Rob Adler is a Filmmaker, Actor and Performance Coach. He is an internationally recognized expert in improvisation specializing in helping actors and directors to get out of their head and bring spontaneity & presence to scripted performances. He is the founder of the AdlerImprov Studio in Hollywood (www.adlerimprov.com), a coach for actors, directors and production companies like Lionsgate, Disney, FOX, NBC and ABC and writes a regular column offering expert advice to actors for Backstage (https://goo.gl/RSWRwZ).
He is a professor of Acting at DePaul University and his teaching is sought after nationally and internationally at places like the USC School of Dramatic Arts, CalArts, the Geffen Playhouse, American Music & Dramatic Academy, Boston University, Occidental College, the famed USC School of Cinematic Arts and internationally in places like Tokyo, Nassau (for the Bahamas International Film Festival), at the Shanghai Theatre Academy and in Stockholm for Top Model Sweden.
Adler directed the acclaimed short film "iVOTE," based on the true story of a whistleblower, starring Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts and Emmy Award winners Dan Lauria and Sharon Lawrence. A long time activist, Adler’s artistic mission is to raise awareness of peace and progress issues, which is also reflected in the plays and films he has directed, including recently "The Diary Play," an original adaptation of Anne Frank's diary for the Trump era. He devised and directed "Patriot Act," starring acclaimed performer Roger Guenveur Smith (Do the Right Thing, American Gangster, Rodney King), continuing his long time affiliation with Los Angeles’ Bootleg Theater. For the Will Geer Theater, Adler directed Rise & Shout, starring Joe Mantegna, Jack Klugman, Jean Smart and Wendie Malick.
As an actor, Rob Adler has appeared in Hollywood films, commercials and television shows. On the stage, Adler recently performed in Los Angeles with Theatre Dybbuk playing Jethro in the world premier of Exagoge (an unearthed greek tragedy thought to be the first written 'Jewish' play) and a celebrated run as "Larry the Liquidator" at the Pico Playhouse with the acclaimed Interact Theatre Company.
Meghann Artes is an award-winning filmmaker and animator who has worked with Sesame Street, Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Bix Pix, Nick Jr., NBC, and ABC. Her short films have enjoyed success in festivals across the country and, in 2009, her work for Sesame Street was awarded both an Emmy and a Peabody.
Drawing from her small-town childhood and her urban career, Meghann's independent works artfully utilize handmade elements and modern techniques. Meghann's whimsical subject matter as well as her use of color and texture draw in audiences of all ages.
Meghann holds an MFA from the Animation Workshop at UCLA and is currently an independent filmmaker and an assistant professor at DePaul University in Chicago.
Michael Cusack lives and works in Adelaide in South Australia. His first major award was an Australian Film Institute Award in 1985 for the short film Waltzing Matilda. Since then Michael has forged a career as director of both high end television commercials and a number of highly successful short films. He has received the prestigious Master’s Chair Award from the Adelaide Advertising and Design Club a record six times and received the President’s Award from The Adelaide Art Directors for outstanding achievements in TV/Cinema. In 2002 he was made an Honorary Member of the Australian Cinematographer’s Society in recognition of his contributions to the National Film Industry. In 2006 he was again awarded an AFI for Best Short Animation for his film Gargoyle. He has received numerous other awards and nominations over his career, including Cannes, The London Internationals, The New York Festival, Anima Mundi, Stuttgart, Hiroshima, Berlin, Cinanima, The IF Awards and a nomination in the Australian Academy Cinema & Television Arts. (AACTA) His film Sleight of Hand was awarded Best Animation at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, making it eligible for consideration in the 2014 Academy Awards. The same film also received First Place in the Underexposed Film Festival yc that same year. Sleight of Hand was awarded an impressive thirty five awards worldwide by the end of its festivals run. Michael is frequently in demand as a speaker and has been invited onto the judging panels of many major film festivals.
Dick Feury has and MFA in Film & Television Production from New York University. He has worked on feature films, television movies and episodic television for the past 37 years as a First Assistant Director. He is also a member of the Directors Guild of America
Assistant Director, Directors Guild of America
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Green was watching "Annie Hall" at a movie house in Pittsburgh, where she was majoring in theater at Carnegie Mellon, when she noticed the credit “DGA Trainee.” She called the Guild to find out more. Upon graduation, she boarded a plane for Los Angeles (the trip was a gift from her parents) to take the entrance exam for the DGA Training Program.
She was chosen to be among a group of 10 trainees who rotated among shows at Universal Studios. The experience gave her a solid foundation in the basics—as well as a network of contacts that has helped her keep up a career for more than 30 years, most recently with stints as 1st AD on "House" and "The Temptations."
