Faculty: Directing

Faculty

The full roster of guest instructors will include the majority of the guests listed below, as well as many additional notable industry professionals. Due to the nature of the industry, this faculty list can change at any time.

This faculty list will be updated on a regular basis as additional guests are confirmed.

AMY ADRION

Amy Adrion is a director and writer whose work has screened at the Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festivals, been broadcast on PBS and MTV, and won numerous awards. Amy's debut feature, Half The Picture, which celebrates the groundbreaking work of women film directors, had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and won the #WhatNext Award at Sundance Film Festival: London, the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Lighthouse Film Festival, the Impact Award at Through Women's Eyes Film Festival and was nominated for the Chicken & Egg Award at SXSW Film Festival.

Half The Picture is at 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and was released theatrically in Summer 2018, premiering on the STARZ Network on October 22, 2018.

Amy's short films include her UCLA thesis, Shoegazer, which was Executive Produced by Miranda July and won a Directors Guild of America (DGA) Student Film Award, and Surviving 7th Grade, of which the LA WEEKLY wrote "Surviving 7th Grade takes just seven-and-a-half sparkling minutes to initiate us into the secret rituals and self-effacing humor that just might enable a couple of nerdy (yet utterly appealing) pubescent girls to weather a stormy passage through adolescence."

Amy's television work includes directing the show Sucks Less with Kevin Smith for MTV / MTVu.

Amy is attached to direct the fierce, funny revenge Western, Picante, written by Meg McCarthy and Diana Davis-Dyer, and is in early production on a documentary about a female singer/songwriter and modern day cowgirl cattle rancher in Colorado.

Amy is a graduate of the MFA Film Directing program at UCLA, with an undergraduate degree in Literature and Theology from Georgetown University. Amy grew up in Hillsdale, New Jersey playing sports and watching movies and now enjoys watching sports and making movies.

HENRY CHAN

After getting his master degree in film and television from Brooklyn College, Henry Chan began his film career as an editor and won a Primetime Emmy Award for THE COSBY SHOW. For six years he was the principal director for MOESHA, a comedy starring Brandy. Henry has directed over 200 episodes of television for all the major U.S. networks. His TV credits include: Fresh Off The Boat, The Neighbors, Whitney, Don’t Trust the B.... in Apartment 23, Traffic Light, Let’s Stay Together, 10 Things I Hate About You, Kitchen Confidential, Scrubs and King of Queens.

A native of Hong Kong, Henry is fluent in Chinese and had worked in China and Taiwan. He directed the Chinese romantic comedy “100 Days 真爱100天 ” shot entirely in Taiwan. He also directed a 40 episode series “Rich House, Poor House 王子富愁记” for Youku in China.

Marco Fargnoli

Marco’s latest project is the Netflix action/thriller/comedy series Medical Police, starring Rob Huebel and Erinn Hayes. He is also currently shooting the critically-acclaimed ABC/Freeform drama Good Trouble. Previous work includes six seasons of the Fox/Hulu series The Mindy Project (with Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina), and six seasons of the 4-time Emmy winning series Childrens Hospital (with Rob Corddry and Lake Bell).

His feature work includes The Gymnast (Grand Jury Award, Audience Award - OutFest), The Dogwalker (Best Cinematography - Ashland Independent, Best First Feature - Cinequest), Solitude (Directors Award - Cinequest), and Race You to the Bottom (Best Actress - OutFest). The Act, a Sundance short, was honored by the International Camera Guild with an Emerging Cinematographer Award.

Marco began his career in Dayton Ohio, studying under Oscar-winning documentarians James Klein and Julia Reichert. Early opportunities to work on the camera crews of influential cinematographers Robert Richardson and Peter Suschitzsky led to a move to Los Angeles in 1997, where he now resides. He is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild and the Directors Guild of America.

