Dina Mande

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Director / Camerawoman / Photographer / Producer 
Dina Mande is a director / camerawoman, photographer and producer of commercials, brand stories and online content that connect heart and mind. With an insatiable wanderlust to discover energetic visual stories, Mande has filmed interesting people, celebrity chefs, lush vineyards and the open road. 
A former art director in advertising for tv and film, she worked on countless award-winning campaigns for nearly every major studio and network, including Warner Bros, Paramount, Disney, Sony, Fox, HBO and Lifetime. Her commercial and brand work includes Honda, Visit California, California Wine Institute and Gallo. 
Mande has continued to expand her horizons, winning 22 Addy Awards and two Tellys in the past five years. She’s the director/producer of the hit YouTube foodie-travel original series “California Dream Eater” for Visit California out of Mering Carson which has earned over 100 million views and also the director of the popular viral web series “Paso Wine Man,” which has become a cult phenomenon within the wine world with over 500K views. 
In 2018 she’s released the 30 minute short romantic drama, “Heart of Paradise” and also her first feature length documentary, “Tin City” featuring garagiste-sized winemakers, brewmasters and spirits makers working out of an industrial park in California’s Central Coast. 
Her short films “Small Change” was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and “A Dog Story” was shown at the Toronto Film Festival, a testament to her storytelling range. 
She is also a photographer, working in both brand photography and magazine-style contemporary portraits. 
With an unwavering love for telling bold, unforgettable stories, Mande continues to chase down inspiration, camera first.

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Andrew Wall

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Fifteen years ago Andrew stumbled into the world of film and television through making corporate video part time. Working out of his apartment, with an aptitude for editing and an ability to tell a story, he eventually found himself gainfully employed working on documentaries and reality series as an editor for Kyle Bornais at Farpoint Films. As the professional friendship grew, so did Andrew’s resume as he started writing and directing his own projects, focussing on meaningful stories and inspiring subjects. 
Along the way, Andrew has become an accomplished editor and director with his award winning films screening nationally in Canada and throughout the world. Inevitably breaking away from his employment at Farpoint Films, Refuge 31 is an extension of Andrew’s vision — a production company that gives the world refuge, hope and inspiration.

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Jon Sumple

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Jon Sumple, along with j3FILMS partners Jamie Sernoff and Jack Roth, debuted their first documentary film, "Extraordinary: The Stan Romanek Story," at FLIFF in 2013, earning a Special Jury Prize. "Extraordinary: The Seeding" is the second in a trilogy of films intended to take viewers deeper into the abduction phenomena. The film has been an official selection in the 2018 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, official selection and semi-finalist in the 2018 Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards and a official selection, Best Director nomination and Best Documentary winner in the 2019 Pasadena International Film Festival. j3FILMS has extensive ties to the ufology and paranormal fields, developing long-standing relationships with global thought leaders for more than 25 years.

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Cynthia Matty-Huber

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Raised north of Boston in New Hampshire, I discovered early on a love for photography and film, particularly human interest stories that laid bare the diversity of people's experiences. Experiences that celebrated their triumphs and strengths. I wanted to make films and to this end I obtained a BA in film and photography and currently i'm finishing my MFA in Film/Science at MSU Bozeman.

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Ceng Chen

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Dr. CHEN Ceng is an independent film producer and director, who used to do research on human milk at the Mass General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School. She holds a B.S. in chemistry from Nanjing University, and a Ph.D. from Washington University in Saint Louis.

Dr. Chen is active in science academies and societies back in China, and she organizes many academic writing workshops for graduate students majoring in science. Through running these workshops, she discovered common challenges faced by the students while she was inspired to learn more about liberal arts education as an approach to tackle important topics in one’s life. Artes Liberales is her first feature documentary, and she “made this film for all the Chinese international students fighting to be successful in the US education system.”

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Dorothy Fadiman

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Dorothy Fadiman is a Producer/Director who has been making films for four decades. She has produced 25 documentaries, seven of which were broadcast on PBS stations. Awards include an Oscar nomination, an Emmy, a Gold Medal from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and top prize "The Choice Award" from Broadcast Critics of America. She co-authored the book PRODUCING with PASSION: Making Films that Change the World with Tony Levelle. 

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Igor Runov
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Dr. Igor Runov is a Russian-born, globally renowned specialist in international relations, world trade, and transportation, author of several books, and is a member of different academia. His professional career has extended for over three decades and has included high-level positions in international forums and organizations in various countries from Brazil to Kazakhstan, including work with the United Nations. During the last decade, he has studied digital filmmaking in the New York Film Academy and has been increasingly involved in documentary filmmaking. He has produced and directed three feature-length documentaries: “Lika”; “Tales of the Old Tiflis”; and “Quo Vadis.” All three films have received international recognition. “Lika “was broadcasted several times on Russian Orthodox TV channels. “Tales of the Old Tiflis” repeatedly showed on Georgian Central TV Chanel. In 2016, Dr. Runov developed the concept of “living music” or VIE CLIPS from French, la vie, or life) and produced two short films — “Ave Maria” and “Prelude” — in this new genre of musical films, which is quickly getting recognition and popularity worldwide. 

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Daniel O'Neill

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Daniel is a film festival director, filmmaker and field biologist, specialising in rainforests.

After completing his degree in Zoology, he developed his skills in the remote Amazon and Yucatan as a habitat scientist and has travelled across much of Europe, Southeast Asia, North Africa and the Caribbean.

He recently completed the MA in Wildlife Filmmaking at UWE Bristol in partnership with the BBC Natural History Unit. During this time, Daniel worked as a researcher for Hello Halo and Oak Island Films and alongside fellow course-mate Isaac Rice, founded the conservation minded Wilderland Film Festival.Director Statement

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Susan Cahill & Matt Rogers

Award-Winning Filmmakers


Susan Cahill (Director/Writer/Producer) is a curator and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Calgary. Her work explores how creative practices function to shape and reshape notions of belonging and home in the modern and contemporary periods. She is currently completing a book project, States of Observance, which examines artistic engagements with the contemporary surveillance state. Almost Home, which tells the story of her parents return to an abandoned out-port community in Newfoundland, is her first foray into documentary film.

Matt Rogers (Co-Director/Producer) is an Atlantic Canadian Filmmaker and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of New Brunswick. He is also a part owner of the film production company, Frictive Pictures Inc. He has produced, written, and directed films that screened at national and international film festivals and, as a director of photography, his work has been recognized with various nominations and awards. In 2018, Matt and his Frictive Pictures production team (Robert Gray & Jon Dewar) were awarded a Telefilm Canada Micro Budget/Talent-fund grant to produce their first feature film (Entropic, Dir. Robert Gray). The film is currently in post-production and will be ready for festivals in Fall, 2019.

Eddie Bailey

Award-Winning Filmmaker

It takes a special synthesis of leadership, forward thinking vision, and talent to make an impact in today’s world of media. And with a 2016 Emmy Award nomination under his belt and his work with celebrities such as lauded principal American Ballet Theatre dancer Misty Copeland, Carolina Panthers quarterback/ NFL MVP Cam Newton, Grammy nominated gospel group Trinitee 5:7, and television networks such as Aspire, TV One, and Bravo, it’s apparent that New York City based filmmaker/ television producer Eddie Bailey has the patent on this coveted recipe. In addition, his upcoming documentary film Memphis Majic is poised to offer an unprecedented look at one of America’s most culturally rich cities while cementing his company The Savoy Media Group as an industry force to be reckoned with. 
​ 
A Memphis, Tennessee native, Eddie Bailey discovered his knack for storytelling during his formative years. Early on, Bailey relocated to Atlanta where a burgeoning Black renaissance was underway. Just as he’d moved from Memphis, a metropolis whose pop culture glory had long since faded, Bailey found himself stepping into the next Southern music mecca - a development that would pique his interest in media. Seeking to build on this interest, Bailey entered the prestigious Howard University as a film studies major. Upon graduation, Bailey made the next logical step and set his sights on opportunities to grow as a media maker and storyteller in New York City’s film and television community. “Howard prepared me to do a lot of the creative stuff,” he reflects. “But what college doesn’t really teach you is the business of things. That’s something that you kind of have to learn on your own.” 
​ 
Not long after touching down in New York City, Bailey hit the ground running - attaching himself to various television productions with networks such as MTV, BET, NBC, and TV One. Bailey soon became an in-demand production assistant, effortlessly ascending the ranks with each episode. With his incomparable reputation in tow, it wasn’t long before Bailey was able to transition from production assistant to story producer. He excelled in his new role on various episodes of television series such as Tabitha’s Salon Takeover (Bravo) and I Married A Baller (TV One). Seamlessly shifting into this new lane, it seemed that Bailey had found his groove. 

