced for the PBS series, Going Places.


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