Keith O'Grady is a filmmaker who works in several disciplines of film and television. First and foremost a director, he also works at times as a writer, producer and actor. He trained in a number of disciplines including acting. He has a Bachelors and a Masters degree in film production. His recent directing credits include the documentary biopics 'Bram Stoker & Dracula' and 'Robert Burns'; and the multi-award-nominated documentary film 'Vótaí Do Mhná' for TG4; the BBC films 'An Colaiste Éireannach', the series 'Féilte is Fleadh' and the award-winning short drama 'A short film about fear’, which played at festivals across Europe and North America. His debut feature will be released this year. He is currently developing more feature drama and more documentary work.
Caroline Callender was born and raised in Los Angeles and moved to New York in 2012. She is a junior at the Brearley School in New York. Caroline has a deep interest in storytelling which she has explored through her work as a staff writer for the Brearley school newspaper The Zephyr, her photography and in her filmmaking. She is as the co-founder of the school Filmmaking club.
Silver Liftin lives in Brooklyn and has lived in New York her whole life. She is a senior in high school and will graduate in June of 2018. In addition to her interest in film, Silver is one of the lead editors for her school’s literary magazine and is in a student dance company at Mark Morris. She tries to use her interests as channels for her activism as much as possible. Silver will go to college this year where she hopes to continue learning about what she is passionate about.
Branden T. Hampton is a rising icon in the entertainment industry focusing on television/film production, radio and music. Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, Branden recently completed a Master of Science degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Howard University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Radio/Television/Film.
He has worked with some of the biggest celebrities in the entertainment business while working under Barbara Walters on the Emmy-Award winning daytime talk show ABC's The View. In addition, Branden has also worked with Jesse Collins Entertainment, The Washington Post, BET and Radio One.
Branden also has over 10 years of experience playing the piano, French horn, trumpet and producing/composing music. Branden's production company, B. Hampton Productions, focuses on television/film development, music and more.
In the next five years, Branden hopes to become a successful entertainment mogul having a positive impact on people's lives through music, television and film.
Mara Cracaleanu has 16 years old and she's studying at one of the most prestigious schools in Iasi, Romania, "Mihai Eminescu" College. She performed at the Romanian National Opera Junior choir for 7 years, in La Boheme, Tosca, Carmen. Her first role in a feature movie was in a Romanian production, "Scoala de vara" who premiered in Bucharest in 2013. She was an actress in a French theatre group called "Les Apos'" where she received an award for best feminine interpretation in a play based on the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. Now she's an actress in the theatre group, "Thalienii', from Iasi Atheneum.
She won an award for her first short film in French, "Solitude". Her second short film "Fantasy Dust", was in competition at Los Angeles Film Festival, watched by famous Hollywood directors and producers. The original soundtrack of the film was composed by Danny Elfman, one of the famous film music composers. The online competition brought to her own page, 11.000 points.
She also worked on other different projects, including a documentary.
Her latest project is a short film, "Mirrorcide", a drama about teenagers and their own image.
Justin Stearns has been working professionally in the film industry since 2010, but his filmmaking journey goes back much further.
At 7 years old Justin had his first video camera. Staging news broadcasts, he quickly started producing his own content.
It wasn't until Justin was 19 however, when he sought out becoming a legitimate filmmaker. He attended Gainesville State College where he obtained his A.A. in Media Studies and Full Sail University where he earned a Bachelor's Degree of Science in Digital Cinematography.
Now years later, Justin has successfully produced over 70 projects including short films, music videos, commercials, industrials, fashions films and more working with clients such as Mercedes-Benz, Coca-Cola, Durex, Cambell's Soup and Universal Studios Resorts.
La’Darris Boykin; more affectionately known as ‘Quik’. Grew up in Baltimore, Maryland where he spent most of his youth writing and found a love for music, particularly hip hop. It was that love for rocking the microphone to tell stories that led him to arts and entertainment. After working with music production and continuing his adventures in Deejaying, Quik has also turned his sights to film as another platform to tell stories.
GUILLAUME ENARD - Director.