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Eric Simon

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Eric Simon spent roughly half of his childhood in Paris, France, and the other half in southern California. After getting a Masters in environmental management from Duke University, he spent five years working for the state air quality agency in Sacramento, California. He then moved to the San Francisco area, where he worked for a start-up high tech company. He then got a Masters of Education from the University of San Francisco, and taught both math and French in public high schools. After teaching for five years, he studied in Germany for three years and received a technical media degree from the Fachhochschule Dusseldorf. While in Germany, he became interested in documentary filmmaking, and produced a short documentary about the future of solar energy in Europe, and then another video about places to see in and around Milan, Italy. Having nearly completed his second medium-length documentary, Eric aspires to make more. He speaks several languages and loves to travel. His first documentary, What’s Going On with Wolves?, can be viewed here

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Dina Mande
​​Award-Winning Filmmaker


Dina Mande is a director / camerawoman, photographer and producer of commercials, brand stories and online content that connect heart and mind. With an insatiable wanderlust to discover energetic visual stories, Mande has filmed interesting people, celebrity chefs, lush vineyards and the open road.

A former art director in advertising for tv and film, she worked on countless award-winning campaigns for nearly every major studio and network, including Warner Bros, Paramount, Disney, Sony, Fox, HBO and Lifetime. Her commercial and brand work includes Honda, Visit California, California Wine Institute and Gallo.

Mande has continued to expand her horizons, winning 22 Addy Awards and two Tellys in the past five years. She’s the director/producer of the hit YouTube foodie-travel original series “California Dream Eater” for Visit California out of Mering Carson which has earned over 100 million views and also the director of the popular viral web series “Paso Wine Man,” which has become a cult phenomenon within the wine world with over 500K views.

In 2018 she’s released the 30 minute short romantic drama, “Heart of Paradise” and also her first feature length documentary, “Tin City” featuring garagiste-sized winemakers, brewmasters and spirits makers working out of an industrial park in California’s Central Coast.
Her short films “Small Change” was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and “A Dog Story” was shown at the Toronto Film Festival, a testament to her storytelling range.

As founder of the groundbreaking development program, Group101Spots, Dina has helped to launch the careers of over 70 new commercial directors. Mentored by top ad agencies and production companies and shooting agency scripts, each director build a new reel in six months. Over 500 spots have been shot in the Prior to Group101Spots, Dina was a co-creator of Group101Films, a filmmaking collective of Hollywood entertainment industry professionals which challenged each member to produce a short film every 30 days.

She is also a photographer, working in both brand photography and magazine- style contemporary portraits.

With an unwavering love for telling bold, unforgettable stories, Mande continues to chase down inspiration, camera first.

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Dina Rudick

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Dina Rudick is the creative director at Anthem Multimedia, a boutique production house in Boston, MA. Dina has won 4 Emmy Awards for her video and documentary work, as well as dozens of national photography awards during her decades-long career as a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. A skilled communicator and effective team leader, Dina excels at guiding her team of creative experts toward a common vision. Dina’s approach is grounded in journalism ethics and aesthetics, though her creative scope invites use of animation and motion graphics if and when they serve the concept.

Dina has done extensive documentary work around the globe, including in Kenya, Pakistan, Bolivia, and Haiti. Dina taught photography and video for years at Boston University College of Communication and Harvard University Extension, and has lectured widely at institutions in the United States.

When not planning, interviewing, filming, or editing, Dina enjoys long trail runs, cooking, folding laundry (yes, laundry), and giggle games with her husband and their two beautiful children.Director Statement

Pilar Rodríguez Franco

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Pilar Rodríguez Franco - biofilmography 
Photographer, director and producer from Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain).Postgraduate in 
signature photography (IDEP) and science communication (UVIC). Trained in physics and 
electrical engineering, she finished her PhD in biomedicine in 2017, with views to make a career 
change and devote herself to communication. Scientifilia is her debut as a documentary film 
director, in which three of her passions converge: science, image and music, which she also 
composed for the short film.

Ratings 


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Mahesh Madhav

Award-Winning Filmmaker
In 2012, Mahesh was introduced to video production by an inmate at Oregon State Penitentiary who was serving a life sentence. He used his newfound skills to give back to the community by producing cultural and spiritual programs from the South Asian diaspora. He also produces music videos, including a piece recognized as a "Best Music Video, Independent Producer" in the 2019 Hometown Media Awards. Mahesh allies himself with OpenSignal, an inclusive community media space in Portland, OR. All of his production and editing work is done on volunteer time.

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Jonathan Hacker

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Jonathan Hacker is a documentary producer and director with numerous awards under his belt including the prestigious BAFTA and RTS awards. He read Modern History at Oxford University and then studied on a Rotary Scholarship at USC film school in Los Angeles. He started working in television drama before focusing on documentaries. His diverse documentary work ranges from high-profile international history series such as Secret Agent and Timewatch for the BBC, to hard-hitting current affairs programs such as Britain’s First Suicide Bombers which also tackled the subject of Al Qaeda.

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 Joaquín Carmona Hidalgo

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Director Joaquín Carmona Hidalgo’s bio and filmography 
He has a degree in Journalism and in Advertising and Public Relations and a certificate in Cinematography. Since an early age, he developed a passion for telling tales, short stories and poems. His obvious interest in writing and communication led him to study Journalism and  Advertising but in spite of finishing both degrees, he soon realized that he wanted to tell his own stories. 

After finishing Cinematography at TAI Madrid School of the Arts, he started working on various projects as part of the production team, including short films such as Lightborne, which was directed by Eduardo Chapero-Jackson and was shortlisted for the Oscars, El Código API and La Estación, and Spanish TV series, such as 700 Euros, Diario Secreto de una Callgirl. He has also worked in several short films and documentaries for theaters and in the direction team for Alex de la Iglesia’s feature film As Luck Would Have It. 

Although cinema is his true passion, most of his career has been focused on directing music videos – Second, Varry Brava, Funambulista, Lady Ma Belle and Andrés Suárez, among others – and advertising campaigns for companies including Luzil, Todagres, El Pozo, Jake, Zambú 
and Smoöy. 

For the last five years, he has been managing the production company Biopic Films, which has produced more than 50 projects including music videos, films, 



Khalid Alrowaie

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Al-Rowaie is a theater and movies director and playwright, scriptwriter, theatre scenographer. Al-Rowaie’s theatre productions are designed for the space, away from the traditional stages, there he relies on re-designing the space to suit the nature of his performances. The scenography of his directorial works is always designed by him, as it forms an important part of the composition of the production via the design of the space of the presentation or via the performers’ bodies, lighting and multiple video projections. 
On other side he is an arts manager, theatre & movie director, actor, scenographer, Writer, Speaker and a cultural activist. 
He directed and produced more than 30 theatre, music and dance productions since 1993. and he has published many books. 
And he has a Jury member for different theatre & cinema festivals.

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Eric Gordon

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Eric Gordon is an award winning director and producer who has exhibited his work at film festivals worldwide. One previous work, a 35mm short film, “Rita, Pigboy and Me” was written by Tom Lazarus (Stigmata) and stars Mel Gorham (Blue in the Face, Smoke, Curdled). The film screened at over 40 festivals worldwide, winning 18 prestigious awards during its run, including Best Director from the Florida Motion Pictures and Television Association (FMPTA). Gordon has worked on major feature films, music videos, serving as both cinematographer and associate producer. His background in documentary film shows his versatility: documentaries shot and edited in Key West and in Calabria, Italy; stateside, he worked on a documentary about a friend in end stages of AIDS and a short, “That Really Cool Car Place on East Pettigrew Street.” Over the past six years, he has produced, shot, and directed the feature length documentary, When All That’s Left Is Love. It is an emotionally gripping film about his aging mother’s determination – against nearly impossible odds - to care for her Alzheimer’s husband at home and by herself. The film gives viewers an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes understanding of a medical dilemma that currently has no cure – but has patients who depend heavily on the heroic tenacity and love of the Alzheimer’s caregivers. Gordon holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Film Production from the University of Miami, as well as a Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (with a focus on documentary marketing and distribution). His non-profit fiscal sponsor is the well-known group, From the Heart Productions. 

