Any or all correspondence to the AFI Conservatory Faculty, please direct to the Admissions Office at admissions@afi.com.

James L. Brooks | Artistic Director, Member of the Board of Trustees

James L. Brooks is a three-time Academy Award-winner and twenty-time Emmy Award-winner. He began his television career as a writer who then later produced television hits such as TAXI, THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, RHODA, LOU GRANT, ROOM 222, THE TRACY ULLMAN SHOW, and THE SIMPSONS. He also wrote and produced the television movie THURSDAY'S GAME.

Brooks began working in film in 1979 when he wrote the screenplay for STARTING OVER, which he co-produced with Alan J. Pakula. In 1983, Brooks wrote, produced and directed TERMS OF ENDEARMENT for which he earned three Academy Awards. In 1987, he wrote, produced and directed BROADCAST NEWS, which won the New York Dramas Critics Award for best picture and best screenplay. Through Gracie Films, Brooks executive produced the feature film SAY ANYTHING, produced WAR OF THE ROSES and co-produced with Robert Greenhut BIG.

In 1990, Brooks produced and directed his first play, "Brooklyn Laundry", a Los Angeles production starring Glenn Close, Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern.

Brooks' company, Gracie Films, made an overall deal with Sony Pictures in 1990. He produced two new series for ABC (THE CRITIC, another prime time animated series starring Jon Lovitz and PHENOM starring Judith Light, William Devane and Angela Goethals) and directed the feature for Columbia Pictures, I'LL DO ANYTHING, starring Nick Nolte, Albert Brooks, and Julie Kavner.

In 1996, Brooks executive produced the film BOTTLE ROCKET, directed by Wes Anderson, for Columbia Pictures and produced Cameron Crowe's JERRY MAGUIRE, starring Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Renee Zellweger for Tri Star pictures. In 1997, Brooks co-wrote, produced, and directed AS GOOD AS IT GETS, starring Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, and Greg Kinnear. The film was nominated for 7 Academy awards including Best Picture and both Nicholson and Hunt won Oscars for their performances.

In 2001, Brooks produced the film RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS, starring Drew Barrymore and directed by Penny Marshall. He also executive produced the ABC series, WHAT ABOUT JOAN, starring Joan Cusack.

In 2004, Brooks wrote and directed the film, SPANGLISH, starring Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni and Paz Vega for Columbia Pictures.

In July 2007 Brooks co-wrote and produced THE SIMPSONS MOVIE, the movie version of the Fox hit.

Brooks has most recently completed work on the film HOW DO YOU KNOW, which he wrote and directed, starring Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson. The film came out in December 2010.

Jan Schuette | Incoming Dean

Jan Schuette was born in Mannheim in 1957. He studied Literature, Philosophy and Art History in Tübingen, Zürich and Hamburg. After working as a photo journalist for various daily newspapers, he became a reporter for regional television current affairs programmes in 1979 before moving into the world of film as a director and producer.

Jan Schuette has been making and producing his own films since 1982. His career began with four short documentaries. DRAGON CHOW, his feature film debut followed in 1987, and had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

His films subsequently premiered in Cannes, Venice, Locarno, San Sebastian and Toronto, and have won numerous national and international awards. A retrospective of his work screened at the Harvard Film Archive in spring 2006.

After teaching directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg, in 2001 Jan Schuette established the Masterclass — now known as Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris — at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and was Programme Director of this highly successful programme in conjunction with Peter Sehr from 2001 to 2010.

In 2005/2006 and in 2009/2010 Jan Schuette taught as Visiting Professor at Harvard University in Cambridge/Massachusetts. He spent summer 2008 as Harris Professor at Dartmouth College.

In 2002 Jan Schuette was a member of the International Jury at the Cannes Film Festival together with Martin Scorsese, Abbas Kiarostami, Tilda Swinton and Sharon Stone. He has also been a member of the jury at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as in Vladivostok and Hanoi.

In 2010 Jan Schuette was appointed as Director of the renowned German Film and Television Academy (DFFB), where he is focusing in particular on invigorating the school's sound creative traditions to meet the challenges of digital technology, introducing innovative teaching formats and partnerships, and expanding the DFFB's international and inter-disciplinary profile.

Jan Schuette is a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin Brandenburg and of the European Film Academy. He lives in Berlin with his wife, Christina Szápáry, and four children.

Joe Petricca | Executive Vice Dean
Petricca holds an MFA in Screenwriting from AFI and a BFA in Film Production from the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Petricca is responsible for oversight of administrative functions for the AFI Conservatory, National Workshops and special projects. He directly oversees the Directing Workshop for Women, the Sloan Foundation funded programs and the Catalyst Workshop. He provides legal and business affairs oversight to AFI Conservatory productions. As a screenwriter, he has had feature screenplays optioned, has written for Robert Osborne on Turner Classic Movies and has taught/spoken at film festivals, trade shows and colleges around the world. As a film critic he wrote for the KCET Web site. As an art director, Petricca has worked on numerous TV, film, music video and commercial projects. As a producer, he has produced short films, industrials and music videos. He volunteer-taught screenwriting and filmmaking to at-risk Los Angeles teenagers for seven years. In 2007 he was awarded a Chevalier of Academic Palms from the French government for contributions in Los Angeles to French cinema.

Phillip Linson | Vice Dean, Production and Post-Production and Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence: Editing
Linson oversees production and post-production support operations for AFI and the AFI Conservatory. As head of the Editing discipline, Linson teaches classes and works with the other Editing faculty to develop curriculum. Linson's editing career spans a wide range of projects in the realm of film, documentary and television production. He worked early on in the documentary field with award-winning directors Agnes Varda and Haskell Wexler and was an editor on Wexler's feature LATINO. Among his theatrical film credits: DEADFALL, AFTER MIDNIGHT and Sean Penn's THE INDIAN RUNNER. His theatrical sound editing credits include HOT SHOTS, TOMBSTONE and Allison Anders's GAS FOOD LODGING. In addition, he helped produce the Finnish film LENINGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA.

Carolyn Brooks | Vice Dean, Fellow Affairs
Brooks came to California from New York City to attend AFI in Producing in 1985. She produced films for Disney Educational Productions and worked as an independent producer before earning a Masters Degree in Education and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential from Loyola Marymount University. Upon graduation from LMU, Carolyn developed the counseling program for Lawndale High School, where she was the Head Counselor for 11 years. In addition to her job at AFI, she teaches in the Graduate School of Education at Loyola Marymount University.

David Chase | Vice Dean, Academic Affairs
Chase works collaboratively with the Conservatory faculty and its leadership to ensure that Conservatory programs are of the highest quality, and leads the planning, development, evaluation, and execution of the Conservatory's academic administration. He serves as the Accreditation Liaison Officer to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, and oversees specialized accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. He is active in educational research and is a frequent presenter on issues surrounding teaching and learning in arts disciplines, and co-authored the recently published book Assessment in Creative Disciplines: Quantifying and Qualifying the Aesthetic.

Betsy Pollock | Associate Dean, Production and Director, First Year Production Services
Pollock has worked as a producer, associate producer and first AD on feature films, commercials, PSAs and MOWs. She was the co-producer of a short film, TWO SOLDIERS, which won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Dramatic short. She was involved in the production of such films as WIND, STEALING HOME and LADY IN WHITE, and was the head of production of FILMLINK INTERNATIONAL. Pollock has a long-time involvement with Women in Film, currently serving on the Foundation Board as co-chair of the Film Finishing Fund. For three years she was head of the producing discipline at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Gill Dennis | Master Filmmaker-in-Residence: Thesis Production
Responsible for the overall creative guidance of thesis productions, Dennis is a screenwriter and teacher. His credits include WALK THE LINE, HOME FIRES and RETURN TO OZ. With Tom Rickman he founded the Screenwriting Program at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and has taught at Cal Arts, the Northwest Film and Video Center, and at workshops in Scotland, Australia, Portugal and Ireland. He is a recipient of the LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Distinguished Direction in theatre.

Marie Cantin | Director, Thesis Production
Marie Cantin produced the Sundance Audience Award winning film THE WATERDANCE, as well as the independent features DAYS OF WRATH and THE BOOK OF STARS, which won Best Picture at the Stony Brook Film Festival. Serving in various producer capacities, Cantin's portfolio of projects includes MASKED AND ANONYMOUS starring Bob Dylan, SAVE THE LAST DANCE, THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU'RE DEAD, BIG FAT LIAR, A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY, HEART CONDITION and TORCH SONG TRILOGY. She has also worked as a production manager on such feature films as COLLATERAL and DANTE'S PEAK. Cantin's television work includes the John Wells series SMITH and the series TRYING TIMES. In addition to creating workshops for the Association of Film Commissioners International, the MPA Latino America, the Finnish Film Foundation and the Montana and Wyoming Film Commissions, Cantin has taught courses in motion picture production at the International Film and Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine, UC Santa Cruz, California State College Los Angeles and UCLA Extension. Cantin is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America.


Stephen Lighthill (ASC) | Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence
Among the many documentaries he has filmed are GIMME SHELTER and BERKELEY IN THE '60s. His cinematography credits for independent features include OVER-UNDER, SIDEWAYS-DOWN, HOT SUMMER WINDS, and SHIMMER, all for PBS' American Playhouse. Lighthill served as Director of Photography on the TV series VIETNAM WAR STORY for HBO, EARTH 2, and NASH BRIDGES. In 2005 he returned to documentaries with HBO's BOFFO! TINSELTOWN'S BOMBS AND BLOCKBUSTERS and HBO's THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT: "Caregivers." He is on the Board Of Governors Of the American Society of Cinematographers and the National Executive Board of the International Cinematographers Guild. In 2010 he received the Deluxe Bud Stone award for Outstanding Educational Contributions to the Art and Craft of Cinematography from the ICG and was awarded the 2010 SMPTE Kodak Education Award for Outstanding Contributions In Film Production Education. He served as President of the American Society Of Cinematographers, 2012-2013.

