Stephan Bookas

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Stephan is a London based writer/director, producer and cinematographer. He has shot and directed award winning documentaries and short films across much of the globe including India, Siberia, Turkey, Ukraine, Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Cuba, China and North Korea and is currently working on multiple international fiction, animation and documentary projects. His short film “Refugee Blues” premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and has gone on to win numerous awards all over the world
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Leanna Borsellino &
James Headrick

Award-Winning Filmmakers


Leanna's love of film led her to attend Oral Roberts University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Drama/Television/Film. She was honored with the award for Most Outstanding Senior in the Communication Arts Department in 2007. Leanna was also accepted into the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, a capstone program dedicated to immersing its students in real world application. She began interning at The Robert Evans Company (known for The Godfather I & II, Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby), which led to a job as the assistant of the company’s two top producers. Leanna then worked in production at Digital Domain (Titanic, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Tron), an Academy Award-winning digital effects company. After two years in the commercials division, the death of her grandmother prompted her to move home to Austin, TX to be near family. Leanna now works as the Creative Services Manager for Hope Rising, a non-profit which specializes in the rescue, recovery, and rehabilitation of minors who are survivors of sexual abuse and sex trafficking. It is here that she is able to merge her passion for filmmaking with issues close to her heart.

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Dakare Chatman

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Constituting America Student Ambassador Dakare Chatman is 18 years old, and is currently a senior, full-time college student in South Carolina. He has won Constituting America’s We The Future Contest twice, once for best PSA where he reminded viewers the Constitution is “An American Thing, So Know It” and twice for his short film “Man On The Street.” He is also actively involved in our National Youth Advisory Board. He’s a working actor seen most recently in HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones and in Netflix’s: Outer Banks.

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Marcel Dorsey

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Marcel Dorsey is a Writer, Director, who strives to create images that are built with creativity but are dipped in professionalism. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio Dorsey graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelors of Communications: Film Study and a semester shy of a Bachelors of English: Creative Writing. This double background gives Dorsey a massive foundation that allows him to write and direct with focus and confidence. A 2003 Hollywood Black Film Festival finalist, Dorsey writes, edits, shoots, directs, and produces his films. In 2004 Dorsey finished his first novel, Instant Danger. Dorsey has written several screenplays and worked on several films. A solid background in music videos, including one of the first featuring Machine Gun Kelly.

Joseph Spillane

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Joseph Spillane is an American filmmaker from Denver, Colorado. His first short film “Sirens” screened across the United States being nominated 9 times and winning 2 best film awards on the festival circuit. His first feature length film, “Kilroy and the Boy Soldier”, has just been completed. The documentary chronicles the lives of soldiers interwoven between wars and battles as they come back home from deployment. He continues to produce and direct building his body of work one unique project at a time.

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David Arond

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Starting as a sound effects editor in Hollywood, David mentored with an award-winning post-production team and discovered the power of sound and music to turn visual imagery into an emotional and visceral experience. David segued into non-fiction, story telling, creating documentaries for PBS, including "Mother of the Year," a MacArthur Foundation Award Winner. Other award-winning include "Houseboat Philosopher" and "Those Who Came Before." His PBS TV work includes producing/directing the weekly series "On The Internet" with Leo LePorte, of Tech TV. David's extensive international film and journalism work includes a stint in Moscow as bureau chief and broadcast journalist for Worldwide Television News, London, and Public Broadcast’s Nightly Business Report, and projects in Mexico, Brazil, Europe, Central Asia, and Australia where he worked with some of the world’s top film crews and journalists.

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Cody Graham

Award-Winning Filmmakers

Raised on Vancouver Island, Cody Graham is a producer and director with over 15 years of storytelling experience. Cody's emphasis on high production values and adaptability has always provided above and beyond results.
Cody's work is influenced by classic design principals—a modern vision guided by years of experience adapting to current trends and technological innovations. His previous works include working as a producer and director on the national film project Picking Up The Pieces, a film commemorating the experiences of residential school survivors across Canada, and spots for clients such as Microsoft, Intel, eBay, & Mercedes Benz. Cody’s years of experience in crafting compelling and visually creative stories make his a great asset on every project he collaborates on!


Marcelo Silva

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Marcelo Silva Fuentes (1973) is a Chilean artist and designer who works in areas as diverse as photography, illustration, painting, animation, videography and music.

Receives his academic degree as a industrial designer in the University of Valparaiso in 1996.

In 2005 he published his first solo album "Home Sweet Home". In 2006 obtains honorable mention in the Lucie Awards for photography in Los Angeles, California. In 2009 obtains first place in the industrial category of the International Photography Awards in New York .

In 2014 he participate in the shooting of the documentary film “The Spirit of the Ancestors”, a deep glance into the Rapa Nui culture.

In 2020 his short film "Karma" is part of the official selection in the Berlin Flash Film Festival.
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Angela Heath

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Angela Heath has extensive writing and communications experience. She began her television producing career with Eye to Eye with Connie Chung, ABC News, CBS News, and 10 years with Nightly Business Report on Public Television. While at PBS, she was a member of the press corp for The White House, Treasury Department, and the Senate Radio and TV galleries.

Ms. Heath attended Mount Holyoke College, Spelman College, and Pace University, where she obtained her B.A. degree in Literature and Communications. She also graduated from American University where she obtained her Master’s degree in Producing for Film and Video. Her film production company, Grace Film & Video, is currently producing a film called "Women of Faith: Coping with Trauma." She has also produced short films on the historic Second Baptist Church of Washington and on the historic churches of Ward 7 in Washington, DC.

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Matteo Servente &
Molly J. Wexler

Award-Winning Filmmakers


Italian by birth and Memphian by choice, Matteo studied film in Torino, Paris and Sydney. Since moving to the US in 2008, he directed and produced several award winning narrative and documentary short films (La Sirena, Dammi il La, We Go On and An Accidental Drowning). With his feature film Nessun Dorma, he became a Biennale Cinema College, IFP No Borders and Torino Film Lab alumnus.

This is Molly J. Wexler's first foray into filmmaking. After a professional career in non-profit development and spending years as a volunteer with Indie Memphis Film Festival, she aspired to try her hand at producing. This effort led to her producing and co-directing her first film, The Little Tea Shop.

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Lino Meireles

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Lino Meireles is a Brazilian writer/director. CANDANGO is the first feature documentary ever made about a Brazilian film festival. During production, we were able to reminisce about its 50 plus years with both legends and newcomers of our cultural history.

Nancy Ghertner

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Nancy Ghertner is a visual artist and filmmaker working in both experimental and documentary films. Formerly on the faculty of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation, Nancy was a producer and cinematographer with W. Keith McManus of “330 Miles to Justice,” which documents the 2003 Farmworker’s March from Seneca Falls to Albany. Her 2011 feature documentary, “After I Pick the Fruit,” was screened at various film festivals and received a “Honorary“ award at Southern Appalachian International Film Festival and Honorable Mention at the International Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality. The film toured extensively at college, community, church and governmental organizational screenings and was part of course curriculum for migration subject matter. Other documentary projects include, In Our Own Backyard: The Hidden Realities of Women Farmworkers, Mother Rabbit Watching and Across Cultures, which won a Videography Award for documenting community cultures. Ms. Ghertner is active in human rights organizations in New York State, where she advocates for immigrant rights, farmworker justice, and women’s rights.
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Sara Ganim

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Sara Ganim is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist, with 15 years of experience in print and television. She started her career as a newspaper reporter and won a Pulitzer Prize at age 24 for breaking and covering the investigation into former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys.
Ganim then spent seven years at CNN, covering a range of issues, including government agencies, ethics and conflicts, sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill, the rise of the anti-fascist movement in the U.S., deadly hazing at American Universities, the NCAA’s mishandling of concussions, and American drinking water issues. In 2015, she won a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her Investigative report exposing the low reading levels of some college athletes.
She has consulted on documentary and feature films, including the 2018 HBO film Paterno.
In 2018, Ganim’s first documentary, a 30-minute investigative piece on drinking water in rural America titled Dirty Water, aired on CNN.
In June 2019, she was named the University of Florida’s first Hearst Journalism Fellow at its Brechner Center for Freedom of Information. There, she is working with students on data journalism projects.
In 2019, she started a production company called Cedar Production, with her husband, NBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos.

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Anna Dalmay

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Anna Edit Dalmay was born in Hungary but raised up in Iceland. She has an undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Iceland. She also has a postgraduate degree in Ethnic and Migration Studies from Linköping University in Sweden. In 2020 she obtained a diploma in documentary film making from Prague Film School. Chained Pen is her first documentary film.

Rodney S. Martel

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Rod Martel is the grandson of German born cinematographer/director Karl Freund (Metropolis, The Mummy). He came to filmmaking late, with his first film: Susette’s Story completed in 2013 at the age of 63. His second film, Lost in Berlin, is the result of 7 years work and a dedicated production team, many of whom volunteered their time or worked for a “stipend” to complete the project. Rod is happily married to Colleen, together, having raised 7 children in a blended family. He continues his private practice as a Licensed Psychologist in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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​Wataru Miura
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Wataru Miura received many domestic film awards for the documentary he made in college about his grandmother.  After graduating from college, he worked at a production company and worked on 50 commercials. in 2015 he joined Tokyo Video Center. Currently he work on narrative shorts and overseas reportage programs as a director.  

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Joe Ciomek & Tom Faraci

Award-Winning Filmmakers
Joe Ciomek and Tom Faraci are lifelong friends who have been collaborating creatively together since the third grade. American Caricature is their first feature film.

Joe Ciomek is a graduate of Cleveland State University's film program, and has since gone on to work on many projects and music videos, including "Thrash Mob" for Danica Roem's Cab Ride Home. Joe founded Lucky Card Productions in 2015 when work began on American Caricature.

Tom Faraci is a caricature artist, graphic designer, and filmmaker from Cleveland, OH. He also serves as the President of the International Society of Caricature Artists. Previous film experience includes sneaking around downtown Cleveland to watch filming of The Avengers.

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Shelley Feinerman

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Shelley Feinerman has been  a practicing visual artist for 50 years, earning an MFA in 1978  from Brooklyn College. Born and raised  in NYC,  she raised a son, and taught special  needs children for  the NYC department of Education for over 20 years,  all the while pursuing her career as a visual artist. Her work embraces the possibilities of a synthesis between abstraction and representation.  
Through a Blue Window:The Sullivanians, is the story of  her involvement in a cult.  After 40 years, this is a story that needed to be told and she turned to documentary film to tell this very personal story. 
This is her first film.  Ms. Feinerman continues to fight the good fight.

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Freddy Moyano

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Freddy Moyano is an award winning producer/director (Chasing my friend, Icy Sunrise, Muskitects, Tip or Treat), actor (Apocalypture, Tip or Treat) and voice over artist (Chasing my friend, The Eyes of Perfection) based in Wisconsin, USA since the early 2000s. Born and raised in Spain, one of his passions consists of capturing wildlife footage that "tells a story."

This is Freddy's 4th documentary after award winning Icy Sunrise, Chasing my friend, Mr Cormorant and Muskitects of the Bay.

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Mikelle Virey

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Katrina Channells is a director working across fiction, documentary and Virtual Reality. Her most recent VR experience 'Speak of Country' was created in collaboration with Yuin Nation storytellers from the coast of New South Wales and will exhibit at Melbourne Museum and Sydney Carriageworks in 2021. Katrina’s documentary series ‘Stingray Sisters’, was released in 2016 screening in Vancouver, London and streaming on SBS OnDemand. The series captured the attention of the national media and contributed to winning the fight against offshore fracking in Arnhem Land. Katrina’s documentary ‘Leaving Allen Street’ was selected in this year's Melbourne Documentary Film Festival. Katrina works as a full-time director at We Are Yarn, creating a variety of productions for broadcast, festivals, exhibition and online.

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Ken Kobre

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Ken Kobré is the author of "Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach," now in its 7tth edition, and "Videojournalism: Multimedia Storytelling.” During his nearly 40 years of teaching, Kobré continued to shoot professionally. Since retiring from San Francisco State University in 2016, he has worked as a one-man band, producing, shooting, and usually editing the stories he wants to share. His documentary “Deadline Every Second,” about photojournalists working for the Associated Press, was broadcast on PBS stations in the US, and on Canal 5 in France. “Revolution du Rosé,” about how rosé wine went from ridicule to international acclaim, is available on Netflix. More recently, he has turned to short documentaries such as the award-winning “Walk, Walk, Walk: The Story of Stand Proud,” about outfitting paralyzed Congolese young people with braces so that they can stand upright, walk, and lead normal lives that include going to school, working, dancing and playing soccer. His other work in Congo documents emergency medicine training there, the domestication of wild bees, and the integration of modern pygmies into Congolese communities. Telling Ida’s remarkable story took him to Malawi for the first time.

Andrew J. Morgan & 
Nick Nummerdor

Award-Winning Filmmakers


Nick Nummerdor, Co-Director:
2017 Chicago Digital Media Production Fund Grantee, Nick Nummerdor is a filmmaker and skateboarder based in Chicago. His film, “Concrete Dreams”, a documentary following the decade-long struggle and ultimate triumph of one woman’s mission to provide a free public skatepark in Villa Park, IL recently gained distribution through skateboarder Tony Hawk’s RIDE Channel on YouTube. Nick is a former intern of Kartemquin films, graduate of Columbia College, and worked as an outreach coordinator for “Minding the Gap”.
“Hannibal Takes Edinburgh”, a film he produced and did sound on was executive produced by Judd Apatow and purchased by Netflix. His films “North Branch” and “Vannin’” are currently on Amazon Prime. Currently he’s producing a coming of age feature documentary titled “Skate or Die,” & editing a feature about female dog mushers in the midwest.

Andrew J. Morgan, Co-Director:
Since graduating Columbia College Chicago in 2008, Andrew J. Morgan has been working professionally as a director of photography on a number of projects ranging in size, budget, and style. In 2009, he helped start Little Cabin Films with friend and business partner, Nick Nummerdor. As Co-Director and Producer of “Vannin’” (2013), Morgan saw his first feature film go from conception to successful distribution via streaming services such as Amazon Prime. Morgan has also acted as a producer, director, and cinematographer on two short documentaries, “North Branch” (2018) and “Hill Climb” (2017), that both focus on unique aspects of Americana.

Most recently, he found himself as director of photography for Manual Cinema's shadow puppetry material to be included in the 2020 release of Monkey Paw Productions’ “Candyman” directed by Nia DaCosta.
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Michele Citoni

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Journalist, communication professional, filmmaker. For many years he was an environmentalist activist. He has worked in radio stations and collaborated with newspapers ad magazines. He participates in research projects on contemporary history, territorial sciences, political ecology, social movements. He makes documentaries as an independent, with which he has participated in numerous international festivals.

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James William Theres

Award-Winning Filmmaker

James William Theres is an award-winning Executive Writer at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C., and an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. He has received 10 national awards for speech writing, feature writing, event planning and media affairs and numerous awards for his films to include Best Documentary Feature for The Hello Girls at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival and People's Choice Award at the Beloit International Film Festival. He has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and an MA in History from Jackson State University.

His first film, The 30th of May was based on his graduate research project of the same name. The paper received the prestigious Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander Award at the 10th Annual Creative Arts Festival at Jackson State University. The documentary received 10 awards and appeared on Mississippi Public Television in May 2017.

His second documentary, The Hello Girls, tells the relatively unknown story of 223 American women who were recruited, trained, and sent overseas to serve as telephone operators. They wore Army uniforms and swore Army oaths. They served at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. The last of the women returned home only to be told they weren’t soldiers after all. For 60 years, they fought the U.S. government and finally received their recognition as soldiers and Veterans in 1977. Only 33 were still alive. The Hello Girls has screened at the National Archives in Washington D.C., the World War I Museum in Kansas City, and General Pershing’s former headquarters in Chaumont, France on November 11, 2018, 100 years after the end of the war.

James is currently in production of the Sixth Triple Eight: No Mail, Low Morale about the only all-black female battalion to serve in Europe during World War II.

In March 2019, James received a "Special Recognition Award" from the US Army Women's Foundation for The Hello Girls documentary

In June 2019, James received the 2019 Media and Entertainment Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) at their National Defense Night Ceremony of their 128th DAR Continental Congress on Saturday, June 29 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C.