Assistant Director, Directors Guild of America
Daniella Koffler is an animation director. Co-founder, Manager and Creative Director of Moofa Production House (Moofa.info).
Daniella Graduated the Bezalel Academy of art and design in 2011. Her previous films, the list and stairs to no end have been screened at numerous international film and animation festivals and won awards. Her film "Compartments" has been screened at over 60 international festivals and won several awards including the Grand Jury Award at the 2018 Underexposed Film Festival yc.
Daniella is currently working on a feature film script, a TV series and short films for various customers.
Michael Rivers served in the US Army and upon return sharpened his computer and technology skills that he learned in service. Rivers is a Field Service Technician at Carolinas Health Care Systems and is co-owner of RiverSystems I.T. Consulting. A life long film enthusiast, Rivers posses a keen insight into all film genres.
Stock began teaching at Winthrop in 2004. Her specialty is modern and contemporary European art. She guest-curated an exhibition at Winthrop titled "Performing Gender" and investigates gender issues in her scholarship. Stock also received a Fulbright teaching scholarship and spent six months teaching art history in Beijing, China.
Winthrop University (Professor, Winthrop University College of Visual & Performing Arts)
John T. Williams is an award-winning screen dance filmmaker. His films have been presented in over 100 film festivals throughout South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States. His most recent film, "Jilava" has received over 12 awards and nominations, including awards for "Best Experimental/Avant-garde Film," "Best of Festival," and "Best Director." The film was recently presented at a lecture on "Dance and Spirituality" at the University of Theology in Graz, Austria.
His most successful dance film, “Black Train is Coming,” is based on the 1926 sermon, “Death’s Black Train is Coming” by Rev. J.M Gates, one of the most prolific black preachers in the US. The film was presented in the lecture at the joint conference of Society of Dance History Scholars/Congress of Research on Dance at UC Riverside as part of the presentation, “Bodies Among the Ruins: Dance Films Emerging Legacy,” and is also included in The ReelDance Moving Image Collection archive at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia for cultural research and curricula in dance and film studies.
John received his BA in Cinema at San Francisco State University. He also wrote, produced and directed several stage ballets featuring dancers from the San Francisco Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Oakland Ballet. For a full bio and more information about his films, visit www.JohnTwilliams.com.
John T. Williams
The only director to have directed both Frank Sinatra and Joey Ramone.
Mr. Arkush was also the executive producer of the TV series "Heroes" and "Crossing Jordan." He has producing credits on 7 other series.
His most recent Directing assignment; Netflix’s "A Series of Unfortunate Events" - the "Hostile Hospital" episodes earned him a DGA Nomination for Best Directing of a Children’s Show.
Mr. Arkush began directing episodic television in 1984 with the popular series Fame. He has Directed 16 TV pilots, 10 of which have gone to series. In addition to directing the pilots for "Hellcats" and "Crossing Jordan" which ran for 117 episodes. He has directed episodes of "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "NCIS," "The Good Fight," "CSI: Cyber," "Another Life," "Brain-Dead," "Defiance," "L.A. Law," "St. Elsewhere," "Moonlighting" (14 episodes), "I'll Fly Away," "Dawson's Creek," "The Practice," and "Ally McBeal." Arkush won an Emmy Award and received a Directors Guild of America Award nomination for directing the television movie "The Temptations." He also received Emmy nominations for his Directing work on "Ally McBeal," specifically the dancing baby episode, the third season finale of "Moonlighting," and as an Executive Producer on "Heroes."
His first love is musicals and has directed "Elvis Meets Nixon," "Shake, Rattle and Rock!," "XXX's & OOO's" and "Young at Heart," in which Frank Sinatra appeared.
A lifelong Film Buff, his Film Criticism can be found on TrailersFromHell.com where he is a contributing Guru. He also taught "Producing & Directing For TV: Creativity On Demand" at UCLA Graduate School.
Arkush began his career working for 5 years with Roger Corman in the mid-1970s. He co-directed "Hollywood Boulevard" with Joe Dante for which they were paid $85. In 1979 he made The Ramones cult favorite "Rock n' Roll High School," which Rolling Stone magazine named as one of the top-10 rock n' roll DVDs of all time.
Arkush resides in Los Angeles with his wife. Their two millennial daughters live in Brooklyn (of course).