Born in Paris, Guillaume studies filmmaking at the Ecole Supérieure de Réalisation Audiovisuelle, where he directs his first short Correction starring the famous French actor Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu.
After graduating, he spends the next 10 years working as editor and sound editor on several TV series and feature films such as L’Affaire Dreyfus, Jean Moulin, Dieu Que les Femmes Sont Amoureuses or Una Pura Formalita, collaborating with such famous French directors as Yves Boisset, Magali Clement or Guiseppe Tornatore.
In 2004, Guillaume becomes a full time script writer. He writes, adapts for the screen and supervises the writing of many TV properties such as Marvel’s Iron Man, Casper, Spirou et Fantasio, Invisible Man, Le Marsupilami, Baskup Tony Parker, Trolls of Troy, Plankton Invasion, Mini Ninjas, My Giant Friend, etc.
Meanwhile he directs Brumes, awarded at the L.A. Screamfest Horror Film Festival and the Ravenna Nightmare Film Festival, and broadcasted many times on Universal’s network 13ème Rue. Then, Guillaume writes several feature films such as the monster movie Unleashed and the animated feature Kitty. Then, Guillaume develops the dystopian TV Series Asile – Le Monde d’Après with Room 237, the supernatural adventure drama Desolacion with producer Michel Ruben and director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego. Following that, Guillaume also adapts as a TV Series the English thriller best-seller Until You’re Mine for the production company Banijay.
Presently, Guillaume is finishing writing the comedy En Vert et Contre Tous for Tigerfish production company. Now that his new short Par le Sang is completed, he’s beginning to develop his feature film projects with his co-director Jonathan Delerue.
JONATHAN DELERUE - Director
Graduate of the Emile Cohl School of Art in 2004, Jonathan hones his skills as a storyboard artist working for the most part on the “French Frayeurs” film collection such as Frontière(s), Mutants, La Traque and Vertiges.
Rapidly, Jonathan lends his pen and talent to prestigious French production companies, working frequently with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp (Colombiana, Taken 2, Taken 3, 3 Days to Kill, and the forthcoming Koursk…), Dimitri Rassam’s Chapter 2 (Gibraltar, Paradise Lost), academy award winner Thomas Langman (Vanikoro), Alain Goldman’s Légende Films (La French, HHhH), Jericho Films (Radin, Rémi Sans Famille), and also Why Not Productions’ Jackie… He just completed storyboarding Alain Chabat’s Santa & Cie, and Jean-François Richet’s L’Empereur de Paris…
Currently, Jonathan is moving on to making films with his short Par le Sang, which is the spearhead project to be followed with feature films with his co-writer and co-director Guillaume Enard.
Anna Haas is a photographer, graphic designer and director, based in Nashville, TN. Her company, Red Hare Photography & Design, offers professional, modern photos and designs for for families, professionals and artists.
"As a freelance photographer and part time procurement manager i get more and more freaky in creating animation films."
Kristin Holodak has been drawn to image making ever since she was a child and begged her dad to let her hold the family camera while on vacation and then snuck a picture after being explicitly told not to touch any of the buttons. After completing an MFA in film production, she is now an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Marquette University, helping the next generation find their voices as filmmakers.
Born to Damita Jo Mathis & Stewart Welch, Shaun was raised in Waterbury CT. After attending two different colleges, Shaun penned his first novel, This Hurts, which won him independent best selling author in 2007 and came in at #89 on the Essence Best Seller list. Shaun went on to pen 2 more successful novels before relocating to Atlanta from Philadelphia. In Atlanta, Shaun got his start in the movie industry by interning with Studio 11 Films, Eyeam Cinema, as well as Ralph Wilcox productions. After doing stand in work on several motion pictures, Shaun created and released 2 award winning web series, Rich Brothers & Threesome.
Find out More....
Born on the 26th of February, Pablo Lopez studied Film and Video at The Pennsylvania State University. Initially as a young boy he lived a life of constant transitions until his family finally settled into the small town of Minersville, PA. With all of the people he has met throughout the years he was able to accumulate an understanding for different perspectives. It wasn't until he watched a behind the scenes documentary of his favorite film that he discovered his love for film. He began to create stories at the age of 13 and continued to flourish as he followed his passion to pursue a degree in film. He began his film experience with Post Production editing which then slowly transitioned into Producing, Directing and Script Writing. He hopes to transition to LA in order to further his career as a filmmaker and to expand his passion.