Past recipients include Lynn Novick, Director, The Vietnam War with Ken Burns, the Broadway musical Hamilton, the AMC series TURN: Washington's Spies, and the mini-series John Adams produced by HBO Films. Some amazing company to be in for sure, but our Hello Girls deserve it.

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Garima Kaul

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Garima Kaul, a Mumbai based filmmaker, is a writer, director who started her filmmaking journey with a Student Documentary on Sanitation Workers in Mumbai, which won multiple accolades for showcasing the lackadaisical workings of the Bombay Municipal Corporation and their unjust treatment of the workers. Gender identity, politics, and sexual expression have been a focal point of her work, both in research writing and filmmaking. Her thesis film was a documentary on the sex workers of Kamathipura, which was once Asia's largest "Red Light" district. Born in a Kashmiri Migrant family based in Delhi, she completed her graduation in Literature from University of Delhi and later went on to complete her Master's Degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), where her key area of research was the impact of migration on language, literature and the socio-cultural fabric of a community. Currently, she is working with the Times Television Network as a Programme Coordinator.
Her First Independent documentary as a Director, "Desire?" navigates through the lives and realities of Asexual individuals living in a hypersexual society.

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MICHAL ARONZON

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Michal Aronzon is a graduate of The Sam Spiegel Film School and holds a BA in Jewish Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. A winner of the Best Student Film Prize at DocAviv International Film Festival 2012 for her film "Grace" (40 min documentary). She teaches filmmaking in several art schools as well as at Beit-Berl University. Born and raised in Jerusalem, she now resides in Tel Aviv, Israel.
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Collins Abbott

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Collins Abbott White started his film and video production company in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina in 2011. Since then he's made a career of telling original stories and lending his unique eye and sense of story to other filmmakers by assisting them at almost any level of their productions. He has produced and directed a number of successful short film, but his passion is for feature length narrative content. When he's not directing films he's writing them and he always has a number of short and feature length screenplays ready to be made whenever the opportunity arises.

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Teresa Turiera-Puigbò

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Teresa is a freelance journalist. Author of scripts and journalistic content, she collaborates with Diari ARA of Barcelona. Between 1989 and 2015 she worked at Catalunya Radio, as news editor, E.U. Affairs Correspondent in Brussels (where she covered the War in the Balkans and the first trials of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ), Political editor in Madrid, and program director. She has also collaborated with the newspapers El País and Le Monde. She holds a Master in International Relations from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York, and Bachelor of Political Science and Information Sciences from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She has completed the dramaturgy courses “Write theater today” with Josep Mª Miró, “Five texts to understand the contemporary drama of the last five years” with Carles Batlle, and “The fragmented portrait” with Frédéric Sonntag, at the Sala Beckett in Barcelona.​​

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​Joseph Spillane
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Joseph is the director of the documentary "Kilroy and the Boy Soldier". His last film "Sirens" was released in 2015 and won several awards on the festival circuit. After leaving film school he founded Beach Riot Films as a creative post for meaningful story telling and finding the truth through documentary filmmaking.  

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Peter Hoesing

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Pete Hoesing is an ethnomusicologist, drummer/multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist who currently serves as Director of Sponsored Programs at Dakota State University. A faculty affiliate of DSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Hoesing also holds an adjunct appointment on the ethics and humanities faculty section at University of South Dakota’s Sanford School of Medicine. He has previously taught at Grinnell College, Claflin University, and Florida State University, where he finished a Ph.D. in 2011.


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Rishabh Thakkar

Award-Winning Filmmaker
An Academy Finalist, Rishabh started his film journey six years back with 3 of his friends and a terrible short film. Though the film was awful, the satisfaction he got from seeing the movie was enough for him to start filmmaking. He has now Produced, Directed, and Edited more than 10 Documentaries. Many of them have won awards and been screened all over the world. Rishabh has also Produced and Directed multiple Narrative Films, Commercials, and Corporate Documentaries.
He loves to explore subjects like a common man who we sometimes tend to forget and erase from our memory. He also enjoys making films about other artists. Each form of art comes in as an inspiration for him. He also tries to explore stories of Triumph. His films 'Birds without Wings' and 'Triumph' explore two different NGO's started by people who have been in similar positions as the people they are trying to help. 
Rishabh is now trying to explore the concept of staying through his future Documentaries. Exploring subjects by staying with them and how to stay with audience for longer even after the film is over.

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Varda Bar-Kar

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Award-winning director and world traveler Varda Bar-Kar had lived on three different continents by the time she was 10 years old. Her international upbringing provides her with a uniquely global and expansive perspective. Varda is an activist filmmaker focusing her lens on the breadth of the human condition. Her work addresses society’s challenges with an uplifting approach that speaks into possibility.

Varda entered film production as a feature film script supervisor for maverick directors like Jim Jarmusch, Wayne Wang and Carroll Ballard. She developed her directing voice creating cause-driven viral videos that amassed tens of millions of views; short films garnering awards at major film festivals; and web series.

Varda now directs feature projects and episodic television. Her feature documentary Big Voice chronicling a challenging year in the life of a determined high school choir director won “Best U.S. Premiere” at the Heartland Film Festival and “Best Documentary” at New Filmmakers Los Angeles. Big Voice was aired on PBS and has been picked up by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Varda was selected to participate in Ryan Murphy’s Half Foundation Director Diversity Program. Following her participation in the program, Varda was hired to direct the hit FOX TV show 9-1-1. She continues to expand her feature and television-directing repertoire.

Varda is currently directing the new feature documentary, Fandango at the Wall, about a Mexican folk music festival, in the son jarocho tradition, called “Fandango Fronterizo” held on both sides of the border between the United States and Mexico. Arturo O’Farrill, founder and conductor of New York City’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, travels with his 40-piece orchestra to Tijuana to groove with the renowned masters of son jarocho who lead the festival. Unified in music and dance, the gathering of musicians transform the divisive border wall into a place of peace and harmony.

Affiliations: DGA Member, Film Fatales, International Documentary Association, Alliance of Women Directors

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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.

Kyle Floyd

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Kyle Floyd is an independent documentary filmmaker based out of Los Angeles California. Kicking The Hornet’s Nest is Kyle’s first feature-length film.

He previously directed and produced a 40-minute short documentary AFTERMATH (2015) while in college at Boston University which highlighted a case of sexual assault on campus, the harmful reactions of the victim’s peers and the tumultuous process of achieving justice or support at a large university. Kyle also works as a story producer for multiple true crime series on Investigation Discovery and Oxygen.

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Daniel Gartzke

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Daniel Gartzke is an alumni of University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Radio/Tv/Film Department and an internationally, award winning Director. Dan is the winner of Best Documentary and Best Director awards in London, Paris, and Los Angeles for his debut documentary, Light in The Darkness. He brings expertise and vision to the important issue of companion animals and euthanasia in Rescue Story.

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Rahsaan Jones

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Mr. Rahsaan D. Jones, Chief Operating Officer of FaceFront Media Productions, was born in Harlem New York and reared on a small farm in Alabama. His parents Queen and Clinton Battle groomed him to be a positive influencer which lead to many leadership roles in academia, from high school SGA President to College SGA president. He thrives on helping people live and imagine the best human experience. He battled ADD/ADHD as a child and battles PTSD as an Adult but has continued to fight to be an example for those who struggle with psychological conditions. He believes in facing and conquering fears what ever they may be which helped him in his career as a Soldier, Police officer and now helps as he leads his own Media Production Company. He has a passion for film, a love of story, and an acute sense of visual perfection. As a Producer he brings together the best cast and crew to execute the director's and client's vision. As a Director he is best known for his encouragement and on-set morale building. He has Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Digital Media from The American Intercontinental University and a Master's of Fine Arts Degree in Digital Cinema from National University . His dedication to excellence and detail ensures effective, efficient, creative production management. Being skilled as an Actor, Production Manager, Producer, Director of Photography, Scriptwriter, Editor, and now Director makes him a valuable asset to any film production.

David Romberg

Award-Winning Filmmaker

David Romberg spent his childhood living in Brazil and Israel. Currently he is based in Philadelphia and has been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute's Latin American Media Arts Fund Heineken VOCES Grant, The Princess Grace Foundation Grant and was selected to participate in the 2014 IFP Documentary Labs Program. David has also recently become a fellow of the Robert Flaherty Seminar and was awarded a Princess Grace Special Project fund to develop his upcoming docu/fiction film "The Return".

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Stefano Notaro

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Stefano is an Italian director who explores the themes of identity, longing and memory. His visual approach combines magical elements with more realistic ones to explore the complexity of the human reality.

He holds an international master’s degree in Film Studies from the Université de Montréal and the Goethe University of Frankfurt. During the completion of his post-graduate degree in Advanced Television and Film at Sheridan College in Toronto, specializing in Directing and Editing - He was awarded the Vladimir Kabelik Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking and the 2019 Panavision Canada Emerging Filmmaking Award. He has recently directed and co-wrote his first short documentary “Family Affair”, which has been picked up by CBC.


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SPOTLIGHT

DOCUMENTARY

FILM AWARDS

Michael Burnett

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Michael Burnett is a filmmaker based in Surprise, Arizona. He is currently a full-time student at Grand Canyon University and is set to graduate next spring. He's a huge superhero geek and hopes to one day make a superhero film of his own.

Zanah Thirus

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Zanah is an actress, producer, writer, and director from Chicago IL. After being homeschooled until she was fifteen years old, she began her college career. Her love for filmmaking sparked after years of acting in a drama team, and various independent films. She received her master’s degree in cinema production from DePaul University at the age of twenty two, and began her career in independent filmmaking and content production in 2015.

In 2016, Zanah won Best Female Director for her short film “Hourglass” at the Cineplay Film Awards. Her festival credits as a filmmaker include Official Selection - Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival (2016), Best Student Documentary - London Independent Film Awards (2017), Semi Finalist at The German United Film Festival (2018), and Finalist at Cinema Los Angeles Film Festival (2018). In addition to her international credits, five of her films are streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Since launching her brand, Zanah Thirus Productions LLC, Zanah has shifted her focus to merging arts and activism though documentary and narrative storytelling. Her films surround subjects such as gender, race, politics, and mental health. In 2019, her feature documentary- Black Feminist - was an official selection at the Bronze Lens Festival of Atlanta. That same year- her short film, Demons, was also nominated for Best Short Film at the Content Creators of Atlanta Awards. Shortly after her most decorated year, Zanah was named one of Diversity in Cannes Top 10 Filmmakers of the Decade.

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Jacob Whitley

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Jacob Whitley has worked as a producer and director in the film industry since 2009. Before obtaining his bachelor’s degree in Communications: Radio/TV/Film from Cal State Fullerton, Jacob produced and directed many shorts including one that ended up on a local cable channel, as well as 2 feature length films. After college, Jacob entered the commercial world and worked on several commercial projects for clients such as Land Rover, Dyson, and Goodwill. He additionally found himself working on the motion picture winner of 5 Academy Awards, La La Land, during the project’s pre-production.

Jacob produced his 3rd feature film in 2015 with the country music film Buckshot, which won 5 festival awards including best picture. Expanding his skillsets, he began work in the audio-visual industry while earning his Project Management Certification. He would join his grandfather’s carpet cleaning business, later becoming a co-owner with his father while pursuing his film career. At the end of 2019 Jacob switched his focus from scripted narratives to documentary filmmaking while revisiting a documentary he had started in 2014 about his uncle who was a fallen firefighter.

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Mauli Bonner

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Mauli B. is a grammy award winning songwriter, who for the past ten years, has been one of the most sought after vocal directors in the music industry. He works with recording artists for recording sessions and prepares them for tours and live performances around the world. Mauli's client list consist of Ariana Grande, Fergie, Ke$ha, Camila Cabello, Prince Royce and others. His passion for teaching is recognized by all who have worked with him.


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Fekad Kiros & Cheryl Halpern

Award-Winning Filmmakers
Fekad Kiros and Cheryl Halpern are long-time collaborators and are both resolute in their belief in the transformative power of documentary filmmaking. They share a special drive to illuminate the struggles and triumphs of the women of Ethiopia and continue to create impactful documentaries that further this mission.

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2020 AWARD-WINNING documentary 

FILMMAKERS in the spotlight

​Juan Antonio Moreno Rodríguez
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Juan Antonio Moreno Rodríguez has been linked to the universe of short film for almost two decades. He has published four books on this format and practices criticism in the magazine FilaSiete.
He has also taught several workshops on film criticism and directs and presents with Antonio Peláez the program “A short with you”, wich is broadcast Leave TV Stories. Abel Cuerda-The Colour Painter is his first opera as a director and it has been selected in 10 festival, having received 4 awards.

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Birdy Wei-ting Hong

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Birdy Wei-ting Hung is a M.F.A. student at San Francisco State University. She is a documentary filmmaker who values critical theory. Her interests include feminism, body genres (e.g., pornography, melodrama, horror), and affect theory. Birdy’s latest documentary project, The Commuter, was awarded The Bill Nichols Scholarship for 2020 from SFSU School of Cinema.

​Brandon Smith
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Brandon Smith is a graduate from the University of North Texas with a degree in Radio, Television & Film. Early into his career, Brandon plans to make an impact in the documentary filmmaking community and create real change through storytelling. This is Brandon's first feature film. 

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Laura Seltzer-Duny

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Laura Seltzer-Duny has a special interest in producing documentaries about unsung heroes and the people they help. Laura has produced many stories about migration, the plight of refugees and their efforts to resettle. She is an award-winning PBS documentary and educational filmmaker and is based in the Washington, DC area.

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Mikell Limbrick

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Mikell Limbrick is the CEO of iRise Filmz, a film and television production company in Houston Texas. He began his endeavor into cinematography in 2010 by shooting blogs, live concerts and music videos. His creative vision in the shooting of music videos is what caught the attention of the city. Mikell or “Mick” began shooting straight to DVD comedy concerts at the Houston Improv around in 2013. Numerous famous and up and coming comedians trusted Mick to capture the essence of their stand-up at live shows in his 4 to 5 camera shoots. DeRay Davis, Brandon T. Jackson, Cocoa Brown and Ken Boyd are among the national acts that iRise produced. Mick’s eye for detail and professional approached fostered an alliance with another accomplished comedian and filmmaker, Billy D. Washington.

Through their collaborative efforts they produced 2 award winning shot films, “Bro” which won for best foreign short film at the African Oscars and “The Pillow case” which won for best short film at the Houston Black Film Festival. It was also a finalist in the Gentleman Jack national short film competition. On these films Mick served as Director of Photographer, Producer, Executive Producer and editor.

His wide range of technique, shooting style and non-linear process is also reflected in other areas. Mick is also known for his impeccable sense of fashion. His trademark dark glasses and meticulously coordinated outfits are a staple in both the Houston film and fashion industries. He is often a wardrobe consultant for local celebrities and a model for national brands.

Mick takes a logical approach to illogical thinking. He’s been able to formulate plans and find money to help finance the cinematic dreams of creators. His business network is wide ranging and his talent is highly respected. In his facebook group, ‘The Thinkers Club’ he’s gathered like-minded individuals to dissect the status quo and challenge the norms of society.
Mickell Limbrick is a renaissance man, a technical genius, a student of life, a fashionista, a foodie and a force to be reckoned with in social circles all over Houston, Texas.

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Patrick Rooney

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Patrick Rooney is a Freelance Filmmaker, working under the title of DEAR FRIEND Films. He produces high quality, professional video content for a variety of International Clients, as well as a number of Short Films, Documentaries and Promotional Videos.

His work has been selected for multiple international film festivals, as well as having been shown live on national TV (STV). He studied Digital Filmmaking at the SAE Institute, Glasgow, gaining a First-Class BA Hons degree. Once graduated, Patrick had a 9-month Internship with the prestigious production company 'Plum Films' in Edinburgh. Since his internship, Patrick has continued to work with numerous production companies across Scotland, as well as produce his own professional film work.

Patrick's debut feature-length documentary film, 'In The Red', was filmed throughout 2019 and completed in 2020 in association with Allied Vehicles. Patrick directed, filmed and edited the film himself, creating the completed film on a budget less than £10k.

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Chris Tocchet

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Chris Tocchet is a Senior TV/Film major at DeSales University. Graduating Class of 2021. From East Oreland, Pennsylvania.