DALLAS KING

Dallas has directed, produced, and completed two feature films, KISS KISS, a hyper-stylized action thriller that premiered in Los Angeles and is available on every major platform including Amazon and iTunes. Following this, INK & RAIN, a sci-fi fantasy feature that premiered in Beijing, China and is exclusively available on China's largest web network, iQiYi. Dallas is coming off the momentum of producing the award-winning feature film documentary, THE BILL MURRAY EXPERIENCE, available on iTunes and Amazon and he just completed the EDM TV Pilot, PLUR, which was funded and will be distributed by Fusion TV. His two award-winning short action films, LITTLE SOLDIER & MOST WANTED, made during his early years in film school still gross sales today and are available on Amazon and Walmart under the title, DEMON. And along the way he directed a 10-episode docu-series, BWFC, for Banpresto Japan, owners of the Dragon Ball-Z franchise. Currently, he is in post-production on his latest third narrative feature, U.Z.L.A. a horror film, which will start its film festival run in 2020.

Dallas’ is a DGA Award winner whose vision to be a filmmaker came while being a kid that had to interpret movies through words to his blind mother. The story continues as Dallas embarked on several personal trips circling the world twice and touring 57 countries which sparked his passion as a screenwriter.  Being the first and still the only member of his entire family to go to college by graduating from UCLA and continuing his journey by gaining his Masters in Directing at the acclaimed UCLA Film School. His travels have also inspired Dallas to focus on developing international co-production film projects. Producing the feature film OH BOY! for China, slated to release in 2020, and Directing and Producing the Japanese feature documentary BEHIND KARATE KILL which is available online and on Blu-ray.

Dallas created his own film production company, RED RABBIT PICTURES, which has earned him the (MPAA) Motion Picture Association of America Award, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award, The Caucus Foundation Award for Directing, a 3-time award recipient of the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts, also a recipient of the National Hispanic Fund McNamara Grant, and 1st place for the (DGA) Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing. His films have been selected and won countless Film Festivals throughout the nation and world including an African Movie Academy Award nomination for LITTLE SOLDIER.

Dallas serves as a judge and guest speaker for numerous film festivals and organizations including Comic-Con San Diego. He serves as the President of the UCLA Alumni Bruin Entertainment Network, and a proud alum of the UCLA Delta Kappa Alpha film fraternity. When he's not filming, he serves as a professor at Loyola Marymount University and a film instructor at UCLA Extension where he created the course, "How to make Sci-Fi, Action, & Horror Films on a Budget".

ERIC MARIN

Eric Marin is a film editor with extensive experience in both feature and documentary picture and sound editing and mixing. He has edited, among other films, Vestido de Noiva (Wedding Dress) based on the play by the renowned Brazilian playwright Nelson Rodrigues and the documentaries Breaking the Maya Code, Mysterious California (examining four novels by California mystery writers) Women of Mystery (featuring three leading American female mystery writers), Looking Like the Enemy (about the war experiences of Asian American veterans). Eric has also served as a sound editor and/or sound designer on such independent narrative feature films as Skins and Milwaukee Minnesota. His more recent credits include picture and sound editor and re-recording mixer on the documentaries Lifejackets (in progress), Reading the Landscape (2019), Something Like a Sabbatical (2015), sound editor on the feature documentary Occupy the Farm (2014) and as the re-recording sound mixer on the feature documentary The Art of Observing Life (2013) about the founders of the direct cinema movement. Additionally, Eric has produced, directed, shot and edited several contemporary music and performance documentaries including Lou Harrison: Cherish, Conserve, Consider, Create and Baschet: The Transfiguration of Daily Life (awarded Best Art Documentary at the Parnu International Documentary Festival 2004 and Grand Prix de la Recherche at the Festival International du Film d’Art, Paris, 2003). His works have been seen on PBS and The Learning Channel and have been screened at festivals and various venues worldwide. Other film awards include the Nissan FOCUS documentary award, the Bronze Apple from the National Education Festival, the CINE Eagle award, and the Western States Regional Media Fellowship. Eric Marin has been teaching various courses in picture editing, sound editing and sound recording at UCLA since 1997.  Eric is also the recipient of UCLA’s prestigious “Distinguished Teaching Award” for 2007.

Deborah Nadoolman Landis

Costume designer, historian and Distinguished Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis is the founding director and chair of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design.