Director, Directors Guild of America
Coretta Bedsole is a lover of films and the arts. She is a recently retired lobbyist who spent over 30 years working with the South Carolina State Legislature. She represented a wide range of nonprofits, professional and trade associations during her career. One of her favorite clients was IATSE Local 491. She is a graduate of Winthrop University and the mother of an amazing musician, Derrick Lee Johnson. She and her husband, George Johnson, currently live in Leon, Mexico.
Katherine Dudley is an educator and award-winning filmmaker. She is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies/Digital Production at Shorter University. Katherine loves sharing her passion with her students and is excited about mentoring the next generation of filmmakers. Katherine earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications/TV Broadcasting (1999) from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP), Master’s Degree in Trade & Industrial Education (2005) from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Master’s Degree in School Administration (2008) from UNCP, and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Film Production (2016) from Full Sail University. Katherine is the writer, director and producer of a Bronze Telly Award-winning short documentary, The Perfect Selfie. She is also the writer, director, and editor of an award-winning short comedy, The Bet. Katherine has several film credits in various positions and can be found on IMDb. She worked on the set of First Kill with director Steven C. Miller as the assistant to Bruce Willis and Hayden Christensen. Katherine also serves as a board member for the Rome International Film Festival and was the assistant for Burt Reynolds at the 2017 festival. Katherine has a passion for visual storytelling and education. She works on local film projects in the Georgia area when she’s not teaching.
John Gallen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker from Menlo Park, California. He attended Georgetown University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Government. During college John won Best Documentary at the Georgetown University Television Film Festival for "Maverick" - a short film about legendary surfing pioneer Jeff Clark. After graduating, he worked as a production assistant on the CBS series "The Crazy Ones." John attended graduate school at Wake Forest University where he studied under "Hoop Dreams" co-creator Peter Gilbert, and received his Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Film. As a graduate student he won Pitch Competitions at the New Orleans Film Festival and RiverRun International Film Festival.
John’s debut film, "Daddy," tells the story of beloved youth basketball coach and duplicitous drug trafficker Curtis Malone. The documentary was produced with cooperation from the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, and National Basketball Association. It has screened at numerous festivals across the country including the Brooklyn Film Festival and San Luis Obispo International Film Festival, and won several awards including a Platinum Remi from the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival. To date, the trailer has over 250,000 views on social media. John is committed to creating films that challenge our perspective and promote social, economic, and environmental justice.
Cashell Horgan, born in Ireland, is a multi-award winning filmmaker. He studied media at the College of Marketing and Design in Dublin. After graduating he specialized in stop-motion animation and made his first film winning the prestigious James Horgan Prize, Galway Film Festival.
While producing and directing short films inserts for television he also taught animation and film at the European School of Animation and the National Film Television School Ireland.
He has worked in film and TV as a Director and Editor. He has also made several television appearances regarding his work. Cashell has served as a Jury member for Fantasporto, Malta Short TV festival and Amarcort film.
Trained as a cinematographer for more than two decades, John has shot with some of the top directors on feature films, music videos and commercials. He won a prestigious Golden Lion award in Cannes for his AT&T International campaign. His feature credits include "Angel Town," "Stripped to Kill," "Personal Foul," "The Outsider," "Truth or Dare" and "Cocoon."
In addition to numerous commercial credits, John also has music video credits including Prince's "Kiss", Sheena Easton's "Eternity" and Vanessa Williams' "The Right Stuff."
After spending over thirty years as a photographer and reporter for newspapers, Terry Roueche realized that he was not so interested in writing or photographing what other people were doing, and looked to pursue photography as an art. Over the years, Roueche has explored numerous themes, working to develop a diverse body of work.
Terry Roueche began his career as a newspaper photographer and reporter. He opened his studio in 1976, and he teaches photography with a summer art program in France. Roueche has written numerous articles about photography and often gives talks and offers workshops to regional groups. He is primarily a commercial photographer, working with international, national, and regional companies, whose special interests are abstract images, larger format negatives, black and white landscape, portraiture, and fine art photography.
Filmmaker, Writer, Photographer
David is a supervising producer and manages production for digital content for The Great Courses Plus, helping to create and curate educational non-fiction programming. In addition, he serves as a creative director for g14 Productions, producing a variety of short and long form films with his best friend Matthew Balthrop. g14 Productions was honored to be a part of the UFFyc’s 2017 program, and honored even more to receive the Terry Roueche Audience Choice Award for the short "Single. Parents. Collection." that year. David is thrilled to have been asked to be a juror for the 2019 program.
David has been creating moving media for over 20 years as a writer, director, editor, and producer and appreciates being able to bring his experience and perspective to variety of projects, students, and organizations with who he’s had the pleasure to work.