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Andres Bronnimann

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Andres is a Swiss/Mexican independent filmmaker based in Costa Rica and France. Throughout his career, he has traveled to more than 30 countries, creating music videos, web-series, and commercials for different brands, artists, and organizations.

His work focuses on the interconnectedness between the macro and the micro; between socio-political issues and our day-to-day reality. With a defined visual style and a naturalistic approach to storytelling, his portfolio encompasses fiction and non-fiction, short and long format content, yet always with the aim of sparking critical thinking for young global audiences.

Both a producer and a writer, a manager and a creative, he’s been involved in every stage in the film production pipeline. “The Universality of It All” is Andres’ debut film, nearly 2 years in the making, where he was the only crew member.

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Elizabeth Ramjit

Award-Winning Filmmaker

“Over-Flow” is a short documentary film directed by American-Trinidadian filmmaker and Verizon Media Producer, Elizabeth Ramjit. In October 2018, Ramjit traveled to Trinidad and Tobago right when the torrential downpours and floods that would destroy nearly 80 percent of the country had only just begun.

The documentary explores accountability in the Caribbean nation where a lack of environmental regulations and a culture of littering exacerbated the natural disaster.

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Savvas Constantinou

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Savvas Constantinou is a filmmaker, residing in the country of Cyprus. His film festival debut being “Font of Infamy”, a short comedy imbued documentary he finished production in the year 2020.
He learned storytelling from his hobby of making sketch videos on the YouTube social media platform from 2012 to 2018. This later led to a more professional approach of going to a university while continuing his passion, to get his Bachelor’s degree in Film.
Most recently he made it to the Semi-finalist round for his screenplay "Hummings of a Hummingbird" in the SWN screenwriter network competition. The set screenplay is also ranked in the top 10 short scripts in the world, under the animated-shorts category of Coverfly's THE RED LIST.


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Heewon Kim

Award-Winning Filmmaker

My name is Heewon Kim, and I moved to Austin, Texas when I was eight years old. In the middle of my eighth grade year, I moved to Shanghai, China. All throughout my life, I adapted living in three different countries: Korea, America, and China. I'm a voracious reader--I like to read anything ranging from news articles, novels of any genre, to old newspapers in any language.

Bill Page

Award-Winning Filmmaker

I am a filmmaker producing documentaries about visual artists. And, as a painter this gives me in-depth insights into understanding the creative process, how artists work and the artists' point of view. A primary interest behind these films has always been seeing artists speaking in their own words about their work, which gives invaluable insights into their work, and how they navigate the terrain of being as artist and who they have become.The primary interests in my film subjects are those artists whose work has an affinity with ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM, a decisive period in the history of art, i.e. William de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Franz Cline. I film abstract artists who are working in aesthetic qualities related to this period.
These films are not typically biographical. I am more concerned with who these artists are now today, their lives, work and ideas, who they became from what they were, with aspects of their history. Visual and interview driven, artists speaking in their own words.
The production list includes LARRY POONS, MICHAEL GOLDBERG, PAUL RESIKA, GEORGE MCNEIL, FRANK HOLLIDAY, REUBEN KADISH, GERTRUDE BARRER, LARRY CALGANIO, RICHARDS REUBEN. And related are sculptors PETER AGONSTINI, MICHAEL STEINER, CLEMENT MEADMORE, WILLIAM TUCKER.Selected Screenings include the National Academy Museum, NYC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Montclair Museum, NJ; the Portland Art Museum; Doc Labs-Hanoi; Nunu Art Screenings, Taipei, Taiwan; ONKAF Art Foundation, New Delhi,. These films have shown on PBSand Public Television stations and in Europe.
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Nick Papaterpou

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Nick Papaterpou is currently a student at Drexel University, studying Film & Television production.




Jack Sarcone

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Born & raised in Des Moines, Iowa. Jack Sarcone is an award-winning filmmaker who believes in the power of the independent documentary film and its ability to communicate in this digital age. He has a serious passion for lifestyle documentary filmmaking and brand storytelling.
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Raymond Remo & Michelle Remo

Award-Winning Filmmakers


Raymond Remo and Michelle Remo, 2016 San Francisco State University Graduates. Raymond studied Cinema earning a degree in 2017 and Michelle studied Journalism winning the a Society of Professional Journalism for Multi Media in 2017. After getting married in 2018 they decided to take their story telling skills to Mexico where they independently shot the documentary, "El Pinche Gringo and the Barbecue Diplomacy".

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Viraf Kekobad & Hanif Modak

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Capt. Viraf Kekobad was the joint owner of M V Safeer and has a merchant naval background.
MISSION SAFEER 37 DAYS TO FREEDOM is his first film as Producer and Director along with Mr Hanif Modak.

Capt. Viraf Kekobad's Merchant Navy career commenced in 1969 as a trainee cadet. He was in command of various multipurpose ships from 1979 till 1985  and became a ship owner thereafter. 
Mr Hanif Modak has a been involved in ship management for last four decades and is son of Late Capt. Ibrahim Modak. M V Safeer was a Panama registered cargo ship and was owned by Capt. Ibrahim Modak, Capt. Viraf Kekobad and one more party.

Capt. Kekobad had played a key role along with Mr Hanif Modak , in being directly involved with this humanitarian mission,  which brought 722 Indian Nationals to safety from war torn Kuwait. The evacuees were reunited with their families and got a new lease of life. It was the biggest evacuation by the Merchant Navy which was carried out free of cost.

Both of them decided to make this documentary so that the public at large can know about the massive challenges faced and true facts about this voyage. 

They want the younger generations to know that even in the time of deep crisis if people join their hands together and believe in themselves,
there is always a way forward. NEVER LOSE HOPE.

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Peter Heslop-Smith

Award-Winning Filmmaker

A lover of film from an early age, Peter began shooting homemade amateur short films of various genres at the age of 13. While he originally studying anthropology, with a masters of the anthropology of health, at university, Peter returned filmmaking, with a focus on documentary, after attending a number of Open City Documentary Festival's short courses (through which A Tower Block in Ladbroke Grove was made) while working as a video editor for the charity Quilombo UK/QMC School of Capoeira. This film is the result of his time with Open City's 2019 Summer School and marks his first major short as a documentarian.

Lucia Mauro

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Before telling stories through film, Lucia Mauro of Chicago was a longtime theater/dance critic and arts journalist. She made her directorial debut with her short film, "In My Brother’s Shoes," which centers on a man (played by Danny McCarthy) who honors his fallen Marine Corps brother by taking a pilgrimage to Rome in his sibling’s combat boots. It was awarded Best Short Film at the 2015 Vatican Film Festival in Rome and featured in the 2015 International Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner. Lucia is the writer-director of the 2016 feature, "One Year Later," about an American woman who takes a cathartic trip to the Italian Alps one year after completing cancer treatment. It screened at Montreal’s Views of the World Film & Music Festival, where it was nominated for Best Original Score, and is shown throughout the medical community for cancer support. "Frances Xavier Cabrini: The People’s Saint" (2017), her poetic documentary, honors the great humanitarian and Patroness of Immigrants, who founded 67 schools, orphanages and hospitals across North America, South and Central America, and Europe at the turn of the 20th century. It features thriving immigrant communities in Chicago today. Lucia's short film, "Voci del diario (Entries)" – about one man’s reflection on the life cycle through his journal entries – was shot in Italy's Dolomite Mountains with post-production completed in early 2020. Her work explores healing, resilience and human connection. All of Lucia’s films are part of the non-profit, In My Brother’s Shoes, Inc., that she and her husband-producer Joe Orlandino founded, to assist with support for PTSD, cancer research and humanitarian efforts.

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Dhiney Ramos

Award-Winning Filmmaker

A filmmaker in my opinion, should look for ways or try to show the public friendship, hope, peace, forgiveness and a lot of love. For there is a lot to progress as a human being. And these themes can awaken something Divine in people. As a filmmaker, I look for and will try my whole life to be a promoter of the Light!

Films made by Dhiney Ramos:

2005 Brazil – O cachorro e a procissão (the dog and the procession)– 10min. Experimental film

2011 Brazil – Boca Branca (white mounth) – 20min. Documentary

2013 The Netherlands – Beet club – 78min. documentary

2015 Brazil / The Netherlands – In the name of the mother the son and the sacred procession – 77min. documentary (this film went to the final round of the Figueira da Foz film festival in Portugal.

2020 The Netherlands – Father of a broken Angel – 90min. documentary

2020 The Netherlands – Lothar, from ogri boy to a world artist – 90min – documentary ( in production)

2020 The Netherlands – Liefde redt – 120min – documentary (in production)

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​Michael Cotaya
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Born in Anaheim, CA and raised in Houston, TX, Michael Cotaya attended film school at the University of Houston. His first true loves are film and skateboarding. He first picked up a camera as a kid to film clips of his friends' skateboarding. Although he still regularly films skateboarding and cuts skate edits, he has produced and directed documentaries, short films, and music videos.

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Gianmarco D'Agostino

Award-Winning Filmmaker

I was born in Arezzo in 1977 and graduated in Cinema History and Critics at the University of Florence where I live and work.

Since 2001 I wrote, produced and directed several short films, documentaries and communication campaigns, commissioned by public institutions and bank foundations.

"La Fuga", a short written with the novelist Marco Vichi, was screened in the exhibition "Viaggio a Nord-Ovest" (Castello dell’Acciaiolo, Florence), which was visited by more than 10.000 people in two months.

I directed four art documentaries hosted by Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, among which "Il Tempo di Michelangelo", dedicated to the Sistine Chapel in Rome and the Medici family chapels in San Lorenzo Church in Florence.

Interested in the social issues, I have worked for a year in the jails of Florence and Ferrara with some prisoners that became the main characters of the documentary "Oggi voglio parlare".

For the documentary project "Florence, the Consul and Me", I was admitted to Archidoc a documentary workshop run by La fémis (Paris), sponsored by the MEDIA Programme, and selected to the pitching forums: Verzio DocLab (Budapest), Italian DocScreenings (Florence) and When East Meets West (Trieste). I was also selected to the Dragon Forum workshop in Krakow. The film is in the last stage of development.

Researches for this film have brought me in Israel, where I directed the video-art elements used to stage "Don Giovanni" by Mozart, for the Jerusalem Opera in October 2013.

In 2015 I produced and directed 12 documentaries exhibited in the new Grande Museo del Duomo in Florence, curated by Mons. Timothy Verdon.

My latest film is "Camminando sull'acqua" (Walking on Water), a 52' documentary about the flood of 1966 in Florence through the eyes, the camera and the creativity of Beppe Fantacci, who helped the worldwide famous artisans of Florence to survive the devastation of the city.

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Bryan Murray

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Extreme Sports Pioneer and Digital Media Guru
Hatteras Surf Feast -- International Documentary / Surf Film
Beach MTV -- Daisy Fuentes
MTV -- FEAR (Paranormal Reality TV Series)
ESPN -- Hot Summer Nights
Associated Press -- Photo Journalism Award Winner
Eastern Extreme -- Half Hour Action Sports TV Show
Havoc TV Sports -- Segment Contributor
Former Surfing Champion -- ESA/US Championship Qualifier
Snowboarding Instructor -- 7 Springs Resort
Wake Surfing Enthusiast -- Beaver Board Shop, Bridgewater PA
Skateboarding Advocate -- Built Grindline Skate Park in WV
Lake Surfing Enthusiast -- Member Presque Isle Surf Club

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Wendy E. Reynolds

Award-Winning FilmmakerMs. Wendy E. Reynolds is an Eco-Crusader and Filmmaker who currently calls Vermont home. Raised on Long Island with strong family values, Wendy’s path into filmmaking has been far from a traditional one. An ATP rated commercial pilot in her ‘previous life’, business developer, and owner of a seaplane charter company, her drive to protect the environment she loves is what ultimately brought her to the medium of film.
Working on various sets in countless roles, Wendy has trained herself as a storyteller and educator for the sole purpose of raising awareness and motivating positive change through cinema.
The founder of Planet Axis, an environmental / social documentary non-profit organization, Wendy looks to projects, people and stories that will facilitate cinematic exploration by not only herself and her team, but also the viewer. She operates on the philosophy that there can be something in every film that touches someone.
Wendy enjoys creating and finding inspiration in the great outdoors with her partner, and fellow filmmaker Stefan and their almost famous dog, Gaia.

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Quitterie Hervouet

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Director/writer/actor Quitterie Hervouet moved to Toronto from Paris at the end of 2015. She studied at The Drama school Le Cours Simon and acted in multiple short films but she quickly realized that she loved storytelling. So she studied writing at George Brown College. She just received her certificate in screenwriting.
Quitterie collaborated with Iris Gardet, on French Off The Boat, a digital series she co-produced, co-wrote and starred in. Two episodes won Best International Director at Atlanta Comedy Film Festival. She represented Ontario at La course des régions pancanadienne, a Québec competition in October 2019. Prendre son envol, the short documentary she directed for the competition won the “Franco-Canadian” award from the “Front des réalisateurs Indépendants du Canada”. Also, a theatre performer, she wrote her first one woman show, Six degrees of me and performed it in Toronto. Quitterie also leads a career as a radio host/journalist. She covered the Toronto International Film Festival, the CSA and Hot Docs Festival.


Christian Filek

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Born 1966 in Vienna. Following his training as a radio journalist, he worked for different radio stations as well as a freelance author for several years. Switched over to theater. Artistic director of a Viennese cabaret and artist management. Numerous activities as an author, actor and director for both satirical shows and theater.
His short “occupied” won several awards at festivals around the world.

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Marta N. Bautis

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Marta Noemí Bautís, director of Tiempo Azul Productions, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has traveled throughout Latin America as a photojournalist. Her social documentaries tell stories of struggle and hope, and they have been screened at numerous international festivals, among them the New Latin American Cinema Festival, in Havana, Cuba, the Latino Film Festival of Sydney, in Australia, and the Latino Film Festival of San Diego, in California. Ms. Bautís is currently a faculty member of the School of Contemporary Arts, Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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Henry Panion & David Macon

Award-Winning Filmmakers

Henry Panion, III, PhD, holds degrees in music education and music theory from Alabama A & M University and the Ohio State University, respectively. He is most known for his work as conductor and arranger for superstar Stevie Wonder, for whose performances and recordings he has led many of the world’s most notable orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra, the Birmingham (England) Symphony, the Orchestra of Paris, the Melbourne (Australia) Symphony, the Rio de Janeiro Philharmonic, the Ra’anana Philharmonic, the Nice Symphony, the Gothenburg Symphony, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. The two-CD set Natural Wonder features Dr. Panion conducting his arrangements of many of Stevie Wonder’s award-winning, chart-topping songs with Stevie and the Tokyo Philharmonic.

The creative force behind Gospel Goes Classical featuring Juanita Bynum, Jonathan Butler, and the GGC Symphony Orchestra and Choir, Dr. Panion made history topping the Billboard charts on both the Gospel and Classical Crossover Charts simultaneously. Other artists for whom Dr. Panion has had the opportunity to conduct and/or arrange include The Winans, Chet Atkins, Lady Tramaine Hawkins, Eugenia Zuckerman, The Clark Sisters, Aretha Franklin, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Chaka Khan, Kirk Franklin, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Kelly Price, India Arie, Robin Thicke, LeAnn Rimes, and American Idol winners Carrie Underwood and Ruben Studdard.

Dr. Panion’s own works are programmed throughout the United States by many of this country’s major orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Cleveland Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, and the National Symphony. A select list of other orchestras performing Dr. Panion’s works includes San Antonio, Nova Scotia, Columbus, Charlotte, San Diego, Louisville, North Carolina, Indianapolis, Arkansas, Jacksonville, Alabama, and the former Birmingham Metropolitan Orchestra, for which he served as Music Director from 1995-1997.

As a producer, composer, arranger, and orchestrator, Dr. Panion’s work has produced two Grammy Awards, two Dove Awards, and a host of other national music awards and nominations. From 1994 to 2000, Dr. Panion served as chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also serves as President and Founder of Audiostate 55 Recording Studios & Entertainment Company and the Gospel Symphony Collection. Other honors include a 1995 Distinguished Alumni Award from Alabama A & M University and a 1996 Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from the Ohio State University. He is the 1996 recipient of the Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Award for Scholarly Distinction and the 2009 recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus' Civic and Cultural Advancement Award. Dr. Panion was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1995, the Alabama A & M University Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Alabama Arts Hall of Fame in 2019.

