The Directors

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Lesli Linka Glatter’s directing career began when her short film, Tales of Meeting and Parting, was nominated for an Oscar. After completing the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, she was handpicked by Steven Spielberg to direct his TV series, Amazing Stories. She then went on to work with David Lynch on four episodes of Twin Peaks. She is now considered to be at the very top of the field and has helmed literally dozens of primetime and cable episodes and telefilms including, Mad MenRay DonovanMasters of SexThe LeftoversThe Walking DeadTrue BloodPretty Little Liars (pilot)Lie to MeWeedsThe UnitThe Good WifeHeroesThe West Wing Grey’s AnatomyGilmore Girls (pilot), and NYPD Blue. In addition she has directed two feature films, Now and Then and The Proposition. She has received three Primetime Emmy nominations, two DGA Awards, six DGA Award nominations, one PGA nom, two OFTA Television Awards and four OFTA Television Award nominations. She won the Gracie Allen Award for The Newsroom and is currently Executive Producer/Director of Showtime’s award-winning Homeland. IMDB

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Naima Ramos-Chapman

Naima Ramos Chapman is an interdisciplinary filmmaker and performer from Brooklyn, New York. Her first short film, “And Nothing Happened,” about the emotional cost and aftermath of sexualized violence, premiered at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival and was received with a mix of tears and cheers. She’s in L.A. right now, working feverishly on her next film, a stalker-revenge flick that traverses across several planes of existence. Her video design work (exploring god dreams on existential nihilism as experienced by black bodies trapped in white universes) in collaboration with renowned choreographer and “2013 MacArthur Genius” Kyle Abraham, is currently touring and she couldn’t be more happy. You can catch some of her documentary work airing here and there on Brooklyn’s Community Media channel, BRIC. Naira is very thankful for her apprenticeship under Master teachers Seth Barrish and Lee Brock at The Barrow Group for Acting. She also wants to give a shout out to those at the Alvin Aliey School for Dance for taking a chance on her when they awarded her several life-changing years on scholarship. In a former life Naima was also known for her musings on politics, pop culture, race, and intersectionality. Her work has appeared digitally at the Huffington Post, The Nation, NPR, Colorlines, Generation Progress, Postbourgie, Racialicious, Saint Heron, and other web-circulated publications in no particular order.


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Meera Menon

Equity, Menon’s 2nd feature film (and the first female-driven Wall Street film) officially premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics the night before it’s official screening there. It was also nominated for the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Her debut feature, Farah Goes Bang, won the Tribeca Film Festival Nora Ephron Prize, and the CAAMFest Jury Award, and was nominated for the VC FilmFest – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, and the Winter Film Awards Award Of Excellence for Best Director and Best Picture. IMDB


Rusudan Glurjidze

Rusudan Glurjidze was born in Georgia, Tbilisi, on July 1972. From 1989 to 1991 she studied French Language & Literature at the Tbilisi State University. From 1990 to 1996 she studied Film Directing and Scriptwriting in George Shengelaia’s class at the GeorgianState Film & Theatre Institute. After dissolution of the Soviet Union (which collapsed the Georgian film industry) she worked in Advertising and National TV to keep her profession and shot numerous musical and commercial clips. Since 2007 she has worked as an A.D. and Producer at her company Cinetech Film Production. Rusudan’s films were successfully screened and mentioned at official selections and special programs at International Film Festivals. Her first narrative feature, House of Others, won the Script Development Competition in GNFC. It was also was chosen among 10 European projects selected by B’EST (The Baltic Bridge East by West) organized by EAVE and MEDIA Mundus and Open Doors Locarno IFF – 2013. In 2016, House of Others won the top prize at the Karlovy Vary East of West competition, the Grand Prix Best Film at the Eurasian International Film Festival, was nominated for Best Film at San Sebastian International Film Festival, and was chosen to come to Los Angeles to compete for an Oscar Nomination. Read this stunning review by Variety. IMDB