Joseph Villapaz's directorial film debut began with the romantic comedy, Love Eterne. Then, a sci-fi series of films emerged, which started with No One Lives Forever followed by 14 Days, Subversive, Engagement and most recently, Tragic Consequence. Joseph Villapaz writes and produces his films with small budgets that he can finance himself without the help of campaign fund support avoiding the need to satisfy expectations of others, keeping his work truly independent.
Erik Spink is a producer at Vacant Light, a film and media production company based in NYC. He has worked in production and post-production for the past decade predominately in non-fiction storytelling. Erik earned his Bachelors of Arts in Cinema Studies at SUNY Purchase College and an MFA in Social Documentary Film from the School of Visual Arts where he is now a member of the faculty. In the corporate arena, Erik has co-produced and created original branded content for companies such as Jameson Whiskey, Dell, Intel, and The Village Voice. Erik was the co-producer for Amitabh Joshi’s documentary feature film, Tashi’s Turbine that premiered in 2015. Erik’s work in documentary films has screened at festivals internationally and received support and recognition from institutions such as The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, The Ford Foundation, The Center for Asian American Media, and The Paley Center for Media.
Find out More
Julia Deak was born in Budapest. She holds a degree in Hungarian Literature and is a qualified journalist. After winning two journalism writing competitions, she joined Hungarian State Television, where, for seven years, she was responsible for the making of cultural documentary films. She has been awarded prizes for her work there. During that period she also wrote screenplays for her own films and television programs.
Later, she pursued her career as an independent, free-lance writer. She has had two prose volumes published by a respected publisher, and her novellas and book reviews have appeared in a well-known literary monthly.
In recent years Julia has devoted herself to making short films. She writes these films herself, and is the director, cinematographer, producer and editor rolled into one. She has learned the techniques of digital post-production in order to be able, with the minimum of help from others, to realise fully her vision of how she would like her films to look and sound. Her short film, Noises won a place at the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles, and also featured in the exhibition Art on the Wall, organised as part of the Festival. In addition to its involvement in these events, Noises was included in Poetry in Motion , a framework programme within the Regensburg International Short Film Week 2015.
These events were covered widely in the Hungarian press, and many online magazines also reported on Julia's success abroad as a short film maker.
Mark Brocking has been working in the film industry since around 1990.
He started his career in 2D animation working on features for Disney, Warner brothers and Spielberg among others.
Around 2003 he entered the field of CG animation at Framestore, London working his way up to supervising animator on films such as Narnia "The Dawn Treader" and "Where the Wild Things Are".
He was nominated for a BAFTA for his work as animation director on tv series "Primeval 2" in 2003.
Mark started writing and directing his short films in 2010 which has so far resulted in three films, "The Double Cross" in 2013 (Best shorts winner) and "The Barber's Cut" in 2016 and his latest short film “Ascent” which is being released in Film festivals in 2018.
Mark's films have been screened in over 200 festivals worldwide and have won more that 80 awards.
He lives in London, UK with his wife and 2 children.
Juan Francisco Viruega (Almería, 1982) is Doctor cum laude in Cinematography and holds a degree in Film Direction from the ECAM with the award of excellence for his promotion. His first three short films, 'Stockholm' (2010), 'Postcards from the Moon' (2012) and 'Solstice' (2013) gather more than 200 selections in international festivals and have been awarded in more than 20 countries. Win three times the RTVA Award and the ASECAN-SGAE Award for the best fiction short film in 2014. He directed the Official Degree in Cinematography of the URJC/TAI since 2014 and the Almeria Western Film Festival since 2016, while developing his first fiction feature film.
Joseph Quinn was born Jan 1, 1966 in Chicago Illinois. He has worked both in front of and behind the camera on multiple feature films and documentaries. Tapferkeit was his directorial debut.