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees has honored Dr. Panion for his many contributions to the field of music by bestowing upon him the distinguished appointment of University Professor. In 2009, Dr. Panion was appointed to the post of Cultural Ambassador for the City of Birmingham, AL, and in 2013, he received the Drum Major for Justice Award from the SCLC/W.O.M.E.N, Inc. Dr. Panion was recently appointed to the Berklee College of Music’s BCMN Advisory Board and is in year two of a six-year term appointment by the Governor of Alabama to the Alabama State Council on the Arts. In 2017, Dr. Panion was appointed by the Mayor of the City of Birmingham to Chair its three-year commemoration and celebration of the State of Alabama’s Bicentennial.

Personal Web Page
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David Macon is an accomplished filmmaker and director of photography who is extraordinarily skilled in the art of storytelling. David studied at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida; however, he honed his capabilities while working with corporate marketing and public relations teams throughout the southeast. David has a diverse portfolio of projects that include productions for the Southern Company, Alabama Power Company, Brasfield & Gorrie, Mercedes-Benz US International and more.

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Ryan Oligmueller

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Ryan Oligmueller is a Colorado-based filmmaker focused on the art of the moving picture. He is currently attaining his BFA in Film Production from the University of Colorado Boulder.


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Lara Azzopardi

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Born in Malta, the only daughter of Angela and Joseph Azzopardi. Lara was brought up in the Media Industry with the influence of her mother who is a TV presenter and producer.
She started off her career in the media with presenting radio and television children programs at the age of 7, then started acting in Maltese TV drama in 2005.
She is known for her acting roles in 'Gizelle', 'Emilja', 'L-Evangelisti', '506', 'Caqqufa' and most recently 'Game Over'. Won 'Best Female Actress Award in a Leading Role' in 2017.
She graduated in Nursing in 2006 and read a Masters Degree in Film studies in 2015.

Fenell Wilkins

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Filmmaker and Spoken-word artist Fenell "Nell D " Wilkins is a Georgia native and 2nd generation Liberian-West African who expands her journey as a film producer,performer, and documentary director.

Roger Paradiso

Award-Winning Filmmaker

ROGER PARADISO is currently the Producer/Director of Searching for Camelot a three-part feature doc examining the fascinating lives of JFK, RFK and Jackie and the world they inhabited called Camelot. His last film, "The Lost Village", is distributed by First Run Features. THE LOST Village a story about the decline and fall of the bohemian Greenwich Village. A recent film, I WANT MY NAME BACK is the unknown story of the Sugarhill Gang who broke Hip Hop around the world with their landmark song called “Rapper’s Delight”. Toronto Film Scene said: “ I Want My Name Back will stand as a classic piece of musical history.”
Past Film credits include Producer/Director/Writer of “Tony ‘N’ Tina’s Wedding” starring Mila Kunis and Adrien Grenier. He was Executive Producer for “City By The Sea”, starring ROBERT DeNIRO, FRANCES MCDORMAND and JAMES FRANCO. Mr. Paradiso was the Co- Producer on “The Thomas Crown Affair", starring PIERCE BROSNAN and RENE RUSSO as well as Co-Producer on “At First Sight”, starring VAL KILMER and MIRA SORVINO.

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Liel Sharon Gur

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Liel Sharon Gur - director, camerawoman and editor - is 25 and lives in Jerusalem. She did her national service as a tour guide in the city of Arad. Today she is a fourth year student at the Maaleh School of Film & Television, completing her graduating narrative short for graduation in February 2020. “Simple Things", completed in 2019, is Liel’s graduation documentary. In 2018 Liel directed her 2nd year narrative short, “Sushi, Meatballs & Everything” which won second prize at the Longshort Film Festival, Tel Aviv. and has screened at a number of festivals worldwide. Liel is also a BA undergrad majoring in media and literature at Hertzog College.

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Katrina Channells

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Katrina Channells is a director working across fiction, documentary and Virtual Reality. Her most recent VR experience 'Speak of Country' was created in collaboration with Yuin Nation storytellers from the coast of New South Wales and will exhibit at Melbourne Museum and Sydney Carriageworks in 2021. Katrina’s documentary series ‘Stingray Sisters’, was released in 2016 screening in Vancouver, London and streaming on SBS OnDemand. The series captured the attention of the national media and contributed to winning the fight against offshore fracking in Arnhem Land. Katrina’s documentary ‘Leaving Allen Street’ was selected in this year's Melbourne Documentary Film Festival. Katrina works as a full-time director at We Are Yarn, creating a variety of productions for broadcast, festivals, exhibition and online.

 Peter Galison

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Peter Galison is a physicist/historian of science/filmmaker at Harvard University. In 1997, he was named a MacArthur Fellow; with his Event Horizon Telescope colleagues, Galison shared in the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for the first image of a black hole. He is a co-founder of the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard, an interdisciplinary center for the study of these most extreme objects. His documentary film (with Pamela Hogan, 2000) probed the moral-political debates over the H-bomb: “Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma.” He and Robb Moss co-directed “Secrecy” (2008), on national security secrecy, which premiered at Sundance. The two also co-directed “Containment” (2015), about the need to guard radioactive materials and warn the 10,000-year future. Galison partnered (as dramaturg) with South African artist William Kentridge on a multi-screen installation, “The Refusal of Time” (2012) and an associated chamber opera. He is also the author of several books, including “Image and Logic”; “Objectivity”; (with L. Daston), and “Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps.”​See More

Donna Serbe-Davis

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Donna Serbe-Davis is an art historian who has taught at Rutgers University and Kean University. She served as Art History Coordinator for the Rutgers University Study Abroad Program in Florence, Italy. Serbe-Davis has participated in numerous educational outreach projects. Examples include her role as Curriculum Module Coordinator and Visual Arts Consultant for Rutgers University’s Global Citizen 2000 Project; and Project Manager and Exhibition Organizer for Citizens Across Borders: The Student Initiative in Commemorating September 11, 2001. She has worked at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the George Segal Gallery in Montclair, NJ. More recently, Serbe-Davis has turned her attention to cultural heritage preservation, serving as Organizer and Project Manager of the Global Heritage Learning Initiative. Serbe-Davis received a Rutgers University award to study Digital Heritage in Granada, Spain, and is currently producing and directing documentary films about cultural and natural heritage preservation.

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Wondal Park

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Wondal Park is an expert the producer who planned and directed Pungjeong Radio. He has won 40 or so awards in Korea and abroad and hopes that ‘neighbors will become happier through human documentaries'. Pungjeong Radio is a movie for all ages. Pungjeong Radio is a format applicable anywhere around the world where there are elderly people, so the international target audience includes viewers in countries like China and Japan.

- Ph.D in Mass Communication at Keimyung University, focus on New Media
- Documentarian at TBC(Taegu Broadcasting Corporation)
- Received over 40 awards at the Houston International Film Festival, the Korean Broadcast Awards and the Korean Broadcasting Producers’ Awards
- Interested in the elderly, refugees, alternative school students, and multicultural families

Casey Grant

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Every time I am asked the question, “If you had unlimited income, what would you do with your life?” I always answer, “I would make travel documentaries.” I love to travel, and I love to film, so combining the two is a dream come true. I do not have unlimited income by any stretch of the imagination, but I decided to go for it anyway.

When I was 21, I packed up everything I owned into the back of my Chevy S-10 and moved from Tacoma, Washington to Los Angeles to see if I could make it as an actor. Long story short: I did okay for a while, picking up a few commercials, some lead roles in Indie films, and even one TV pilot. Eventually, I decided I enjoyed being behind the camera more than in front of it.

I went to school for animation and motion graphics, but still preferred filming to modeling and keyframing. The latter skills have come in handy, for sure, but I started to concentrate more on cinematography and video editing.

Eventually, I decided to go back to school for writing to help build my storytelling skills, graduating Summa Cum Laude from ASU in 2017. My background is in scripted content, but I wanted to try what I have always dreamed of doing.

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Emily Feng

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Emily Feng is NYU Tisch graduate, majoring in Film and TV Production. During her time there, she's directed multiple music videos, short narratives, and documentaries. She loves working with diverse casts and crews and telling stories that will help the world understand each other a little better.

Anthony Saldana

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Anthony Saldana is an award-winning director / producer from Queens, New York. He has devoted his career to telling stories about people with disabilities and mental disorders. He recently completed his M.A in Communication Arts from New York Institute of Technology. When Anthony is not filmmaking, he loves watching and performing improv comedy.

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Jim Nowak

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Jim Nowak is the President of Jimages, Inc., at TV production company that produces documentaries and training videos. Nowak's work history includes public television production, TV news, marketing and producing TV commercials.
Nowak has an extensive background in communications and has earned a number of awards throughout his career. These include a regional Emmy® award for “World War I: A Living History” plus 6 other Emmy® nominations. He received a national award from American Women in Radio & Television for “Sparrow Nest,” a documentary about the need for a shelter for homeless women. He has also been awarded Bronze Telly Awards and Communicator Awards for several “In Pursuit of Ethics” modules for the Better Business Bureau Foundation serving Northwest, West Central Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
Nowak serves as a Lieutenant Colonel (OH) in the Ohio Military Reserve, where he is currently the 4th Brigade Executive Officer.

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Marko Rivera

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Marko Rivera was born in Quito - Ecuador, sound engineer who works in the audiovisual medium about 10 years participating in audiovisual projects as feature films, short films and advertising.
This is Rivera's first film.



Erica Pomerance

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Erica Pomerance has over 30 years experience in documentary production as writer, director and producer. Her films deal with social issues: maternal health, cultural diversity, environment, She has directed documentaries in Canadian First Nations communities and in West Africa. Her
documentary Dabla Excision won Best Documentary at ùcenie delle Donne in Turino in 2003; Mirror Image won Best
Canadian Documentary at the ReelWorld Festival in Toronto in 2007. Djoliba Environment and Migrants of the Dunes won Sustainable Development awards at Vues d’Afrique in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Migrants of the Dunes (French) won Best Documentary at FIFAG (Guinea Conakry) in 2020.
Erica has worked to support POV documentary as a founding member of the RIDM, on the boards of DOC, ARRQ, the Observatoire du documentaire, Montreal Arts Council, Institut québécois du cinéma. She helped coordinate the Banff Television Festival Focus on Africa in 2000. She is founder and coordinator of Initiative Taling Dialo, a non-profit that gives video training workships in Quebec and francophone Africa since 2004. She is a part-time resident of Mali since 2005.

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Lisa Q. Wolfinger

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Co-owner of Lone Wolf Media and filmmaker, Lisa Quijano Wolfinger has written, produced and directed a wide range of television programs and films, including episodic drama, high-end factual series, documentaries and narrative shorts. She is the co-creator and executive producer of “Mercy Street,” PBS first original episodic drama in over ten years. Inspired by real people and events, the series goes beyond the front lines of the Civil War into the chaotic world of Union occupied Alexandria, Virginia. The series averaged a 3.0 national household rating, making it the second highest rated drama on PBS. Both season 1 and 2 garnered critical acclaim and had a loyal following.

Other notable work includes the critically acclaimed 3-hour docudrama special for History, “Desperate Crossing, the Untold Story of the Mayflower,” nominated for 2 primetime Emmy awards. The 2-hour documentary, “Fire on the Mountain” was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy and awarded the CINE Masters Series award. The 90-minute Salem Witch docudrama, titled “Witch Hunt” was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy, and the docudrama mini-series, “Conquest of America” was nominated for a Primetime Emmy and won a Gold medal at the New York Festival. In 2017 Lisa was awarded a Gracie award for her work on “Mercy Street” and her untiring efforts to offer women opportunities in the television industry.

“The Kids We Lose” is her first documentary feature and a deeply personal and emotional film inspired by her own experiences as the mother of a child with behavioral challenges.

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Preston Randolph

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Preston Randolph is the owner of Cactus Pro Films, an award-winning documentary production company out of Wyoming. Randolph’s passion for using film to generate awareness for social issues has been showcased through many of his short documentaries, PSA’s and interactive national media campaigns. Randolph has been involved in many causes with a focus on prison reform, wrongful imprisonments and Native American issues. This work has teamed him with individuals like Tom Morello, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte and Pete Seeger as well as organizations like the Innocence Project and Amnesty International.

Randolph’s short documentary The Summer of ‘81 has been awarded honors nationwide, including winning the Wyoming State Film Contest in 2012. In 2019, Randolph released the short documentary, Return to Foretop’s Father which chronicles the journey of Grant Bulltail, a native American elder who travels to bring awareness to climate change and the negative impacts resulting from the disconnect between nature and modern culture. Randolph has generated a visual style that collaborates with his passion to reveal stories of the human element.

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John Eames

Award-Winning Filmmaker

John Eames is a documentary filmmaker based in London. John's feature debut as a director is March for Dignity.


March for Dignity follows a small group of LGBTI+ activists in Tbilisi, Georgia as they attempt to conduct the first Pride march in the country, They face overwhelming opposition from far-right groups, the government, and the Georgian Orthodox Church, which has led to a history of attacks on the LGBTI+ community, often inciting rallies of thousands of violent counter protestors. With membership of the European Union, and anti-Russian sentiment firmly on the political agenda, Georgians are at a turning point in history where they must choose to fight for progress and human rights, or concede to greater Russian influence. In the midst of this geopolitical turmoil, the committed organisers of Tbilisi Pride bravely strive to be visible in their evolving country.

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Banu Ramazanova

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Banu is a director and producer from Kazakhstan. She studied and earned a BA in marketing (2009) and a BA with Honors in Film and Screen Studies at Bath Spa University (2012) in the UK. In 2013 she was accepted to the MFA Filmmaking program at NYFA, LA. Banu produced 4 films from 2018-2019 both narrative and documentary, successfully traveling in international film festivals.
Currently she is working on a full-length documentary ”Over the barriers” dedicated to famous absinthe from Kazakhstan, who won gold in Olympic Games in Rome 1966 in equestrian dressage.

Miko Nincic

Award-Winning Filmmaker

A large part of my professional life prior to becoming a documentary filmmaker was spent as a professor of political science. I began making films nine years ago, generally dealing with concerns that many of us share. "Things Fall Apart " chronicles the devastating impact of climate change on a tiny Inupiat village located on a small and previously ice-bound island in the Arctic Ocean; "Waking Up Alive" focuses on deep depression, attempted suicide, and ultimate commitment to life; "Departing" examines the manner in which we deal with death and dying; "Disconnected" addresses the impact of digital communications (the dominant way we now talk to each other) on human understanding and on our capacity for mutual empathy.
Each of these films has screened at film festivals and each has received at least one award.

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Jack Everitt

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Born in London, England on the 30th of May 1987, Jack Everitt showed an early interest in filmmaking when he and his sister would produce magic shows and various short films aimed as gifts for their extended family. This early indication of a love for filmmaking lay dormant for a number of years while Jack studied music and audio-post production at the prestigious BRIT School for Performing Arts in London, England.

By pure chance, Jack was asked to shoot a short documentary for a local music school after graduating the BRIT School which reignited his love of film. Jack then went on to spend a number of years working across different projects both as DP and Director on music videos, shorts and promotional videos before finally releasing his first feature film, 'Goodnight, Gloria', with Russell Geoffrey Banks in 2014. Following experience and contacts made through this project, Jack then went on to work on to work on various projects, either as Director/Producer or Cinematographer, including the action feature English Dogs in Bangkok, starring Byron Gibson and Ron Smoorenberg.

In the Summer of 2020, Jack completed his first feature-length documentary aimed at raising awareness for the rare genetic condition PKU. Given that Jack was born with this condition himself, this was Jack's first appearance on screen following a career of solely working exclusively behind the lens.

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Charlie VanderKlipp

Award-Winning Filmmaker

I was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan, where I experienced the ups and downs of small-town rumination, inspired by artists at the annual Traverse City Film Festival.

There I began my life as a Documentary Filmmaker, devoted to capturing slice-of-life stories that connect.

I currently live and work in Chicago, Illinois.