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Anne Makepeace

Anne Makepeace has been writing, producing and directing award-winning films for more than three decades. Her most recent documentary, We Still Live Here: Âs Nutayuneân, about the return of the Wampanoag language, won the Full Frame Inspiration Award and the Moving Mountains Award at the Telluride Film Festival) and was funded in part by the Sundance Documentary Fund. Much of her work has premiered on PBS’s American Masters, Independent Lens or P.O.V., among them, I. M. Pei: Building China Modern; Rain in a Dry LandRobert Capa in Love and War (Primetime Emmy Winner, Sundance premiere); Baby It’s You (also screened at the Whitney Biennial and Sundance) and Coming to Light (about Edward S. Curtis, Sundance premiere & short-listed for an Academy Award). Her many accolades include the O’Connor Award for Best Film from the American Historical Association, Award of Excellence from the American Anthropological Association, the Gold Hugo from Chicago and Best Documentary at Telluride. Her current project is Tribal Justice, a documentary about two tribal courts in California and the chief judges, both women, who are bringing traditional forms of justice back to their people. www.MakepeaceProductionsIMDB

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Li Lu

Li Lu is an award-winning filmmaker residing in Los Angeles, CA. She was born in Suzhou, China, and her family moved to the United States when she was five. Daughter of two physicists, Li discovered her passion in visual mediums – first through photography, then ultimately into filmmaking. Li received her BA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, graduating cum laude. Her short films “Autumn” and “Before the Flood” have played festivals around the world such as New York’s Anthology Film Archives, Hong Kong Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and others. Her music videos have been shown on Nickelodeon, MTV Asia, and many have surpassed 1 million views online.  “There Is a New World Somewhere” is her debut feature film, and recently won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film at the Boonies International Film Festival, the Special Jury Award for Best First Feature at the Las Vegas Film Festival and LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. Her teleplay “Razorhurst,” about the seedy underbelly of street gangs in 1920s Sydney, Australia, won the Skyway Film Festival’s Grand Jury Award for Best Teleplay and Pitch. Her work has been profiled in the New York Times, IndieWIRE, Bitch Magazine, and Flavorwire.  Besides film, Li creates video/installation art. Her latest video piece is currently on tour with musician Benoit Pioulard. IMDB


Carla Garapedian

Carla Garapedian is a former journalist for the BBC and the only American ever to anchor its BBC World News. She earned critical acclaim for her documentaries on North Korea, (Children of the Secret State)Chechnya (Dying for the President), Afghanistan (Lifting the Veil), Iran (Forbidden Iran), Equatorial Guinea (My Friend the Mercenary) and the Armenian Genocide (Screamers, featuring System of a Down). She has won and been nominated for several top international awards in the documentary field; Best Documentary Audience Award/AFI Fest (Won), Gold Camera Award/US International Film & Video Festival (Won), Grand Prix – Golden Apricot Armenian Panorama/Yerevan IFF (Won), Prize of the Ecumenical Jury/Yerevan IFF (Won) Best Documentary International Jury Award/Sao Paulo IFF (Nominated), best Documentary/Warsaw IFF (nom). Born in the United States, Ms. Garapedian grew up in Los Angeles to a family which originated in Van and Sivas, cities in the former Ottoman Empire.

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Nicole Conn

Nicole Conn is an award winning writer/director of adult and dramatic films and documentaries. Her doc “Little Man” won 12 Best Doc Awards, including the prestigious Cedar Sinai’s Courageous Beginnings Award and Family Pride’s Family Tree Award. It was picked up by Showtime. Her first feature, “Claire of the Moon,” garnered rave reviews and paved the way for lesbian themed cinema in 1991. The “making-of” documentary is now in it’s 15th reprint. Her script adaptation for “Angel’s Wings” won the 2001 Telluride Film Festival’s Best Adaptation for a Screenplay. Her award-winning films “Elena Undone” and “A Perfect Ending” are considered some of the very best in romantic cinema. She is currently finalizing her epic tome, Descending Thirds, available Spring 2013.