My first interaction with the film industry was being an extra on a couple of films and the TV series Army Wives. Later on I took acting classes to further my career in film. With a little bit of experience under my belt I manage to book a few commercials and acted in a few independent short films. I've always had the desire to also write and direct my own films. So I later enrolled at Trident Technical College Film Program. I wanted a better knowledge of how things worked behind the camera. I'm an alum with a degree in film production and I have certificate in film making. Even though I'm just getting started, I've done four short films and a documentary. My plans are to continue writing, directing, along with some acting, to one day I'll have a feature film on the big screen.
Born in France and raised in Canada, Trystan Millet studied scenarisation and cinema at the UQAM. Pourquoi les arbres sont roses (Why Are the Trees Pink) is his first short movie.
First time Director Marjorie DeHey, was born in Boston, Raised in Rochester, New York and currently lives in Beverly Hills. A Political Science Degree from Cornell University, J.D. Degree from California Western School of Law, and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson of Management.
John Tso is the creator, writer and artist of Love & Warren. He holds a BFA from Long Beach State and has worked in Silicon Valley since 2002. His first animated short, "The Untold Story of Romeo & Juliet," is a comedic retelling of the infamous Shakespearean drama by an incompetent Cupid who is personally responsible for America’s 50% divorce rate.
Vanessa D. Fant, a Dominican-American actress raised in Lawrenceville, Va, knew she wanted to become an actress since the age of 8. Being that she came from a small town with little opportunity, she decided to relocate to Brooklyn, Ny after turning 20 years old, to pursue her dreams in the Film and Entertainment Industry. With strong determination and an amazingly natural talent, Vanessa landed a range of roles from web-series to feature films. She now resides in Atlanta, Ga, and is represented by Alexander White Agency's commercial department. Vanessa has developed passion for working behind the camera and creating her own productions. She has now ventured off into producing and directing independent films.
Navied Setayesh is a nineteen year old Iranian-American director and musician from Asheville, NC. Since 2013, he and his younger sister Tasnim have comprised the synth-pop duo known as Posh Hammer. Over the past four years, they've toured the South-East, playing festivals from North Carolina to Indiana. With 'Dancing In Place', Navied was able to combine his two greatest passions, music and film. This project is his directorial debut and the accompanying EP, which Navied co-wrote and produced, is Posh Hammer's second release.
Wes L Walker is a local Atlanta filmmaker. His Goal is to break the mold from the mainstream film industry and help build the Indie Market into a power house force to be reckoned with. Through skill and precision, he wants to turn your awesome ideas into a reality and make vision come to life. This is his first of serious projects I he plans to put out.
I'm a Director & Writer. Currently, I'm still getting my master degree in Film and Television in Savannah college of art and design. My short films have been awarded and selected in film festivals worldwide. I worked as an assistant director for "Wolf warrior 2", which is the box office champ in the history of Chinese film market.
My goal, of course, is to direct feature films in the future. Let's make it happen.
Sam Gannuch was born and raised in Denver Colorado. At nine he began making films and has relentlessly pursued every aspect of the craft since. At 13 he began a documentary about learning differences which he distributed to Amazon Prime upon completion at the age of 15. He is currently completing his senior year of high school and planning to attend film school in the fall.
Romane is a visionary strategist with a demonstrated ability to think "big picture" while maintaining focus on specific details to deliver the highest quality products. He possesses extensive knowledge and expertise in concept development, interactive media design, photography and video production including directing, editing and audio production.
Tracy is an Atlanta based actor, writer, and producer with a knack for storytelling. After years of working as an actress, she decided to start writing, and producing her own projects. First as an executive producer for the short "Dear Sister" then as writer and producer for "Diva, Interrupted," which was inspired by her own story as a divorcee suddenly forced to navigate life as a single mom. She and Romane first met over ten years ago when they both worked on the online creative team at The Home Depot.
Prior to "Apologies", Rebecca "Becksters" Van Kirk wrote and directed "I'm Adopted", "Dear Crush", and "Dear Ex-Crush". She also does both on and off-stage acting frequently and starred as "Joy Hart" in "I'm Adopted".