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Don McLeer

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Don McLeer got his start in video production with the United States Air Force, serving for over 25 years. In all, Don has more than 30 years of experience working in the creative industry in a wide range of disciplines including Advertising Art Director, Video Producer and Editor, Web Designer and Developer, and Photographer. Don is also an experienced Graphic Designer in a wide range of media including traditional print collateral, product package design, interactive multimedia, as well as logo development and branding.

Lau Ung Ing

Award-Winning Filmmaker

An electronic engineer by training and a telecommunication engineer by profession, Ung Ing made a career move to the filming industry and is currently the Head of Content at Sarawak Media Group based in Sarawak, Malaysia.Ung Ing is also an independent filmmaker who produced short films and short documentaries.

A registered member of Professional Film Workers Association of Malaysia (PROFIMA), he won the Best Short Film in 2017 Open Fields International Short Film Festival Temora, NSW Austalia through a short documentary “SAME”, featuring Cerebral Palsy children. He is also one of the five grant winners at Pesta Filem KITA, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2016 for his short film “OLD MAN’S DREAM”.

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Ricardo Jackson

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Exploring human experiences then extrapolating these stories and the nuances of life sounds a lot like paleontology but for Ricardo who was born not too long ago in Buffalo, NY he considers himself to be more of a cinematic explorer. Growing up Ricardo has always mined for a richer understanding of what inspired a particular chain of events to occur; and there in laid the awakening of his intelligence, as he gravitated towards the art of filmmaking. Albeit, Ricardo's journey was an arduous one that encompassed navigating the urban jungle in a disadvantaged community on the east side of Buffalo where Ricardo grew inundated with murder, drugs, and mayhem.

An All American athlete in football and basketball, Ricardo had aspirations of playing professional ball. With a ridiculous amount of raw talent and skill Ricardo was an exceptional athlete who was destined to be a household name. Ricardo was selected to travel to Portugal to play international basketball and later returned to the U.S still pursuing his NBA dream. After exhausting every opportunity to make it to the NBA, even having to sleep in his car at a New York tryout because he did not have enough money for a roof over his head, Ricardo realized that the air was coming out of the ball, and this was the paradigm shift to a new career.

It was not long after Ricardo graduated from college with a degree in Criminal Justice, that he began a career in entertainment. Developing and Producing independent projects in and out of the state of New York, Ricardo's ability grew and subsequently so did his arsenal that led to Writing, Directing, Editing and Cinematography. Ricardo has secured national and international distribution for independent projects on several television networks.

It is no surprise that Ricardo is very capable of engineering projects from inception to manifestation. It is the craft not the autograph that drives Ricardo to continue to create content; and although it has been said that there is nothing new under the sun, Ricardo is confident that he is bringing a brand new funk to the television and film industry.

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Alexander Craven

Award-Winning Filmmakers
Alex’s passion for film began at a young age, watching black & white movies while his grandfather, a jazz musician, practiced every night. His credits include narrative films, commercials, tour management, and helping start a nationwide independent IP-TV network. Heavily influenced by pre-sixties and international cinema, he's interested in cross-genre suspense stories which explore modern identity and relationships.


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James Purpura

Award-Winning Filmmaker
James Purpura, entrepreneur and philosopher, was a homeless drug addict just fifteen years ago. After enduring a personal descent into Hell, he was able to overcome limiting beliefs to build and sell one of the largest construction software companies in the world. As a part of his journey to success, he and his wife built their own personal development philosophy which hinges on the study of perception. James believes our perceptions define our world and dictates all of the decisions we make. He developed concepts called the “Field of Perception” and “Perception Loop,” which explain how we develop the patterns that dominate all of our lives. These concepts show us how to view our lives differently. They also explain how we are letting our pasts cast a shadow over our futures.

After confirming that their philosophy works, James and Steph created their company, Powerful U. This was a way for them to give back their knowledge to the world and help as many people as possible evolve their lives.

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Christopher Romano

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Christopher Romano has been a writer/director/producer for 10 years. He is a graduate of the Temple University "Film and Media Arts" program. His most recent endeavor was the Prague Screenwriting fellowship where he studied screenwriting with USC's former dean of creative writing, James Ragan. He is also currently in pre-production on his next short film titled "11:07".

Christopher is a director that focuses on telling stories that exhibit realism. His goal is revealing characters in their purest form and surrounding story with its appropriate backdrop. He feels that there is not a story that can't be told as long as it can be felt.

Thomas A. Grant

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Tom Grant teaches journalism, broadcasting and writing, and leads study abroad trips around the world.

He worked 30 years as a journalist in television and newspapers before earning his Ph.D. at the University of Idaho. A native of Tonasket, Washington, Grant earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.

He has won more than 10 national awards for his reporting, including two duPont-Columbia Awards, often referred to as the Pulitzers of broadcasting. He was the Mike Wallace Fellow for Investigative Reporting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1997-98. His research at the Center for ETHICS* at the University of Idaho compared methods of teaching media ethics to college students.

Grant spent much of his journalism career in Spokane, Wash., where he worked at KREM-TV, KXLY-TV, KAYU-TV and The Local Planet newspaper. In 1995, he won the George Polk Award for a long series of stories about people falsely accused of child abuse. Ultimately, 18 innocent people were released from prison.

Grant’s reporting on milk prices earned an Oscar in Agriculture award from the University of Illinois. His documentary on ethics in sports won a national prize for public service from the Society of Professional Journalists. He also won a national prize for investigative reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2001 for uncovering a secret deal to move $10 million in taxpayer money into a mall development project.

He ran for mayor of Spokane in 2003. He and his wife Mary Ann have three sons.

Tom Phillips, retired CBS news writer and author of the memoir “A Beginner’s Life," wrote, “I admire people who have serious goals that motivate them for a lifetime…. Walter Cronkite, Tom Grant, Nelson Mandela... I admire them because they know who they are.”

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Mark Rose

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Mark D. Rose was born in Corvallis, Oregon to a logging family seasoned in the outdoors. At an early age he and his family moved to Alaska, where he was raised near Juneau. Immersing himself in that challenging environ, he early took up aviation, focusing his career in that direction for the next decades, eventually thrown into the construction of the Alaska Pipeline as a helicopter fleet manager, tasked with building out the mountain network vital to the project. Rose worked and flew in those extremes which pushed he and his colleagues to the edge on many occasions, teaching life lessons that only Alaska and the mountains can.

Mark was always fascinated with photography, attested by the photo albums he collected based on the experiences he witnessed and documented along the way. Eventually earning multiple patents in wireless, Mark moved from high-tech to writing and now to now to film, seeing that the current generation would rather watch than read, so here I am!

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​Joshua S. Bischof
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Joshua is a world traveler who has written and directed numerous short films as well as worked on a number of feature films such as „The Heart of Man“ and the award-winning „Midori in Hawaii“. In 2019 he directed his first feature documentary, ''Burn With Us''.

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Kathy Drasky

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Kathy Drasky is a filmmaker and photographer based in San Francisco. “The Sexy Six: A Story of Lifelong Friendship” is her third short documentary originating in her hometown of Norwalk, CT. Filming with an iPhone, Kathy supplements real-time video interviews with family photos, home movies, found footage, and local and personal histories to bring under-the-surface, yet compelling stories to life. Her films have screened internationally, won numerous awards, and twice been named to the Spotlight Documentary Film Awards’ annual “Top 250 Documentaries” list.

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Syed Hasan

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Syed Hasan is a promising new director whose debut documentary, “100 Boats,” is a personal account of his experience during 2017's Hurricane Harvey. Syed focuses on the compassion his community showed during this natural disaster and highlights the countless volunteers who worked tirelessly, risking their own safety, to help neighbors flee their flooded homes.

Born in Karachi and raised in New York City, Syed has been living in Houston since 2007. A self-taught filmmaker, his passion for the arts started in high school, where he picked up a point-and-shoot camera to make his first short films. Syed continues to master his craft, learning the tricks of the trade from film legends such as Quentin Tarantino, Werner Herzog, Christopher Nolan, and Stanley Kubrick.

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Trevor Cameron

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Trevor is a Metis Writer and Director. His videos and films have been screened across the land and on TVs internationally. He began working for Metis diaspora by working for Schools and Youth Centres in British Columbia. He found performing, and soon toured western Canada as an improviser and stand up comedian, all while making short films. He found a new path when he found success on Wapos Bay, An animated kids show filmed in Saskatchewan. He worked his way from performer and assistant director to writer and director. Trevor was nominated for four Geminis on Wapos Bay (writing, directing, and performing) and several other international awards like the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. From Indie to Children’s TV, Trevor has moved to a variety of other productions, as a writer and director. Trevor’s interest in telling Metis specific stories has given him a distinct voice and perspective in Canadian Arts.
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Manuele Mandolesi

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Manuele Mandolesi after finishing his degree in Communication studies he moved in Milan to attend a Master in "Digital Film and Television". In Rome, he approached the field of documetary films working on his first thematic documentary "Il Cammino di Santiago" (Way of St. James). Later he specialized in narrative documentary.
Thanks to his on-field experience, the director has been able to tell stories of conflicts and crisis, developing a reportage/in depth analysis approach in dealing with current events of political and social interest. As documentary Filmaker he worked for the main Italian television channels. During the refugee crisis in Lampedusa he shooted the docu-movie “We are Lampedusa" and "Free Speech".
In 2014, he spent several months on a ship of the Italian Navy to show the life of the first Italian woman Captain involved in the “Mare Nostrum” operation launched by the Italian Government to prevent refugee drowing off the coast of the Island of Sicily (Award winner Premio Flaiano)
In 2017 he won Walles Int. Documentary Festival with his short doc "Far East". Then he started to shoot two documentaries about the 2016 earthquake in Italy: "Vulnerable Beauty" and "This is our homeland". Now is working for a documentary-series for a TV channel and he is writing a new documentary and a fiction film.


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Aaron M. Canada

Award-Winning Filmmaker


I'm 36 years old, and I've been living with Erectile Dysfunction for nearly 20 years. But I didn't feel comfortable enough to talk about it until I started dating a doctor. And even then it was a little weird.

Growing up, I genuinely thought I was the only one in the world under the age of 50 suffering from ED. But boy was I wrong. And as it turns out, I actually have over a billion brothers worldwide who know exactly how it feels to keep their distance from potential love interests because they can't bear the thought of another disappointment when the time comes to head to the bedroom.

They know the shame. And they, too, think that they're all alone.

So I made a film about ED. For myself and for them. And I'm hoping you like it.


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Zack Williams

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Zack is an award-winning filmmaker hailing from Pittsburgh, PA. His previous titles include Paper Dolls (2017), J.P. (2016), and Ward (2016).

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Jared Cruce

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Award winning director and cinematographer Jared Cruce has targeted his latest pursuits to the short documentary. With years of experience in commercial cinematography work, he brings a story driven, connected approach to his subjects and projects.

Recently, his short docs have won best business film at the Brand Film Festival New York, Gold Stevie Award for best documentary and Silver for best corporate social responsibility film.

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Kevin Bryce

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Award winning director, producer, editor, and documentarian. For the past 10 years has worked independently producing documentaries, and corporate videos for national and multinational companies.

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Michael Peel

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Michael Peel is a practice based Senior Lecturer in Studio & Media Production at Regent's University London. His teaching focuses on practical film production, specifically cinematography and editing.

Nominated for the Best Cinematography Award at the 2018 Southampton International Film Festival. Michale has worked on a number of award winning independent productions.

He is the co-founder of the London based production BottleRocket Film that producing dramas and documentaries.

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Mackenzie Huffman

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Mackenzie Huffman is a Senior at Missouri State University with a major in Digital Film & TV Production and a minor in Screenwriting. She prides herself on accurate screenwriting because a realistic representation of marginalized groups is important. She believes this is something she can help improve. Her volunteerism with Carbon Trace Productions is the first foray into such work.

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George Wingard

Award-Winning Filmmaker


George Wingard joined the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program (SRARP) staff in 1993 with a B.A. in Humanities from the University of South Carolina. He is now the Program Coordinator and oversees the budgets, personnel and daily administration. The SRARP is a division of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) which is a department of the University of South Carolina. The SRARP is located on the Savannah River Site (SRS) a Department of Energy (DOE) facility straddling Aiken, Barnwell, and Allendale counties.

George’s area of interests is the historic towns and remnant cemeteries located on the SRS, eighteenth and nineteenth century stoneware of the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), and the mill village of Graniteville, founded by textile giant William Gregg. George is also the co-producer of the documentary "Discovering Dave: Spirit Captured in Clay" detailing the life and times of the enslaved. Edgefield, South Carolina Potter David Drake. The film has been screened through out the United States and is being used as a teaching aid at several universities. Not trained as a filmmaker, George has embraced the medium as an important tool for storytelling and sharing history.

Since "Discovering Dave", George has completed four more documentary films showcasing South Carolina history with several more in various stages of production. "We Came A Long Way By Faith" is inward's most recent film and - due to the current Covid-19 situation has yet to be premiered.

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Tosca Davis, Cedrick Smith & Terrance Thomas

Award-Winning Filmmakers

Tosca Davis is Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of TO BE US Productions. She is responsible for product strategy, marketing optimization, and revenue growth. Which is a fancy way of saying, “Tosca knows best.”

Prior to this role, Tosca worked 15 years in non-profit management and community relations, where she was overworked and underpaid. Tosca is a devout student of mythology, astrology, symbolism, and all things deemed weird. She is also the majority owner of a Netflix account.

When Tosca is not busy saving the world, she can be found literally hugging trees in any given park or shallow forest.

Tosca holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Bachelor of Social work from the University of Alabama.

Cedrick Smith is Chief Executive Officer and President of TO BE US Productions. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the company’s portfolio and production operations.

Cedrick is no stranger to leadership. In middle school, he was voted most likely to be voted most likely in high school. Before his role at TO BE US, Cedrick served as managing editor for UZURI, an African inspired fashion magazine. He went on to work as a writer and producer for The Money Lady Show and was co-writer of the critically acclaimed book: I Can’t Afford To Marry You: a guide to understanding the true cost of love with author Marilyn Logan.

In his free time, Cedrick enjoys dreaming of being a good salsa dancer, collecting comic books, dominating his peers in golf, fighting for the rights of the marginalized, and telling anyone who will listen that he was varsity quarterback for the Dallas Carter Cowboys the year before they won the state title. Smith is a graduate of Hampton University and went on to attend The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he earned a Doctor of Medicine degree.

Terrance Thomas is Chief Creative Officer of TO BE US Productions. In this role, Terrance is responsible for like, creative stuff.

This sentence is a filler for Terrance’s non-accomplishments. This sentence is also a filler to let you know that Terrance is trying really hard to live a meaningful life.

Terrance Thomas has an associate’s degree from a community college

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Ed Emeka Keazor

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Ezennia Ugonabo Emeka Ed Keazor. is a documentary filmmaker, historian, lawyer, and author. His documentary film works include the critically acclaimed 'January 15, 1970: Untold Memories of the Nigeria - Biafra War’; ‘Company Yaya?!?: Lost African Voices of World War 2’, 'Onunaekwuluora: The Legend of Thurstan Shaw', Lagos: The Birth of a City of Style' amongst others

He is the author of the following critically acclaimed books: The Lagos Hamburg Line: A Brief History of German Commerce in Nigeria (1590 -2016); ‘120 Great Nigerians We Never Knew’, 'The Federation Cup and Nigerian Football'; amongst others.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Legal History Society; the board of directors of Iba Ajie (The Ukpabi Asika Knowledge Resource Centre). He was the consultant historian for the official FGN Centenary Documentary: 'We are Nigerians', and a recipient of an award from the African Society of Cambridge University in 2014, for his work in African History.

Samuel Ott

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Born and raised on a farm in mid-Missouri, Sam will always have a soft spot for the heartland. He's a self-taught filmmaker with a degree in marketing from the University of Missouri.

In 2018, his first feature film as cinematographer, In the Wake of Ire, won Best Cinematography at the CHAIN NYC Film Fest and Best American Spectrum Feature at INDY Film Fest. He recently completed shooting his second feature, The One You Feed.Director Statement


Bryan Carter

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Bryan Carter is an independent television journalist and filmmaker. His work focuses mainly on EU politics, labour and human rights.

