Sahar al-Sawaf (MFA, CalArts) is a visual artist and filmmaker from Iraq who moved to rural California as a child to escape the first Gulf War. Since then, she has traveled extensively in the Middle East with her sketchbook and camera in hand, chronicling the plight of refugees who have fled the region. Through documentary, animation, and storytelling, she sheds insight into this oft-misunderstood and opaquely veiled world.
Linda was an educator in the Yonkers Public School system for 32 years. As communications/media enrichment coordinator, she designed and implemented a curriculum for the gifted and talented elementary program. Upon her retirement in 2002 she began volunteering with JBFC education programs and currently serves as a session leader for See Hear Feel Film. She acts as board advisor on the Rivertowns Arts Council.
Theresa began her career as a film professor in the UK and has since worked with the Families First nonprofit educational center, developed curriculum materials for the American Museum of the Moving Image, and consulted for Witness. Theresa has a deep interest in teaching, inspiring, and mobilizing students to create media that advances social change. She has taught Reel Change, Reel Change for Nonprofits, Expanding the View, and the Summer Teachers Institute at the Lab.
Barbara taught elementary school in the Mount Vernon City School District for 30 years. In addition to her work in the classroom, she designed and implemented new humanities and multicultural education curricula. She was a member of the Strategic Planning Professional Development Committee and Mentoring Committee. Barbara has won many awards, including the Mosaic Award for excellence in Multicultural Education and the Community Service Award from the city of Mount Vernon. She has been a session leader for See Hear Feel Film since 2004.
Justin graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Film. He is a working cinematographer with five years of production experience shooting features, shorts, music videos, commercials, and documentaries. His award-winning films have screened nationally and internationally at festivals including Cannes, Slamdance, LA Indie Fest, NewFilmmakers New York, Female Eye Film Festival, and Glasgow International Film Festival. He is the Equipment Manager at the Media Arts Lab, and teaches the Creators' Co-Op Cinematography Workshops.
Leah is a 2016 Documentary Studies graduate of Ithaca College. She was the inaugural Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow and a pilot class member of our Creative Culture initiative. Her past documentary projects include College-Emmy-Award winning tale of a traveling abortion doctor The Provider, which screened at SXSW; Beyond the Wall, which focused on prison re-entry and screened nationally on PBS; and Kitty and Ellen, two best friends and Holocaust survivors. Leah currently leads workshops for Creators' Co-op.
Bill is an award-winning storyteller, author, musician, and educator. He is the author of Stories in Action: Interactive Tales and Learning Activities to Promote Early Literacy. He is the Director of Expressive Arts at the Episcopal School (NYC) and the Director of the Summer Arts Institute at Manhattanville College. He collaborated with the JBFC to create a curriculum for Seeing Stories, which uses storytelling and media to foster early literacy, and is teaching Family Tales.
Paige is a writer and filmmaker with a background in international relations and nonprofit work. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Political Science and received a Certificate in Screenwriting from NYU’s School of Professional Studies. Paige has written both feature and short films, served as a producer and production assistant on shorts and web series, and maintains a film criticism and analysis blog entitled Not Suitable for All Audiences.
Diane is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and experienced educator. She has taught for over ten years at the secondary and post-secondary level, and has both a M.F.A. in Documentary Filmmaking and a M.A. in Education. In addition to teaching, she works as a consultant and a freelance producer. She currently teaches Documentary Filmmaking and Creators' Co-op workshop, Editing: The Assembly.
Emily Ann graduated from RISD in 2016 with a degree in Illustration and a focus on Stop-Motion Puppetry and Animation. Prior to teaching, she served as the Fall 2016 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow, and was a pilot class member of our Creative Culture Initiative. As an adjunct faculty member, she leads crews and workshops in our Creators' Co-op program.
Posessing a passion for both food and film, Imani received her BFA in photography from Purchase College, and then graduated to the non-profit world at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. She is a native of Washington, D.C. and, naturally, an avid kung-fu film fanatic and cheese connoisseur.
Emily has overseen the JBFC education programs since their inception in 2001. She has consulted for non-profit film centers on the development of their school programs, and has presented at many national education and literacy conferences. She is an adjunct faculty member at Pace University's School of Education. Emily graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in English Language and a focus in Film Studies and received an M.A. in Education, Communication, and Technology from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.
John C. Koch is an independent filmmaker and photographer with a B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has produced two original feature films, Je ne sais quoi and The Seducer, and is currently at work on a third, Stalemate, to be released in 2014. He is the founder of Cinema Revolution Society, an organization dedicated to promoting film and film studies. He worked for Apple as a software trainer for four years and is an Apple Certified Pro in Final Cut Pro X. He currently teaches Adobe Premiere Pro.
With a background in oboe performance and arts administration, Sarah has worked in a number of arts administrative capacities at various orchestras, music festivals, museums and arts education organizations throughout the country. Sarah graduated from the University of Louisville School of Music with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and minor in Business Administration and also holds a Master of Arts Administration and a Certificate in Fundraising Management from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Gregory Lewis is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, with a B.A. in Media Arts. He works as a creative developer in the field of media production and is a freelance photographer. He has worked on two feature films, Horton Hears a Who and Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, as well as various short films. In addition to experience with Minds in Motion, he teaches A Taste of Animation.