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Nivitra Devi

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Nivitra Devi is a senior producer at Channel NewsAsia. She have been part of the Singapore documentary team for the past 4 years producing blue-chip documentary series.

Nivitra started her career 8 years ago in the media industry as an Assistant Producer with a production house where she worked on projects such as drama, travelogue and docu-dramas.

She then decided to move on Channel 5 as an assistant director for some popular drama series such “Point of entry” and “Mata Mata.”

After trying out new ventures in the media industry she made her move to Channel NewsAsia where she was involved in the local documentary. Notably, she produced the 5 part documentary series called “Tapestry: The Heart of ASEAN,” where all 10 ASEAN countries hidden gems were covered.

Further to that, she produced a short online water clip for the ministry which led to more than a million views online on their facebook page.

Besides producing documentary series, Nivitra is well versed in National Events such as the National Day message and Rally. She is also constantly involved in special events such as the DPRK Trump – Kim Summit, a monumental event that took place in Singapore. 


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Joe Gallo

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Born December 23, 1953 in Chicago Illinois

Award winning photographer and film director Gallo began his career as an Advertising Agency Art Director. Creating broadcast commercials and campaigns for large iconic brands

He maintained a dual career as a photographer working as a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer. His photo journalistic work was recognized by the Chicago Headline Club and he was twice recognized with the coveted Peter Lisagor award for photo-journalistic excellence. His documentary and fine art photography are in many private and corporate collections.

In the early 90’s he began to document the Neo-burlesque revival in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. He photographed the last Miss Exotic World burlesque Festivals at Hellendale CA and led to his successful and critically recognized exhibit in Chicago ‘Lust in the Dust’.

With the background in broadcast production and as a documentary photographer he made the transition to documentary film-making and began creating short form documentaries for the web several of which were Telly award winners. Many of the documentaries we focused on military service members and organizations.

He later created a mini-documentary series ‘Artist in Residence’ that looked at executives who left their formal careers to pursue a life as a full time artist or artisan.

The Magic Behind the Mojo is his first long form documentary. The film has had several private screenings and so far has made it to Finalist in the Indie Visions Festival, and Official Selection in the Indie Short Fest, Short to the Point and Mindfield Film Festivals. It also received a Gold for Short Documentary in the Mindfield Festival.

Currently living and working in Chicago he is in production planning on ‘BOP’ a narrative film based on a short story by Maxine Chernoff.

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Alexandra Guillossou

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Alexandra Guillossou has been telling stories for over 20 years in exhibit design. In the past 2 years, she began creating promotional videos for clients, including the Saint Louis Aquarium, where she directed John Goodman's voiceover, SeaWorld teaser videos and internal videos, and Big Bear Alpine Zoo's promotional video. The Deepest Cut is Alexandra's first fully solo film project.

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Peter Charles Downey

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Peter Charles Downey is an Australian born multi award winning director, producer and composer with 5 feature documentary credits - Anima Mundi (2011), United Natures (2013), Surviving Earth (2014), Esteem (2017) and Prepare Now (2019). With a 6th documentary in production, Spiritually Incorrect (2020).

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Jon Osaki

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Jon Osaki is an emerging filmmaker who has directed and produced promotional, educational, narrative, and documentary films. His initial interest in film grew from his desire to share the stories of the Japanese Community Youth Council, where he has served as Executive Director since 1996. Over the past few years, he has had films screened at film festivals and community events across the country. As a filmmaker, Jon views this genre as the next step in his lifelong pursuit of social justice and equity.

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Cheryl Allison

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Cheryl is an award-winning actress who has performed in Broadway, Regional Theatre and Film/TV for over 25 years. She is best known for her starring role in the feature film NO LETTING GO (2016) opposite Kathy Najimy, Richard Burgi, and Alysia Reiner. Her performance in the film garnered her 3 Best Actress Awards.

She is the Founder/Producer of WOW FILMS, a production company that strives to create thought provoking stories that deepen our understanding of the human experience. WOW FILMS recently produced short film FAR FROM THE TREE (2017) has received 26 awards in over 22 film festivals worldwide, including 6 Best Short Film awards. Cheryl recently made her directorial debut with the narrative short film HIDING IN DAYLIGHT (2019) which is currently in the film festival circuit and had its World Premiere at the Oxford Film Festival. Current directorial projects include the documentary feature SHATTER THE SILENCE (2019), featuring former Texas State Senator and Women's Rights Activist Wendy Davis.

Cheryl, a Regional Emmy Nominee, is also the recipient of both the Silver and Bronze Telly Award for a PSA she produced and directed called "This is Cole" for the 5P Minus Society. The spot is currently running on local stations throughout Texas.

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David Goodman

Award-Winning Filmmaker
David lives in Memphis, Tennessee and works as an assistant professor at The University of Memphis. In recent years David has primarily worked in documentary production with a focus upon exploring outsider communities.

Marjolaine Grappe

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Marjolaine Grappe is an independent documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist. Her work on the financing of North Korea's nuclear weapons 'All the Dictator's Men' was awarded by the 2018 Albert Londres Prize, the highest French journalistic distinction. Her feature documentary debute 'The Color of Justice', about justice in the death of New Yorker Eric Garner premiered at CPH:DOX 2019. She started her career in Washington DC as a producer covering the 2008 US Presidential Election and went on to work in Asia as a foreign correspondent reporting from India (2009-2012) and China (2012-2016). She has directed several award-winning investigative documentaries including 'Guantanamo Limbo' (2013) about the prison's legal limbo, and a documentary trilogy about China's One-Child Policy 'In the Mood for Life' (2016), 'Lost Souls' (2015) and 'To be born yet not to be' (2014). She was born in France and lives in San Francisco.​​

Lachlan R. Anderson

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Lachlan is a Canadian born, Metis-Scottish filmmaker from Cobble Hill, British Columbia and is a recent graduate from the BFA Film Production program at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Like his past work, he will be looking to continue exploring new information heavy topics for his films. As well, Lachlan will gear his future towards editing films of all genres and styles.

Becoming a documentary director was not always his goal when beginning his career as a filmmaker. However, his goal was to learn and gain experience and after seeking into what it takes to create a documentary, he found that not only do you get to expand your film-making knowledge but also expand your knowledge on a new topic as you explore all the information it has to offer.

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Luigi Abanto Varese

Award-Winning Filmmaker
2018 In The Dark Room with Cristina García Rodero- Documentary 
2016 Astrid – Fiction 
2013 Coffee with Jodi Bieber - Documentary, Best Short documentary in the Corti 
Sonanti International Film Festival, Nápoles Italia, 2013.Finalist National Section in 
Aguilar del Campoo International Film Festival, Spain, 2013. 
2013 Being an Angel – Fiction, Best Editing in ECU The Independent Film Festival, 
Paris, Francia, 2015.

2011 Talking with Ernesto Bazan - Documentary 
2009 The Casting – Fiction

Taylor Katsanis
​​Award-Winning Filmmaker


Taylor Katsanis is a writer/director with a B.F.A. in Film and Television from the Savannah College of Art and Design. His short films have collected honors at festivals across the country and he has worked for the past year and a half on his debut documentary feature, In Their Shoes: Unheard Stories of Reentry & Recovery, alongside James Wahlberg, Lawrence Schiller, Stephen Kennedy-Smith and so many others. Other crew involvements include films featuring Kate Winslet and Gal Gadot- along with Amazon's pilot episode for Z: The Beginning of Everything. When he's not writing and directing, you may have seen Taylor in commercial and television work as a performer. 

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Iké Udé

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Iké Udé was born in Nigeria in the 1960s and has lived in New York City, New York in the US for over 3 decades during which time he has earned the reputation as a master portraitist. Udé gives conceptual aspects of performance and representation a new vitality, melding his own theatrical selves and multiple personae with his art. He has held numerous exhibitions and is in the permanent collections of top museums worldwide including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian Institution and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Udé is very conversant with the worlds of celebrity and fashion and is publisher of the acclaimed aRUDE magazine. He has made the coveted Vanity Fair International Best Dressed List three times (in 2009, 2012 and 2015)

Mr. Udé is author of Nollywood Portraits: A Radical Beauty (published by Skira in 2016), Style Files: The World’s Most Elegantly Dressed (published by Harper Collins in 2008) and Beyond Decorum (published by MIT Press in 2000). 