Bill Dill (ASC) | Senior Lecturer
Dill holds a BA in Communication Studies from Oberlin College. His cinematography credits include SIDEWALK STORIES, B.A.P.S., DANCING IN SEPTEMBER, the Showtime TV series SOUL FOOD, and the American Playhouse production of FIRES IN THE MIRROR, based on the Pulitzer-nominated play. Among many productions he has filmed for HBO are the Ace Award-winning children's program MOMMY BUY ME THAT and comedy specials for Robert Townsend, Damon Wayans and Whoopie Goldberg. Dill also lensed a Clio award-winning commercial campaign for Nickelodeon Television Network.

Tal Lazar | Lecturer
Tal is a professional director of photography and has worked on a wide range of projects in genres spanning drama, horror and comedy. He holds an MFA degree from the world renowned American Film Institute Conservatory.

Before relocating to Los Angeles in 2007, Tal worked as a director of photography on television shows and music videos in Israel. He previously gained professional experience as a union assistant cameraman working on internationally recognized films.

Tal began his film studies at Tel Aviv University. While pursuing his education, Tal received the Sharet foundation prize for cinematography and participated in the 2005 Budapest Cinematography Masterclass, instructed by Mr. Vilmos Zsimond, ASC and Mr. John Schwartzman, ASC. He participated and produced the 2004 Tel Aviv Cinematography Masterclass, instructed by Mr. Adam Greenberg, ASC and Mr. Ricardo Aronovish, AFC. During his final year at AFI he received the FotoKem Cinematography Grant and Panavision's New Filmmakers Grant for his thesis film SHADOW MAN.

Prior to his film career, Tal served the Israeli Defense Forces as a staff sergeant. He finished his services with a sign of excellence bestowed upon him by Israeli president Eizer Weizman.

Larry Mole Parker | Lecturer
Executive vice president of Mole-Richardson Co. and the grandson of the company's founder, Peter Mole, Parker was instrumental in designing such familiar cinema lights as the Baby 10K and Baby 1K in the mid-'60s, as well as the Softlite line and the Litewate Banded Cable System. Parker regularly conducts workshops and seminars for film students, on the Mole-Richardson soundstage. He is an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers.

Michael M. Pessah | Lecturer
Michael Marius Pessah is a cinematographer whose feature film and narrative work has been shown theatrically and on HBO, MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, PAX and the BBC. He has lensed non-fiction pieces that have been broadcast on the USA Network, Current TV, and Canal +. He was the recipient of a 2007 LA Weekly Theater award for the play "Iphigenia, a Rave Fable", and shot VIVA LA CAUSA, which was shortlisted for a 2008 Academy Award.

Michael was born in Cambridge and raised in New York. He earned a BA in Humanities at Hampshire College, where he was a Kodak Cinematography Scholarship award finalist. His frst "industry" job was in development at Nickelodeon, and is proud to have received his MFA in Cinematography at the American Film Institute. He has been teaching cinematography at the university level since 2005.

Charles Rose | Lecturer
Like many of his professional colleagues, He started making Super-8 movies while in High School. Living on the East Coast, New York University was the only School at that time which offered a Film Program that had any consistency and stature, so he applied there and was accepted. The first two years were spent in a bit of personal frustration as I wanted to get much more hands-on with the camera gear than was provided by the Cinematography track that I was on. I would take cameras home and on my own, didn't know that there were books that would have helped me, tried to figure out how they worked. Sometimes things went well, other times minor disasters were caused by my ignorance and limited experience. In 1971 NYU was partnering with others in an International experiment to create the "Ideal" Film School, that would be based in Switzerland. Cool. "The University of the New World" was born and he was among the members of the first entering class. The School went belly-up 18 Months later but he had his foot in the Euro door.

Lying to his parents and telling them that he had a "solid" job offer, he returned to his beloved Europe (specifically Italy this time) in 1973. He was advised by his Northern friends to avoid Rome (the Film Industry center) as there was too much mafia there and to try the more modern and industrial city of Milan. His next 33 years were spent with this City as the base he worked from, living an International career as a Cinematographer.

He was honored in 1986 with an invitation to join the A.I.C. (Italian Cinematographer's Guild) which was presided over by Vittorio Storaro A.I.C., A.S.C.

He worked on many Features, hundreds of commercials, documentary films, and music videos, the whole gamut of productions available for a Cinematographer, and his work has been recognized at the Cannes, Venice, Berlin, San Sebastian,New York Clio, and the Tokyo Film Festivals. In 1996, while riding in a company car to the set of a commercial in Switzerland and in the company of a Director with whom he had worked on a Feature that was rather successful in Europe, he was asked if he wanted to do a Feature in Los Angeles. Asked his wife (she is his best advisor) if she thought this to be a good move...she said "yes...do it." Thus a return to the US after many years of absence.

The Kodak Film trucks speeding across the Hollywood Hills, visiting the Panavision Worldwide headquarters at Woodland Hills and seeing the plethora of cameras, lenses, and prep bays, working with Technicolor Film Lab on a film are some of the "rushes" that he experience being here in Los Angeles.


Peter Markham | Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence
Markham, who holds a BA in Drama and English from Hull University in the UK, gained considerable experience in TV and film production, serving as First Assistant Director on Anthony Minghella's TRULY MADLY DEEPLY. Graduating from the BBC Director's Course where his final project, THE TABLE, was developed with and written by Anthony Minghella, Markham directed the extensive second unit on THE ENGLISH PATIENT. He directed THE CORMORANT starring Ralph Fiennes and subsequently, for Martin Scorsese, directed Second Unit on GANGS OF NEW YORK. His teaching at AFI has enabled him to incorporate into the program a broad and challenging spectrum of practical and narrative craft that encompasses approaches and techniques now informing the work of alumni active in film and Television.

Azazel Jacobs | Lecturer
Azazel Jacobs, son of avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs, was born in 1972 and raised in New York's lower Manhattan surrounded by important and innovative artists. He went to undergraduate school at the film department of SUNY Purchase and received his Masters from the American Film Institute in 2002.

During his study, he made the experimental piece "Nobody Needs To Know", which premiered in competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival. Two years later he teemed up with fellow filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo to make the micro budget feature "The GoodTimesKid", released by Benten films, which has gone on to a cult following.

Azazel's award winning "Momma's Man" premiered in Sundance 2008, and quickly became one of the most lauded films of the year, winding up on many "best of" lists, including Salon, Time Out NY, The NY Post, Art Forum and Entertainment Weekly. Upon it's domestic release by Kino International, Manohla Dargis, writing in the NY Times, declared it "Independent film defined."

"Terri", a coming of age comedy /drama, starring an ensemble cast which includes John C. Reilly, was written by Patrick deWitt and directed by Azazel, and premiered in competition at Sundance 2011 and internationally in competition at Locarno where it picked up a Youth Jury Award. Terri was released domestically in the summer of 2011 by ATO pictures, and garnered both Gotham and Spirit nominations.

In the midst of these past films, Azazel was given a retrospective at BAM Cinema in New York City, was commissioned by MOMA for a short film, and most recently, been an advisor at the Sundance Directing Labs. Cinemascope also cited Azazel as one of the 50 Best Directors under 50.

He recently completed filming a mini-series for British television for which he was one of the writers as well as director, and is currently working on an adaption of the Raymond Chandler story "Spanish Blood", which he wrote alongside Gil Dennis (Walk The Line) and "The Grace That Keeps This World", written by Matthew Aldrich and being produced by Anonymous Content.

Perry Lang | Lecturer
Starting to work in film as an actor at 17, Perry Lang has acted in over thirty films and seventy hours of television. His film work includes Sam Fuller's The Big Red One, Steven Spielberg's 1941 and John Sayles's Sunshine State as well as Eight Men Out where Perry played one of the indicted eight who threw the 1919 World Series.

His Television work as an actor includes MASH, the title character in the Emmy winning television special Hewitt's Just Different, A Rumor Of War and numerous guest appearances, including many projects that he has himself either written or directed.

As a writer and director, Perry started writing on Tales From The Darkside in New York. Among a number of studio assignments, he wrote the first film he directed, Little Vegas then rewrote the second, the Action Adventurer; Men of War.

Since then Perry Lang has started 3MinutePictures.Com (where Blue Belle is the first show) and directed many hours of television including NYPD Blue, ER, Alias, Weeds and this year's popular new series NCIS: Los Angeles.

Perry lives with his family in Santa Barbara, California.

Robert Mandel | Senior Lecturer
Mandel graduated from AFI in 1979 and is an award-winning director with credits including F/X, SCHOOL TIES, BIG SHOTS and THE SUBSTITUTE. He has also directed numerous television movies for HBO, Fox, ESPN, Lifetime and A&E, as well as episodic television such as THE X-FILES (pilot), LOST and PRISON BREAK. He won an Emmy Award for his first after-school special, ANDREA'S STORY. Mandel began his career as a stage director, with productions at The Manhattan Theatre Club, The Roundabout and The Public Theatre — where Joseph Papp was his mentor. He has MFA degrees from both Columbia University and AFI. Mandel has taught at City College of New York and has been a Directing Mentor at the Sundance Institute. Mandel received the Alfred Hitchcock Award when he was at AFI and his thesis film, NIGHT AT O'REARS, received First Prize at Filmex in Los Angeles, First Prize at USA Film Festival in Dallas, and was shown as one of three short films selected by the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. He is the recipient of the 2009 Special Educator Award given by The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors.

