Creative & Production Team


Robert Bilheimer

Director, President

Robert has directed critically acclaimed films for 30 years that focus – although not exclusively – on global human rights issues. In 1989, Robert was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary for Cry of Reason, a feature-length film that profiles the South African anti-apartheid leader Dr. Beyers Naudé. In 1992, Robert made the definitive film version of Nobel Laureate Samuel Beckett’s play Endgame, working from a script prepared especially by the author for the Smithsonian series Beckett Directs Beckett. Over the past ten years, two of Robert’s films-- A Closer Walk, about the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, and Not My Life, about global human trafficking – that have been seen by hundreds of millions of people across a broad set of global demographics, platforms, and networks. At 76, and a proud grandfather, Robert feels as though he is “just getting started,” and is launching into Running To Stand Still with all the passion and vigor that have characterized his work for 3 decades.  


“The only thing I really don’t like,” he says, “is being away from my family and Eli and Mia when I’m on the road.” (See Heidi Ostertag, below.)


Dr. Susan Bissell

Executive Producer, Advisor

Susan is currently a visiting scholar and senior fellow at the FXB Centre for Human Rights, Harvard University. A Canadian, she joined UNICEF headquarters in 1987, and served at the global children’s agency for 30 years. Early postings in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, and the Innocenti research center in Florence, Italy, culminated in her appointment as UNICEF’s Chief of Child Protection, where she served until 2015. She then became the Founding Director of the Global Partnership and Fund to End Violence Against Children.  While in Bangladesh, Susan collaborated with filmmakers Catherine and Tareque Masud on the film A Kind of Childhood, and has been a close advisor to Worldwide Documentaries since 2000, and the production of A Closer Walk. Susan was awarded an honorary Professorship at Barnard College/Columbia University, and has also received the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award from Tufts University; the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal; and the Palme D’or, from Panathlon International.  Now an independent advisor, she sits on the Board of Cure Violence, Global Child, and is the newest member of the FIFA Human Rights Advisory Board.  


Dr. Bissell has also recently fallen in love with a poodle named Marv who, when he stands on his hind legs and puts his paws on her shoulders, is taller than she is.


Heidi Ostertag

Senior Producer

One would be hard-pressed, anywhere in the international documentary filmmaking community, to find a producer as respected, admired, and beloved as Heidi Ostertag. During her 35-year career at Worldwide Documentaries, which began in 1985, she has established lasting personal and professional relationships with hundreds of individuals from all walks of life who are part of the documentary filmmaking process which she manages and oversees:  funders, participants in, and subjects of, the films themselves; distribution partners, including NGOs and their staffs all over the world; production team members, advisors, consultants, board members…. The list goes on and on. 

Heidi is also a brilliant researcher, incredibly hard worker, and a deeply compassionate human being.  But perhaps the one thing everyone would say that best characterizes Worldwide’s Senior Producer: she is a person of enormous integrity and honesty, and you will always get a “good listen” from her, as well as a straight and thoughtful answer. It is difficult to overstate the contribution Heidi has made to Worldwide’s reputation and accomplishment over the years just by being the true professional she is. 

In addition to her daily work responsibilities, Heidi has been married to Worldwide’s President and Director, Robert Bilheimer, for 20 years, at times a challenge in and of itself!  But the family’s two Golden Retrievers, Eli and Mia, are a great distraction, as only goofy Goldens can be. She also finds renewal in the Adirondack mountains every chance she gets!

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Verónica Gabriela Cárdenas

Cinematographer | Project photographer | Translator |Facilitator

Verónica G. Cárdenas packs an enormous amount of artistic skill, energy, compassion and fearlessness as a documentary photographer whose young career has taken off like a rocket.  Based in the southernmost region of Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley, migration issues are a recurring theme in her work, which she explores with astonishing sensitivity and insight. Her work has been featured in publications including TIME, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Texas Tribune, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Texas Observer, Reuters, Bloomberg, BuzzFeed News, and the San Antonio Express News. Cárdenas is an International Women’s Media Foundation Fellow, an Eddie Adams Workshop alumni, and is currently a mentee under the Women Photograph Mentorship Program. She is also a participant in the New York Times Portfolio Review. 

Along with Running Director Robert Bilheimer, one of Veronica’s favorite pastimes is taking naps.


Craig Braden

Director of Photography

As one of the international filmmaking community’s leading cinematographers, with work on Emmy and Oscar-nominated projects, it’s safe to say that for over 20 years Craig has seen it all, and can do it all. Forty countries. Six continents.  Films. Television spots. Music videos. Sports. He is Robert Bilheimer’s “go-to” DP for Running to Stand Still, having worked with Robert on A Closer Walk and Not My Life as well. Others who have benefitted from Craig’s tremendous gifts as a DP: Paul McCartney (Paul McCartney in Red Square), Major League Baseball, NFL Films, and ESPN (30 for 30). 


And oh, Craig’s a Yankee fan—but don’t hold that against him Yankee-haters! It’s the game he loves…. really!

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Mitchell Wolf 

Editor | Cinematographer

Mitchell is a recent graduate of the S.I. New House School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.  Based in New York City, and with his many talents, he is beginning what will be a successful career as a cinematographer and editor. In his capacity as an editor for Worldwide Documentaries,  Mitchell has already demonstrated a remarkable gift for storytelling on film, producing both short and mid-length project videos.  Mitchell spends his down time enjoying the outdoors through a variety of sporting activities, and following the Yankees.

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