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A New Approach to Filmmaking


Quality that stems from creativity, passion and diligent perfectionism.

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A New Approach to Filmmaking


Quality that stems from creativity, passion and diligent perfectionism.

Who we are

Pelham Island Pictures is the documentary film studio of Zander Cowen and Jacob Sussman, a filmmaking duo who believe in the power of digital media to change the world.

We seek to tell stories from a perspective of compassion, illuminating events that otherwise would be untold and forgotten. We have worked with a diverse set of clients and have been recognized for our outstanding video work. During the summers, we also run a two-week summer film school for middle schoolers. 

Our values

As a company, we pride ourselves on our dutifulness and credibility, and always exceed our clients' expectations when the final cut is delivered.

As educators, we aspire to be passionate and lucid, inspiring our students to follow in our footsteps and cultivate their own love for filmmaking.

Above all, we are visual storytellers who explore the world around us through the lens of a camera.

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The people we've worked with


Although we're only a small company, Pelham Island Pictures has had the pleasure to work with some mighty people. We pride ourselves on producing videos to meet each client’s unique needs, while always remaining true to our roots as storytellers. You can read about some of our most exciting projects below.

The people we've worked with


Although we're only a small company, Pelham Island Pictures has had the pleasure to work with some mighty people. We pride ourselves on producing videos to meet each client’s unique needs, while always remaining true to our roots as storytellers. You can read about some of our most exciting projects below.

We produced a three-minute highlight video showcasing the excitement of Boston Comic Con, the largest comic book and pop culture convention in New England.  Featuring raving crowds of 40,000 people and stand-out celebrities like Stan Lee and Hayley Atwell, the video accrued 5,000 views online and showed the world that BCP is a party not be missed.

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We produced a 6-part video series to highlight incredible stories of social impact achieved by Wesleyan University alumni.  Featuring social work rockstars like Shawn Dove (CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement) and Sasha Chanoff (Executive Director of RefugePoint) these videos are filled with inspiration, perseverance, and heart.

We produced a 20 minute documentary that explores the rich history of our hometown Wayland, Massachusetts. Our documentary opens with the incorporation of Sudbury Plantation in 1638, and traces the town's evolution until it became a modern suburb during the post-World War II era.

We worked with Pierce's Pantry, a local gluten-free food bank, to produce two videos to help the organization expand on a national level. One video provides guidance on how to start your own gluten-free food bank, while the other helps with the pantry's fundraising campaign.

We worked with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), an international organization with over 10,000 student chapters throughout the United States, to produce a short documentary about its history. SADD is a student-run organization tasked with preventing accidents due to destructive decisions.

SuRAB Athletics came to us with the story of Philip Schoenig, a distance cyclist preparing to embark on a cross-country bike ride. We worked with the SuRAB CEO to draw a portrait of Phil's determined athleticism, and associate these qualities with the company's brand.

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In the news


We've been featured in newspapers and online publications far and wide. 

In the news


We've been featured in newspapers and online publications far and wide. 

Pelham Island Pictures was featured in the Wayland Town Crier after the release of our short documentary The Cyclist. The film follows one man's bike ride across America to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that aids disabled veterans. We created the film in association with the SuRAB Athletics Corporation, and screened it at the Wayland High School talent show and Brandeis Youth Arts Festival.

You can read the article online here.

Creating films is one thing, but really immersing those films in your community and sharing them with your community is a whole different level, and that’s something that we both really value,
— excerpt from Wayalnd Town Crier
Two Wayland High School seniors have taken their love of documentary filmmaking and turned it into a business venture that has them working their way through their final semester at WHS.
— excerpt from the Wayland Patch

When we first founded Pelham Island Pictures during our senior year of high school, our local community reacted with excitement and enthusiasm. Wayland Patch, an online news source for the town of Wayland, interviewed us about why we founded our film company, our values, and what we plan to do in the future.