Tina Fischer

Award-Winning Filmmaker
1965 born in Austria , studied at University of Applied Arts in Vienna Ceramics , worked and studied Painting Restauration in Florenz Italy, worked on several Collections of Fashion Designs , studied Painting with Emilio Vedova in Salzburg Akademie , 1989-93 lived and worked in Prag CR on Art Projects called " Real Utopia ", Exhibitions, Happenings, Installations . 1996 moving to Istanbul Turkey , several Solo and group Exhibitions (mostly in Paintings ) , since 2013 working on Video Art and Documentations , 2016 /17 made an Out Reach Project in Batman /Turkey with Yezidi Refugees Children , following a 23 min. Documentation called " Out of Spite

Greg Stern
​​Award-Winning Filmmaker


Currently a director at MLB & NHL Networks, Letters From Long Binh is his first solo film project. This film was over 10-years in the making and it's debut coincides with the 50th anniversary of his father returning from his tour in the Vietnam War.  When he found the audio tapes created by his father, grandparents, great grandparents and others, he knew there was a story to be told.

Greg previously worked on documentaries for HBO including "Do You Believe in Miracles: The Story of the 1980 US Hockey Team" and "The Rivalry:  Michigan vs. Ohio State."  He is a 10-time Emmy Award winning Producer and Director for HBO, NBC and MLB Network. Greg is a long-time member of the Producers Guild of America and a graduate of the University of Michigan.


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Phil Cooke

Award-Winning Filmmaker


If you have a powerful message or story that could influence the world, media producer, consultant, and author Phil Cooke will teach you what you need to know about creativity, communication, Hollywood, media, culture, and the faith to make it happen. 
He’s produced TV and film programming in more than 60 countries around the world, and in the process, been shot at, survived two military coups, fallen out of a helicopter, and in Africa, been threatened with prison. And during that time – through his company Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, California – he’s helped some of the largest Christian and nonprofit organizations in the world use the media to tell their story in a changing, disrupted culture. 
Phil was Executive Producer of “Let Hope Rise – the Hillsong Movie” released to theaters nationwide, and Producer of “The Insanity of God” a feature documentary that premiered nationally as a Fathom Event. According to former CNN journalist Paula Zahn, Phil is rare – a working producer in Hollywood with a Ph.D. in Theology. He’s appeared on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and his work has been profiled in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. 
His book “Jolt!: Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing” shares his secrets of making today’s culture of disruption and change work for you. “One Big Thing: Discovering What You Were Born to Do” helps you find the great purpose and calling for your life – and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Top Five Business Books for 2012. His book, “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media” is changing the way churches, ministries, and nonprofits engage today’s culture with their story. His latest book co-written with Jonathan Bock is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Our Credibility and How We Get it Back.” It takes a hard look at why today—particularly in the media—Christians are dismissed as irrelevant. Cooke and Bock show the Christian community how we can once again astonish our critics, and in doing so, completely transform the world for good. 
His most recent project is “Unique: The Ultimate Planner for Creative Professionals.” In a time when most creative professionals are working with online productivity tools and apps for team communication, the Unique Creative Planner is a powerful print notebook that brings today’s priorities, tasks, and events together so your creative thinking can be released. 
He’s lectured at universities like Yale, University of California at Berkeley, UCLA, and many more. In addition to writing his blog at philcooke.com, he’s contributed to The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Forbes.com, Wired.com, and FoxNews.com. Phil is on the Advisory Board for The Salvation Army, a Board Member of Image Journal and The Hollywood Prayer Network and has been a long time member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and The Producers Guild of America in Hollywood. 
His philosophy? Get your ideas out there, and change the world in the process.

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Jean-Francoisi Rodrigues

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Jean-Francois is a medically retired Civil Servant and Journalist. His time as a journalist has seen him cover the pages of Men's Fitness Magazine as well as two industry leading magazines for the print and publishing sector. His studies have resulted in a BA Hons in Communication Studies and a Msc in Criminal Justice and Criminology. His close connection with this project comes from the recent death of his mother and his own struggle with his long term term ill-health which has resulted in him receiving palliative care . His burgeoning desire is to make documentaries that positively benefit society.
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Manuel Camia

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Manuel Camia is a 30 years old filmmaker born and raised in Calderara, a little town near Milan. He studied in “Civica Scuola di Cinema Luchino Visconti” Academy.

He always had a great interest in entertaiment and comunication and now he works as director and
producer.

What he likes about his profession is the fact that he can meet people with interesting stories, discover new
places and dedicate himself to projects he cares about.
His values are based on environmental respect and social engagement and this morals are reflected in his
works.

For example, Plastic River is a documentary focused on the annual commitment of Tiberio.

He is an italian man who goes kayaking in the lakes and rivers of Lombardy, cleaning them from plastic waste.

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Igor Runov

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Dr. Igor Runov was born in Moscow, Russia in 1952. After graduating Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1975 he joined USA and Canada Institute (USSR Academy of Sciences) where he received his Doctors Degree in International economics four years later. In the next twelve years he gained considerable international knowledge and experience working for the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Ministry of Foreign Relations in Russia and abroad. In the 90s Dr. Runov contributed to development of Russia-US business relations in different capacities in New York and Moscow. In 2001- 2017 he worked as Under-Secretary General of a major nongovernmental International organization in Moscow, Geneva and New York. Since 2018 he has been heading International Centre of Transport Diplomacy in New York. 2014-2015 he took a digital filmmaking course in the New York Film Academy. During his professional carrier Dr. Runov imitated and implementated numerous international projects, including in cooperation with the United Nations Organization, wrote a number of books and dozens of articles in International media on global economic problems. He is an honorary member of different Academias and Societies. During the last ten years he is increasingly involved in filmmaking, video and internet industries. He produced and directed several documentary films which received international recognition and awards, developed a new concept-genre in musical video industry called VIE CLIPS. In 2014 he authored the concept of “SovLandia” - a new revolutionary approach to creation of self-organized and self-developing virtual, internet based societies and states.

2019 AWARD-WINNING documentary 

FILMMAKERS in the spotlight

Sriram Papolu

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Hello my name is Sriram Papolu and I am a 19 year old filmmaker currently attending the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I started making silly home movies with my friends my sophomore year of high school and slowly began to cultivate a passion for filmmaking. By the time I got to college, I decided that I needed to use my passion to help change the world and tell stories that needed to be told. My goal as a filmmaker is to tell emotionally moving stories that show people the power they have to change their own lives and the world for the better. I strive to capture the true depth and sentiment of the human experience.

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Alexis Spraic

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Alexis Spraic is an award-winning director and writer based in Los Angeles. Her recent documentary work includes feature BUILT TO FAIL, the untold story of streetwear’s rise from subculture to a 70 billion dollar industry, featuring Russell Simmons, A$AP Rocky, et al.produced by Peter Berg.

She is in post production on a feature documentary, POWER. Filmed in fourteen countries, it takes on the global energy crisis.

Her work as a producer and editor includes Tamra Davis’ critically produced and edited the top-rated HBO documentary, CAT DANCERS for which she won a Special Jury Prize for editing at SXSW and MAXED OUT (Showtime).


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Michael Kasino

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Michael Kasino is an editor and director based in NYC, who has worked in the industry for the past 10 years. He is best known for directing Pay It No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson, which screened at the British Film Institute and the IFC Center in New York.

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Karen Kramer

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Karen Kramer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has received wide distribution both domestically and internationally. Her films have been televised on NBC, WNET, The Oprah Show, CNN, WLIW, and dozens of museums and venues overseas. In addition to winning awards at festivals worldwide, they have been screened at such prestigious showcases as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum, and hundreds of others. More than 150 universities show her films on a continual basis. She has lectured and toured extensively with her work - from Europe to Africa to South America.- She lives and works in Greenwich Village, New York.

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Gregory Stern

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Gregory Stern is a 10-time Emmy Award winning director and producer. He started out at HBO Sports working on live boxing events and documentaries such at "Do You Believe in Miracles The Story of the 1980 US Hockey Team" and "The Rivalry: Michigan vs. Ohio State." Currently, he is a studio director at MLB Network while also working the Olympic Games for NBC. Stern was born and raised in Connecticut and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. He currently lives in New York. This is his first documentary short.

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Debbie Wright
​​​Award-Winning Filmmaker


Starting out as a journalism major, Debbie planned on following in the shoes of her mother who had produced a documentary in the late 1970s about the plight of the neglected elderly in Chicago.