Meredith is a documentary filmmaker, editor, and educator. With a combined background in outdoor education and media arts, her work often examines the intersection of technology and the natural world. Meredith began at JBFC as a volunteer with the Minds in Motion program. She currently teaches as a Video Specialist for Summer @ The Lab and Experiments in Media.
Ann joined the JBFC’s Education Department in 2009 as Registrar, overseeing registration and scheduling for public courses at the newly opened Media Arts Lab, before taking on the additional role of Administrative Director of Education. Ann is able to combine her background in accounting, conference organization, event planning, and administration management in her work at the JBFC. Ann has lived in Europe, Asia, and North and South America, working for nonprofit and corporate organizations.
Aaron has crewed on and produced numerous short films and has worked as a JBFC projectionist. He teaches Experiments in Media, Projects in Media, Special Effects and Make-Up, Seeing Stories, Storyville, and many other JBFC courses. He is also Camp Director for Summer @ the Lab.
Rob is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and film scholar. After majoring in film at Hobart College in Geneva, NY, he earned his M.F.A. in writing and directing from NYU. His feature-length screenplays include the kidnapping comedy Bus 12, a ghost story entitled Dead Born, and the comic drama Side Tracks. Now based in Pleasantville, NY, Rob continues writing features and teaches screenwriting at NYU. He teaches The Screenwriting Salon, and various screenwriting courses for the Creators’ Co-Op at the Lab.
Greg is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He is a freelance illustrator, author, and educator. His illustrations have appeared in educational books, magazines, and newspapers, and on posters and t-shirts. He is the coauthor and illustrator of a humor book for parents. He teaches traditional art classes for kids from preschool to college and is an instructor with Minds in Motion, KidToons, Advanced Animation, and A Taste of Animation.
Emily received her B.A. in Cinema Studies from SUNY Purchase College with a double minor in Art History and Gender Studies. She has interned at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Discovery Channel, Clocktower Productions, and Women Make Movies. Emily teaches Summer @ the Lab, Experiments in Media, Projects in Media, and Cinemania.
Anne Marie is an award-winning program designer, writer, and producer of educational media and national projects that nourish the best in the human spirit. With 30 years of experience, she has developed a national reputation as an author and educator whose curricula bring communities together. As founder and president of From the Heart Communications, she teaches See Hear Feel Film, as well as The Power of Story I, II, and III. She created the professional development course, Teaching and Technology in the Digital Age.
Brandon graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Electronic Media, Arts and Communication. While attending RPI he interned at IBM in the Software Division. He has also designed and scored independent video games as well as being an accomplished freelance writer. He currently teaches Experiments in Media.
Brady, a certified K–12 arts educator with a M.Ed. in Art Education, taught computer art on the high school level in Pennsylvania and worked on several films before joining the JBFC faculty. Brady has developed the JBFC’s Digital Storytelling programs, is managing the development and implementation of the Pre K-12 curriculum Image, Sound and Story and is a lead contributor to the growth, evolution and curriculum design for the Media Arts Lab.
Joe is an award-winning media designer whose work has been featured on television, in print, and at venues around the country. He has developed more than 40 children’s software titles, written 35 children’s books, and lectured widely on animation theory and visual intelligence. He created the JBFC’s Minds in Motion program for fourth graders and has guided the production of more than 300 animated short films in that program. He teaches A Taste of Animation at the Lab.
Darrel received his B.A. in Political Science from Boston College, attended New York Film Academy for screenwriting, and is a screenwriter and filmmaker. He teaches Experiments in Media, Projects in Media, Digital Music, and is JBFC Faculty on several school partnerships.
Reweina graduated from SUNY Purchase with a degree in Mass Media and Communications. As an adjunct faculty member, she has lead Editing: Cut it Out, part of Creators' Co-op for high school students, and taught as a specialist at the JBFC's Summer @ The Lab. Prior to teaching, Reweina produced a short film as the Fall 2015 Valentine and Clark Emerging Artist Fellow, and another as a participant in the JBFC's Creative Culture initiative. She works as an assistant editor in Westchester County and New York City.
Sean received his M.F.A. from Hunter College in Integrated Media Arts and a B.A. in Cinema Studies from SUNY Purchase, where he is now a faculty member. Professionally, Sean is a Lead Creative in the Private Cabin Collective and the director of the digital team, Brinkman, at the Upright Citizens Brigade. His recent feature We Are Strangers played as part of Newfilmmakers NY. At the Media Arts Lab, Sean co-leads the Creators’ Co-op, is a mentor for the teenage community, and hosts Friday Night Films @ the Lab.
Mike is best known for his role in The Blair Witch Project. He can also be seen in such films as The Objective and Altered and has guest-starred on two Law and Order series as well as Without a Trace. He has been teaching acting to youth since 2004. He holds a B.A. in theater and has recently completed his M.A. in school counseling. Mike works as a guidance counselor at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School in Yorktown Heights and teaches Acting for the Camera at the JBFC.
Nancy Woolf, who holds an M.A. in elementary education, volunteered with See Hear Feel Film and Minds in Motion for many years. She has taught See Hear Feel Film since 2009.