MUCK MEDIA is an Emmy, Peabody and duPont Award-winning production company concentrating on quality storytelling that is often journalistic and always compelling.
The company recently premiered three projects at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival: American Pain, a CNN Films/HBOMax feature documentary about the rise and fall of twin brothers from Florida who ran the biggest prescription opioid trafficking network in US history; Menudo: Forever Young, an HBOMax original series chronicling the fame and tragedy of the most iconic Latin American boy band in history; and The Originals, an animated short about childhood friends growing up in South Brooklyn, where money was tight but friendships were tighter.
Muck’s Emmy-nominated series Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller about global black markets and underworlds was recently picked up for its fourth season by National Geographic. And the company is currently producing the Disney+ Original Science Fair, The Series inspired by the Sundance Festival Favorite and Emmy Award-winning feature documentary.
Muck produced the critically acclaimed Netflix Original documentary Mucho Mucho Amor about the beloved Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado; the duPont Award-winning investigative documentary Death by Fentanyl, which was among the earliest reporting on the fentanyl crisis and Chasing El Chapo, a documentary about the hunt for the famous Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman Loera.
MARIANA VAN ZELLER
Correspondent / Executive Producer
Mariana is an award-winning correspondent and investigative journalist. She’s the host and executive producer of National Geographic’s Emmy-nominated series Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller. The show, now in its fourth season, is an unprecedented and nuanced look at global black markets and trafficking networks. Mariana’s reporting has earned her a Peabody, a duPont, a Television Academy Honor, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and multiple Emmy nominations. Born and raised in Portugal – saudades -- Mariana moved to the US to study journalism at Columbia. One month into the program, she was reporting back to Europe on the events of 9/11.
Director / Executive Producer
Cristina is an Emmy award winning director. She directed the Emmy-nominated documentary MUCHO MUCHO AMOR, about beloved Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado, which premiered at Sundance in 2020. She also directed 2018 Sundance Festival Favorite SCIENCE FAIR about the competitive world of high school science fair. The film won an Emmy, Critics’ Choice Award, and is now being adapted into a narrative feature for Universal and a series for NatGeo. Cristina’s first animated film, The New Yorker's THE ORIGINALS, tells the story of her larger than life Italian landlords through itty bitty miniatures built by her talented husband and co-director Alfie Koetter. She is an EP of HBOMax's MENUDO:FOREVER YOUNG and a partner at Muck.
Showrunner / Director / Executive Producer
Jeff is a showrunner on Trafficked, and EP of Science Fair the Series, Menudo: Forever Young, and Mucho Mucho Amor. Previously, he campaign-hopped as a producer/director for Showtime’s The Circus, directed The Opposition for ESPN about the collision of soccer and politics in Pinochet’s Chile, and co-directed Borderland for Al Jazeera. For previous films, he embedded with the English Defense League to explore Europe’s growing Islamophobia, posed as a soccer agent to investigate the trafficking of young African players, and was thrown out of a conference in Jakarta while documenting Big Tobacco’s push into the developing world. Proud Berkeley j-school grad.
Director / Executive Producer
Darren is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning director and producer. His latest feature AMERICAN PAIN for CNN Films + HBO Max premiered at Tribeca 2022. The film explores the origins of the opioid crisis through the incredible rise and fall of twin brothers from Florida who became the kingpins of America’s largest prescription drug trafficking network. Darren’s previous feature documentary, SCIENCE FAIR, won the Festival Favorite Award at Sundance 2018, the Audience Award at SXSW, a Critic’s Choice Award and an Emmy. The film is currently being adapted into a narrative feature by Elizabeth Banks and Universal Pictures. Darren is the co-creator of “Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller.” And co-founder of Muck Media.
Director / Executive Producer
Alex is a co-founder of Muck Media and has directed and produced series for Apple TV+, National Geographic, CBS, Discovery and Amazon. He has directed multiple episodes of Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller. His non-fiction work has been nominated for an Emmy Award, the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, and he is the recipient of an Overseas Press Club Award. He is currently directing a documentary feature about a unique summer camp in upstate New York. On the narrative side, his first feature film, Buddymoon, won the Audience Award at Slamdance before being released in theaters by Orion Pictures.
Dana is a Lebanese-American investigative journalist and a documentary & podcast producer. Most recently, she was a producer on the National Geographic documentary series Trafficked, producing episodes on romance scams (2021) and lottery and investment scams (2020) that was nominated for an Emmy. She’s also a producer and writer on multiple award-winning documentary podcasts, including The Messenger (Spotify Original) and Kerning Cultures. Previously, Dana was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering the Syrian war and its resulting refugee crisis, and also worked at Al Jazeera English. Before becoming a reporter, she worked with United Nations in Beirut.
Head Of Development
Krista is an experienced producer, creative executive and content strategist for all things documentary. Prior to helming development operations at Muck, Krista worked on the buyer side of nonfiction television. At VICELAND under the creative direction of Spike Jonze, she was responsible for developing a broad slate of programming including Black Market with Michael K. Williams, Woman with Gloria Steinem, Gaycation, Noisey, and Vice World of Sports. At A&E Networks, she oversaw development of the award-winning documentary series Intervention. Other noteworthy development credits include How To with John Wilson, Principles of Pleasure, Keep This Between Us and The Sauce.
Head Of Production
Jennifer Wood started her career in the narrative world before falling in love with documentary storytelling. Before joining the Muck team Jennifer Wood worked in almost every visual medium including film, television, streaming, music videos and commercials. She has worked with the Muck team for over 15 years on documentary projects including line producing the Emmy-award winning Science Fair, Mucho Mucho Amor, and the Emmy-nominated series Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller... all while producing the occasional narrative feature.
DIRECTOR / DESIGNER
Alfie is a designer and filmmaker. Most recently, he co-directed the award-winning animated short, The Originals, with Cristina Costantini, which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by The New Yorker. He runs the design studio, LOAF, with Luke Studebaker and has taught undergraduate and graduate design studios at Yale University, Columbia University, UCLA, Sci-Arc and USC. A Boston native, Alfie now lives in Los Angeles.