Karen Maruyama | Lecturer
In addition to teaching at AFI, Maruyama teaches improvisation, character development, and advanced sketch-writing classes at the Groundlings Theater in Hollywood. She also directs THE BLACK VERSION, an all improvised show featuring some amazing black performers which can be seen twice a month at the Groundlings. Her film acting credits include THE CAMPAIGN, THE BUCKET LIST, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT. Television credits include ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, NIP/TUCK, RAISING HOPE and WHO'S LINE IS IT ANYWAY? Voiceover credits include THE SIMPSONS, FAMILY GUY and AMERICAN DAD.

Robert Spera | Lecturer
Rob Spera has an extensive background in film, television and theater. His feature film credits include FATHERS AND SONS starring Brad Whitford and Samantha Mathis. Most recently, he directed multiple episodes of CRIMINAL MINDS for CBS and ARMY WIVES for Lifetime. Spera's theater credits include numerous productions in the United States and abroad. As Resident Director at the Tony award winning Actor's Theater of Louisville, he has directed over seventy-five productions. His play, TRACKS, which he wrote and originally directed, was hailed by the critics and enjoyed an extended run in Los Angeles. Mr. Spera's published works include Actors Write for Actors, Encore and the play, THE FIELD.

Andy Wolk | Lecturer
Wolk's directing career began with the much-lauded HBO movie CRIMINAL JUSTICE, which made Time's "Ten Best List," received the Silver Prize at FIPA in Cannes and was named Best Cable Movie of the year. He has since directed many dramas including the pilot of the long-running HBO hit ARLISS, along with numerous episodes of THE SOPRANOS, DAMAGES, UGLY BETTY, WITHOUT A TRACE, THE PRACTICE, CRIMINAL MINDS, NUMBERS, IN PLAIN SIGHT, NYPD BLUE, DAY BREAK, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, THE GUARDIAN, CROSSING JORDAN, DRAGNET, EQUAL JUSTICE, HEIST and others. He received the Humanitas Award for directing the "Final Judgement" episode of THE PRACTICE. He won the Writers Guild Award for writing NATICA JACKSON, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, on PBS. He directed and wrote the movies DELIBERATE INTENT, FIGHTING THE ODDS; THE DEFENDERS: PAYBACK; CHOICE OF EVILS; and TAKING THE FIRST and has directed many other movies for film and television. Wolk's other writing credits include HBO's Emmy-winning FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, produced by Tom Hanks, and TALES FROM THE CRYPT. Wolk's career started in the theater in New York City. For Lincoln Center he directed Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT and THE WINTER'S TALE. He has written and directed plays at theaters such as Manhattan Theatre Club (where he worked on staff for five years), LaMama, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Camera Obscura, a touring theater company which he founded as a grad student in drama at Carnegie-Mellon University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Wolk has also been a creative adviser at the Sundance Filmmaking Labs.

Heidi Levitt | Lecturer
Heidi Levitt is a Los Angeles-based casting director and producer. She recently finished casting Wim Wender's feature film, EVERY THING WILL BE FINE, starring James Franco and the feature film 5 TO 7, which will premiere at TIFF in September 2013. She also cast two films currently in post-production, Diego Luna's feature film CHAVEZ, starring Michael Pena, America Ferrera, and Rosario Dawson as well as Cynthia Mort's Nina Simone biopic NINA, starring Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo and last year she cast and executive produced GINGER & ROSA written and directed by Sally Potter.

Heidi is thrilled to be back at AFI teaching "casting" and her other notable films, include THE ARTIST, NIXON, JFK, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, and THE JOY LUCK CLUB. Currently she is casting VERNON GOD LITTLE, directed by Werner Herzog. Heidi is a graduate of Barnard College and the AFI Producers Program

In 2010, she created Actor Genie, which is available on iTunes and Android. The app tells actors what's casting and who's who, and it has loads of inspiring quotes and advice from well known actors, directors, writers, acting coaches, and much more.

Andrew Wagner | Lecturer
Writer/Director, Wagner graduated from Brown University with a degree in Creative Writing. He attended NYU's Graduate Film School where his short, THE HARDEST HIT, won the Francois de Menil Scholarship. He moved to Los Angeles to write WACCABUC, a screenplay for United Artists, and then became a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute where he received a Masters in Fine Arts and his thesis film, THE LAST DAYS OF HOPE AND TIME, won the Franklin J. Shaffner Fellowship for distinction in directing. Andrew adapted THE MAN WHO GAVE UP HIS NAME — from the collection of novellas, LEGENDS OF THE FALL, by Jim Harrison — which he developed at the Sundance Writer's Lab. He went on to direct the independent shorts, SOUTH MAIN and COUNTING.

Andrew's first feature film, THE TALENT GIVEN US, was an Official Selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. THE TALENT GIVEN US also won the Jury Prize at the CineVegas Film Festival and Best First Feature at Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival. It went on to play theatrically in over 30 cities and made the New York Times' and other critics' Best Films of 2005 lists. Andrew was a Breakthrough Director nominee at the 2005 Gotham Awards. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING, Andrew's second feature, starring Frank Langella, Lili Taylor, and Lauren Ambrose, premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and was released theatrically by Roadside Attractions. Frank Langella was voted Best Actor of 2007 by the Boston Critics Association and was Runner-Up for Best Actor in voting by critics associations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas/Ft. Worth. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING was named one of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2007 by the National Board of Review and made over 30 critics' Best Films of 2007 lists, including A.O. Scott's and Stephen Holden's of the New York Times, and Roger Ebert's of the Chicago Sun-Times. It was nominated for two Spirit Awards: Best Male Lead and Best Screenplay.


Phillip Linson | Vice Dean, Production and Post-Production and Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence: Editing
Linson oversees production and post-production support operations for AFI and the AFI Conservatory. As head of the Editing discipline, Linson teaches classes and works with the other Editing faculty to develop curriculum. Linson's editing career spans a wide range of projects in the realm of film, documentary and television production. He worked early on in the documentary field with award-winning directors Agnes Varda and Haskell Wexler and was an editor on Wexler's feature LATINO. Among his theatrical film credits: DEADFALL, AFTER MIDNIGHT and Sean Penn's THE INDIAN RUNNER. His theatrical sound editing credits include HOT SHOTS, TOMBSTONE and Allison Anders's GAS FOOD LODGING. In addition, he helped produce the Finnish film LENINGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA.

Wendy Bricmont | Lecturer
Wendy Bricmont received the British Academy Award for her first film, ANNIE HALL. Most recently she edited the David Frankel film--ONE CHANCE for The Weinstein Company which will be released in the fall of 2013. Wendy helped launch the film franchise DIARY OF A WIMPY KID. She has edited HOTEL FOR DOGS, MAD MONEY for director Callie Khouri and I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE for director Chris Rock. Other film editing credits include MEAN GIRLS for AFI alumnus Mark Waters, HERBIE FULLY LOADED, MY FIRST MISTER for director Christine Lahti, and MY GIRL for director Howard Zieff. She has worked with Ivan Reitman on six films, editing KINDERGARTEN COP, SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS, EVOLUTION, FATHER'S DAY, JUNIOR, and MY SUPER X GIRLFRIEND. Other film credits include THE SWEETEST THING, MY GIRL 2, LICENSE TO DRIVE, THE RICH MAN'S WIFE, RACE THE SUN, LIGHT IT UP, SURRENDER, CALENDAR GIRL, and THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR. Her television credits include director Robert Zemeckis and producer Steven Spielberg's AMAZING STORIES, and HBO's PERFECT WITNESS directed by Robert Mandel. Wendy is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The American Cinema Editors and the Motion Picture Editor's Guild.

Donn Cambern | Senior Filmmaker-In-Residence
Cambern holds a BA in music from UCLA. Music editing credits include THE MICKEY MOUSE CLUB, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, THE UNTOUCHABLES, IN SPY, GOMER PYLE and THE MONKEES. Cambern edited EASY RIDER, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, STEELYARD BLUES, BLUME IN LOVE, CINDERELLA LIBERTY, THE HINDENBURG, TIME AFTER TIME, HOOPER, SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT II, CANNONBALL RUN, PATURNITY, ROMANCING THE STONE, GHOSTBUSTERS II, TWINS, THE BODYGUARD and THE GLIMMER MAN among others. Cambern has taught yearly Master Editing Seminars at the Maine Workshops, Rockport, Maine and also at The International Filmschule, Cologne, Germany. Cambern is a member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, the American Cinema Editors, the Directors Guild of America and the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as Vice President of the Academy Board of Governors from 1990 to 1994 and from 1997 to 1999. In addition, he held the position of president of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild from 1991 to 2001.

David Cook | Senior Lecturer
David C. Cook graduated with a BFA in filmmaking, from the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts and is a member of the AMERICAN CINEMA EDITORS (ACE). He has edited numerous Episodic Televisions Series, Feature Films and Documentaries including IMAX 3D. He has been nominated for the HOLLYWOOD POST ALLIANCE award for his work and his thesis film MAN AND DOG won the Student Academy Award in 1998.

His editing credits include: Network Television Series NCIS, THE GOOD WIFE, LIE TO ME, THE EX-LIST and SHARK; Feature Films THE JOYRIDERS, CLOVER BEND, DYING ON THE EDGE; Documentaries James Cameron's GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS (IMAX 3D) for James Cameron's THE LAST MYSTERIES OF TITANIC and MAN AND DOG.


Danford Greene | Lecturer

Lynzee Klingman | Mentor
Lynzee Klingman a degree in 20th Century History from Columbia University. She spent her early career working on documentaries, notably Emile de Antonio's IN THE YEAR OF THE PIG, nominated by the Motion Picture Academy in the Best Feature Documentary category and HEARTS AND MINDS which won the Academy Award for the Best Feature Documentary. She won the BAFTA award and was nominated for an Academy Award for her work on ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and worked again with director Milos Forman on the musical HAIR and on MAN ON THE MOON. Some other credits include TRUE CONFESSIONS, BABY BOOM, OUTBREAK, PROTOCOL, ALI and A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT. Also, LITTLE MAN TATE, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, and THE BEAVER for director Jodie Foster and WAR OF THE ROSES, MATILDA AND HOFFA for Danny DeVito. Some independent films include PICTURE BRIDE, winner of the Sundance Audience Award, LIVING OUT LOUD and PANIC. Klingman is a member of American Cinema Editors and is a Govenor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She has been an advisor at the Sundance Institute's Summer Film Lab and the National Film Institute in Beaconsfield, U.K. She is also teaching at USC 's film school. She is married to the filmmaker Richard Pearce and has two children, Jack and Remy.