Debbie served as Feature Editor for a college newspaper and went on to write an article that was published in a magazine with distribution to over one million households. Her career goals shifted, and she obtained her undergraduate degree from the New York University Stern School of Business and founded her own consulting business, subsequently consulting on and managing multi-million dollar projects for top healthcare and pharmaceutical companies.

Her love for children drove her to complete a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Education. She then taught elementary school for a few years until she returned to the business world.

Debbie, like many people, was vaguely aware of the presence of slavery around the world, but her exposure to the reality of modern-day slavery in America came when the FBI descended upon and raided her neighbor’s house, finding thousands of pornographic images, many of which were of children being brutalized and raped. Debbie then contacted International Justice Mission and eventually become a volunteer Justice Advocate where she spoke at various events (including appearing on a Philadelphia radio show) to raise awareness about trafficking and slavery. The gap between the prevalence of sex trafficking in PA and the public’s awareness led Debbie to decide to leave her career in the pharmaceutical industry and reconnect with her journalism roots and her passion to eradicate sex trafficking.

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Stas Ivanov

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Stas Ivanov is a Russian-born American citizen who brings a creative approach to videography and cinematography. Stas has two decades of experience behind the camera, first picking his family's 8mm home video camera at 10 years of age in Siberia. He went on to study in the prestigious Academy of Cinematography Art & TV Broadcasting in Russia's Ural region. Beginning with professional work in Russian TV news, Stas learned innovative ways to shoot live concerts, sports, and interviews, skills he has built upon during more than a decade of life in the U.S. While he has a passion for capturing the essence of performers, actors, dancers and musicians, Stas has served as director of photography and Steadicam operator on projects ranging from corporate video, to reality television, to documentaries, and motion pictures. While he prides himself on discovering something daring and interesting through his viewfinder, Stas also enjoys directing and producing. “A brave one” is the first documentary that he directed and produced.

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David Weathersby

Award-Winning Filmmaker
David Weathersby is a filmmaker/videographer and the founder of City Vanguard, an arts organization that helps independent filmmakers create community-based documentaries for educational and cultural institutions. As a director, he has produced films, documentaries, music videos and video art projects. His past projects include the documentaries Got the Love, Jazz Occurrence, Thee Debauchery Ball and The Color of Art. His work has been featured on The Africa Channel, WTTW and various film festivals including Pan African Film Festival, Sand Diego Black Film Festival, Collected Voices Film Festival, Black Harvest Film Festival, Image Union Film Festival, and The Chicago Short Comedy Film Festival. In 2018, he was awarded a Black Excellence award for best director by the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago.

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Adam Ybarra

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Adam Ybarra grew up in East Side San Jose, California, in a single parent home on welfare, surrounded by drugs and gangs.

Ybarra is the first Hispanic to serve as an NFL Team Chaplain, serving on staff of the Oakland Raiders.

Adam founded The Tenacious Group and authored "Raising, Expectations, Standards & Honor 180 Youth Curriculum". He has spoken face-to-face to over 350,000 young people in United States and Africa. Making Of A Gangsta, released in 2017, is his first documentary.

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Jacob Jolly

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Jacob Jolly is a cinematographer based in Oklahoma City. He loves to document the beauty in creation that we experience daily. Jacob takes joy in making others smile, working hard, and making new friends. The ultimate goal is to create stunning visuals that convey a natural and true story. Jacob loves traveling to places he's never been to before. He loves life and every opportunity to capture it through his lens.

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Diana Dai
Award-Winning Filmmaker


A multi-award winning documentary filmmaker, Diana has received the prestigious Gemini Award and the Golden Sheaf Award for the CBC documentary "China's Earthquake: The People in the Pictures." She has also received several awards in international film festivals.

She is the director for award winning documentary “My Farmland”, a well-acclaimed documentary “My First 150 days”; “China: The Miraculous Transformation” and “SARS: Cover up and Aftermath”; in addition to other documentaries.

The documentaries that Diana directed/produced have aired in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Her documentaries are also collected by many renowned universities and libraries around the world.

Diana was one of the founders for the Mandarin program for OMNI TV in Canada. Diana has taught the "Television" and "Film and Video" courses at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, where she is one of the authors for the textbook "Television in its social context"

Diana obtained a Master's degree in Communication Studies (TV Production) at the University of Leeds in the UK

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David Silver
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Producer/director David Silver has made many underground short films and music videos since the 90s. He works as a producer and director of mind-body health videos about meditation and Tai Chi, including a 2006 program with rock legend Lou Reed. "Hellbent" is his first feature-length documentary in 2019.

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Bryan Crain

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Bryan has worked in television and film for over 25 years and has won multiple awards for his works (including documentaries) through his day job at one of the smallest public TV stations in the country. 
Award highlights include three Heartland Emmys and two Cine awards (Golden Eagle and Special Jury) multiple Telly and OAB awards. 
Bryan is also co-owner of Eagle Ears Productions and Oil Capital Underground is his first major Indie project. He was heavily involved in the Tulsa punk rock scene in the 80’s ….as a fair to mediocre bass player in a band not mentioned in this film! Needless to say, this was a labor of love for him on many different levels.


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Taylor Morden

Award-Winning Filmmaker


As a Ska musician for over 20 years, I felt that this story needed to be told from the point of view of the musicians who lived through both the hype that the genre got in the late '90s as well as the ridicule it received in the early 2000s. I wanted to make a film that would serve as both a time capsule and a love letter to the genre of music that literally changed my life in so many amazing ways. I hope that audiences will enjoy this film even half as much as I enjoyed making it.

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Liv Gwynn

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Liv Gwynn is a recent college graduate, class of 2019, from the School of Film and Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology. Specializing in documentary filmmaking, Liv has spent the last four years learning the technical and artistic skills needed to create unique and explorative films.

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Diana Dai

Award-Winning Filmmaker


A multi-award winning documentary filmmaker, Diana has received the prestigious Gemini Award and the Golden Sheaf Award for the CBC documentary "China's Earthquake: The People in the Pictures". She has also received several awards in international film festivals. She is the director for a well-acclaimed documentary “My First 150 days”; “China: The Miraculous Transformation” and “SARS: Cover up and Aftermath”; in addition to other documentaries.

The documentaries that Diana directed/produced have aired in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Her documentaries are also collected by many renowned universities and libraries around the world.

Diana was one of the founders for the Mandarin program for OMNI TV in Canada. Diana has taught the "Television" and "Film and Video" courses at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, where she is one of the authors for the textbook "Television in its social context".

Diana obtained a Master's degree in Communication Studies (TV Production) at the University of Leeds in the UK.

Duncan Shaw 

Award-Winning Filmmakers
Duncan Shaw is a Toronto based writer and director, currently attending Humber College's Film and TV Production.

JASON COHN 

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Jason Cohn is the Peabody award-winning director, producer and writer of EAMES: The Architect and the Painter which aired on PBS American Masters in December 2011. He is co-producer with Camille Servan-Schreiber of Arwen Curry’s upcoming American Masters documentary, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin. His 40-minute film All Power to the People was part of an Oakland Museum of California retrospective on the Black Panther Party. His short documentary A Southern Atheist premiered in September 2015 on the New York Times Op-Docs channel. He has produced segments for the PBS program Frontline World in Romania and Japan, associate produced the PBS Frontline program, Rollover: The Secret History of the SUV and field produced for the award- winning PBS series Remaking American Medicine. He was the Los Angeles bureau producer for the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) covering American stories West of the Mississippi. As a public radio reporter, producer and managing editor, Jason covered the culture of technology for Beyond Computers and issues of Asian art, culture and politics for the nationally syndicated program Pacific Time and local news and features for the San Francisco NPR affiliate KQED. He has written documentaries for National Geographic (The Secrets of J. Edgar Hoover) and PBS (EAMES: The Architect and the Painter, Ending Aids: The Search for a Vaccine and an upcoming NEH-funded 2-hour program on the 800-year period of Muslim, Christian and Jewish co-habitation in medieval Spain), and his articles have appeared in the National Affairs section of Rollling Stone, in the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, SF Guardian and other major periodicals.  

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Daniel Smukalla

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Daniel Smukalla is a documentary and narrative filmmaker. He received a Bachelors of Arts in film and video production, with a concentration in cinematography, from Columbia College Chicago. He has worked as a director and cinematographer on documentaries and narrative films around the world. Born in Wisconsin, USA, he has been based in South Korea for over 9 years.