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Rob Villanueva

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Rob Villanueva, Founder & Creative Director, previously spent 12 years of his creative career at Weymouth Design (WD) San Francisco as Senior Graphic Designer, Photographer & Videographer. As the partners of WD phased into retirement, Rob took the reigns as RVSF and continued working with clients who cover a global range from profit to non-profits in the tech, bio-tech and financial industries.

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Chad Nance

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Chad Nance is an author, journalist, podcaster, and documentary filmmaker based in Winston-Salem, NC. "Life in the Sacrifice Zone" is his first feature-length documentary film.

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Rodney Roldan

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Rodney Manuel Roldan was born and raised in New York, NY. After high school, Rodney joined the U.S. Navy where he served as an Electricians Mate on several sea going commands as well as shore duty for special detachments for ten years, rising to the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class. His Navy service included two sea service deployments in the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas, several humanitarian operations in the Caribbean Sea, humanitarian operations in the Ukraine and Black Sea, and a member of the inspection teams that enforced the blockade of weapons into Iraq.

After serving ten years active duty in the U.S. Navy, Rodney joined the U.S. Army Reserve in Los Angeles, CA while pursuing a career in performing arts. He attended Defense Information School at Ft Meade, MD where he became a U.S. Army Broadcast Journalist. Shortly after graduating from Defense Information School, he deployed to Afghanistan, as a field reporter for American Forces Network (AFN) Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Rodney also deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve as well as additional assignments in Poland and Germany.

In his civilian life, he is a television, film and stage actor with current membership in both professional acting unions; Screen Actors Guild-American Federation for Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and Actors Equity Association (AEA).

Rodney’s education includes an Associates in Science from Tidewater Community College, Bachelors of Arts with a concentration in Communication and Web Media Design from the University of Maryland University College, and Certificate of Completion of Stella Adler Studio of Acting’s 2 Year Conservatory Program in Performing Arts. He is currently working on his Master's in Visual Communication at Liberty University.

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Yang Sea Liu

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Yang Liu, Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Documentary Filmmaker, was born in 1987 in China. She started her study at Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts in 2017. Currently, she is in the Master of Fine Arts program in Documentary Filmmaking. Before she comes to the US, she worked in the News Channel in China as a journalist. She is very focused and experiences with the social topic. Her outstanding storytelling skill, especially with culture and humanity related to television documentaries. During her journalism career, she has finished an estimate of fifty television documentaries and received the Best Chinese Television Documentary Award. Most currently, she has won the July winner of Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, officially selected for Crossing the Screen, and officially selected for Cludad del Este Independent Film Festival. Most currently, her film Xinyan One Child Left Behind has gone into Student Academy Awards Semi-Finalist, Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival Finalist, and premiere at Tokyo Documentary Film Festival.

Erich Meltvedt

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Erich Meltvedt is a director, producer, best boy grip, and editor that currently lives in Orange County, California. Born in Hollywood, Erich has many commercial credits showcasing well known products that have been used all over the world.

Erich’s father, Richard Meltvedt, produced the film 21 Years for Pepperdine University, the same school Erich attended and from which he received his business degree. But Erich couldn’t stay away from making movies while attending college. He made his first movie for incoming fraternity pledges, a cross between Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Greek life.

After graduation, he moved to Germany to work, learn the language, and discover his heritage (his mother is from Germany). When his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Erich returned to the United States. He spent the next 15 years making marketing videos for Whitmont Legal Technologies. In 2012, he started Integrity Media Corp, which specialized in digital content. Erich went on to produce and direct product commercials for companies all over the globe. Erich managed to travel to India and Mexico where he wrote and produced three short documentaries for local organizations trying to make a difference in the lives of the people of Tecate and Tenali. The films brought awareness to the lack of resources and medical conditions in those areas.

It was not until 2019 that Erich met Paul Bayne, a gentleman from his alma mater who had brain cancer. It was from his initial conversation to say hello and console Paul on his diagnosis that Erich pitched his first film. Paul loved the idea, and the rest is history. Living with the Odds is Erich’s debut film.

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Matthew Sanders

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Matthew Lamar Sanders Was born January 13th 1984 and raised in Oxnard,California. He grew up playing sports and fell in love with the game of basketball. At the age of nineteen he joined the United States Army. After a short career in the military he relocated to Lima, Ohio. He attended James A. Rhodes State Community College where he received his AAS Degree in the field of Corrections. He’s a proud small business owner of a commercial and residential cleaning company. His most greatest achievements are being a father and a husband. Writing and Film making is something he has always had a secret love for and plans on continuing to put more out in the future.

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Jack Trent

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Jack Trent is a student documentary film director who hopes to bring people closer to God by producing true documentary films that inspire, educate and entertain. At the Florida Film Academy, Jack received invaluable teaching from two documentary veterans who produced and edited hundreds of documentaries for BBC, Fox, National Geographic and other international networks. Currently enrolled at Florida State University, Jack will graduate in the year 2024.

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Miguel Rodriguez & Pablo Ostarek

Award-Winning Filmmakers

Miguel - Miguel Rodríguez is an established professional in the film industry. Born and raised in Ecuador, his technical and creative skills come as a result of a career in which he held different roles. Miguel has worked as a director, director of photography, editor, colorist, gaffer, among others, in both the film and the advertising industry.
He has a degree in photography and sound for film and television in the INCINE (Quito, Ecuador). After being awarded a grant due to his academic excellency, he completed a Masters degree in animation and VFX in ESCAC (Barcelona, Spain).

Pablo - Pablo Ostarek is 27 years old and has recently finished a masters degree in film directing at ESCAC, in Barcelona. With a German father and Spanish mother he has had the opportunity to travel from a very young age. Pablo has been lucky enough to be able to cover different medical comission's work in Cuba and in the Saharan Refugee Camps; where specialists were sent to train local doctors and treat patients with osteogenesis imperfecta.

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Imeh Gabriel

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Imeh Gabriel is a writer and director based in Texas. Her first feature film, Grey focus was nominated for the 2008 African Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best sound.

Her most recent shorts include SAM and The Pickle Jar, currently streaming on A Lady's Voice Network, ALVN, a movie streaming platform she founded to tell women's stories.


​Raza Mehdi
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Raza Mehdi, BA, born 14th July 1985 is an English film director and producer. 

Beginning his career in media production 10 years ago, where he has been developing his filmmaking skills by means of innovative short-form productions covering inspiring narratives. 

Mehdi's work is also known for its vibrant color and stark contrast visually. He enjoys concentrating on contemporary visual storytelling via new and unique methods.

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Prateek Prajosh

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Prateek Prajosh, 29 years old, was born in Kerala, India. He was brought up in the Middle East and completed his schooling in Dubai, U.A.E. He went on to attain a bachelor degree in commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, India and later a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in the field of media and entertainment. His unconditional love and passion for film found himself in Vancouver, Canada studying film for one year but dropped out midway and began his directorial journey with his first project, a feature length documentary titled- ONLY SOMETIMES A GOD. 
Rawas (Indian Salmon) is his first fiction short film.
He is also a theatre actor, having written/directed and acted in numerous plays.​

Kathryn L Beranich

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Kathryn L Beranich launched her television career in 1977 as a Producer/Director at network affiliates and cable networks.
On her off time, Kathryn produced lesbian documentaries.
Her early work, After the 2nd Date (1996) and the Lesbian Centennial Project (2014) played at LGBT Film Festivals all over the US and Europe. Her new documentary, The Unlikely Story of the Lesbians of First Friday (2019) is currently being submitted to film festivals.

Kathryn L Beranich is a DIY producer and likes it that way!
In addition to producing, she shoots and edits her work. The end result is raw and impactful. Kathryn describes her work as “holding a mirror up to the lesbian community and documenting the real faces and stories of lesbians who came out in the second half of the 20th Century.”

Kathryn has been living in Los Angeles since 1997, working, producing personal projects, and raising her two children.

Vaishali Vasant Kendale

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Vaishali Vasant Kendale studied Media Research in Dept. of Communication Studies, Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. She is an actor, worked in many in National Award winning short as well as feature films. Some of them are ‘Pistulya’ by Nagraj Manjule (2009), Marathi ‘Fandry’ by Nagraj Manjule (2013), ‘Khwada’ by Bhaurao Karhade (2015), ‘Masuta’ Marathi feature by Ajit Devle, ‘Kastoori’ Hindi Feature by Vinod Kamble, 'Postmortem’ short film by Vinod Kamble. ‘Postmortem’ won various National and International Awards and officially selected In Cannes Short Film Corner Section (2017). ‘Chasing Dreams’ is her debut short documentary film. It was officially screened in more than 10 film festivals all over India also won Best Documentary Award at 11th Pratibimb National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2018, Jury Special Mention Award at Women’s International Short film Festival of India, Goa, 2018, Special Festival Mention in 8th Dada Saheb Phalke International Film festival, 2018. Her short documentary 'Question mark' won 'YES I Am The Change' Award for year 2018.
This film ''INVESTING LIFE'' is her debut feature documentary film.

Jonny Farrelly

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Jonathan is a writer and development exec, with 'An Irish Underdog Story' his first foray into short form documentary directing. Jonathan has written and produced the award winning radio docs ‘The Ali Ireland Final’, ‘The Greatest Ladies Teams Of All Time’, ‘BALTO’ and ‘From Nobber To Nowhere’ for Newstalk and LMFM, as well as ‘Ouzel Galley’, ‘The Special Olympics’ and ‘From Sunshine To Sunset’ for RTE Radio One, Dublin City FM and Sunshine Radio.

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Eric Miller & Laurine Platzky

Award-Winning Filmmakers
Eric Miller is a long time photojournalist who documented the last decade of the anti-Apartheid struggle for the Afrapix photo collective as well as Reuters and Associated Press news services. He worked for a variety of European and Scandinavian publications across Africa through the 1990s and 2000s, and in the last decade has worked on his ‘own’ projects, as well as assignments related to social justice issues for a variety of local and international NGOs.

​Laurine Platzky was a land rights activist during the Apartheid years, and worked in Nelson Mandela’s Presidency in 1996. She then worked for 20 years in National and Provincial Government on strategic and socio-economic development planning, housing, cultural affairs, sport and international relations, until she reached obligatory retirement age.
She currently teaches part time at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance at the University of Cape Town, and works part-time at the University of the Western Cape as a strategic planner.

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Fatoumata Couliblay

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Fatoumata Couliblay is an accomplished Malian film director, journalist and actress and a permanent staff member of Office national de radio-télévision du Mali (ORTM). In addition to her extensive journalism background, she has taken several film directing workshops in France, Canada, Mali and Bénin. One of Mali’s first and foremost female directors, she has written and directed many short fiction films and documentaries for television dealing with social and women’s issues, as well as biographies of remarkable African women. Her film NGOLO DIT PAPI won the Grand prix de la Coopération Française in 1998 and the Prix Images de Femmes at Festival Vues d’Afrique in Canada in 1999. In 2008, she was awarded the Best Video Film at the Berlin Festival for FARABQUI in the series Femmes Battantes en Afrique. Fatoumata Coulibaly has played several prominent first roles in African television series and in feature films such as GUIMBA and LA GENÈSE by Cheick Oumar Sissoko and MOOLAADE by Ousmane Sembene. For this last role she received the Prix du Cheval Battant in Valencia, Spain (2005), Best Female Actress in both Morocco and Chicago (2006)m as well as the Miroir d’Argent Audience Award in Dubai. (2007). En 2017 she was named Chevalier de l’Ordre National of Mali.

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Gregory Lovett &
Matthijs Heesemans

Award-Winning Filmmakers

GREGORY LOVETT
Gregory Lovett has been working in international television and media for the past 40 years. He is the founder of Image Essays, a nonprofit production company that develops media projects of social, political and historical interest. He most recently produced and directed “Delay, Deny, Hope You Die”, an award-winning documentary about American soldiers who were poisoned on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

MATTHIJS HEESEMANS
Matthijs Heesemans has been working in the Dutch television industry for 12 years. Originally a cameraman, he has since developed into a renowned editor and director whose work has appeared on all major public and commercial channels in The Netherlands. 12th Street is his first documentary.


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Theresa Desautels

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Theresa is an experienced documentary film editor with a niche focus in short-doc and commercial editing. She is committed to amplifying underrepresented voices in the media and finding the most effective and compelling ways to tell someone’s story. Her expertise lies in Documentary Filmmaking with 10 + years experience working on various films in the SF Bay Area. She has been an associate producer for PBS Frontline documentaries like “Death By Fire” and assistant editor on feature documentaries such as "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power." She has edited music videos, short films, and commercials for broadcast viewing.

Theresa is currently working as a freelance video editor in Seattle, WA while pursuing her own short documentary projects.

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Dobrivoie Kerpenisan

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Dobrivoie Kerpenisan is a filmmaker and photographer who graduated at the Folkwang University of Arts in Germany.

In his documentary films and artistic portraits he deals with the transition and overcoming the past of totalitarian states.

Works about the Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, the role of mass media during the recent Balkan Wars, the changes after the Romanian Revolution, the relevance of Youth Resistance Fighters during the Third Reich are some of the topics that show his interest in political and social developments.

He was honored with the Grand Prix in Tokyo, Golden Hugo Chicago, Best Film in Oberhausen, Best Documentary at FICFF in Portugal, Academy Nomination Selection for Best Documentary Oscar, several Grimme Prizes Nominations, the German Human Rights Film Award and the Amnesty International Award.

His works have been screened at MoMa New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Barbican Center London, Art Biennale Sao Paolo, Goethe Institute worldwide and they have been introduced by film talks with Alexander Kluge.

The interdisciplinary project ”Rebels With a Cause” includes the new documentary, a photobook and several exhibitions worldwide. It is an extension of his portraits of people on secondary sites — unknown, invisible and hidden charcters, stories beyond common narration, views on subjective realities and human dignity.
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Ralph Sansum

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Ralph Sansum is a London-based filmmaker from Bristol.

Ralph approaches every project with an out-of-the-box perspective. Stop-motion animation, puppetry and documentary are just some of the mediums Ralph has worked in and utilised to elevate the stories he wants to tell.

Though Ralph’s stories are often offbeat and surreal their core is that of human emotion. Confusion, love and community are some of the themes he has explored in his work.

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Antonio Ferrer

Award-Winning Filmmaker
“Tierra Calcinada” delves into one of the darkest eras in Spain: Francoism. Through the testimony of victims and experts, attempts are made to answer questions like: Who financed the coup? What methods were used to win the war and maintain the power? How did it get a docile population and a large number of followers? Why have we reached this state of indifference? These, among other questions, approach a unique sociological study in the documentary field. Through different chapters referring to the different stages of Francoism, this film brings out really tough stories that show the consequences of a perfectly calculated terror. A policy of silence because of the terror lasting to this day. How the government of Francisco Franco used the socialization agents to win supporters or the refined techniques of censorship that managed to silence an entire population. It’s, with no doubt, a documentary to understand both the current state and the complexity of Francoism and how it turned a population sometimes participant, victim or just indifferent.

chow wah chan

Award-Winning Filmmaker

With a background in anthropology, Chan explores and documents forgotten stories through his work. His interest includes history, heritage, and animal welfare.

Nate Van Dore

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Nate Van Dore is a Brisbane-based documentary filmmaker. Nate’s two self-directed / produced / shot and edited documentary shorts Status Unknown (2020) and Tita (2020) have screened at film festivals around the world. Nate is currently in production for the documentary Let Them Hug (2021) and is in post-production for his third documentary short My Friend Julian (2021) which is an unflinching character-driven portrait about homosexuality and drug-addiction.

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​Casper Paaske
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Casper is a documentary filmmaker, director and writer, currently studying in Odense, Denmark. Producer on WE NEVER TALKED ABOUT THIS.
Casper is an educated director, writer and producer from the European Film College and is currently finishing the screenwriting course at University of Southern Denmark.