Farrel Levy | Senior Lecturer
Farrel Levy attended the University of Michigan and Cooper Union as a fine arts major. Her feature editing credits include DIRTY DANCING, PRIMAL FEAR, ACROSS THE TRACKS, and CONFESSIONS OF A SEXIST PIG. She edited the television movie THE HAUNTED directed by Robert Mandel. Levy has edited hundreds of hours of television and is proud to be working in this dynamic medium. Her credits include all seasons of NYPD BLUE (Supervising Editor), BROOKLYN SOUTH (pilot), BLIND JUSTICE (pilot), THE UNIT (pilot), CRIMINAL MINDS, MELROSE PLACE (pilot), THE DEFENDERS (pilot and series). Most recently, Levy was an editor on the last season of DAMAGES, and is now starting on her second season of NASHVILLE for ABC. In addition, Levy has directed three episodes of NYPD BLUE. She is a member of American Cinema Editors, and the Motion Picture Editor's Guild. She is married to writer/director Sandy Tung, and is the mother of two girls. .

Martin Nicholson | Lecturer
Martin Nicholson holds a BFA in Film Directing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He has edited numerous episodes of television, movies for Cable and Network TV, Documentaries, and Feature Films. Among his editing credits are NORMAN ROCKWELL: AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT, thirtysomething, JOHN DOE (Co-Producer), DEADWOOD, JOHN FROM CINCINATTI, ALMOST GOLDEN: THE JESSICA SAVITCH STORY, LITTLE GIRLS IN PRETTY BOXES (ACE EDDIE), HALLOWEENTOWN, GRACIE'S CHOICE, THE FORBIDDEN ZONE (Assoc. Producer), THE BIG PICTURE, and soon to be released THICK AS THIEVES. His directing credits include thirtysomehting, the award winning short, MISSING PARENTS, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, and THE DAY MY PARENTS RAN AWAY. He received a Sundance Institute Fellowship for his screenplay of Tillie Olsen's novel YONNONDIO. He has served multiple terms on the Board of the American Cinema Editors, and is a member of Motion Picture Editors Guild and the Directors Guild of America.

Stan Salfas | Senior Lecturer
Salfas is an acknowledged writer, producer, director and editor of films that have won awards at film festivals worldwide and have been distributed on network television. As a feature film editor, he has worked with directors Steven Soderbergh, Phil Joanou, Keith Gordon and Matt Reeves, among others. He received an Emmy Award and two ACE nominations. Recently, he served as producer in charge of post-production on the series FELICITY and as a co-producer on the ABC drama series, MIRACLES.

Howard Smith | Senior Lecturer
A Directing Fellow at the AFI Conservatory in 1969, Smith studied at Northwestern University, where he made over 50 films. Smith's feature editing credits include BLADE TRINITY, TORQUE, CITY OF GHOSTS, THE CROW, SALVATION, GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, AFTER DARK, MY SWEET, AT CLOSE RANGE, STRANGE DAYS, POINT BREAK, NEAR DARK, THE ABYSS, DANTE'S PEAK, BIG MAN ON CAMPUS, RIVER'S EDGE, TEX, and the creature-on-the-wing-of-the-airplane segment of TWILIGHT ZONE-THE MOVIE. Smith was associate producer and editor on the ABC-TV specials OSCAR'S BEST ACTORS and OSCAR'S BEST MOVIES. He also worked on six Academy Award shows, producing and editing all film segments.


Neil Canton | Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence
Canton first worked in Hollywood as assistant to Peter Bogdanovich on WHAT'S UP, DOC?, PAPER MOON and NICKELODEON. He then spent two years on Orson Welles's THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND before leaving to work with Walter Hill on THE WARRIORS. Producing credits include THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI, THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK, BACK TO THE FUTURE (and its sequels), TRESPASS, GERONIMO, MONEY TRAIN, DUETS, GET CARTER, ANGEL EYES, TRAPPED and INTERSTATE 60. Canton is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America.

Richard Arlook | Senior Lecturer
Arlook has been at the Gersh Agency since 1990 and is currently a senior agent and head of the motion picture literary department, where he represents many top screenwriters and directors. Arlook's producing credits include AFTER MIDNIGHT.

Stan Brooks | Senior Lecturer
Holding a BA from Brandeis University and an MFA from AFI, Brooks enjoyed a successful run as president of Savoy Pictures Television, overseeing six production and development entities, after which he ran his own television film production company, Once Upon a Time Films, with a development slate of over 30 hours of movies, miniseries and pilots. Past films include BEHIND THE MASK, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, FALLING FOR YOU, A DREAM IS A WISH YOUR HEART MAKES: THE ANNETTE FUNICELLO STORY, SUBMERGED and TALKING TO HEAVEN.

Carol Baum | Lecturer
In 2005 Baum produced SEXUAL LIFE, CAROLINA and THE GOOD GIRL to outstanding reviews and four Independent Spirit nominations. She executive produced SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS, David Cronenberg's DEAD RINGERS and James Foley's RECKLESS. She was also a studio vice-president at Twentieth Century Fox and Lorimar. Additionally, she developed Taylor Hackford's AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN and David Cronenberg's THE DEAD ZONE. Baum was the president of Sandollar Productions for ten years, where she produced such hits as FATHER OF THE BRIDE and its sequel, in addition to the Academy Award winning HBO documentary COMMON THREADS: STORIES OF THE QUILT, and the quadruple ACE award-winning HBO Showcase presentation TIDY ENDINGS. Her features with Sandollar include: IQ, JACKKNIFE, TRUE IDENTITY, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, GROSS ANATOMY, SHINING THROUGH, STRAIGHT TALK and KICKING AND SCREAMING.

Marie Cantin | Lecturer
Marie Cantin produced the Sundance Audience Award winning film THE WATERDANCE, as well as the independent features DAYS OF WRATH and THE BOOK OF STARS which won Best Picture at the Stony Brook Film Festival. Serving in various producer capacities, Ms. Cantin's portfolio of projects includes MASKED AND ANONYMOUS starring Bob Dylan, SAVE THE LAST DANCE, THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU'RE DEAD, BIG FAT LIAR, A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY, HEART CONDITION and TORCH SONG TRILOGY. She has also worked as a production manager on a number of productions including COLLATERAL and DANTE'S PEAK. Ms. Cantin's television work includes the John Wells series SMITH and the KCET series TRYING TIMES. She has created workshops for the Association of Film Commissioners International, the MPA Latino America, the Finnish Film Foundation, and the Montana and Wyoming Film Commissions. Marie Cantin has taught courses in motion picture production at the International Film and Television Workshops in Rockport, Maine, as well as UC Santa Cruz, California State College Los Angeles and UCLA Extension.

Robert Cort | Lecturer
Cort has produced forty-seven feature films, which have grossed over 2.5 billion dollars in worldwide box office, including OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE, THREE MEN AND A BABY, THREE MEN AND A LITTLE LADY, THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, COCKTAIL, CLASS ACTION, BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, BILL & TED'S BOGUS JOURNEY, THE CUTTING EDGE, TERMINAL VELOCITY, OPERATION DUMBO DROP, BIRD ON A WIRE, JUMANJI, RUNAWAY BRIDE, MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS and SAVE THE LAST DANCE. Cort's HBO film, SOMETHING THE LORD MADE, became one of the most honored movies in television history, winning three Emmys, the Directors and Writers Guild Awards, and the Peabody Award. His five other television films have also won multiple honors, including the Emmy for Best Children's Programming for A MOTHER'S COURAGE: THE MARY THOMAS STORY (1991). Cort entered the motion picture industry in 1976 and one year later was named vice president of advertising, publicity and promotion for Columbia Pictures. In 1980, he became executive vice president of marketing for Fox. In his five years as a marketing chief, Cort planned and supervised the campaigns of such films as CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, THE CHINA SYNDROME, ALL THAT JAZZ, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and NINE TO FIVE. He then served as executive vice president of production at Twentieth Century Fox, where he oversaw the making of ROMANCING THE STONE, BACHELOR PARTY and REVENGE OF THE NERDS. For the next eleven years, Cort was a partner and president of Interscope Communications. From 1996 to 2001, he was the managing partner of The Cort/Madden Company, a production unit with close ties to Paramount Pictures. In 2001, he formed Robert Cort Productions, an independent feature production company and renewed his relationship with Paramount. Prior to his career in the entertainment industry, Cort was a management consultant for McKinsey and Company, specializing in consumer marketing. He also served a two-year assignment in the Central Intelligence Agency. In 2003 Random House published Cort's first novel, Action!, which garnered outstanding critical reviews and became a bestseller. He holds BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School.

Penney Finkelman Cox | Lecturer
Penney Finkelman Cox has a background in live-action and animation production. In May 2002, she was named Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures Animation (along with long-time business partner Sandra Rabins) to create a feature animation division for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Cox was responsible for the development and production of the division's roster of projects, including the first two films released by Sony Pictures Animation: OPEN SEASON and the Academy Award nominated SURF'S UP. In addition, Cox, along with Rabins, brought the cartoonist Aaron McGruder, and the animated television series THE BOONDOCKS to Sony Picture Television and Cartoon Network and developed the soon to be released OPEN SEASON 2 for DVD.