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Zhan Luo

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Zhan “Floyd” Luo is an independent filmmaker, editor, and cinematographer currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in documentary filmmaking at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Film Arts from Nanjing University’s School of Liberal Arts. 
He is the co-founder/CEO of Nanjing New Media Area Cultural Communication Corporation Limited, under which, he has produced several projects including documentaries, microfilms, and publicity films for clients such as ZTE corporation, Sunac Greentown China Holdings Limited, Yanghe Group, Gulou District Government of Nanjing, and Nanjing University. 
He has won a number of student festivals and documentary awards in China. In 2014, he won Best Documentary Award in the 11th Global Chinese Universities Student Film and TV Festival from Academy of Film in Hong Kong Baptist University for his documentary The Star Watcher. He also won “Best Documentary Award” in the 10th Global Chinese Universities Student Film and TV Festival in 2013 for his documentary A Parade in China. 

Damon Stuebner

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Videographer and photographer Damon Stuebner grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Alvernia College with a degree in Communications. He worked as a newspaper photographer and a TV news videographer and editor in Pennsylvania and Alaska. He has worked on numerous live and taped broadcast productions for various stations in Alaska and for the University of Alaska. Other than broadcast video, he also has had numerous gallery exhibitions of his work in landscape and wildlife photography.

He currently works for the Alaska State Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums doing motion picture and video preservation. He is also the curator and host of “Treasures from the State Film Library”, a presentation series of historical films from the Alaska State Library Historical Collections.

When he’s not editing video, you can find him cycling the roads of Juneau, Alaska, or doing landscape photography in the Southeast Alaskan rainforest. 

Peter Blow

Award-Winning Filmmaker

​Peter has worked on over 100 broadcast documentaries in England and Canada. He studied at the London Film School under Mike Leigh and Charles (Fish Named Wanda) Crichton. He worked as stage manager at LITTLE THEATRE, St. Martin’s Lane, an innovative London west-end lunchtime theatre and Studio Film Laboratories before joining Anglia Television’s WORLD OF SURVIVAL Series as Assistant Technical Manager for two seasons. THE LEOPARD THAT CHANGED ITS SPOTS and SAFARI BY BALLOON both were nominated for Emmies, and MYSTERIOUS CASTLES OF CLAY was nominated for an Oscar.

He emigrated to Canada in 1977, working primarily as writer and story consultant on a spate of , documentaries that include: Gemini nominated CBC/Lauron productions: THE DREAM THAT NEVER DIES, TORONTO:THE STRUGGLE FOR NEIGHBOURHOOD silver medal winner at Columbus, and the NFB/CBC co-production HARVEST OF DESPAIR (Oscar nominated and winner of the Gold Medal and Grand Awards at the International Film and Television Festival of New York, and first prizes at Houston, Columbus and Yorkton Festivals).

In the 80’s he also wrote the dramatic segments for CTV’s documentary NATIONAL DRUG TEST, and the CTV/ABC/Primedia docudramas: THE SECRET OF THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, starring David Copperfield (trying to act), the Big Horns episode for the DANGER BAY series and THE DREAM RIDE, a CTV/Primedia MOW with W.O. Mitchell and Eric Till slated to direct, but financing collapsed after completion of the second unit shoot. More recently, co-wrote an IMAX 3D comedic animation fantasy feature, THE COSMIC JUNKYARD, with the late Roman Kroitor (IMAX co-inventor).

He has been writing and directing documentaries since1985. These include: BORROWED TIME for TVO’s “Human Edge” series and BBC Scotland, received Honourable Mention at the Yorkton and Columbus Festivals. BARRENS QUEST was a CBC/NFB co-production for “Nature of Things”. VILLAGE OF WIDOWS which he also co-produced, won the VISION 2000 Humanitarian Award at Hot Docs and the 2nd prize Rigoberta Menchu Tum Foundation Award at the First Peoples of the Americas Festival in Montreal. MUMMERS AND MASKS: Sex, Death and Pagan Magic was popular Christmas fodder.

In the mid-nineties he served as a story editor for the Ontario Film Development Corporation. More recently he has taught a screenwriting course for Continuing Studies at Trent University and Film Appreciation and Analysis at Centennial College. In 2014, his short OPHELIA GOES FLOATING won the Best Experimental Film Award at Toronto Short Film Festival.

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Jason C. Wilson

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Jason was born and resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He is married with 2 children. He stays busy with various documentaries, client videos, and film projects. His latest film, "Troublemaker" is the follow-up to his award winning film, "Stopper: The Rise and Fall of the Bastard Squad".

He is also the winner of the Best Georgia Video by the Sprockets Music Video Festival 2014 for his direction of "Jean Shorts" by punk band, Burns Like Fire. He has also won numerous Tellys, a Gold Screen Award, 2 Southeastern Regional Emmy Nominations, and 1 Southeastern Regional Emm

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Jason Harney

Award-Winning Filmmaker


For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the movies. And though my chosen career reflected my desire to follow in my father’s footsteps and serve my community as a Police Officer, I’ve always known pursuing my passion and becoming a filmmaker would eventually become a reality.

I learned the technical side of film production by shadowing and assisting news professionals in my spare time starting in the late 1990s. To this day, I credit those individuals, who at the time worked for the LVMPD Video Unit after careers at local news stations, for having given me the foundation I needed to succeed on my own. This led to the development of skills in all aspects of production including script development, cinematography, & film editing, meaning I now had the ability to handle a production from beginning to end. In 2003, I officially launched my production company, Lightning Digital Entertainment, & maintained a client based business during my time off , creating event, corporate, training, & recruitment videos for local Las Vegas businesses and non profits.

Upon retiring from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 2014, I immediately changed my focus to producing feature length documentaries, and subsequently produced, directed, edited, & wrote my first film, “The Basketball Family”, which was released in 2016. The film, telling the story of retired NBA player Doug Lee as he coaches and mentors the 2016 Calvary Chapel Varsity Basketball team in Las Vegas, was well received on the festival & awards circuit, winning numerous accolades, including the Platinum Reel award from the 2016 Nevada International Film Festival. My goal is to tell stories about people who make a positive impact in our community.

My second film is an adaptation of author Bradley Nickell's best selling true crime book "Repeat Offender" and is currently being distributed by Global Genesis Group. The film follows Detective Nickell as he investigates the case of Daimon Monroe, a career criminal and serial burglar, who masterminded the most prolific theft ring in Las Vegas history. When he was finally taken down and arrested, he then plotted to have the detective, prosecutor, and judge killed while awaiting trial in jail. A truly twisted crime saga, "Repeat Offender" will both surprise and inspire when you see the dedication it takes to catch a career criminal who always seemed to be one step ahead.

My third film, "The Wounded Blue", chronicles the powerful stories of six Police Officers who inspired the creation of Lieutenant Randy Sutton's The Wounded Blue Foundation. The film explores several critical issues affecting today's law enforcement professionals including PTSD, Police Suicide, and the financial ruin a Police Officer can incur when suffering a career ending injury in the line of duty.

As the film’s Producer, Director, Writer, & Editor, I know first hand of the hard work and dedication it takes to start with a concept for a film and see it all the way to the screen. These opportunities do not come often, and I haven’t taken it lightly. As a lifelong student of film, I look to those who have made their mark in the industry and learn from their example. I am hopeful my films will be a strong indication I have listened and learned after years of honing my craft.  

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Peter Costigan

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Born in Scotland, raised in Canada, Peter Costigan was a lover of cinema from an early age. By the time he was 11 he had become a television actor and soon found himself with major roles in Canadian productions such as Robocop, the television series, Goosebumps and Wind at My Back. In his early Twenties Peter attended the Toronto film school with plans of moving behind the camera and becoming a film director. After graduating his plans soon changed when he was introduced to Jungle/Drum and Bass music. Being a passionate music lover and musician, he decided that he was going to become a Drum and Bass producer/DJ instead. With dozens of songs released over the next 9 years Peter Costigan, a.k.a “stickbubbly", became a well established and sought out Drum and Bass D.J in North America.

Never forgetting his love for film, he decided to bring his two passions together and make a feature length documentary about Jungle/Drum and Bass music. For the next three years Peter worked tirelessly interviewing, and editing his film spending long hours travelling around the UK gathering archive footage and pictures to tell the story of this music that he loves so much. With the film almost completed, Peter is busy writing screenplays for his next projects.

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Cameron McCasland

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Cameron McCasland is an Emmy-nominated writer, director, and film producer. His narrative film, music video, and documentary work have been featured in Rolling Stone, “American Idol”, “Today”, and “Good Morning America.” In addition to film festival screenings all over the globe, he has received over seventy film and television industry accolades. The Texas-born filmmaker lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and two daughters.