Jan Fabris was born in Ljubljana (Slovenia) in 1986. Since 1999 his main interests have been filmmaking and film history. He received his Bachelor's of Science degree in Chemistry in 2010 and his Ph.D. in Biomedicine in 2014.
Spremembe - director, writer, editor, composer
Kdo je ubil Anastazijo Elster? - assistant director
Mine dan, začne se jutro - assistant director
Most - editor, assistant director
Strah - assistant director
Dovzetnost - director, writer, composer
Although writer/director Luke Harvey is fairly normal on the outside, he has a unique world inside his head. His ultimate goal is to bring audiences into this world so that they can experience life through his eyes.
Yingxu Jane Hao is a compassionate storyteller for impact. She has a heart for those who suffer, an eye for beauty in the struggle, and a passion for human interest stories.
Born and raised in China, she came to the U.S. in 2015 to get trained as a multimedia journalist at the Medill Journalism School at Northwestern University. There she discovered that her enthusiasm and strength lies in video storytelling.
For her, “the movies are like a machine that generates empathy”as is put by Roger Ebert. She aspires to use this machine to break stereotypes, build bridges and evoke action. She’d love to see her work uplift people and communities that are suffering and struggling.
Jack VanderToll is an Emmy Award winning director from Louisville, Kentucky. At an early age, he took an interest in movies and storytelling. VanderToll continued following those passions in college when he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Xavier University in 2014.
His screenwriting and directorial debut was a short film titled The Fawn, which earned a Student Production Award for “Best Director” by the Ohio Valley chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2015.
VanderToll also co-wrote and starred in Over The River, which earned “First Place” in the Broadcast Education Association 2015 Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas.
He traveled abroad to Siem Reap, Cambodia in the summer of 2014, working as a cinematographer on the short film Saruen, sponsored through Actuality Media.
VanderToll currently works in broadcast news. His first position was a media specialist for the NBC affiliate WAVE-3 News in Louisville, Kentucky. His experiences included coverage from the University of Louisville athletics to the Kentucky Derby.
He currently works and resides in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as a television producer for the NBC affiliate, WMBF News.
Greg Bowen is a Baltimore video and theatre artist. He's worked on rock operas, live music and puppetry events, corporate projects, and documentaries, and is now merging those skills in narrative video production.
Michelle Elise Harding is an award-winning cinematographer, film editor, and producer. Born and raised in New Jersey, Harding fell in love with the film and television industries at an early age due to her proximity to New York City.
Right out of college, Harding had the opportunity to work for Grammy award-winning artist Miri Ben-Ari as her videographer, video editor, and production/talent coordinator from 2014 until early 2016. She was also the Director of Operations of Ben-Ari’s not-for-profit organization, Gedenk Movement, in 2015. Harding worked alongside Ben-Ari with companies such as Scholastic, YouTube, and the Huffington Post. This took Harding to venues such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and YouTube Studios NYC.
Harding was a videographer for double-A affiliates of the New York Yankees, the Trenton Thunder, for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. This was the first time she had the opportunity to gain live television experience.
Harding was also the videographer and video editor for the tech startup Fashion Mingle, a networking platform for fashion industry professionals. She covered several seasons at New York Fashion Week from 2014 until 2016, creating online video content by filming and editing fashion shows and designer interviews.
Prior to moving to Myrtle Beach, SC in 2016, Harding was the director of photography, executive producer, and film editor on award-winning short film, Spark. She still resides in Myrtle Beach and works for NBC affiliate, WMBF News, as a Marketing Producer.
Having the opportunity to work with public figures such as Elijah Wood, Lloyd Kaufman, Miri Ben-Ari, and Joe Kovacs have perpetuated Harding’s drive for filmmaking and television. Cinematography and film producing are Harding’s true passions, and she is grateful to be able to implement them every day in her work.
Peter Davidson is a long-time screenwriter who finally took the plunge and shot his own short film. In the meantime to keep food on the table and a roof over his head he is the CFO of a healthcare company and is also raising funds for a start-up with a technology to deal with drought caused by climate change.
Find out More....
Sugandha Garg is an artist.