Cox began her animation career at DreamWorks SKG, where she fulfilled both producing and executive roles. Cox joined DreamWorks along with Rabins in February of 1994 to start the Animation Division and to produce THE PRINCE OF EGYPT. Cox focused on the creative development of animation material at DreamWorks and was instrumental in transforming commercial visual effects house, PDI, into a feature film facility for DreamWorks. She also served as executive producer on the Academy Award winning SHREK and DreamWorks' first computer-generated movie, ANTZ. In addition, she worked with Aardman Animation on its first stop-motion animated feature, CHICKEN RUN and served as the executive producer on DreamWorks' first direct-to-video animated release, JOSEPH: KING OF DREAMS.

Penney Finkelman Cox came to animation from a background in live-action production. Her feature producing credits include: HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, WELCOME HOME, ROXIE CARMICHAEL and TILL THERE WAS YOU. She served as executive producer for James L. Brooks on I'll Do Anything and co-produced two other films for Brooks: BROADCAST NEWS and the Oscar® winning TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.

With her production company, Patchwork Productions, she has developed a slate of feature films that most recently includes the animated family movie HUSKY for Participant Films.

Born in Havertown, Pennsylvania, Cox graduated from Barnard College, with a major in psychology. She made her entrance into the performing arts as a press assistant for the Joffrey Ballet, and did a training internship with the National Endowment for the Arts. Cox was an arts administrator for Performing ArtServices, Inc., where she managed non-profit dance, theatre and music companies. She segued into film production with her acceptance into the Directors Guild of America Producer Training Program sin New York.

She resides in Santa Monica with her husband Jim Cox, founder and COO of Ringtales, Inc, and their two children. Cox is a member of the AMPAS, the PGA and ASIFA. She is on the board of Ringtales, Inc. and is a member of the board of directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Cox also teaches creative producing at the American Fllm Institute.

Kevin Jones | Senior Lecturer: Thesis Production
A Los Angeles native, Kevin Jones began his motion picture career as an office assistant at The Ladd Company, later moving to Warner Bros as a story analyst. In 1987, he joined Paramount Pictures as a creative executive and rose to Vice President of Production while working on projects that included COMING TO AMERICA, GHOST, HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, and ANOTHER 48HRS. He moved to Columbia Pictures in 1991 as a Senior Vice President and oversaw development and production of GERONIMO, AN AMERICAN LEGEND, GET ON THE BUS, GROUNDHOG DAY, MONEY TRAIN, MULTIPLICITY, and THE NET. In 1998, Jones ventured outside of the studio walls to produce/executive produce and consult on a wide range of independent films including a wrestling documentary BEYOND THE MAT, the low-budget romantic comedy LOVE AND SEX starring Jon Favreau and Famke Janssen and the ensemble karaoke road picture DUETS, featuring Paul Giamatti, Andre Braugher, Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis.

Robert Kaplan | Senior Lecturer
Kaplan started his career as an entertainment attorney, and he continues to practice today. He has practiced in this area for over 35 years, first with the preeminent firm of Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz & Selvin and with his own firm, Stein, Kahan & Kaplan. Mr. Kaplan has been involved with feature film and television production and distribution, film financing, music and intellectual property matters, having represented major studios, talent agencies, production companies, producers, directors, writers and actors.

He also served as a senior business affairs executive at Warner Bros. Pictures in London, handling all European motion picture business affairs for such films as CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Stanley Kubrick), O! LUCKY MAN (Lindsey Anderson), and DAY FOR NIGHT (Francois Truffaut).

In recent years, Mr. Kaplan has specialized in the financing of independent feature films, having worked as production counsel on over 20 films. In addition, he has arranged financing in alll forms and acted as producer or executive producer on a number of films including PAPILLON, starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, KRUSH GROOVE, (Warner Bros.) starring Run-DMC and other rap artists, NIGHT OF THE COMET, I'LL SLEEP WHEN I'M DEAD (Paramount Classics) starring Clive Owen, the recently completed SITE 146 for Fox, and the recently completed NIGHT MOVES, directed by Kelly Reichardt and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Saarsgard.

He currently maintains an active law practice, representing primarily financiers and producers of independent films, and, at the same time, he is actively producing a number of his own film projects, including FORTY LASHES LESS ONE based on the book and script by Elmore Leonard, and BRIDGE TO JABEZ based on the best-selling book by Bruce Wilkinson, both of which are being produced in partnership with Mike Medavoy and Phoenix Pictures.

Bob is a graduate of Dartmouth College (1963) and Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley (1966). He is admitted to the Bar of the State of California. He created and teaches (for over 34 years) the course on the business aspects of film production at the American Film Institute Conservatory. He is also on the Board of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, a group of 6 charter schools located in central Los Angeles.

Dana Lustig | Lecturer
Lustig has directed five feature films and produced fifteen. She has now partnered with The King's Speech Academy Award-winning producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman to produce JUNGLE, a true survival story. As an Executive Producer, Dana is currently developing a one-hour drama for PARAMOUNT/CBS.

Dana recently returned from London where she directed the dark love story A THOUSAND KISSES DEEP starring Dougray Scott, Emilia Fox, Jodi Whittaker, and David Warner. In 2009 Dana directed the comedy WILD CHERRY with Rob Schneider, Tia Carrere, Rumer Willis and Kristin Cavallari.

For ten years, Dana was a partner at Bergman Lustig Productions along with Ram Bergman. BLP produced BRICK, which was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and bought by Focus Features at Sundance. Among others, Dana produced DANCING AT THE BLUE IGUANA, directed by Oscar nominee Michael Radford (IL POSTINO), starring Daryl Hannah, Sandra Oh, Jennifer Tilly, and Vladimir Mashkov (THE THIEF).

Dana's past directing credits include KILL ME LATER, starring Selma Blair. In 2004, Leonard Maltin included Kill Me Later in his prestigious "Fifty Films that Got Away, Movies You Really Ought to See" list that includes films from the 1930's to present day. When Lions Gate Films released KILL ME LATER, The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Lustig creates the kind of film the movie world could use more of..." Dana also directed CONFESSIONS OF A SOCIOPATHIC SOCIAL CLIMBER starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. The movie was based on the New York Times bestseller and was the highest rated telecast for Oxygen Channel's original programming in the network's history at the time. Dana's directorial debut was WEDDING BELL BLUES, starring Illiana Douglas and John Corbett.

Dana was born in Israel, and after moving to the US, she graduated from AFI (American Film Institute) where she is now a faculty member. She is often invited to lecture at UCLA Extension, the New York Film Academy, and the Learning Annex. Dana has citizenships in the United States, Canada, and Israel and is a member of the DGC, PGA and SAG.

Dana lives in Los Angeles and is married to Tal Bergman (a drummer). She is a mother of 10-year-old twins a boy and a girl.

Kool Marder | Thesis Mentor
Kool Marder has filled the roll as Head Of Production for numerous production companies including Incentive Filmed Entertainment which produced Derek Cianfrance's BLUE VALENTINE. Prior to that Marder was Head of Production for cineFinance, a bond company and oversaw approximately 60 features in which five where in China; THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, Ang Lee's, LUST, CAUTION and John Woo's RED CLIFF. Among some of the other titles she bonded were 3:10 TO YUMA, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS (Heath Ledger's last film), WHITE RIBBON (2009 PALM D'OR) and the 2010 Academy Awarding film, THE HURT LOCKER.

Before working in the Independent feature world Marder worked for eleven years at Universal Pictures as Vice President of Production where she oversaw approximately fifty feature films. Some of those titles included FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, CASINO, CARLITO'S WAY, OUT OF SIGHT, MAN ON THE MOON, AMERICAN PIE, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, ERIN BROCKOVICH AND BOURNE IDENTITY. She collaborated with such filmmakers as Brian DePalma, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh, Milos Forman, Robert Zemeckis, Peter Jackson, Ang Lee, Terry Gilliam and Kathryn Bigelow.

Prior to becoming a studio exec, Marder was one of the very first production coordinators to become a UPM. First on NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, THE DREAM CHILD, and then as a DGA UPM on David Lynch's WILD AT HEART (1990 Palm d'Or).

Marder began in the industry as assistant to Haskell Wexler and then worked as a production coordinator on films as THE BIG EASY, MOON OVER PARADOR and DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS. This work lead her to Associate Producer on the original HALLOWEEN.

Betsy Pollock | Associate Dean, Production and Director, First Year Production Services
Pollock has worked as a producer, associate producer and first AD on feature films, commercials, PSAs and MOWs. She was the co-producer of a short film, TWO SOLDIERS, which won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Dramatic short. She was involved in the production of such films as WIND, STEALING HOME and LADY IN WHITE, and was the head of production of FILMLINK INTERNATIONAL. Pollock has a long-time involvement with Women in Film, currently serving on the Foundation Board as co-chair of the Film Finishing Fund. For three years she was head of the producing discipline at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Jeff Wachtel | Lecturer
Wachtel is Co-President of USA Network and the Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions . A veteran television executive and producer, Jeff and fellow Co-President Chris McCumber oversee all aspects of the #1 rated cable network, including the most successful line-up of original series in TV (WHITE COLLAR, SUITS, GRACELAND, COVERT AFFAIRS, ROYAL PAINS, PSYCH, BURN NOTICE and others). Jeff's previous stints include President, Alliance Atlantis Television; President of 3 Arts Television (a production company that partnered CBS, Sony and 3 Arts Management); Executive Producer of the syndicated series PENSACOLA: WINGS OF GOLD; and Executive Vice President of Primetime TV at Columbia Pictures Television, where he developed the a number of network series, including PARTY OF FIVE and DAWSON'S CREEK. Jeff began his career as a theatre director and producer, and produced the first New York productions of David Mamet's work — SEXUAL PERVERSITY IN CHICAGO & THE DUCK VARIATIONS. A graduate of Yale University, Jeff is a founding member of community-based volunteer organization LA Works, is on the President's Advisory Board of the Zimmer Children's Museum, and is on the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Television and Radio Society.