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Samuel George

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Samuel George is a documentary film maker focusing on the intersection of economics, politics, the digital revolution, and daily life. Reporting on the ground from the Turkish – Syrian border to the factories of Juarez, Mexico, the films dive inside critical crossroads around the globe.

George’s documentaries have attracted over one million views on YouTube and have screened globally. His last project, "Breaking Point: The US and Mexico at the Ballot Box" received the Award of Merit from Impact DOCS Awards, and was an official selection of the American Documentary Film Festival.

George holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins University School of International Relations, and is currently completing a PhD at that same institution.


Claire Downey, Taylor Autumn Herndon, Tessa Lawrence

Award-Winning Filmmakers


Tessa Lawrence is a media arts and anthropology major at James Madison University. Her interests in cultural research and advocacy have inspired her passion for film, where she strives to inspire conversation through storytelling.

Taylor Autumn Herndon is a senior theatre and film student at James Madison University with a heart for justice and storytelling. She aspires to be bold in her work and never stop learning.

Claire Downey is a media arts (film) and anthropology major at James Madison University. She has always had a passion for non-fiction and educational film, and hopes to one day make documentaries as a platform to help promote human rights.

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Sergii Trofymchuk

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Sergii Trofymchuk was born in 1988 in the town of Shepetivka, Ukraine. He obtained his higher education on architecture at the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture. He shows big interest in making photos and videos of wildlife. In 2015, he launched the serial "Rivers of Ukraine". In 2018 the TV channel "Fauna" hosted premiere show of the first movies "Rivers of Ukraine. Teteriv " and "Rivers of Ukraine. Stokhid. Part I", at the moment the work with the serial is being continued.

Aaron Dykes, Melissa Dykes

Award-Winning Filmmakers

Aaron & Melissa Dykes co-directed, wrote and produced 'The Minds of Men' (2018) as a culmination of years of research into intrigue, conspiracy and neuroscience. Truthstream Media is their independent production company where they create media through investigative journalism, research, video and documentary.

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Eva Lewis

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Eva Lewis is an independent media maker based in southern Arizona. Since 2006, she has lived and worked creating media in many conflict and post-conflict zones. She spent time working in independent media in rural El Salvador, Colombia, and the Gaza Strip. She worked in New York City as staff person for the grassroots media network Deep Dish TV and at the independent news program Democracy Now! She is a member of the NY based video collective Paper Tiger TV and the Tucson based video collective Pan Left Productions. For the past six years she has been based in Arivaca, AZ, a community on the U.S./Mexico border, where she is involved in local struggles to provide crisis relief and organize for border demilitarization.

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Magdalena Kołodziejczyk &
Rafał Kołodziejczyk

Award-Winning Filmmakers

Magdalena Kołodziejczyk - Graduate in law at the Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin and journalism at the Faculty of Political Sciences . Since June 2005, an independent film producer in Poland - the owner of the Television Producer Agency Alter Ego. Cooperates with Polish Television S.A. A branch in Lublin as the author and manager of television production. In 2016, together with her husband Rafał, she made her debut as a scriptwriter and director of a documentary entitled "All for Poland - Zamosc Uprising 1942-1944". She is mainly interested in the historical document.

Rafał Kołodziejczyk - born in Lublin. Documentary director, history buff. Editor and creator of graphic design for many historical documentary films. Cooperates with Polish Television S.A. a branch in Lublin as the author of films and historical programs. Director and screenwriter of the film "All for Poland - Zamosc Uprising 1942-1944", awarded, among others at the Docs Without Borders Festival in the category of "Outstanding excellence" and at the polish festival "Losy Polaków (The fate od Poles)" 2017 (second prize in the category of "feature documentary film").Director Statement


Angela Andersen

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Angela Andersen is a journalist, filmmaker, and director. 
• On her first assignment for ZDF German TV Angela Andersen traveled to Thailand, South Korea, and the U.S. Pacific Command to create a portrait of “America Almighty”. She partnered with ZDF anchor Claus Kleber on several projects, including this documentary on President George Bush’s Texas and Washington DC. 
• Other documentaries for ZDF followed, among them “America’s Crusade - Afghanistan, “The Kennedys”, “India – Unstoppable”, and the three-part documentary “The Bomb”, which won an award for “Best documentary” that year. In 2011, ZDF broadcasted the documentaries “Machtfaktor Erde”, which looked at consequences of global warming focusing on national security aspects on different continents. In 2014, she directed and was the co-author of the documentaries “Hunger” and “Durst”/Thirst for “arte”, which won the “Bayerischer Fernsehpreis” for best documentary that year. A 60-minute documentary “Brave New World” on Silicon Valley followed in 2016. It was nominated in Germany for best tv-journalism and won the “Georg von Holtzbrinck Preis”. In the US that film won Silver at the New York Film Festival 2017 and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Monaco Film Festival. 
In 2018 she directed "Inviolable - The Fight for Human Rights", a German/French/Canadian co-production.

For ARD German TV, the other public network, she has worked as a freelance producer and co-author on countless news stories and documentaries among them “Cuba – A Revolution without Hope”, “Day of Terror – September 11”, “Flying Abortionists”, and “Hurricane Floyd”, PTSD inflicted veterans.

For many years she has been the co-owner for the TV-production company "Stories Unlimited Inc.", producing 25 half-hour documentaries on social-political subjects as “Death Row in Texas” or “Women and Guns”.

She is working on submitting her ideas for future projects right now.

Before she became a TV-producer, she finished her studies at the university in Hamburg with a Master degree in political sciences and sociology. 
She was born in May of 1960 in the city of Cologne. 
Angela Andersen lives in Massachusetts. Her daughter, a producer, and filmmaker in her own right, in L.A.

Vicki O'Neill

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Although Vicki had helped pioneer and maintain several family businesses, her foray into film & television didn’t come until later in life. After completing study at VCA, she wrote, directed and edited her first short film, which inspired a love for storytelling and all things film.

She hit the ground running and worked on sets in every capacity available to pick up a quick understanding of production. Anything from Camera to Wardrobe, Unit, Stills Photographer and everything in between.

She quickly aligned herself with like-minded producers to become involved as Associate Producer on Emo the Musical and Executive Producer on Dance Academy the Movie both released in 2017.

She is particularly inspired by her love for old Hollywood Musicals and hopes one day to create the next La La Land, or the first Melbourne the Musical. 

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Debbie Wright

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Starting out as a journalism major, Debbie planned on following in the shoes of her mother who had produced a documentary in the late 1970s about the plight of the neglected elderly in Chicago ("Because Somebody Cares".) Debbie served as Feature Editor for a college newspaper and went on to write an article that was published in a magazine with distribution to over one million households. Her career goals shifted, and she obtained her undergraduate degree from the New York University Stern School of Business and founded her own consulting business, subsequently consulting on and managing multi-million dollar projects for top healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. Her love for children drove her to complete a Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Education. She then taught elementary school for a few years until she returned to the business world. Debbie, like many people, was vaguely aware of the presence of slavery around the world, but her exposure to the reality of modern-day slavery in America came when the FBI descended upon and raided her neighbor’s house, finding thousands of pornographic images, many of which were of children being brutalized and raped. Debbie then contacted International Justice Mission and eventually become a volunteer Justice Advocate where she spoke at various events (including appearing on a Philadelphia radio show) to raise awareness about trafficking and slavery. The gap between the prevalence of sex trafficking in PA and the public’s awareness led Debbie to decide to leave her career in the pharmaceutical industry and reconnect with her journalism roots and her passion to eradicate sex trafficking. 


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John Coates

Award-Winning Filmmaker
John Coates is a film student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, studying directing and cinematography. While in school, he works as a video editor and cinematographer for Exxodus Pictures in Southfield, MI and runs his own freelance videography business. He has worked on projects for General Motors, Ford, PBS, Quicken Loans, Hungry Howie's, and Singh. He aspires to become a director of feature films.

SPOTLIGHT

DOCUMENTARY

FILM AWARDS

Phil McGraw

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Director Phil McGraw elevates the voices of artists through his lens. His community centered vision brings healing and illuminates the path toward justice through the Black arts community. Raised in Chicago, Phil McGraw picked up a camera for the first time in 2008 and fell in love with its versatility as an artistic medium.