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VENKAT BHARADWAJ

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Venkat Subbu (a k a Venkat Bharadwaj), Award Winning Director. A Techie Turned Director, in 1995 he left the country to join a Company in Kuwait as IT Sales Engineer, Till 2017 he worked in the IT Industry , Resigned as Sales Director from a German IT Firm. Travelled to 70+ countries in his expansive career. Had many opportunities to take citizen ship in Key countries But his heart pulled him into the world of films and to India. He always dreamt of cinema and performance arts. Raised in an Artistic Family, Venkat Bharadwaj started directing and performing in skits during School Days and that continued into adulthood. As the Economic Situation of the house suffered, Venkat Planned not to getting into cinema .. HE decided he will realise his dream someday but for now it had to wait...with this in mind he left India in 1995
In 2015 with an interesting thought in mind, he penned a script. What would it be like if there is no water in a Big City Like Bangalore? India..!
Holding on to this thread of thought, he designed and developed the story "A day in the city" which he experimented and shooted and released with a shoe-string budget of INR 11 Lac (15K US$). With water as A hero, the film got little recognition and mostly in International film Festivals.
As a Director Not sticking to same style of films, he planned to showcase the black days of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1515. comes Bablusha...Bablusha is the name of lord shiva...Bablusha a Periodic Thriller focus of "Kusti" (Wresting ancient Indian Sports) as strong feature in the Film with persistence against black magic which ruled the world and still being practiced by people.
In Dec 2016 Sitting in Tagore Circle Gandhi Baazar, he witnessed several age old people / comman man walking and gabbing about their day to day issues ..he discussed this with his Brother and suggested him to make a clean story and write the dialogues. Venkat gave a creative title "kempirve"(Red Ant) and compared this to a common man. He made Dattanna as Kempirve, who shined in the lead role.
Venkat has a unique style of working where he sticks to the project management skills maps to film making from scripting till the post release collection..
Venkat is also a Hindustani Classical Singer and has completed 3 level exams from akila bharat gandharv vishwa vidyalay mumbai.
He runs an NGO which is certified by government of Karnataka and Govt of India- Earth Awareness Foundation.
Presently Venkat has made a giant leap of faith by venturing into one of world's Top 3 Market which is Tamil Film industry, he has completed a movie titled Unarvu which means Sentiment. The Movie is Ready to Release in June/July 2019

TOM ST JOHN GRAY

Award-Winning Filmmaker
With 17 years’ experience making history, archaeology and science documentaries in the UK and Singapore, Tom has produced award-winning content for BBC One, BBC Four, Channel 4, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, History, Science Channel, Smithsonian and Channel NewsAsia. He studied at The University of Edinburgh (MA, Archaeology) and SOAS (MA, South East Asian Studies), and as a freelance writer for Current World Archaeology magazine, Tom has reported on heritage issues around the globe.See More

Stephen Stanley

Award-Winning Filmmaker
As a filmmaker, scientist and educator, Stephen Stanley has produced visual and print media to protect and restore ecosystems along the west coast for over 40 years. His films strive to reveal how our natural world works and offer positive and proactive solutions for correcting environmental and social impacts. This includes "Whose Coast Is It", an official selection of the 2019 Catalina Film Festival, which explores how access to open space for children is essential to their health and intellectual/physical development.

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Greg Jeschke

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Greg Jeschke is an award-winning journalist who has had a life-long career in broadcast news. He was raised on a farm near Poynette, Wisconsin and his experience includes anchoring and reporting the news on TV in San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, and most recently, in Madison. In addition to his regular duties he created, produced and hosted two documentary series, “Our West” and “Our Wisconsin”. His programs have focused on giving a voice to marginalized groups in the community. His documentaries on racial disparities and climate change earned Edward R. Murrow Awards and his documentary on the origins of the environmental movement was recognized with an Emmy. In 2018, he became an independent documentary producer so that he could devote himself full-time to future projects. In Spring 2020, he released two new documentaries; one on people with disabilities, the other on the journey of an African American man from Wisconsin who traced his ancestry back to slavery and encountered some of his white relatives for the first time. Greg and his wife live in Madison.

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Lubomir Dankov

Award-Winning Filmmaker
The director is a Bulgarian amateur photographer. He has been developing an information project on the Donbass war since 2016. The Donbass children is his first film.

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Julia Beck

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Currently based in Wisconsin and New York, Julia Beck is a Director, Producer, and Designer producing a variety of creative work. Though her work is quite diverse, she focuses mainly on telling unheard stories and voices, hoping her viewers take action upon her work.

Danel Aser

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Danel Aser Lorente, physical, theater and cinema actor  “Stranded” , “Yo putana”  Acting coach “ The corpse of Anna Fritz”, “ La Central”, “ Framed” , combined his life as an actor and director with acting education.

Travis Pollert & Jacob Kostelli

Award-Winning Filmmakers

Travis Pollert is a documentary and commercial filmmaker as well as the founder of The Cleveland Film Company. He has worked on countless short-form and commercial projects helping brands to create engaging and authentic stories, often utilizing a documentary style and approach. Some of the brands and platforms that he has worked with include: The LeBron James Family Foundation, Uninterrupted, XBox, 2K, L.L. Bean, Sprite, Cleveland Public Theatre, and Inlet Dance Theatre. Regarding filmmaking Travis says, “my journey has been shaped by amazing people… the quality of which is in no small way what inspires me to be more present with the people and opportunities in my life.” Outside of filmmaking, Travis has a passion for backpacking through the mountains, and has organized many multi-day trips that have introduced people to the outdoors. Travis lives in Cleveland, OH with his wife Elizabeth, a career modern dancer, and their son Brighton.

Jacob Kostelli is a documentary and commercial filmmaker from Cleveland, OH. For the past decade he has worked in media production and visual storytelling creating a range of work that spans documentary, narrative, corporate, and commercial productions. As a filmmaker at the Cleveland Film Company, Jacob was chosen to follow LeBron James through his infamous 2016 championship run for Uninterrupted’s documentary web-series TROPHIES, a series whose production greatly influenced the approach to OPEN HEARTS. He is currently developing a media production team for Sherwin Williams. Jacob lives in Cleveland, OH with his wife Mandi and their two cats.

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Fiona Yang

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Fiona Yang is a Chinese filmmaker based in Chicago. Her background as a playwright led her to document the oral histories of minority populations in China. Her work juxtaposes archival footage with hybrid and essayistic themes of surveillance, self-censorship, and inertia. Fiona received a BA in Theatre & Performance Studies from Brown University and an MFA degree in Documentary Media from Northwestern University.

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Samantha Campbell, Emma Greally,  Kate Parker

Award-Winning Filmmakers


Sammy, Emma, and Kate are three student filmmakers from Park City, Utah. DACAmented is a product of their mentorship with Emmy-nominated filmmaker, Dr. Jenny Mackenzie, at the Waterford School. DACAmented provides an intimate look into the life of Kiara Lopez-Cabanillas, a young DACA recipient, as she navigates the challenges that come with being an immigrant in the United States. Emma and Kate are upperclassmen at the Waterford School and Sammy is now a freshman at the University of California, San Diego.The three are passionate advocates and strong believers in female voice, perspective, and representation in the film industry. 

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​Jiuxun Jin
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Jiuxun Jin is a Brooklyn-based filmmaker, with a background in video, sound, and photography. His works evoke a sense of sarcastic surrealism inspired by historical allusions, cultural conflicts, and political myths.
Jin received an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has held solo exhibitions in New York City and Baltimore, his work has been included in group exhibitions and film screenings worldwide. 

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Christopher Hudson

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Emmy Nominated and Silver Telly Award winning television Producer/Director, Chris Hudson has worked in television for over 20 years. Holding a BA in Communications from Queens College (now Queens University of Charlotte) and an MFA in Documentary Film from Wake Forest University, Hudson started his career at WTVI, Charlotte’s PBS station, working on numerous TV shows and local documentaries. Producing, directing, and editing the Emmy nominated and Silver Telly Award winning film How I Survived WWII, lead to another spin-off documentary called If They Could See Us Now: The Story of Charlotte's 38th Evacuation Hospital.

Hudson also worked for almost 9 years as a producer and editor at Time Warner Cable Media Sales in both Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina offices producing local, regional, and national TV commercials.

In 2013, Hudson left Time Warner Cable Media Sales and started his own production company, Chris Hudson Productions, producing television commercials and documentaries for regional clients.

From 2015 - 2018 Hudson earned his Masters in Fine Arts in Documentary Film at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC and continues to produce, direct, and edit documentaries and commercials in addition to helping his wife run and operate Creative Drama Children's Theater in Clemmons, NC where the two reside with their two daughters, Selah and Sadie Hudson.

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​Yacheng Moua
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Yacheng Moua is a self-taught videographer from his home town of Green Bay, Wisconsin.  His film journey began in the spring of 2019 as an event and wedding videographer and had quickly gained recognition within the growing Hmong community of Wisconsin.  Within months shortly after, he would expand on filming music videos and documentaries.  In under a year, Yacheng's video work had him taking on music video projects out in Fresno, California and the Twin Cities of Minnesota.  
Yacheng currently goes by Cheng Captured as his production name, which consists of him being a one man work horse in both filming and editing all of his projects with the exception of collaborative projects with the local talents.  He currently works full time as a Collections Technician for the American Red Cross but aspires to eventually make a living doing video production work.

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Charles Phang

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Charles Phang is a documentary maker and journalist. An anthropologist by training, he seeks to tell his stories in a way that allows viewers to understand issues and experience events through the eyes of another culture. With this in mind, he sees documentaries as platforms to bridge worlds, evoke cross-cultural dialogue, and give a voice to the voiceless.

Jeff Mizushima

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Jeff Mizushima is a documentary filmmaker, comedy writer, and fitness photographer based in Los Angeles. His narrative feature films include SAKE-BOMB, SALAD DAYS, and ETIENNE! Jeff was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine’s annual survey of new talent for his first feature, ETIENNE! in 2009. His work focuses on finding the heart and humor in all aspects of life.

Ken Honjo

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Ken Honjo is a Japanese-bilingual filmmaker with 10+ years of working experiences with both local and global brands and corporations, as well as advertisement agencies and top creators from Japan and the US. Currently based in Los Angeles. Conceptual art background with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of California, San Diego. First Street North, a short film about the history of Little Tokyo, got awarded for best short documentary at Asian Film Festival of Dallas and nominated for other festivals.
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Leah Manasseh

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Leah Manasseh started her career as an actor and theatre director, but then magically fell into the world of film landing her first job as a producer/presenter for one of the first online web channels, Watchmojo.com.
She then started her own production company in Montreal, Delilah Productions and started producing a weekly community show, “Lui e Lei” for CJNT focusing on the Italian community of Montréal.

In 2007, Leah moved to the UAE where she started working as Line Producer for Al Jazeera News, Al Jazeera Documentary, and Al Jazeera Children, handling several series being filmed around the world.

Tired of sitting behind the desk, and with a thirst to travel the world and meet people, she decided to become a field producer and a researcher and taking on documentary projects from conception to delivery.

In 2010, Leah opened her own production company based in Dubai, The Traveling Shoe Productions, and started her own web channel : www.mydubaimycity.com, the first online webtv in the region, producing over 3,000 videos ranging from documentary web series, education content, tutorials, a city guide content.
She then went on to work in content creation and TVC productions…and this is where she lost herself and her passion for film.

To reignite her passion, she stopped working in the world of brands and decided to pursue an MFA in film at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Today, Leah considers herself a story teller, capturing stories and moments linked to family, heritage, and women creating an archive of stories for future generations.

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Kelly Roulette

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Kelly Roulette (Ojibwe) is a former social justice lawyer who graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School. Following a legal career, she returned to the arts with a focus on expanding her creative writing skills.

Kelly’s love for the dramatic began as a brief stint as an actor with Vancouver’s Spirit Song Theatre School. Shortly after, she began reporting for the CanWest Global television series First Nations Magazine - then joined the UTV News team performing live 24-hour news updates on-air.

Kelly has graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Certificate in Creative Writing from The Writers Studio, and completed its follow-up adjunct Manuscript Program. Recently, she took her words to the big screen with Sometimes She Smiles, a short film which had its premier at the Victoria Film Festival in February, 2019.

Kelly just completed her new documentary My Mother My Rock, which details the extraordinary events surrounding her mother's passing. It is scheduled to air on APTN and CBC after making the film festival circut.

Crystal R Emery

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Crystal Emery is known for producing narratives aimed at creating a more equitable society. She is the Founder and CEO of URU The Right To Be, Inc., a nonprofit content production company that addresses issues at the intersection of humanities, arts, and sciences. Emery is a member of the Producers Guild of America and New York Women in Film and Television, and was selected in 2019 as an AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador. She has designed and produced several groundbreaking Virtual Reality Learning Experiences.

Emery has been hailed as “inspiring” by the Los Angeles Times and as a “leader in science and technology” in the Good Housekeeping feature “50 over 50: Women Who Are Changing the World.” She has extensive publishing credits, both independently and with established publishers including in TIME, Variety, Ms.Magazine.com, Rebecca Minkoff Superwoman and HuffPost. Other published works include Stat! An Action Plan for Replacing the Broken System of Recruitment and Retention of Underrepresented Minorities in Medicine with a New Paradigm, published by the National Academy of Medicine; the unique biographical essay books Against All Odds: Black Women in Medicine and Master Builders of the Modern World: Reimagining the Face of STEM; and the first two volumes of her Little Man children’s book series.

Her body of work covers a broad range of topics, from diversity, inclusion and equity to children’s literature, sociopolitical issues and STEM. She has been a keynote speaker for distinguished institutions like the National Security Agency, National Institute of Health, National Organization on Disabilities, and RespectAbility. Recently, Crystal began production on "The Intersection of Crystal R. Emery", a series of podcasts exploring Crystal’s life as a Black woman, filmmaker, writer, and a quadriplegic.

Her contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust Leadership in Journalism Award, the BronzeLens Film Festival Spirit Award, the Trailblazer Award from NANBPWC and the United Nations as part of the International Year for People of African Descent, and the Yale University Seton Elm-Ivy Award.
She has appeared on TedX Beacon Street, where she spoke on the intersection of race, gender, and disability and participated as an expert panelist in the award-winning curated film series “Tell It Like It Is: Black Independence in New York 1968-1986” at the Lincoln Center. Emery served as a consultant to the Connecticut Health Foundation’s Dental Initiative and to former New Haven Public Schools superintendent Dr. Reginald Mayo. She currently sits on the City of New Haven’s mayoral Blue Ribbon Reading Commission, serving as co-chair of its Birth-Grade 3 Early Childhood Subcommittee.

In 2016, Emery’s film “Black Women in Medicine” cleared all Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences requirements necessary to qualify for an Academy Award nomination in the “Best Documentary” category. “Black Women in Medicine” went on to international screenings in Ethiopia and Germany in 2018 as part of the American Film Showcase, which is considered the premier American film diplomacy program in the world.

In 2015, Emery conceived, designed and launched Changing the Face of STEM, an innovative national educational and workforce development initiative. In 2017, Emery, in conjunction with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, introduced Changing the Face of STEM at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, D.C. URU returned to the NAS for its third engagement on June 10, 2019, where Emery unveiled the “You Can’t Be What You Can’t See” Virtual Reality Project, aimed at closing the identification gap for young marginalized students within the STEM realm. IN 2019, Crystal lead URU in a successful effort to became a programmatic partner of 100Kin10, an organization formed in response to President Obama’s call during his 2011 State of the Union address to train 100,000 new STEM teachers in a decade.

Emery believes that perseverance, faith, and trusting in a power greater than oneself comprise the road to success. She continues to shape a successful, fulfilling personal and professional life while triumphing over two chronic diseases as a quadriplegic.

Emery received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut, her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School of Public Engagement, and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from UConn in 2018, on which occasion she gave the Commencement Address to an audience of over 20,000. In so doing, she became the first Black female speaker at UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the first commencement speaker to receive two standing ovations.

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Hadasah Ingrid Cornell

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Hadasah is a filmmaker residing in New York City. She is also a screenwriter and producer. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she honed her craft while studying marketing and communications at Howard University. She is a classically trained actress having studied at the Studio Theater, Shakespeare Theater in Washington DC, BADA at Oxford University and appearing in over 18 productions. She’s appeared on television, HBO’s “The Wire” and worked behind the camera HBO’s “Tangy’s Song.”

As a stage director, Hadasah directed over 30 plays and written 10 of her own adapting 3 of them into short films. “Silent Combustion” previously on stage is now approaching its 5th film festival. She produced 2 documentaries and is now embarking on her third with “Why Kap Kneels.” This film will mark her 11th independently produced film.

Her goal is to execute performing and film arts with a purpose; to benefit and transform her community. She teaches acting and plants theater and film programs for inner city youth.

