Alexander Tullo film: Barking Orders Category: Animation (Domestic Film School) Alexander Tullo is a recent graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design’s Computer animation program. His film, Barking Orders, has gone on to win Best Animation at numerous international film festivals including but not limited to the London Independent Film Awards, the Accolade Global Film Competition, and the PRIX ROYAL Paris Film Awards.
Teagan A. Barrone film: Slumber With Snakes Category: Animation (Domestic Film School) Teagan A. Barrone is a storyboard artist based out of Cambridge, Ohio. Her primary focuses are animation and storytelling. However, she also is familiar with illustration, composing, singing, and writing. As a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, she has worked with names like the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, and Angel Studio’s The Chosen.
Sujin Kim film: Unforgotten Category: Animation (Domestic Film School) Sujin Kim is a concept artist, CG animation artist, independent filmmaker and educator. Kim is a tenure-track assistant professor for 3D animation at Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts of Arizona State University (ASU) in the USA. She received a BFA in Painting in South Korea and an MFA in Experimental Animation with a concentration in 3D animation at California Institute of the Arts in the USA. Her experimental animation works have been screened in many film festivals around the world. She has flexible visual languages ranging from traditional painting to CG techniques. Her artistic passion is to create surrealistic, mythological, and poetic photorealism CG worlds while searching alternative modes of storytelling in animated filmmaking to deliver people’s traumas who have been marginalized in society. Her commercial projects include collaborations with Epitaph Records and Warner Music UK.
Akanksha Cruczynski film: Close Ties To Home Country Category: Narrative (Domestic Film School) Akanksha Cruczynski is a writer and filmmaker based in New York City. Originally from India and having grown up in Saudi Arabia, Akanksha moved to the States for college, and got her Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Creative Writing from DePauw University. She then moved to Chicago to study comedy at The Second City, iO Theater and the Annoyance Theater, where she was quickly performing nightly improv and directing sketch shows. A lifelong cinephile, she attended Columbia College Chicago for an MFA in Cinema Directing. Close Ties to Home Country is her graduate thesis film. It won the Audience Award at its world premiere at Aspen Shortsfest, was on the BAFTA Student Shortlist 2021, won the Best Comedy Award at Indy Shorts International Film Festival, and has played at several other Academy Award-qualifying film festivals, including Telluride Film Festival, while also winning awards at smaller festivals worldwide. Akanksha is passionate about telling stories from underserved communities and using humor to make them accessible.
Kristi Hoi film: No Law, No Heaven Category: Narrative (Domestic Film School) Kristi Hoi is an award-winning writer-director, filmmaker, and artist from Los Angeles, California. Her most recent film, No Law, No Heaven, won the 2021 Student Academy Award Bronze Medal in Narrative (Domestic), won the 2020 IFP Gotham x JetBlue x Focus Features Student Filmmaker Award, and has been nominated for the 2021 GSA BAFTA Student Award for Live Action. She is a recent graduate of the UCLA MFA directing program and holds a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Sequential Art and Sound Design. As an artist by trade and a storyteller by nature, her work is a deep dive into vivid worlds featuring themes of duality, family and identity, featuring ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
Phumi Morare film: When The Sun Sets (Lakutshon' Ilanga) Category: Narrative (Domestic Film School) Phumi Morare is a South African writer/director who is passionate about redeeming the African and feminine identity through cinema. She's interested in using the Black female gaze to tell personal, human stories of everyday Africans. She also loves exploring African history, mythology and folktales in her storytelling. Phumi’s short films have played at prestigious international film festivals including Telluride Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival, and Pan African Film Festival. Phumi’s upcoming short film, Why The Cattle Wait, was selected for the 2021 Berlinale Talents Durban program. Phumi completed her MFA in Film Directing at Dodge College at Chapman University. She has a background in investment banking at Goldman Sachs in London and management consulting at McKinsey& Company in Johannesburg. She currently freelances as a strategist at Statement Films, a company that incubates African women content creators.
Bohau Liu film: Eagles Rest in Liangshan Category: Documentary (Domestic School) Bohao Liu is from Sichuan, China. He is a filmmaker working on documentary, fiction and hybrid. He studied Screenwriting at London Film School and Documentary at New York University. His previous works covered the South Asian migrant workers in Qatar, former gangsters in Brooklyn, and the mask pioneers in Chinatown. Like many other basketball fans, he started watching and playing basketball after Yao Ming became an All-Star in NBA. From mountains to mountains, he found a basketball village halfway up the top in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture where the kids are vastly passionate about this sport. This documentary short was his thesis work at NYU, and also his tribute to Mamba.