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Sydney Freeland

From Gallup, NM, Sydney Freeland is an independent feature film writer/director. Her first feature, Drunktown’s Finest, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and has since won multiple awards: the HBO Outstanding First Narrative Feature, LA Outfest Grand Jury Prize for Narrative Feature, the Heartland Film Festival Narrative Feature Award and the Albuquerque Film & Media Experience Jury Award. She is a recipient of the Time Warner Fellowship, Annenberg Foundation Feature Film Fellowship, George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation Feature Film Directors Fellowship, Sundance Screenwriting, Directing and Native American Lab Fellowships, a Disney Scholarship recipient, Disney Fellowship semi-finalist and is a Fulbright Scholar. She directed the short subjects, Hoverboard and The Migration (also writer/producer). She is currently directing all episodes of the online series, Her Story. IMDB

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Bethany Rooney

In a field where longevity is rare, the long-term success of Bethany Rooney’s career has defied the odds of Hollywood. Rooney has been at the helm for over two hundred episodes of prime time television for over thirty years, including many critically acclaimed series such as Desperate HousewivesAlly McBeal and Brothers & Sisters, and the American long-running classics NCIS and Criminal Minds.  Her reputation as an actor’s director who leads with gentle command has made her part of an elite group of television industry leaders. She serves as the co-chair of the DGA’s Diversity Committee, as well as the Women’s Steering Committee, and shares her knowledge of the craft by teaching the intensive Warner Brothers Directing Workshop. Her book (co-authored with Mary Lou BelliDirectors Tell the Story: Master the Craft of Television and Film Directing is being utilized at multiple studio and network directing programs, and in directing classes on many university campuses. The second edition of the book will be released in June 2016.


Sarah Moshman

Emmy Award Winning documentary filmmaker and TV Producer Sarah Moshman purposed her dream of making a film that celebrated strong women from all walks of life, which became the documentary feature, The Empowerment Project: Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things. Herr second feature-length documentary project, Losing Sight of Shoreis about 4 women who set out to row the Pacific Ocean. She worked as a field producer for ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for 10 seasons as well as shows on NBC, MTV, Bravo, Lifetime, and the Food Network often operating as a one-woman crew. IMDB

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Deborah Riley Draper

Deborah Riley Draper is a former advertising executive who translated her love for storytelling into a full-fledged filmmaking career.  She is known for engaging audiences with socially compelling content.  Her first film, Versailles ’73: An American Runway Revolution, revolved around the legendary fashion event held inside the Palace of Versailles, France, in November 1973. Her documentary Olympic Pride, American Prejudice made its debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival (LAFF).  This powerful documentary revolves around the untold story of 18 Black Olympians (16 men and 2 women) as they venture to the 1936 Summer Games in Nazi Germany during a time when Adolf Hitler ruled the country. IMDB

Joanna Kerns

Joanna Kerns

On the heels of a highly successful acting career, Joanna Kerns began her directing journey with an episode of the hit TV sit-com, Growing Pains and honed her craft in the live, multi-camera field. But she soon segued into single-camera and has since become one of the most sought after directors in primetime television, guiding countless episodes of Recovery RoadSwitched at BirthJane the VirginPretty Little LiarsCrazy Ex-Girlfriend, Nashville, Awkward, Chasing Life, Switched at Birth, The Fosters, The Lying Game, Army Wives, Friends with Benefits, Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy, Privileged, Men in Trees, Psych, Medium, ER, Scrubs, Ghost Whisperer, Related, Joan of Arcadia, Phil of the Future, Clubhouse, One Tree Hill, Strong Medicine, The O’Keefe’s, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, Leap of Faith, Judging Amy, Defending Our Kids: The Julie Posey Story, That’s Life, Ally McBeal, Boston Public, Titans, Beggars and Choosers and CluelessIMDB

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Reema Dutt

Reema Dutt has worked as a producer for several years on features, shorts, commercials and documentaries. She is the Co-founder and Producer of Luminous Studios and I Laugh I Cry Films. She also works as a marketing/brand consultant for start-ups in retail, entertainment and tech. She has robust experience in every stage of production from inception, creative development and fundraising to distribution and marketing. Reema produced her first feature film at 24, which went on to receive festival acclaim and distribution. Her films have received recognition at Manhattan Film Festival, Marbella Film Festival and Edmonton Film Festival, among others. Prior to entering the entertainment space, Reema worked in financial communications. She has worked with MTV, Miramax, McGraw-Hill and ABC/Disney. She has worn many hats, including commercial writer, creative producer, business developer and market researcher. Her varied background results in a multi-faceted experience that skews to marketing, PR and communications and a breadth of skill in the EMT industries. Reema has a BA from NYU in economics and journalism, an MSc from the London School of Economics and an MA from USC in Global Media and Communications. Her graduate thesis work was published at the LSE and focused on the representation of women in Hollywood. IMBD