Landis received an M.F.A. in costume design from the UCLA College of Fine Arts in 1975 and a Ph.D. in the history of design from the Royal College of Art, London. Her distinguished career includes Coming to America (1988), for which she was Academy Award nominated; An American Werewolf in London (1981); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); the classic Animal House (1978); and the costumes for the groundbreaking music video Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983).

From 2001-2007, Landis served as two-term president of the Costume Designers Guild, Local 892. She is the author of six books including Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design (2007), FilmCraft: Costume Design (2012), Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration (2012) and the catalogue for her landmark exhibition, Hollywood Costume, which she curated at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. She is the editor-in-chief of the upcoming Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Film and Television Costume Design (2019), and recently curated an exhibition on science and science fiction at the Science Museum, London.

Landis sits on the Board of the National Film Preservation Foundation and is a past Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

MICHAEL MENDELSOHN

Michael Mendelsohn currently manages a senior “stretch” financing facility and principal capital investment fund totaling up to $500 million specializing in project production finance and film IP acquisition in the entertainment industry. His past credits include: “Cut Throat City” directed by The RZA (Wu Tang Clan) starring Terrence Howard, Wesley Snipes, T.I., Demetrius Shipp Jr., and Shameik Moore; “Running With The Devil” starring Nicolas Cage and Laurence Fishburne; “Hangman” starring Al Pacino, Karl Urban, and Brittany Snow; “Vengeance: A Love Story” starring Nicolas Cage and Don Johnson; “Zeroville” starring James Franco, Seth Rogan, Will Ferrell, Megan Fox, and Danny McBride; “My Name Is Lenny” starring Josh Helman and current UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Lisping; as well as “The Matrix”, “Underworld”, “What Women Want”, “Reservoir Dogs”. He is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, where he majored in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management and minored in English and Russian Literature. He often lectures at his alma mater, as well as AFI, Harvard, NYU, UCLA and USC. Mr. Mendelsohn resides in Los Angeles, California. He is the CEO and Chairman of Patriot Pictures, LLC. Patriot Pictures, LLC. packages film production elements including upcoming Nick Cassavetes written and directing GOD IS A BULLET based on a book by Boston Teran; Ron Shelton directing TYSON; Sion Sono directing PRISONERS of the GHOSTLAND; and completed films such as CUT THROAT CITY directed by RZA and starring Ethan Hawke, Terrence Howard, Wesley Snipes, T.I. and Eiza Gonzalez; ZEROVILLE starring James Franco, Seth Rogan, [Will Ferrell], Megan Fox, and Danny McBride; RUNNING WITH THE DEVIL starring Nicolas Cage, Laurence Fishburne, Leslie Bibb, and Barry Pepper; HANGMAN starring Al Pacino, Karl Urban, and Brittany Snow; and I AM WRATH starring John Travolta.

BILLY RAY

Billy's most recent projects include the screenplays for Richard Jewel, Terminator: Dark Fate, Gemini Man and Overlord. He wrote and directed Secret In Their Eyes (starring Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor), received an Oscar Nomination for writing Captain Phillips (starring Tom Hanks), co-wrote the feature adaptation of the hit book The Hunger Games (starring Jennifer Lawrence, wrote Shattered Glass (starring Hayden Christensen and Chloe Sevigny), and wrote/directed Breach (starring Ryan Phillippe, Chris Cooper, and Laura Linney). He graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television.