Cheryl Halpern

Award-Winning Filmmaker


Director-Producer-Documentarian, Cheryl Halpern, is a co-founder and partner of HQ Creative LLC, an Emmy Award winning production company and branding agency serving clients around the world.

Mrs. Halpern has a long record of public service in broadcasting, education and international affairs.

Mrs. Halpern was nominated to serve on the boards of America’s national and international broadcasting organizations by Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In 1990, she was confirmed as a member of the Board for International Broadcasting and as a director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). From 1995 through 2002, Mrs. Halpern served on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) overseeing Voice of America, Radio and TV Marti, RFE/RL, Worldnet, Radio Free Asia and Radio Free Iraq. While serving on the BBG she helped create Radio Sawa, a new American Arabic radio voice to the Middle East. In August, 2002, she was confirmed to serve as a director of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). She was subsequently elected by her peers as chairman of the CPB and served the two term limit.

In addition, Mrs. Halpern was a Public Delegate of the United States, with the rank of Ambassador, to the 63rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. During the Obama Administration she has been a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Mrs. Halpern has also chaired the character education program of the Words Can Heal organization. This national campaign to curb gossip, fight verbal violence and promote the healing powers of ethical speech received bipartisan support from the US Congress as well as from diverse ethnic and religious groups. In her capacity as a Presidential-appointed US delegate to the OSCE Conference on Anti-Semitism, Mrs. Halpern addressed the plenary on children’s programming and textbook development. As the current chairman of the Queen of Sheba Foundation she has partnered in the development of “Midako”, an illustrated children’s book publishing initiative to promote literacy in Ethiopia.

As a documentarian, Mrs. Halpern has produced several commissioned as well as independently produced documentaries. Most notably, the government of Ethiopia commissioned Mrs. Halpern and her HQ Creative LLC team to produce a memorial documentary to the late Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi. A special tribute to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was also produced for screening at the 50th Anniversary of the African Union.

Mrs. Halpern’s independently produced documentaries have provided compelling historical and cultural information to her audiences. Her films have focused on embodying the spirit of achievement and thereby providing positive visual images and messages for all; regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.

Mrs. Halpern’s documentaries have received awards from film festivals around the world. They have been screened by colleges and universities and have been included in Museum exhibits and archive collections.

Mrs. Halpern has an M.B.A., with a concentration in finance from New York University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Fred.

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Patrick Albright

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Patrick A. Albright has directed and edited eight short films to date. He is currently working on two new short films, one which will become a feature . He is also a Photojournalist for the Maneuver Center of Excellence (Fort Benning) with several awards and photos on permanent display at the Pentagon.

Stephanie Bell

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Stephanie Bell is a multimedia journalist located in Los Angeles, CA who specializes in photography and video production. She is passionate about fashion, culture and beauty and enjoys telling stories through digital mediums.

Monika Ivonne

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Born to a Latvian mother and Polish father who worked for an airline, Monika Ivonne found herself jumping from country to country throughout her childhood. Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Monika and her family moved from Lithuania, to Russia (St. Petersburg & Moscow), to Latvia, and France. She completed her undergraduate studies at an American University in Rome, Italy. Upon her graduation, Monika moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA Film School where she obtained an MFA degree in film directing. She currently resides between Los Angeles and Riga.

John Brooks

Award-Winning Filmmaker
John is new to film making. He studied film in Budapest, Hungry. Prior to film, John enjoyed 35mm still photography and worked in the conservation field.​​

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Matthias Berger

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Matthias Berger studied ethnology before starting making documentary films. He directs his first film (CHINK) in 2010 before entering l'ENSAV (Superior school of audiovisual arts in Toulouse). Along with his career as a sound operator, he joins the collective Les Zooms Verts and starts writing and producing research-based documentary films (The children of the meadow in 2015 and then the project of documentary series urban wandering since 2016).

Brian Swinehart

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Brian Swinehart is a film maker who grew up in the small town of Covington Ohio. He moved to Los Angeles and lived there for twenty years. In California he worked as an actor and standup comedian. While on the movie sets he learned the craft of filmmaking and has produced and directed numerous films and documentary's. In 2020 Brian moved back to his small town of Ohio to make film's about blue collar American's and their lives and struggles.


Aaron T Lewis

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Director Aaron Lewis grew up in rural Missouri. The rivers and hickory/oak forests of Missouri planted the seeds of his passion for the outdoors. In Missouri Lewis attended school to become an Ecologist. In continued pursuit of his love of science, he attended a graduate program in Colorado. A fellowship gave him his first opportunity to share science with the world in the form of podcasts and shorts. Connected to a National Science Foundation research expedition. In the film “Smoldering Ice” Lewis makes his directorial debut documenting the expedition of him and a team of researchers in the Siberian Arctic.

Tony Whelan

Award-Winning Filmmaker

I fell into the film and the TV industry in 1994 having worked in a variety of sectors including computing in England, construction in Australia, print journalism in Ireland.

My break came through sports broadcasting when I was lucky to be trained as a single camera director at the BBC.

This led to roles as director of programmes and operations, programmes editor and commissioning editor and the chance to work with great people on a slate of documentaries and films. From commissioning I moved to making.

Most recently I was a producer on ‘Rough Rider – The Paul Kimmage Story’ followed by director of ‘On The Trail of the Humpback Whale’ (2020) . I have just filmed and directed 'The Humpback Whales of Cape Verde' which is in post production.

Like many of the stories I am interested in, all have discovery at heart.

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​Sandy Holman
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Sandy Holman has presented to thousands of youth, adults, organizations and institutions on a variety of topics such as transforming systems, inequitable structures, dismantling racism/ supremacy ideology and practices,  the achievement gap, P-16 education, literacy, resiliency, addressing the whole child, and institutional best practices for change. She has focused special attention on the importance of culturally relevant and responsive services and materials, as well as on increasing cultural competency in educational and service-oriented settings, for over 35 years. Her priority is facilitating systemic change and approaching historic isms, oppression, supremacy ideology, injustice and inequity from a systemic and holistic perspective. She facilitates a paradigm for transforming individuals, communities, systems and beyond with her new documentary, “The Cost Of Darkness,” which is designed to examine the root causes of systemic inequity so policy development, strategic planning and interventions will be more impactful.

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​​​Delendra TarsaVena Peterson 
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Delendra TarsaVena Peterson is the CEO of the OnPoint Network. She is the executive producer of numerous music and film projects including the award winning documentary: "Blowin' Up: The Chasity D. Barnes Story". Music and media have always been in the spirit of Delendra TarsaVena Peterson. With a singing, ministering and theatrical family, her interest in music, ministry and media would be inevitable. At an early age, she started playing the piano at church and writing stage plays for school events in Selma, Alabama.
After establishing The OnPoint Studios in Linden, Alabama, she and her partner, Ryan Dimitri Bowser have been developing and expanding the content and viewership of the network. Being the first African American woman CEO of an established streaming TV network in Alabama, her future goals for the company are to create and produce more original documentaries like, Blowin’ Up: The Chasity D Barnes Story, movies, TV shows, short films, etc.

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k r subash

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Born on April 13,1968 at Cheroor ,Thrissur District, Kerala. India. He is a photographer,film director and producer.

K. R. Subash worked as a photographer in the Department of Medical Education in 1990.From 1991 to 2002, he joined as a journalist in Malayalam Daily 'Express '. As a film maker, he directed and produced 73 documentaries, 2 TV serials and many ad films. He produced a Feature film called ‘June R’ in Tamil .

He worked in Raj News Malayalam Television as a Production Officer. He is currently the Executive Director of Idea World- the Creative Agency, I&PRD and K S F D C Panel Director, Tamil Nadu Directors’ Union member and Tamil Nadu Producers’ Association member. He was a member of third Kerala State Television Awards Committee.

K. R. Subash has received 4 awards including the National Award for Best Debut Director. He has participated in seven international film festivals, including the Mumbai International Documentary Film Festival.

Ksenya Kravtsova

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Kravtsova is a documentary director and photographer who lives in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The author of documentaries White Dance, The Job, Lifer, The Whisper of the Steps, and many others.

Director in Real Stories Production, a production studio that makes documentaries and animation films.

Her works focus on the stories of outstanding personalities who are stronger than the circumstances around them.

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Yumeng He

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Yumeng He is a director, editor, and ethnographer based in Los Angeles, California. Yumeng grew up in Beijing, China, studied Visual Anthropology at the University of Southern California. Her background as an anthropologist gives her a unique understanding of how one’s story and its cultural and social ambiance are closely intertwined. Her mission is to share deeply personal and resonating stories that recognize the uniqueness of our cultural experiences but also hope to bridge such differences. Currently working with the Oral History Project at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Yumeng intends to create a “cinema of affection” that does not exploit but to speak nearby, to embrace and to receive the film participants’ perspectives.

Cameron Campbell

Award-Winning Filmmaker

The daughter of a cinematographer, Cameron Campbell grew up on film sets in Orlando Florida during the 80s and 90s. She was on the board of directors for the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival while working in luxury brand advertising in Hollywood, CA. Cameron is a first time film Director with Rachel's Law. She is passionate about telling stories that shine light in the darker places of the world.

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​​​Julien Guiteau
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Julien’s message of spreading positivity can be found in all of his work. Born in Queens New York, and oldest of four siblings Julien took on the responsibility to be a leader early. After 10 years of age Julien and his family moved to Bethlehem, PA where he would go on to complete all of his schooling and earn his BS in Marketing at DeSales University. In college, Julien immersed himself in the arts and took every opportunity he had to get involved to host events and social media takeovers. Julien is a determined go-getter with tunnel vision but still is a kid at heart who makes time for fun. As a former collegiate track and field athlete, Julien still possesses his competitive nature and applies it to his everyday routine. After college Julien took on the big apple working in corporate ad sales in Manhattan, NY. Aside from his day job, Julien continues to create new content for his passion projects. His mission for his digital series, Adventures with Julien is to bring communities together through positivity. His mission for his podcast, Chillin with Julien is to interview inspiring individuals to inspire others. He also is the founder of JFG Media Productions where the mission is to produce positive and inspirational content. Julien creates content that tells stories, entertains, enlightens, and inspires. Julien aims not only to make a difference, but to inspire people to be greater versions of themselves. He identifies himself as just a kid from Queens chasing his dreams.

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Iouri GOROULEV

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Iouri GOROULEV graduated from the film-engineering department of the Leningrad film engineers institute in 1971, from the camera department of the Moscow cinema institute in 1982.

Since 1975 he works at the "Belarusfilm" state studio: a cameraman at first, now a director & cameraman.

Owner of a private studio "STOPSHOT”, produces the documentaries there.

As a cameraman: over 100 documentaries on culture, history, arts and religion issues. As a director-cameraman: some 40 films.

Iouri Goroulev is the organizer and chairman of the International Festival of Christian Films and Television Programme Magnificat.

In 2006, he was awarded the State Prize of the President of the Republic Belarus "For Spiritual Revival".

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Brian Thomas

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Brian was nominated for an Emmy Award for his choreography for the Michael Jackson 30th Anniversary Special and received outstanding recognition from the national academy of television arts and sciences (Emmy Award) for his 10 years working as lead choreographer for PBS series, Sesame Street in 2010-2011. He was the Creative and Associate Director for Cirque Times Square for Cirque du Soleil. Brian is also the Producer/Director/Editor of the documentary Amy’s Victory Dance by SpinKick Pictures a company he owns and operates and was recently selected on Reel Abilities Film Fest New York and had its premiere virtual screening in April of 2020. He is also the Director and Editor of the Short Film Dark Matter with Desmond Richardson as the main character. Brian is also in the process of directing another feature documentary entitled FollowLeadLOVE under Transend'Daens Production partnering once again with Brian Rubiano as the Producer.
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Camille Howard

Award-Winning Filmmaker
Camille Howard is a Maine Based documentary filmmaker whose projects explore community, sisterhood, and the experience of having a body.

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​Simon Wieland
Award-Winning Filmmaker


Simon Wieland, born in 1963 in Austria, studied at the University of Film and Television in Munich and founded his own production company in 2008. He worked for various productions for TV channels such ORF, 3Sat, BR, NDR, SFB, WDR, ARTE and received a German Film Prize nomination, several special prizes as well as outstanding reviews at the San Francisco Film Festival and Tel Aviv Film Festival for his activities. The author, cameraman and director has been dealing with contemporary history topics.

His filmography includes among other documentaries “OUR STRUGGLE. One family. Three generations. Nine wars.” (Austria 2017), “NEMCI VEN! GERMANS OUT! The Brno death march - The Story of an Expulsion” (Austria 2015), “HEIL HITLER – THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! Between the Swastika and the Red Star” (Austria 2011).

His newest documentary “MAUTHAUSEN – TWO LIVES” (Austria 2020) records the story of two people situated in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp during the Nazi regime – Stanisław Leszczyński, born in Łódź, was there as a prisoner, while Franz Hackl, from Mauthausen, worked there as a locksmith apprentice. Two fates that could not have been more contrary – and yet they have so many disturbing things in common. Austrian director Simon Wieland managed to portray the two protagonists and their confrontation with Mauthausen, which is an important symbol for the Holocaust and thus for guilt and cruelty, in a sensitive and multifaceted manner. The result is a strong and moving documentary about humane and also, above all, inhumane behaviour in the face of crime. “What happened back then still resonates today. One can see it in the protagonists’ faces, it is reflected in the landscape, the camp, the village. The film tries to trace the soul of the topography in vivid pictures.”

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Adam Regenstreif  & 
Hannah Wong

Award-Winning Filmmakers

Adam Regenstreif and Hannah Wong are undergraduate students attending Northeastern University. They created this documentary as a personal project while interning at the Manhattan-based production company Red Summit Productions, LLC. Adam specializes in animation and effects, while Hannah concentrates in writing and story editing.


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Jonni Masella

Award-Winning Filmmaker

Jonni Masella is a Brooklyn, New York native who's career began when she was 18yrs old working on broadway as a performer ("Joseph and the Amazing…", "Jerry’s Girls”) as well as a featured performer and choreographer in regional productions (“Chicago” as Velma Kelly, "West Side Story” as Anita). For her theatrical directorial debut of “The Pirates of Penzance” she was reviewed in Backstage as “a 21 year old wunderkind".

While studying at The Actors & Singers Academy at Carnegie Hall, Jonni was invited by founder Susan Slavin to join her faculty and went on to direct Ms. Slavin in her autobiographical play “Dear” at the Nat Horne Theatre on Theatre Row. In 2001 Jonni joined the team at the award winning advertising agency TAG Creative LLC where she worked on a wide range of creative films for the fashion and beauty industry as both a director and producer.

Jonni has received both a CINE Golden Eagle and a Telly Award for her outstanding soundtrack work for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Closing Ceremony Video “Thank You For Walking” and a Telly Award for her work as Creative Producer for “I Am Cosmo”, a docu-style branding film for Cosmopolitan Magazine. She was honored again as Producer/Director for the documentary short “The Advancement of Women”, a five segment historical video developed for the Commemoration of the United Nations efforts of thirty years to promote gender equality, for which she received a Remi Worldfest Bronze Award.

In 2007 she worked as a producer and writer on Sheryl Crow’s socially conscientious music video “Shine Over Babylon” and in 2008 she was part of the Tag team to win a Cine Golden Eagle Award for Excellence in Film & Video, an award also won by such recipients as Stephen Spielberg and Ron Howard.

Looking for an independent project of her own Jonni was introduced to the Hyde Rugby story by her nephew and his wife. Both had attended college with Coach Tal Bayer, knew of his work with inner city kids and thought it would make a great documentary. In August of 2008 she met with Tal Bayer and three weeks later she was filming her first rugby game.

Today, Jonni continues her collaboration with TAG Creative overseeing their music department serving as soundtrack producer/music supervisor and composer. Her music work includes national commercials for Movado, Maybelline, Soft Sheen Carson, Sally Hansen and Carol’s Daughter.

“PRIDE OF DC: the hyde rugby odyssey” is Jonni’s first feature length film. It’s dedicated to her amazing mom Lucille, and in loving memory of her dad Joseph.

She’s thrilled to have the world premier of “PRIDE OF DC: the hyde rugby odyssey” in the 13th Harlem International Film Festival in May, 2018.

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