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Sarah Gavron

All the feature-length films from Sarah Gavron, a London-based filmmaker, have won prestigious awards and nominations around the world. Suffragette- Women Film Critics Circle Courage In Filmmaking Award, Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Award, Hamptons Int’l. Film Festival Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award, Empire Award For Best British Film (nominated),  Alliance of Women Film Journalists EDA Female Focus Award For Best Director (nominated). Brick Lane– BAFTA Awards Carl Foreman Award For The Most Promising Newcomer Director (nominated), British Independent Film Awards Best Director (nominated), Dinard British Film Festival Best Director Award, London Critics Circle Film Awards ALFS Award For British Breakthrough In Filmmaking (nominated), San Sebastián  Int’l. Film Festival C.I.C.A.E. Award. This Little Life– BAFTA TV Award Best New Director – Fiction, Banff Television Festival Rockie Award Best Made-for-TV Movie, British Independent Film Awards Douglas Hickox Award (nominated), Prix Europa Special Commendation TV Fiction.  Village at the End of the World (documentary)- London Film Festival Grierson Award (nominated). Even her early short subject, Losing Touch, won the Youth Jury Award at the Clermont-Ferrand  Int’l. Short Film Festival. IMDB

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Nzinga Kadalie Kemp

Nzinga Kadalie Kemp is an award winning writer, filmmaker and performer whose work has been featured in festivals and venues internationally, including the Toronto Film Festival, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and the National Black Arts Festival. She started writing for the stage in the grassroots arts community of Atlanta, Georgia where she went to Clark Atlanta University and later earned an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her television credits include the made for television movie, In The Meantime, starring Kali Hawk (New Girl) and the Centric Network sitcom The First Family. Her short film, Jamaica T. Jones, has been featured in film festivals nationally including the BlackStar Film Festival, BronzeLens, and PAFF. She is currently developing multiple projects for the web including Jamaica T. Jones, the web series. IMDB.

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Marianna Palka

Marianna Palka was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. She moved to New York City at age 17 to study at The Atlantic Theater Company. In addition to being an actor (recent: Girls (HBO)NedsAutumn WandererContracted Phase 2A Rose for Emily (opposite James Franco), Marianna is also a humanist filmmaker. In 2008, Marianna wrote, directed and starred in, alongside Jason Ritter, Mark Webber, Charles Durning, Martin Starr, and Tom Arnold, the award-winning love story,  Good Dick. The film premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh Film Festival, where Marianna was honored with the New Director’s Award by Sean Connery. The film screened in the Dramatic Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to screen at numerous US and international film festivals. In 2009, Palka and her co-producers, Jason Ritter, Jen Dubin and Cora Olson self-released Good Dick in the US to much success. She also acted in her recent directorial effort Always Worthy with stars Lukas Haas, Rain Phoenix, and Jason Ritter premiered at Newport Beach Film Festival 2015 to sold out crowds.  Marianna has also directed a number of music videos for, among others, Moby, Last Night, Carly Ritter’s It Don’t Come Easy and Rain Phoenix for her band Paper Cranes, God Save All of Us. She also shot backstage footage for Smoke Signals and Zac Clark’s band Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at Coachella 2015.  Her personal story was captured in a doc called The Lions Mouth Opens, shot by Lucy Walker. Premiering on HBO it was shortlisted for an Oscar in 2015. IMDB

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Kimberly McCullough

Kimberly McCullough began her career as a child actress, winning 2 Emmys along the way. She decided that directing was where she belonged and went to the NYU Film School, where she began writing and directing short films. From there, the die was cast. She was one of eight women selected to participate in the AFI Directing Workshop for Women, where she wrote and directed the dark comedy, Nice Guys Finish Last. The film won the AFI Nancy Malone Award and screened at the LA Comedy Fest and Shockfest, where Kimberly received the Best Director Award.  Kimberly completed the ABC/DGA Creative Talent Program in Directing and helmed her first episode of television on the hit Disney Channel Series, Shake It Up!, and joined the DGA. Most recently, she shadowed Lesli Linka Glatter on Homeland and Andy Fickman on Liv and Maddie. She recently received an offer to direct her 2nd episode of Pretty Little Liars  and is in pre-production on an independent feature, Creve Coeur, MO, starring Bella Thorne and Zach Knighton. IMDB