Joseph Garrity | Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence
An AFI graduate, Garrity has designed many feature films including RUNAWAY TRAIN (art director), WEEDS, MY GIRL, DROP DEAD FRED, SON-IN-LAW, IMAGINARY CRIMES and SUNSHINE CLEANING. He met Christopher Guest in 1988 and was chosen to design his directorial debut feature THE BIG PICTURE and has designed all his films since, including WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, BEST IN SHOW, A MIGHTY WIND and FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. He recently completed production design work on the upcoming feature film FATHER OF INVENTION starring Kevin Spacey.

Franco G Carbone | Lecturer
Franco Has designed over 26 feature films covering almost every genre from comedy (ONE FOR THE MONEY starring Katherine Heigel) to science fiction (STARSHIP TROOPERS II). Among his most notable credits are his collaboration on action films with Academy Award winner Sylvester Stallone (ROCKY BALBOA, RAMBO and THE EXPENDABLES). He later went on to design THE LAST STAND starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. His earlier collaboration with Eli Roth (HOSTEL and CABIN FEVER) took him into the horror genre which lead to his films with legendary film director and academy award winner William Friedkin for whom he designed two intense psycho dramas BUG and KILLER JOE. Franco also received terrific reviews on the all star cast crime drama 'Wonderland' directed by James Cox and the recent crime drama THE CALL starring Halle Berry, directed by Brad Anderson.

Franco is also a proud graduate of the American Film Institute of Film and Television receiving an MFA in the discipline of production design.

Todd Cherniawsky | Lecturer
A graduate of AFI, Cherniawsky has over 15 years of experience in feature film production. After graduation at the Conservatory, Todd worked his way up the art department as a Set Designer, Assistant Art Director and Art Director. Opportunities on films such as ARMAGEDDON (1998), PLANET OF THE APES (2001), LEMONY SNICKET'S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS (2004), WAR OR THE WORLDS (2005), MONSTER HOUSE (2006), NANCY DREW (2007), and OCEAN'S 13 (2007), allowed him to refine traditional techniques and explore and implement the early use of computers in the art department.

Those abilities to understand and utilize digital tools became more and more important - CGI was becoming the VFX solution more and more - and lead to a two-year commitment as Supervising Art Director on AVATAR (2009). ALICE IN WONDERLAND (2010), SUCKER PUNCH (2011), and OZ: THE GREAT & POWERFUL (2013) are his most recent feature credits.

Todd's Production Design work includes SPLICE (2010) and the GINGER SNAPS trilogy (2001-04).

Suzanne Feller-Otto | Senior Lecturer
Feller-Otto received her degree in architecture from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Before her film career, she lived in Tokyo and worked on the Puroland Theme Park. Her set design credits include five seasons of SEINFELD, episodes of ALLY McBEAL, 8 SIMPLE RULES and the feature films OUT ON A LIMB and TRIAL AND ERROR.

Pamela Klamer | Lecturer
Pamela earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre set design from USC, and completed graduate studies in textile and surface design at Otis Parsons Art Institute. Her professional career began at NBC studios as an assistant art director on the soap opera SANTA BARBARA. She then made the transition to set designer, and was the lead set designer on feature films including JUMANJI, THE LOST WORLD:JURASSIC PARK, INDEPENDENCE DAY, A.I., MATRIX 2 and 3, AMISTAD, FIGHT CLUB, CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK, CAST AWAY, and WHAT LIES BENEATH.

Her television credits include PICKET FENCES, BOSTON LEGAL, BONES, HOUSE, DEXTER, and most recently, CHICAGO P.D. Pamela was one of the first set designers to draft in AutoCAD, being one of the pioneers in bringing computer drafting and modeling into the television and feature film art department.

Ernie Marjoram | Senior Lecturer
Marjoram holds a BS from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He has been a registered professional architect for more than 15 years and has been working as a free-lance designer/illustrator in advertising and entertainment since 1995. He has developed concepts for Walt Disney Imagineering, created sketches for Steven Spielberg's Movie Magic, executed concept design of the Lost World of Jules Verne theme park and handled visual development for Spagna 2000.

David Morong | Lecturer
Morong received his MFA in Scene Design from New York University. Upon Graduation he came across a fledgling network called MTV on something called cable and ended up being the resident production designer, designing scores of shows over 15 years. His cable connections lead to design work for VH1, HBO Comedy Channel, TNN and Fox. He has worked as an Art Director on the HBO series CARNIVALE, where he received an Emmy nomination, and Big Love. He has also designed and Art Directed a number of feature films, including the recent release, KING OF CALIFORNIA. In the Fall of 2006 he accepted a faculty position at San Diego State University where he currently teaches Design for Television and Film. A focus of his interest has been design software, and he currently teaches Sketchup, and Vectorworks in association with go-2-school and Studio Arts.

Lauren Polizzi | Senior Lecturer
Lauren graduated with a BFA from UCLA's Theater of Fine Arts, where she discovered a love and aptitude for set design. She was able to hone her drawing skills on many diverse feature films, including: DEATH BECOMES HER, JURASSIC PARK, FORREST GUMP, LEMONY SNICKET, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2 and 3, and J EDGAR. In 1994, she was promoted to Assistant Art Director, contributing to such films as: SPECIES, AMISTAD, PANIC ROOM, and INDEPENDENCE DAY. Since achieving the status of Art Director on the film THE LOST WORLD, a few of her distinct credits include: DR. SEUSS'S HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, THE ALAMO, THE X-FILES television series, INDIANA JONES and the KINGDOM of the CRYSTAL SKULL, TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE of the FALLEN, COWBOYS and ALIENS, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, SAVING MR. BANKS, TOMORROWLAND, and recently, HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY. She is currently working on the next STAR TREK feature, where she continues to enjoy collaborating with many of the top professionals in the business.

Lauren received an Art Director's Guild and Oscar Nomination for Art Direction on DR. SEUSS'S HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, and an Art Director's Guild Award and Emmy Nomination for her work on Season Six of THE X-FILES television series. Other ADG nominations as Art Director include: COWBOYS & ALIENS, INDIANA JONES and the KINGDOM of the CRYSTAL SKULL, STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, and SAVING MR. BANKS. As Assistant Art Director, she was nominated for her work on AMISTAD.


Tom Rickman | Senior Filmmaker-In-Residence
One of 18 Fellows in the first class of AFI, 1969-71, Rickman's short film, WHAT FIXED ME, won first prize in the National Student Association Festival and was selected for the New York Film Festival of 1971. His screenwriting credits include COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER for which he received nominations for both the Academy Award and the Writers Guild Award, EVERYBODY'S ALL-AMERICAN, W.W. AND THE DIXIE DANCEKINGS, HOOPER, THE WHITE DAWN, THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN, KANSAS CITY BOMBER and THE RIVER RAT, which was also his directing debut. In television, Rickman's writing and directing credits include TRUMAN, WRONGFUL DEATH, CRASH COURSE, THE REAGANS and TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE (winner of Writers Guild and Humanitas Awards). He has received several Emmy nominations. Rickman was a charter member of the board of trustees of the Sundance Institute and has participated in the Institute's Screenwriting Laboratory since its inception. He also founded the Squaw Valley Screenwriters Workshop. His academic credits include teaching a master's class in screenwriting at the University of Southern California, as well as numerous workshops in Australia, Cuba, Hungary, Ireland, France and other countries.

Ed Decter | Lecturer
Ed Decter (along with writing partner John J. Strauss) co-wrote THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, THE SANTA CLAUSE 2, THE SANTA CLAUSE 3, THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE, THE WILD, REBOUND as well as created the sitcoms CHICAGO SONS, THE CLOSER and ODD MAN OUT.

In drama they were showrunners of IN PLAIN SIGHT and THE CLIENT LIST. They are currently on an overall deal at Sony Television and writing a 3D animated film for Prana studios.

Ed is also the author of six novels for Simon and Schuster.

Allen Estrin | Senior Lecturer
Estrin's television, film and radio writing credits include multiple episodes of Emmy Award-winning TV shows THE PRACTICE, BOSTON PUBLIC and TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL. In addition, he has written film history (THE HOLLYWOOD PROFESSION, VOLUME 6: CAPRA, CUKOR AND BROWN), educational and corporate videos, and has directed the highly praised documentary ISRAEL IN A TIME OF TERROR (2002). Estrin's first novel, "Heaven's Witness," was published in 2004 by Toby Press and named one of the best mysteries of that year by The Weekly Standard and became a CBS Special Event movie in 2006.

Jacob Forman | Senior Lecturer
Jacob grew up between East Timor, Rio de Janeiro, and New York City. He was one of five fiction writers accepted into the Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Brown University, where he wrote his first screenplay. Jacob worked as a journalist in Telluride, Colorado, and as National Features Editor for America Online's city guide before earning an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in 2004. His first produced feature, ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE, screened at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was acquired there by The Weinstein Company for worldwide distribution. The film receives its much-anticipated US theatrical release in October 2013. In 2007, MTV Films bought Jacob's spec Handsome Devil in a bidding war with several studios. Jacob has features in development at Paramount Pictures, as well as projects with Davis Entertainment, the Mark Gordon Company, and Liddell Entertainment, and has held television development deals with ABC and CBS. His second produced feature, THE WELL, completed principal photography in January 2013.