There is more to her than just being an actor/ singer/ film-maker/ photographer from Mumbai, India.
She has starred in over 7 Feature films, 2 theatre productions and has been part of Indian Summer- a British drama series for channel 4.
She has also hosted several TV shows for the BBC World Service Trust and Fox Traveller.
She is a certified mountaineer from the Darjeeling Institute Of Mountaineering and taking the ethic of climbing new mountains forward, she is currently pursuing her Masters in Fine Art Photography at the IED, Madrid.
Kashmir is her first short film as writer/director.
I'm an artist from South Carolina who creates clear visions using words. I'm currently located in Georgia, building my brand as a poet, author, and screen writer.
Growing up as an only child gave me plenty of time alone to run wild with my imagination on paper. At the age of eight, I began to write poetry, short stories, stage plays, and etc. From that moment forward the pen became a coping mechanism. Writing became a consistent hobby for me that grasps attention. I began to realize that writing didn't only have to be a hobby, I could turn this talent into a full blown career. I then took my craft seriously by researching different literary formatting genres.
In 2016, I met an editor who presented a blog writing style. I wrote fashion blogs for Pretty Fly Society Boulevard for exposure. That experience not only helped me conquer the fear of sharing my true thoughts with others, but the uniqueness in word play. I became familiar with who I was as a writer which gave me the confidence to expand in other literary genres.
At the end of 2016, I received one on one screen writing lessons from Actor/Writer Javon Johnson known for A Boo Madea Halloween (2016); Barbershop: Back in Business (2004); and Shots Fired (2017). Since then, I've written three short screen plays; Transitions, Forced Karma, Internal and True Colors.
Although I'm indulged in writing screen plays, I invest my feelings into my poetry. In addition to this, I decided to enter a poetry contest for We Are all The Same Project, winning a second place prize. I write poems everyday to soon publish my book, "Emotional".
My unique visions that come to me in nightly dreams will help bring a different type of platform to the film industry. My goals and expectations as a writer will one day have a positive effect on the world. Spreading words that constantly swim around my mind is what gives me the desire to use this gift.
Chad has dedicated the past fifteen years to learning the craft of filmmaking by making short films, working on commercial and feature film sets, editing for leading ad agencies and volunteering with the Sundance Institute. He is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.
Jamie is an LA-based writer-producer-director. Originally from China, she obtained a master degree in Entertainment Industry Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and has worked in both the business and creative sides of entertainment in various studios and production companies. Currently pursuing Producing & Directing Certificates at UCLA, Jamie creates both English and Chinese-language entertainment content, with artistic values while having commercial appeals. She recently produced and directed a mystery fantasy short “The Last Interview", and is currently developing her next project.
Jasmine Cannon is a leading journalist of her generation. With a passion for people and dedication to excellence, her storytelling method of choice is visual. She's been doing journalism since she was 10 years old and has never strayed away.
After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in telecommunication and film with a focus on sports broadcasting, she decided to share her passion to future generations as a 2013 Teach For America corps member where she taught 7th grade math for two years.
Jasmine went on to study documentary storytelling as a Master's of Journalism Candidate at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, which is where she was a part of the team that created FEARLESS.
Jasmine now lives in the Greater New York City area where she works as a video producer and thinks about documentary storytelling all day.
Mohamad AlYamani left Saudi Arabia when he was 17 years to go live in Europe. He did an MBA and later received a Graduate degree in Law from the UK to pursue the “Saudi Dream” which included working for his Fathers flourishing Law Practice. He discovered his dedication to the arts after working in both Law and Business, trying to make the pieces fit together he started his own startup company in media which lead to his realization the deficit that exists in the arts his home Country.
Art can be many things, he found it in telling stories, symbolism and forming concepts that can spark inspiration and energize others to live better fuller lives.
The ban on Cinemas in Saudi was lifted starting 2018, the director want to be part of the social movement by taking this movie around the country to elementary and middle school students to show the new generation that the art of cinema storytelling is viable option and that art and expression within them should be celebrated and to be true to the voice inside them and be themselves.
Copyright 2013 - 2018. All rights reserved. SPOTLIGHT SHORT FILM AWARDS