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Jann Turner

Jann Turner has managed to turn personal tragedy into a mission to use art to help create a better world. She was born in South Africa. Her father, anti-Apartheid academic Rick Turner, was murdered in front of her when she was thirteen years old. Three months later, after threats of being banned, her mother, politician Barbara Hubbard, took Jann and her younger sister to Great Britain. She completed her education in England and the United States, graduating from Oxford University and Tisch School of the Arts, respectively. Her feature directing debut, White Wedding, brought her a Golden Lotus Award nomination for Best Director at the Macau Int’l. Movie Festival. Early on, she edited television specials for the National Geographic Society, and produced and directed episodic TV shows back in her native South Africa. She then migrated to Los Angeles, where she has since directed nearly 30 episodes of primetime television. Jann now lives in Los Angeles with her two children. Other films include My Friend Soweto and Paradise Stop. Turner is also a novelist and has authored the novels HeartlandSouthern Cross and Home Is Where You Find It@JannTurner.  IMDB

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Lizzie Borden

Born and raised in Detroit, Lizzie Borden majored in art history at Wellesley College before moving to New York.  She decided to make films after seeing a retrospective of Jean-Luc Godard films. Working in the then-dilapidated ruins of Lower Manhattan, she worked or collaborated with many cast and crew members who have since become some of today’s leading writers, directors and producers, including Kathryn Bigelow, Becky Johnston and Chris Hegedus. Mentored by D.A. Pennebaker, her first film, Born in Flames, won the Reader Jury Award at the Berlin Int’l. Film Festival and the Grand Prix at the Creteil Int’l. Women’s Film Festival.  Her next feature, Working Girls, premiered at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes and was singled out for Special Jury Recognition and nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.   She is currently writing and developing film and TV projects. IMDB

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Toy Lei

Toy Lei has had a fascination with action films ever since her parents took her to Chinatown as a kid to watch kung-fu movies every Saturday afternoon. After lamenting the lack of roles for Asian females over 30, she began writing, directing, and producing her own projects. Her directorial debut, THE WEDDING, won her the Top 5 Women Filmmakers award from the Asian-American Film Lab and New York Women in Film and Television. Her latest, BOXER, won not only Best Actress, Best Action and the Grand Prize at the 2015 Asian-American Film Lab 72-hr Shootout, but also won Awards of Merit from the highly competitive Accolade Global Competition for Short Film, Women Filmmakers and Leading Actress, and just recently, it added a Maverick Movie Award nomination for Special Achievement in Stunts. The film opened its fest run at the coveted Etheria Film Night and won Best Action. It continued strong into the 2016 San Diego Comic-con. Toy, one of the handful of female fight choreographers out there, is currently under a directing mentorship with Grace Moss at NBC/Universal and a stunt/action filmmaking mentorship with Lane Leavitt. IMDB

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Dorothy Canton

Dorothy Canton is the President of Mad Riot Entertainment, a full service production company with the creative talent and resources to take motion picture and television productions from concept to creation.  Dorothy began her career at NBC Universal and held assignments with Saturday Night Live amongst other high profile productions. Dorothy has worked on major publicity projects with the USA Network and most recently served as publicity coordinator for Focus Features working on films such as Academy Award winning Dallas Buyers Club and The World’s End. Dorothy grew up in the entertainment business being the daughter of Mark Canton and Producer Wendy Finerman, (Academy Award winner, Forest Gump).  A graduate of Syracuse University and a Los Angeles native, Dorothy now resides in New York City. IMDB

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Tina Mascara

Tina Mascara studied journalism and photography at the Art Institute in Pittsburg and moved to Los Angeles to study cinema. After graduating from the Film program at the Los Angeles City College, Tina wrote, produced and directed two independent feature films: Jacklight and Asphalt Stars. Both films have been shown and awarded at several domestic and international film festivals. In 2007, Tina co-founded Asphalt Stars Productions with Guido Santi and together they produced and directed the feature documentary, Chris & Don: A Lve Story, on the life-long relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood and American painter, Don Bachardy. IMDB