De’Onna Young-Stephens film: Not Just a Name Category: Documentary (Domestic School) De’Onna “Tree” Young-Stephens is a writer, director, and producer based in Los Angeles, California. She is currently a member of Women in Film Los Angeles (WIFLA), The International Documentary Association, The Black Women’s Film Network (BWFN), and the African American Women in Cinema Society (AAWC). Born and raised in Walkertown, North Carolina, Tree’s interest in film started at the tender age of eight when she was enrolled as a dancer at North Carolina School of the Arts. Her artistic vision expanded when she was scouted by Larry Leon Hamlin, the founder of the National Black Theater Festival and asked to join the Winston-Salem Black Repertory Theater. After performing in numerous plays and television films, Tree slowly started to realize her passion was located behind the scenes. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Marketing from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Tree officially moved to Atlanta and got her first behind the scenes professional job working as a day player on the film42. She later went on to work as a personal assistant for Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe on Hidden Figures and as a second assistant director on numerous films and television shows in the Atlanta area. Currently, Tree works for the Wondaland Arts Society as a producer and helped to produce the Grammy nominated emotion picture Dirty Computer. She most recently received her MFA from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Kristen Hwang film: When They’re Gone Category: Documentary (Domestic School) Kristen Hwang is an award-winning Bay Area-based director, producer and cinematographer. Her previous film, FREED BUT FORGOTTEN, received an Edward R.Murrow for news documentary. She has also been recognized for her reporting on education, prison reform, childhood lead exposure, and drought in the American Southwest. Her work focuses on environmental health and social justice and has been featured in the New York Times, USA TODAY and Cal Matters among other outlets. In 2021, Hwang earned a master’s degree in journalism from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, producing WHEN THEY’RE GONE as part of her thesis. She also earned a master of public health degree from UC Berkeley, researching water quality and fracking in the Central Valley
Hao Zhou film: Frozen Out Category: Alternative/Experimental Hao Zhou is a filmmaker from southwest China. Zhou’s films often center on people resisting structural oppression in their daily lives. In 2014, Zhou directed and produced his first feature film, The Night, about young, queer sex workers in China. Zhou’s work has screened at numerous festivals including the Berlinale. He is an alum of Cinéfondation’s La Résidence, Berlinale Talents, and Talents Tokyo. In 2022, Zhou will be directing a feature film in the U.S. Midwest, centered on a queer Chinese immigrant.
Simon Denda film: ADISA Category: Narrative (International School) Born 1987 in Karlsruhe, Germany, after several years as a best boy and gaffer in the industry Simon improved his directing skills at the University of Television and Film Munich. Since then, he directed several short films and commercials. He is known for his craft in working with actors and his ability to combine creativity and technology to tell heartwarming and strong stories. His film ADISA won the Student Academy Award and the Best Production Award at Sehsüchte Berlin. Showing that diversity behind and in front of the camera is necessary to tell compelling stories.
Salar Pashtoonyar film: Bad Omen Category: Narrative (International School) Salar Pashtoonyar is a filmmaker originally from Afghanistan and based in Canada. As a director, his films have screened at festivals worldwide, including Clermont-Ferrand International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival. Growing up as a refugee due to forced displacements because of the wars in Afghanistan, he is drawn to exploring the lives of ordinary people that deal with abnormal situations caused by their surroundings and their hubris through a cinematic lens. Salar holds a diploma and master's degree in Film Production from Toronto Film School, and York University
Murad Abu Eisheh film: Murad Abu Eisheh Category: Narrative (International School) Born in 1992 in Amman, Jordan, in 2014 he finished his bachelor degree in communication design with a focus on film making from the German Jordanian University. He directed several short films and later some commercials for the Royal High Court of Jordan, before he began his directing studies at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Since then, his films have been represented at respected German festivals for upcoming talents. Besides his studies he is the founder and coordinator of the Pan African Development Program “Follow The Nile” of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, where he has the opportunity to give young African filmmakers the support they need to create their vision and expand their horizons as filmmakers.
Milou Gevers film: Why Didn't You Stay For Me? Category: Documentary (International School) During elementary school, young Milou was a member of the film club at the local community center. Armed with a handy cam and a lot of cheeky interview questions, she made her first videos. Her curious attitude and interest in other countries and cultures led her to study Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. During her studies she always stayed engaged with photography, theatre and film. After completing her bachelors, she therefore decided to apply for the Netherlands Film Academy. Milou has specialized in youth documentaries: a child’s perspective makes it possible for her to address difficult subjects in a light and playful way. She also likes to use animation in her work.
Théo Jamin film: Les Chaussures de Louis Category: Animation (International School) Théo Jamin was born and raised in France, He loves to fabricate, craft, and understand how things are constructed/work. His curiosity to understand how people move characters on stop motion film gave birth to his passion about animated movies. He studied at Mopa School where he learnt CGI animation. At the end of his studies, he co-directed a short film with three classmates. Together, they created an intimate story about exploring and interpreting the world, by a kid not like the other, with his very own specific manner. Today Théo works on a 3D animated series as Rigger.
Kayu Leung film: Les Chaussures de Louis Category: Animation (International School) Kayu Leung, born and raised in Hong Kong, animation director and illustrator based in Paris. She graduated from Supinfocom Arles (Ecole Mopa) in 2020. Her first solo short film “Evol” has been selected by different festivals including the Animafest Zagreb and DC Independent Film Festival. As a 2D & 3D Content creator for TED-Ed Talk animation and Vogue HK, her commercial works were selected by festivals including London International Motion Picture Awards. The graduation film “Les Chaussures de Louis” not only serves as an amazing filmmaking experience with super talented teammates but also got selected to different festivals and continues to share the intimate story of Louis.
Marion Philippe film: Les Chaussures de Louis Category: Animation (International School) Marion Phillippe was born on May 18, 1996 in Avignon, France. Passionate about writing and cinema, she studied 3D production at Mopa. “Louis's Shoes” is her group-produced graduation film. She was very involved in the writing, the organization of the production and was in charge of the creation of the characters (sculpting, texturing, grooming) as well as a part of the texturing, lighting, rendering and compositing. Giving life and voice to little Louis was a very enriching experience. Louis is more than a simple character, he is like a child who we see growing up and who makes us see the world in another way...