Led by filmmaker Karen Akins, the team behind EL SUSTO has committed their time and talent to ushering this important story into the world.
Karen Akins is a former activist on safe and active transportation and emerging filmmaker who has just completed EL SUSTO, her first documentary film, about the politics of sugary drinks and diabetes in Mexico. A trained urban designer, MSc. in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics, she became aware of the diabetes epidemic on a volunteer medical mission to Mexico.
Sandra Guardado, Editor/Producer. Guardado has worked as a documentary film editor and producer since 1995. She has worked on several PBS productions. As coordinating producer for THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentary George Wallace: Setting’ the Woods on Fire, Guardado won an Emmy for research. Guardado edited and co-produced a POV documentary entitled Last Man Standing about a contentious local race in Texas. She was also one of the editors for an Independent Lensdocumentary Writ Writer, on the prison civil rights movement in Texas. Guardado has worked as editor on two acclaimed local public television series, State of Tomorrow and Downtown, both of which won Lone Star Emmys. Guardado was editor on a Sundance Preserve-funded documentary entitled Fighting Goliath: The Texas Coal Wars, which aired on the Sundance Channel in 2008. Guardado co-edited the documentary When I Rise, on an African American opera singer’s life and her small part in the civil rights struggle in the 1960s at the University of Texas at Austin, which aired on Independent Lens in 2011. The film screened at the SXSW Film Festival and Hot Docs and was nominated for an IDA Documentary Award. Guardado has also delved into the world of reality TV, editing for shows such as Shipping Wars and Quints by Surprise. Guardado was part of an editing team in 2015 on the docu-serial show High Profits, which was part of the CNN Original Series. High Profits delved into the world of retail marijuana and showcases how one town in Colorado deals with all its implications. For the last threeyears, she has also been an editor on the Hulu series, “Small Business Revolution: Main Street,” produced by the Deluxe Corporation as they undertake revitalizing small towns and businesses. In the last year, Guardado was part of an editing team for a series that is set to premiere in February of 2018, a six-part series for a CNN Original Series on Patty Hearst entitled “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst.” Guardado has also been editing a work in progress documentary on Leslie Cochran, a thong wearing homeless man who became one of Austin’s most famous celebrities