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Sarah Kernochan

Sarah Kernochan was born, and is based, in New York City. She was educated at Rosemary Hall and Sarah Lawrence. At age 27 she achieved early success by winning the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for her film, Marjoe. In 2002, she won a 2nd Academy Award, for her 40-minute short, “Thoth”.  Her narrative feature, All I Wanna Do, launched the careers of Kirsten Dunst and Gaby Hoffman. She is also an accomplished screenwriter, having penned Sommersby, Impromptu, What Lies Beneath, 9 1/2 Weeks, Dancers and Learning To Drive. IMDB

Julie Lucas

Julie Lucas

Julie Lucas is a theater and film director. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Upcoming: Cal in Camo with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Colt Coeur (assistant director). Associate Producer of The World of Albert Fuh.  Director of theatrical productions of Lysistrata and The Little  IMDB

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Deborah Kampmeier

Director of the feature films SPLiT, Hounddog and Virgin, and the shorts, Oma and Without Grace.  Ms. Kampmeier won the Best Screenplay Award and was nominated for the Golden Starfish Award For Best Fiction Feature Film at the Hamptons Int’l. Film Festival. Nominated for the Independent Spirit Award’s John Cassavetes prize and winner of the Santa Fe Film Festival’s Milagro Award for Best Independent Spirit. The Sundance Film Festival nominated her for the Grand Jury Prize and the Toronto Female Eye Film Festival awarded her the Best Of The Show Jury Prize.  She was Runner-up for the Dreammaker Award at the Nashville Film Festival. She has several projects in active development via her company, Full Moon Films, and teaches her Master Class in acting in NYC. IMDB

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Araeia Robinson

Araeia Robinson is a Philly Bred – L.A. Based Director/Writer who specializes in innovative scripted content, fashion fairytales and music video gems. Director/Producer of the short films Val-En-Tina, and Scene Not Heard. Music Videos for Brit Manor, Amanda Blank, Def Sound, Nola Darling, and Captain Planet. SheMovesPictures IMDB

Finola Hughes

Finola Hughes

A London native, Finola Hughes began her career with the Northern Ballet Company after winning the Markova Award. Her feature film directing debut, The Bet, won Best Feature at the LA Femme Int’l. Film Festival. She studied at Arts Educational Schools and went on to theater work in the West End in the original cast of Cats and continued working with Andrew Lloyd Webber in Song & Dance. After shooting Staying Alive in Los Angeles, she moved to California and began work on General Hospital, winning the Emmy Award in 1991. She is currently in pre-production to direct the independent feature, Byrd And The Bees. IMDB

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Gillian Pachter

An established filmmaker based in Britain, Gillian Pachter has been writing, producing and directing content for over a decade. Her work has been broadcast on the BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, Animal Planet, SyFy and more. Her work in narrative short films, FlightFive Pounds Hollywood, are intimate looks at the lives of the outsiders among us. TV Narrative Series: Breakout. TV Series Documentary: Web of Lies, Banged Up Abroad, Raised Wild, Paranormal Witness, I’m Pregnant with Their Baby, Repossessed, Britney: Off the Rails, Desperate Virgins, PetnappedIMDB

Leslie Hope

Leslie Hope

Leslie Hope is very gratified by the reception of her award-winning documentary, What I See When I Close My Eyes, which won Best Documentary at the HDFest and the Humboldt Int’l Film Festivals. It screened across the globe and was purchased by Movieola. That same year, Gaykeith, which she wrote and directed, became a viral internet hit and was nominated for Best Screenplay at The Maverick Movie Awards won Best Comedic Short at the HD Fest and The Portland HD Fest, and The Golden Palm Award at the Mexico Int’l. Film Festival. She has helmed several telefilms for the TF-1, Granada and Lifetime networks and several episodes of television (The Murdoch MysteriesAftermath). She was Executive Producer of THE BLING RING, as well as producing and directing the award-winning, Buried Treasure. Leslie has also enjoyed a successful acting career. IMDB