Karen Janszen | Senior Lecturer
Karen Janszen is an LA-based screenwriter with over twenty years experience writing screenplays for film studios and cable outlets, and has sold original pilots to ABC and CBS. While she has worked on thrillers, romantic comedies, and historical epics – and done uncredited polishes on two animated films - she is best known for family and teen dramas. She wrote DOLPHIN TALE, a box office hit in 2011, and DUMA, directed by Carroll Ballard and named the number one film in the LA Times top-ten picks of 2005. Janszen also wrote A WALK TO REMEMBER, the indies GRACIE, DIGGING TO CHINA, and THE MATCHMAKER, and an episode of HBO's FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON. She recently sold a pitch for Christmas movie, SANTA SCHOOL. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Janszen is an AFI double alumna: Screenwriting MFA (1991) and The Directing Workshop for Women (2006). She also holds a MA from Harvard University and a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In addition, she studied science journalism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, animation writing at Hanna-Barbera, and situation comedy writing at Warner Brothers. Janszen was named by Variety as one of 1999's Ten Screenwriters to Watch.

Steve Mazur | Lecturer
Mazur has taught screenwriting for the past ten years, including four years at AFI and five years with the Professional Writing Program at USC. He's written or co-written scripts for Universal, Dreamworks, Warner Bros., MGM, Imagine, Paramount, Sony, CBS, A&E, Spike TV, and Disney, including Heartbreakers (MGM, 2001), Liar, Liar (Universal, 1997), The Little Rascals (Universal, 1994), Without a Paddle II (Paramount, 2008), The Crooked E (CBS, 2003) and WEDDING WARS (A&E, 2006).

Patricia Meyer | Senior Lecturer
Meyer begins her tenth year as Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting at the American Film Institute Conservatory. She also serves as the Screenwriting discipline's Administrative Coordinator and co-produces the Screenwriters Showcase, an annual pitchfest. Prior to that, she was on tenure-track in the film program at Chapman University. After receiving a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard University, Meyer earned an MFA in Fiction Writing from Boston University.

Meyer segued to a diverse career as a motion picture and television screenwriter and producer. With her passion for dark comedic true crime stories, she has written numerous screenplays for Martin Scorsese, Harry and Mary Jane Ufland, Brillstein-Grey and Robert De Niro's Tribeca Productions, among others. She has also written projects for the networks, including a one-hour drama series pilot, movie, and a miniseries, all for CBS. Meyer's first production, the ABC miniseries THE WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE starred Oprah Winfrey and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Miniseries in 1989. Throughout the 1990s, she developed and executive produced multiple network movies in her deal with Von Zerneck/Sertner Films. She made her directorial debut in 2004, with THE LIST, a short tragic-comedy, which screened at seven major film festivals, including Cannes' short film corner. Recently, her play, TURNAROUND, enjoyed a HotHouse series reading at the Pasadena Playhouse and will be staged this year. Her family comedy and period thriller are under option and being packaged for production in the coming year. Meyer's maternal grandfather, Nathan J. Blumberg, was President and CEO of Universal Pictures from 1939 to 1960. Her father, Stanley Meyer, was partnered with Jack Webb in Mark VII Productions and produced the pioneering police drama Dragnet along with several motion pictures for Warner Bros. Meyer is a third generation screenwriter and producer, and she is thrilled to call herself a first generation teacher.

Adam Moore | Lecturer
Adam Moore is a screenwriter, video game writer, comic book writer, and screenwriting instructor. He received his BFA in Dramatic Writing and Cinema Studies from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and is a graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory (MFA Screenwriting), where he received the Richard Levinson Award for artistic excellence.

Along with his writing partner, fellow AFI alum Kevin Abrams, Adam has co-developed film and television projects for Dark Horse Entertainment, Spyglass Entertainment, Red Wagon Entertainment, State Street Pictures, Sparkler Entertainment, Relativity Media, FilmNation Entertainment, Silver Pictures, Landscape Entertainment and LBI Entertainment; as well as video game projects for Ubisoft, Digital Embryo, Codemasters UK, and IBM / Walt Disney World EPCOT Center.

Adam was one of several writers who worked on RATCHET AND CLANK: TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION, Insomniac Games' blockbuster next-gen follow up to its highly successful PlayStation franchise. He is the co-creator of VENDOR, a critically-acclaimed graphic novel published by Viper Comics, currently being adapted for a variety of platforms across the “omnimedia” landscape (games, graphic novels, television and film).

Currently, Adam is the lead writer of INTENSELIFE, a forthcoming iOS/Android story-driven exercise game. His hour-long drama, THE PINKERTONS, co-created with Kevin Abrams, will begin airing in first run syndication beginning in September 2014.

Before beginning his writing career, Adam was a story analyst for Scott Rudin Productions, and a creative advertising assistant at Dimension Films.

Adam serves on the faculty of Long Beach State's Film and Electronic Arts Department, and is a Senior Lecturer at the American Film Institute Conservatory.

Robert Munic | Lecturer
Robert Munic recently penned the feature BOBBY MARTINEZ, for Participant Media. The film is a biopic based on the surfer's life from the streets of Santa Barbara to the highest ranks of the professional surfing world. He also wrote, FIGHTING, starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard, currently in theaters. NO TRUE GLORY, tells the true story for the battle of Fallujah, is set to star Harrison Ford is currently at Universal Pictures with producers Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. Munic is also the Co-Creator and Executive Producer of the A&E drama series THE CLEANER.

He wrote, directed, and produced THE PROS & CONS OF BREATHING, which won Best Film at the Houston Film Festival, the Audience Award at Chicago Film Festival, and was featured on opening night at the Seattle Film Festival.

Munic served as writer, director, and producer on Showtime's THEY CALL ME SIRR, starring Michael Clarke Duncan, which was nominated for a 2002 Emmy® Award and DGA Award and also placed first in the Outstanding Feature Film Division of the National Council on Family Relations. He wrote and directed the Showtime movie IN A CLASS OF HIS OWN, which was nominated for an Emmy Award and won the Angel Award for Excellence in a Television Film from the National Television Review Board the same year.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Ingrid and two sons, Jake and Ajna.

Anna Thomas | Senior Lecturer
Thomas is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, as well as a producer, director and author. She is both producer and co-writer of the film EL NORTE, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was elected to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. She is also co-writer and producer of the acclaimed MY FAMILY, MI FAMILIA, and the William Hurt starring drama A TIME OF DESTINY, and a writer of FRIDA, starring Salma Hayek. Thomas made her first feature in 1977 when she wrote, produced and directed THE HAUNTING OF M as her Master's thesis film at UCLA, where she earned her MFA. Other credits include episodes of the PBS one-hour drama series AMERICAN FAMILY. Thomas also produced the feature documentary INFINITE SPACE: THE ARCHITECTURE OF JOHN LAUTNER. She is a founder of the IFP West, now Film Independent.

Michael Urban | Lecturer
Michael Urban is a graduate of the AFI Screenwriting program (Class of 2000). His first feature film SAVED! (co-written with Brian Dannelly) was produced by MGM/UA in 2004. He has since completed writing assignments for several major film and television studios including: Twentieth Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers Television, ABC Television, Lionsgate and HBO. His most recent feature film, WAVW premiered at the 2013 Outfest.

The Conservatory Studies curriculum is a series of interdisciplinary courses, seminars and workshops designed to provide Fellows with a broad and varied perspective on the contemporary film, television and digital media arts and professions.

Leslie Belzberg | Thesis Mentor

Veteran film and TV producer Leslie Belzberg is currently Senior Vice President, Scripted Production, at Shine America. Her responsibilities include overseeing all scripted production for Shine America including the recently launched series for FX , THE BRIDGE.

Prior to her position at Shine America, Belzberg produced the SCORPION KING: RISE OF THE DEAD and served as executive producer on the film CRAZY HEART, which earned Jeff Bridges an Academy Award® for Best Actor.

Belzberg has enjoyed an extensive working relationship with director John Landis, having co-created St. Clare Entertainment with him, a TV production company that produced such series as HBO's DREAM ON, USA Network's WEIRD SCIENCE, Fox's SLIDERS, Disney's HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS and the Action Adventure Network's THE LOST WORLD.

Belzberg also worked closely with Landis on the feature film side, serving as a producer on SUSAN'S PLAN, BLUES BROTHERS 2000, THE STUPIDS, BEVERLY HILLS COP III and OSCAR. She also executive produced COMING TO AMERICA and was an associate producer on SPIES LIKE US, THREE AMIGOS and INTO THE NIGHT.

She was also an associate producer for the Academy Award®-winning documentary GENOCIDE, produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, now the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

In long-form television, Belzberg produced the made for television mini-series CATEGORY 6, DAY OF DESTRUCTION and SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK.

She also has served as a producer of MTV Network's ALL YOU'VE GOT and SWEET 16: THE MOVIE, as well as a co-executive producer on THE AMERICA MALL. For Country Music Television, Belzberg produced BROKEN BRIDGES and executive produced BEER FOR MY HORSES, both starring Toby Keith.

She holds a Masters in Business Administration from Fordham University, New York and a B.A. in English Literature and Contemporary Drama from York University, Toronto, Canada.

Pieter Jan Brugge | Senior Lecturer
PIETER JAN BRUGGE (Producer/Director) was born and raised in The Netherlands and graduated from De Nederlandse Film & Televisie Academie in 1979. He was awarded a scholarship to continue his studies in the United States at The American Film Institute, Center for Advanced Film Studies in Los Angeles.

He has worked with many of Hollywood's most distinguished directors and actors.

He produced the international box-office hit THE PELICAN BRIEF (1993) with the late Alan J. Pakula. In 1998, with Writer/Producer/Director Warren Beatty, he produced the political satire BULWORTH.

In 1995 Brugge began a series of collaborations with Writer/Producer/Director Michael Mann, first serving as executive producer on the crime saga HEAT. And next, as producer on THE INSIDER (1999), which earned seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture for Mann and Brugge. In 2006 he produced with Mann MIAMI VICE.

In 2004 Brugge produced and directed THE CLEARING, starring Robert Redford, Helen Mirren and Willem Dafoe. He conceived the story, based upon a true event that occurred in The Netherlands, and collaborated with writer Justin Haythe on the screenplay.