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Kathy Drasky

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Kathy Drasky's first film, the short documentary "Jeanne & Mike: Original Art", was about her parents and the art in their house. Made with an iPhone, the film was named one of the top 250 documentaries of 2015 by the Spotlight Film Awards.

Her second film, the short documentary "Uncle Frank's House: An American Dream", begins with a search for a long lost uncle's home in Detroit. As Drasky traverses the massive sprawl that was once home to nearly 2 million people, she finds much more than the house where her uncle once lived.

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Richard Willett

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Richard is a filmmaker and media marketing manager based in the UK. He studied Film and TV Production at ARU in Cambridge and gained a BA Honours Degree. He was then employed by the university to manage the multi camera television studio and as a teaching assistant for various modules on the degree course. Richard then went on to manage the Media Department at Sprowston Community High School and continued to work in both employed and voluntary positions at BBC Radio Norfolk and BBC Voices in Norwich, running and managing the Television Studio there.

Richard has also worked in various audio production roles at Star Radio in Cambridge and Portel Music Studios in Norfolk. In 2010 he set up Appletree Media Norwich which produced broadcast documentaries for charities and social services, many of which were aired on Digital TV. He then went on the be Media Content Manager at Success4.com where he created all media content and branding, as well as managed all the social media marketing.

Richard’s most recent films have concentrating on researching and revealing conspiratorial truths about the world we live in, such as the documentary feature film Plugged In: The true toxicity of social media revealed and Bang Your Own Toaster with Gareth Icke which is currently in production. 2019 will see the production and release of two more feature documentaries in PluggedIN: ReWired “Dying to be seen” and “Extreme Danger Extreme Hypnosis” with world renowned hypontists Jonathan Royle.

Richard also runs the website glitchinthecode.co.uk where he interviews leading researchers in conspiracy theory and alternative media journalism. He is currently writing his first book about his research into some of the subjects in his documentary films.


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Claudio von Planta

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Claudio von Planta discovered his passion for documentaries in 1985 filming Afghans fighting against the Russian occupation - a brutal but effective start of a freelance career.

As a Swiss Claudio got inspired by a history of more than 700 years independence and was always wondering what it takes for oppressed populations to win freedom. REBELS OF THE FORGOTTEN WORLD about the Papuan independence struggle against Indonesia, was his first long format TV documentary in 1989 and he is still following similar topics today. NO FRIENDS BUT THE MOUNTAINS (THE KURDISH DREAM) is his latest film about the struggle to win self-determination in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Fortunately, Claudio also had a chance to cover non-political stories. His lucky break with expedition filming came as director of photography on LONG WAY ROUND and LONG WAY DOWN where he followed the actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on motorbike journeys around the world and across Africa. Claudio continued to film many other expeditions and has a particular interest in science and engineering adventures. In 2011 he filmed RACING GREEN, a BBC World TV series about the first electric car driving the full length of the Panamerican Highway from Alaska to Argentina. CHASING THE JET STREAM

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Dimitri Pantchev 

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Dimitri Pantchev is a graduate of the Film Bachelors of Science Degree program at Full Sail University. He was born in Bulgaria and has had a passion for movie making and theater since he was 7 years old. Dimitri has a diverse background, earning a degree in Hospitality and Tourism from Valencia State College, a Real Estate License. He also spent 15 years touring Europe with award-winning ensembles and became a professional chorographer in Bulgarian folk dancing and composition.

While attending Full Sail, he earned a 3.5 GPA and successfully took on a number of extra-curricular projects. For the United Nations Climate Change Project, he created the video “Green Water for Alive Beauty,” which he recorded on location in Bulgaria, his home country. It features residents that are capturing rainwater to use for drinking and irrigation. He was the leader in his group and did all of the filmmaking and editing. He is very passionate about making a difference and won 1st place in the film category for the UNCC Project last year. His 2014 winning project also earned three CINDY awards for Direction, Soundtrack, and Environment & Ecology.

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Areeb Zuaiter

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Director Areeb Zuaiter is a Palestinian Jordanian American visual storyteller.

For the past three years, Areeb has been fulfilling her passion in supporting emerging filmmakers through her position as the Regional Training Manager at the Royal Film Commission - Jordan.

She has been on the evaluation committee of some of the most competitive programs in the Arab region including Rawi Screenwriters Lab, the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Foundation and Med Film Factory.

Areeb holds a Master’s degree in Film and Video Production from the American University (AU) in Washington, DC. During her enrollment at AU, she worked as a Technology Associate with the Associated Press; an experience that exposed her to the latest technologies in production and broadcasting. Soon after, Areeb was rewarded a fellowship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where she produced some of the Museum’s key film projects.

Areeb’s thesis, “Colors of a Displaced Identity,” was nominated for Sony’s Outstanding Thesis Award in May 2014 through AU’s Visions Awards.

For her undergrad, Areeb pursued a degree in Interior Architecture and another one in Communication Arts. Her graduation short “Stained” won the Jury’s prize in the 10th European Film Festival in Beirut, Lebanon.

In 2005, Areeb documented Jordan’s participation in Aichi Exposition; Japan, in a short that was nominated in Aichi’s Friendship Film Festival.


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Camille Servan-Schreiber

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Camille Servan-Schreiber is an independent director and producer of documentary films. She was a producer of Eames: The Architect and the Painter, which was released in theaters around the country and received a George Foster Peabody Award amid critical acclaim. She is co-producer with Jason Cohn of Arwen Curry’s upcoming American Masters documentary, Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin. She is also the producer of Jon Else’s upcoming documentary Land of Gold about the making of John Adams and Peter Sellars latest opera. She has worked in documentary film since 1998 and has received numerous awards including a Golden Spire Award from the San Francisco Film Festival. Her short documentary A Southern Atheist premiered in September 2015 on the New York Times Op-Docs channel. Previously she produced a documentary about the History of Jews in the Making of San Francisco titled American Jerusalem. She has directed and produced The Secrets of J. Edgar Hoover for National Geographic. She co-produced The Nobel: Visions of a Century for KQED. She has also produced and filmed three segments of The New Heroes, a PBS series on social entrepreneurs and three segments of Frontline World for PBS. She received a broadband Emmy nomination for France: Soundtrack to a Riot. She has been a field producer on The Rape of Europa for PBS and on Alice Waters and her Delicious Revolution for American Masters. She has worked on films for Frontline including Emmy-nominated and Peabody recipient Drug Wars and Secrets of the SAT, which received the National Education Writers Association First Prize for Broadcast Journalism. After completing her studies in France she came to the US to study at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and is the co-founder of Bread and Butter Films.

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Lillian Glass

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Dr. Lillian Glass is an internationally renowned body language and communication specialist, best-selling author and the proud daughter of Rosalee Glass whom you may recognize me from media appearances as an expert in the area of body language (20/20, Dancing With the Stars, Today Show, CNN, FOX, GMA, RadarOnline, etc.) or from reading one of her many top-selling books (Toxic People, He Says She Says, Talk to Win, The Body Language of Liars).

Throughout the years, consulting with clients in her private practice, lecturing around the world and writing books, her mission has always been to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Now, she the same mission as she lives her own life’s dream through her new career as a filmmaker. She says "After observing the remarkable things mother has done to transform her life in her late 80’s to even now, at age 101, I became motivated to do the same."

She adds." Throughout my life, I have dreamed of being a film director and producer. But, that was not even a consideration. I had a very successful career and private practice working with politicians, sports figures, world leaders and A-list actors (Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Dolly Parton, Andy Garcia, Forest Whitaker, Nicholas Cage, Mickey Rourke, Rene Russo, Will Smith, Marlee Matlin, and the list goes on...) helping them with their public speaking appearances and film role preparation.Everything I’ve done in my career so far has prepared me for this new journey."

Her work as a body language expert enabled her to understand character development in making this film and her discipline and analytical skills as a researcher were instrumental in going to the depths of the earth to find the right materials and people to participate in this film.Finally, she reveals, "Making this film has been the most exciting experience of my life. I feel as though I am doing what I am finally meant to be doing in life."

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The Church of Almighty God

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Eastern Lightning, The Church of Almighty God was created because of the appearance and work of Almighty God, the second coming of the Lord Jesus, Christ of the last days. It is made up of all those who accept Almighty God's work in the last days and are conquered and saved by His words. It was entirely founded by Almighty God personally and is led by Him as the Shepherd. It was definitely not created by a person. Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. God's sheep hear God's voice. As long as you read the words of Almighty God, you will see God has appeared. 

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