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America Young

America Young is currently working in many aspects of film-making. From directing to stunts to voice over for film, TV and Video Games. She has directed 6 entire web series, and episodes from three others, 2 music videos and 13 shorts. America is so excited that all her years of production experience and geek obsessions culminated into directing her first feature, a pop-culture comedy called The Concessionaires Must Die!! which is executive produced by Stan Lee and is now in post. (  And she JUST wrapped on a webseries, Whatta Lark, that pairs a quiet, uncertain, introverted woman with the fiercest and most loveliest of Drag Queens. America is also in post on a sci-fi action proof of concept called ALT, as well as two other shorts, an Indiana Jones Adventure and one exploring how to move on after domestic violence. Her short Just In Time, a film that could be described as”Jumanji meets Quantum Leap” is just now starting it’s festival circuit.  She proud to be a founder on The Chimaera Project, a non-profit which gives opportunities to women in the media arts ( When America’s not kicking the crap out of Super-Heroes that support the Superhuman Registration Act, jumping off buildings, teaching actors how to fight or setting herself on fire, she enjoys telling stories, sipping herbal tea and sharpening her pair of Sai. IMDB

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Shana Betz

Shana Betz realized her feature writing/directing debut, Free Ride, by dramatizing her unconventional Florida childhood as the daughter of a drug smuggler by way of the Film Independent Producing and Directing Labs. The film, starring Anna Paquin and Drea DeMatteo, won the Hamptons Int’l. Film Festival’s coveted Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award and was picked up for release by specialty distributor Phase 4 Films. Always busy shooting eclectic projects, like the anthology, Girls! Girls! Girls! and the short, The Convention of Dying, Shana is currently in pre-production on Black Belle starring Zoë Kravitz. She is co-founder of The Chimaera Project, which illuminates visionary female filmmakers who are creating equality in the entertainment industry through action. IMDB


Tina Cesa Ward

Tina Cesa Ward’s first short film as writer/director screened in over a dozen festivals and was awarded five times domestically and abroad. It was named one of the best short films of the decade by Festival de Cortos MiraLes in 2011. She Executive Produced, wrote, and directed the hit web series, Anyone But Me, for three years starting in 2008. Along with co-writer Susan Miller, Ward won the first ever WGA Award for Original New Media. In 2012, Miller and Ward took home the International Academy of Web TV award for writing in a drama. She also took home many nominations for Best Directing in a Drama. In 2010 she directed the successful first season of the branded web series Bestsellers, and in 2011 debuted the critically acclaimed Good People in Love. Ward also took home a Rome Web Award for the series. In 2013 her series Producing Juliet made it’s world premiere at the Raindajnce Film Festival WebFest, and received a stand out notice from the Huffington Post. In 2015, Wad won the International Academy of Web TV award for Best Writing in a Drama. IMDB

Nikki Bradendlin

Nikki Braendlin

A former actress, Nikki Braendlin tackled sisterhood-meets-mental illness for her debut feature, As High as the Sky. Released by Cinema Libre Studio, the film has won several top international awards; Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Palm Beach Int’l. Film Festival, the Jury Award for Best American Independent Feature and the Stolman Audience Award for the Best American Independent Feature at the Sonoma Int’l. Film Festival, the Grand Jury Prize at the Amsterdam Film Festival, and the Audience Choice Award at the Idyllwild CinemaFest and Big Bear Lake Int’l. Film Festivals. IMDB


Katharine Emmer

Katharine Emmer is a graduate of New York University where she received the Tisch Artistic Achievement Award. Katharine’s directorial feature film debut, Life in Color, was an official selection of South by Southwest 2015 where it had its world premiere. Ms. Emmer also wrote, produced, edited and starred in the film. The film won the Best of Fest – Prix D’Or Award at the Lower East Side Film Festival in New York City and the Special Jury Prize at the Napa Valley Film Festival. It also premiered to strong reviews and climbed the iTunes charts to #3 for best sellers in Independent Comedies. Katharine recently shadowed director, Robert Cohen on two episodes of IFC’s hit show, Maron & director Jeff Greenstein on CBS’s The Odd Couple. In addition to NYU, Katharine studied at the Guthrie Theatre and Yale University. IMDB