In 2010 he produced LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS, his third collaboration with Writer/Producer/Director Edward Zwick for whom he co-produced the Civil War classic GLORY (winner of three Academy Awards) and produced DEFIANCE (2008).

Brugge has taught classes and seminars at various film schools in the United States and Europe, including AFI and the Nederlandse Film and Televisie Academie (NFTA) in Amsterdam.

Elaine Dysinger | Mentor
Elaine Dysinger is an independent line producer on feature films. Her 25-year film career starting in Miami, Florida after attending University of Florida. After passing on working on MIAMI VICE she moved to New York City she transitioned to television movies and feature films. Location work in North Carolina for Sam Raimi on EVIL DEAD II prompted the move to Los Angeles. In LA she worked with NBC Productions on television series work and on such diverse projects ranging from the TNT released western THE DESPERATE TRAIL to the feature film comedy BIODOME. Her work has taken her to numerous locations including the Kenya, the Yukon Territory, Brazil and New Zealand. She has worked with many talented artists including award winning television director Jeff Bleckner, James Brolin, Bruce Campbell, Colin Firth, Ridley Scott, Robin Williams and Renee Zellweger. Her credits include Chris Nolan's MEMENO and BOTTLE SHOCK. When not working she returns as much as possible to her 30 year passion for cycling both on the road the velodrome.

Dorothy Fontana | Senior Lecturer
Fontana's many screenwriting credits include the television series STAR TREK, BONANZA, THE WALTONS, THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO, BABYLON 5, LONESOME DOVE and DALLAS. Story editor credits include the original STAR TREK series, STAR TREK animated series, FANTASTIC JOURNEY, LOGAN'S RUN and STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, on which Fontana was also associate producer for the first 13 episodes. She has written animated shows, children's shows, five interactive STAR TREK games, a STAR TREK comic book and is a published novelist. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, the Writers Guild of America and Writers Guild of Canada. She is currently writing the script for an interactive medical education game to be used in medical schools to teach doctors how to communicate with their patients.

Marlo Hellerstein | Transportation Coordinator
Marlo Hellerstein was born to Miriam and Bernard Hellerstein on March 16, 1955. He is the father of three children: Michael Timothy and Megan. He also has two step-daughters, Kym and Leeanne, and four grandchildren: Savannah, Victor, Isiah and Jackson. Marlo resides in Chatsworth, California. He has been a member of Teamster Local 399 for 38 years, and for 35 of those years he has been a transportation coordinator/transportation captain. He is happy to be a part of AFI.

James Hosney | AFI Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence
Holding a BA in Anglo-American Literature from Occidental College, James Hosney created and taught courses in literature, American Studies and film at the Westlake School for Girls from 1970 to 1980, where he was director of the Film and Video Program. He created the film program at Crossroads School, where he has been teaching for 23 years, and currently teaches a two-year Honors English course, "Great Books of the Western World." He has published articles in Film Quarterly, South Atlantic Quarterly and the Los Angeles Times; and he has taught film classes for UCLA Extension. He has been teaching at AFI since 1980.

Andy House | Physical Production Mentor
Andy House most recently served as the Head of Production for Gaumont International TV where he set up and supervised the productions of "Hannibal" for NBC and "Hemlock Grove" for Netflix. He has 30 plus years of production management experience supervising television series and movies across the US & Canada, as well as locations around the world. Before moving to Gaumont, he was based in Moscow Russia where as senior vice president of production for Sony Pictures Int. he represented the studio in a joint venture company producing Russian language TV series for broadcast across the Russian Federation. In 1998 Andy was based in Hong Kong where he was in charge of Sony TV's production in China and Southeast Asia. During his 18 year tenure with Sony Pictures he supervised more than 25 TV series (including "Breaking Bad", "Joan of Arcadia" & "Mad About You"), 50 pilots and 30 television movies for U.S. networks. Before joining Sony he worked as an assistant director and production manager for nearly every major studio in Hollywood. His credits appeared on, among others, "The A Team", "Falcon Crest", "E.T. The Extraterrestrial" (2nd unit), and "Pumpkinhead". He earned a Master of Arts Degree in Communications from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business & Advertising from the University of Southern California.

Barry Sabath | Senior Lecturer
Holding an MA and PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University, Sabath has nearly two decades of feature film development experience. He ran the film division of Marsha and Robin Williams's Blue Wolf Productions, whose productions include MRS. DOUBTFIRE, PATCH ADAMS and JAKOB THE LIAR. At Twentieth Century Fox, he was senior vice president of production for Paul Schiff Productions, where he oversaw MY COUSIN VINNY and was co-producer on GHOST IN THE MACHINE and PCU. He spent four years at Columbia Pictures, as executive story editor and vice president of production, and supervised FLATLINERS and IMMEDIATE FAMILY. Sabath also taught film history and criticism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University.

Sandy Stern | Mentor
Sandy Stern's first feature was the critically acclaimed teen anthem PUMP UP THE VOLUME starring Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis. Stern's additional credits include Paul Haggis' RED HOT, Lynn Littman's FREAK CITY, Spike Jonze's BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, Todd Hayne's VELVET GOLDMINE, Jill Sprecher's THIRTEEN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT ONE THING, and Brian Dannelly's SAVED. He also produced the musical version of SAVED, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons in New York City.

For the past decade, he has been partnered with REM frontman Michael Stipe and their films have drawn such talent as Cameron Diaz, Marisa Tomei, Catherine Keener, Peter Sarsgaard, Mary-Louise Parker, John Cusack, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale and Macaulay Culkin. Prior to Stipe, Stern was partnered with Sean Penn.

He has won an Independent Spirit Award, a Producer's Guild Visionary Award, and a Satellite Award. He has been nominated for a Golden Globe, a Lucille Lortel, and his films have garnered three Academy Awards nominations.

Stern is developing projects with 21 Laps, Fox 2000, Playtone Productions, Overbrook Entertainment, MTV and Fuse. He is also prepping a musical version of PUMP UP THE VOLUME to premiere in Seattle at the Balagan Theater in 2014.

Stern graduated cum laude from Vassar College and summa cum laude from New York University. He is also a published author.

George Walczak | Senior Lecturer
Holding an MFA in Screenwriting from AFI, Walczak was a recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Award. He has been on the AFI faculty for fifteen years and currently teaches The Great Screenplays as well as the screenwriting workshop for the Directing Workshop for Women. Walczak also has an MA in counseling and Depth psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute. He brings years of theoretical and clinical experience to his classes on screenwriting. Walczak is currently finishing a book on psychology for screenwriters as well as working on a pilot about psych interns in the San Fernando Valley. Walczak has also served for the last six years as a "Solar System Ambassador" for the jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. A lifelong space exploration enthusiast, Walczak uses his current position to create bridges between scientists and screenwriters, keeping the creative community abreast of the JPL's latest projects. He lives aboard an ocean going Trimaran in Channel Islands Harbor, California.

Seth Winston | Senior Lecturer
Academy Award winner Seth Winston grew up in Los Angeles. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, then transferred to the USC School of Cinema, receiving a B.A. in Cinema Production. He wrote and directed two films at USC, ALLEGORY, which was bought by Universal Pictures' Kinetic Arts Series, and AN EVENING WITH THE GODS, which was seen by CBS Executives, who then hired Winston to write a TV comedy pilot based on the film. Winston was accepted to the Motion Picture Academy's prestigious Director Internship Program at AFI. He was personally selected by Steven Spielberg to intern on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. Winston wrote three network movies for television, then turned to writing feature films. He has developed, written, and rewritten screenplays for every major Hollywood studio. Credits include SHE'S OUT OF CONTROL, GAME DAY, GET YOU BACK, GARDENING AT NIGHT, FINAL TOUR, and THE COMMON COLD.

Winston received an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 1992 for writing and directing Showtime's SESSION MAN. He has taught at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, U.C. Santa Barbara, and U.C.L.A. Extension. Currently he is in development to write and direct STEEL for Maxim Films in Australia, and MAGICAL THINKING, which will be produced by two-time Academy nominee Roger Frappier.

Cathy Wischner-Sola | Senior Lecturer, Faculty Internship Coordinator
Ms. Wischner-Sola is an award-winning executive and producer. She executive produced TAKING CHANCE, a true story for HBO Films starring Kevin Bacon, which debuted in Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. TAKING CHANCE garnered superb reviews and earned the distinction of being the most watched film on HBO in five years, won the WGA and DGA Awards and Humanitas Prize. The film received 10 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Television Movie, Directing, Writing, and the Golden Globe nomination for Best Movie. Wischner-Sola won the Christopher Award, Television Academy Honors, and was a nominee for the Television Producer of the Year Award from the Producers Guild.

Ms. Wischner-Sola formerly served as Vice President, Original Programming at TNT Originals where she shepherded and supervised an extensive slate of distinguished movies and miniseries, high budget international co-production event television, earning network ratings and critical acclaim. Projects include PIRATES OF SILICON VALLEY (Noah Wyle; Anthony Michael Hall), nominated for 5 Emmys including Outstanding Television Movie and Writing, and a nominee for the DGA Award, Emmy-nominated KING OF TEXAS (Patrick Stewart, Marcia Gay Hardin), DAVID COPPERFIELD (Sally Field), A CHRISTMS CAROL (Patrick Stewart), groundbreaking ANIMAL FARM and SMUDGE, the Humanitas Prize-winner for Best Children's Movie.

Additional television producing credits include the CBS miniseries COMMON GROUND, based on the Pulitzer Prize -winning book by J. Anthony Lukas, directed by Mike Newell and Humanitas Prize-winner, and Emmy nominated A WINNER NEVER QUITS with Daniel H. Blatt Productions, where she served as Vice President, Creative Affairs. Wischner-Sola holds a BA degree in Humanities from The New School for Social Research, attended Northwestern University and the American Conservatory Theatre Advanced Training Program. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

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