LOLITA RITMANIS

Lolita Ritmanis is an Emmy award winning composer. She has been nominated 10 times, and won the coveted statue in 2002 for her work on the Warner Bros. series "Batman Beyond”. In 2019 she composed the 70 minute symphonic score for the critically acclaimed Latvian film “Blizzard of Souls,” working with the award winning  state choir "Latvia” and a full symphony orchestra.  On February 18th, 2020 she won the Golden Microphone Award for best instrumental album for this score. Lolita is one of the founders of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, serving as president 2016-2018, and a founding member of Dynamic Music Partners. In the fall of 2019 Lolita was an integral part of the Lincoln Center premiere of “Women Warriors: The Voices of Change,”  where three of her symphonic works received world premieres. Her symphonic work “Overture to Light” received it’s 2018 U.S. premiere at Carnegie Hall. Other recent career highlights include her original score for "Christmas in Rome" for Hallmark,  "Wild DaZe” - documentary (featuring Jane Goodall), music for the gender parity series “Flip the Script" (starring Lake Bell), as well as continued work alongside her fellow Dynamic Music Partners, Michael McCuistion and Kristopher Carter on fan-favorite productions: "Marvel’Rising",  and Warner Bros. "Young Justice," and in 2016, “The Killing Joke” (produced by Bruce Timm and starring Mark Hamill as the voice of The Joker). Other credits include: "Justice League” (the theme, composed by Lolita, received a Primetime Emmy nomination), "Teen Titans”, "Ben 10", “Wacky Races”, "Spectacular Spider-Man", "Batman: The Animated Series", as well as composing score and songs for the Primetime Emmy nominated musical "Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Mayhem of the Music Meister" (starring Neil Patrick Harris.)  Lolita’s concert works as well as four original musicals have been seen and heard throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Taiwan and Australia. In addition to Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Lolita’s music has been performed at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.,  Koerner Hall in Toronto, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, The Krakow International Film Music Festival, Fimucité International Film Music Festival in Tenerife, Canary Islands, and Playfest in Ubeda, Spain. Early in her career, Lolita learned from the masters while working for such composing greats as Michael Kamen, Basil Poledouris, Mark Snow and Shirley Walker, among many others. Prior to focusing her career on composition, Lolita was an orchestrator on over 100 films, mini-series and television programs including "Lethal Weapon 4", "X-Files Movie", and "Robin Hood-Prince of Thieves". She received her formal education at the Dick Grove School of Music, specializing in film scoring. Lolita is member of the Television Academy, NARAS, SCL, and WIF. On May 9th, 2018 Lolita was honored with the BMI Champion Award.

ANSON WILLIAMS

Anson Williams is best known for his Golden Globe nominated role on the series, “Happy Days.” For over the past two decades he has been an award-winning television director and writer; directing over 300 hrs of television, including Star Trek, Steven Speilberg’s “SeaQuest,” Pretender, Lizzie Maguire, Melrose Place, Charmed, 90210, Star Trek Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Hercules, Zena, HBO’s “All American Murder” starring Christopher Walken, Profiler, and the award winning, Shailene Woodley starring hit, “Secret Life of the American Teenager.” For his writing, Anson has won the prized Humanitus Award, and was honored by the National Association of Student Leaders. Anson was on the National board of USO, and was instumental in making the entertainment division profitable for the organization. Anson is also a successful entreprenuer, cofounding an international product and ad platform company. Anson has been honored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for his expertise in product trademarking which included a speech by Anson along with the under Secretary Of Commerce. Anson inspired and supported by his famous uncle, Dr. Henry Heimlich, created the life saving product, Alert Drops, that has saved thousands of lives fro drowsy driving. Aler Drops has has been honored by the United States Congress, California State Senate, and the city of Los Angeles

ANDY WOLK

Andy Wolk’s film writing and directing career began with the much-lauded HBO movie CRIMINAL JUSTICE that made Time Magazine’s “Ten Best” List.   He has been nominated for the DIRECTORS GUILD AWARD twice and also the CABLEFAX AWARD as Best Director.  He has directed almost 100 episodes of television including shows such as THE SOPRANOS, CRIMINAL  MINDS, DAMAGES (for which Glenn Close won an EMMY AWARD), and THE PRACTICE including the “Final Judgement” episode for which Alfre Woodard received the EMMY AWARD and he received the HUMANITAS AWARD.  Most recently, he has directed BLUFF CITY LAW, STATION 19, MANIFEST and SEAL TEAM.  He has directed movies for HBO, Showtime, the Samuel Goldwyn Company, and every network.  As a writer, he has been nominated for the WRITERS GUILD AWARD 3 times and won it for NATICA JACKSON on PBS which starred Michelle Pfeiffer.   Mr. Wolk has been on the faculty of the American Film Institute and a Creative Advisor and Artistic Director for the Sundance Institute’s Labs.

 

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