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Diana Cignoni

Having grown up in Germany, Diana Cignoni cites the work of avant-garde auteur, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, as an influence. Her first feature, One Weekend, won the SaMo Indie Fest Audience Choice Award, and her short, Palm Trees, won Best Narrative Short at the same festival. She has a unique educational background, having been taught by friend and mentor, Charlie Laughton (coach to Al Pacino) at The Actor’s Studio. She recently received a grant from the Panavision New Filmmakers Program, allowing her to produce her latest film, Blood Wolf, through her production company, Ground Hero. IMDB


Marina Rice Bader

Ms. Bader is the founder of Soul Kiss Films, dedicated to “producing evocative, entertaining, and compelling movies by women, for women and about women. Our stories, our journeys, our unique way of being in the world.” Her first project was to executive produce 2010’s Elena Undone, already considered a classic of the genre. She followed that two years later with the highly successful A Perfect Ending. By 2014 Marina felt driven toward a more authentic path; writing, directing and performing a major role in Anatomy of a Love Seen, while simultaneously creating an exciting new model of filmmaking, production, and creative distribution, earning much publicity. Next came Raven’s Touch, which she produced and co-directed with powerhouse Dreya Weber in 2015. Marina recently released her fifth film, Ava’s Impossible Things, as writer, director and producer. It premiered at the 2016 Outfest Los Angeles and is the first film to receive an investment from Vimeo’s “Share the Screen” female filmmaking fund, launched at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to support emerging female voices in film. “I have always had a love affair with movies, but it wasn’t until my early fifties that I had enough faith in myself to make the leap to actually creating them,” she says. “I’m excited to be a filmmaker at this time in history, when women are working to lift each other up and gender disparity is being discussed in a big way. The first step in fixing a problem is by shouting it from the rooftops, and I’m extremely proud to be part of the solution.” IMDB

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Penny Pengra

Penny Pengra worked her way up from production assistant to director for Network television. Behind the scenes on ABC Daytime shows like General Hospital, General Hospital: Night Shift and Port Charles, she eventually secured the position of Staff Director on GH. She’s won five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team, two DGA Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials, and two more Emmys for Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing for a Drama Series. She recently left the directing field to become a clinical psychologist. IMDB

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Nicole Gomez Fisher

Sleeping with the Fishes marks Nicole’s directorial debut, for which she won the IMAGEN Foundation Best Director Award and the same honor at the Brooklyn Film Festival. The film was picked up for distribution by HBO in 2015. She was also a Finalist at the St Louis Int’l. Film Festival’s New Filmmakers Forum Emerging Director Competition. Nicole’s latest directing projects include The Beauty of Disaster, a short film written by Janet Stilson, which Nik also produced, and Getting out of My Own Way, a music video for indie recording artist, Jennifer Vazquez. Nicole’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Time Out NY, Backstage, Theater Mania and 15 Minutes Magazine. IMDB

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Jennifer Pepperman

“Jen Pep” is another who worked her way up the ladder to achieve her dream goal of becoming a television director. Her journey has garnered her 2 wins and 6 nominations for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series Directing Team on As the World Turns and One Life to Live. She was Executive Producer/Director of the ground-breaking online re-launch of One Life to Live on Hulu. Jen’s extensive knowledge in all areas of production, story development, directing, budget administration, scheduling, marketing, promotion, product placement, union management, editing, and post-production, is an accumulated knowledge that can only be described as “vast.” Jen has directed over 250 hours of television. She recently shot her first short film, Jack and Diane, currently in post-production. IMDB

Trudy Bellinger

Trudy Bellinger

A native of Britain, Ms. Bellinger’s award winning music videos for artists like Dionne Bromfield, Girls Aloud, Katherine Jenkins, Sophie Ellis Bextor, Pixie Lott, and Bodyrockers express her beautifully developed color palettes, flattering lighting and tight choreography. Her first commercial featured Kate Moss for Rimmel London. Subsequent clients include M&S, Dove, Garner, Olay, and Sky TV. She was a driving force at BSB Powerstation (a music television channel in Britian). While producing she was headhunted by the MD of EMI Records Corporation to head up their Creative and Music Video divisions, where she was in charge of artists visuals and image as well as commissioning music videos. TruDeLux




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