ABOUT
Lucy Adams

Lucy Adams

Adjunct Faculty

Lucy Adams is a documentary filmmaker from Hastings-on-Hudson and the summer 2016 Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow. A graduate of Kenyon College, her work has shown at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth and the AMLit Film Festival. During her fellowship, Lucy edited a documentary about a road trip she took with her grandfather to the Grand Canyon. Lucy has served as a teacher’s assistant for the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program (CSSP) and currently leads workshops for Creators' Co-op.

Sahar al-Sawaf

Sahar al-Sawaf

Adjunct Faculty

Sahar al-Sawaf 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. Sahar is a Valentine & Clark Emerging Artist Fellow and a member of Creative Culture, where she is working on an animated short film.

Linda Cimillo

Linda Cimillo

Adjunct Faculty

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 the third grade programs. She acts as board advisor on the Rivertowns Arts Council.

Theresa Dawson

Theresa Dawson

Senior Faculty / Program & Curriculum Development

Theresa began as a film professor in the UK and has since developed curricula for the American Museum of the Moving Image, consulted for media organizations Witness and Manhattan Neighborhood Network, and worked as an instructor at BRIC and an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College and Concordia College. She has a deep interest in inspiring students to make media that advances social change. Theresa is curriculum designer for Created Equal and develops curriculum for Image, Sound, and Story. She teaches various Courses @ the Lab.

Barbara De George

Barbara De George

Adjunct Faculty

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 the third grade programs since 2004.

Isabella Djurovic

Isabella Djurovic

Adjunct Faculty

Isabella is a game designer and writer who first joined Jacob Burns as an intern on Cinemania in 2010. She has since worked as a game design and computer programming teacher at public middle schools across Manhattan, and loves sharing her passion for games as an artistic medium. Isabella has most recently worked as a mission designer on the globally renowned PC and mobile game Hearthstone, and is currently earning her Masters of Fine Arts in Game Design at New York University.

Justin  Drobinski

Justin Drobinski

Adjunct Faculty / Technical Director, Media Arts Lab

Justin received a BS in Film from Boston University, where he focused on cinematography. After working in production and post-production, he joined the Jacob Burns Film Center in 2012 as part-time Equipment Staff. He is currently the Technical Director at the Media Arts Lab, part of JBFC Production, and part-time faculty. Working at the JBFC allows him to share his interest and experience in many aspects of filmmaking and media creation.

Adrienne Frank

Adrienne Frank

Education Outreach Coordinator

Before relocating to the East Coast and joining the JBFC, Adrienne worked for a variety of Midwest film festivals and art house theaters as an educator, programmer, and event coordinator. She has studied film as an undergrad at Eastern Michigan University and as a grad student at University of Kansas, primarily focusing on film exhibition and screenwriting. 

Leah Galant

Leah Galant

Adjunct Faculty

Leah is a 2015 Documentary Studies graduate of Ithaca College. She was the inaugural Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellow and a pilot class member of the Creative Culture initiative where she created Death Metal Grandma which is a NY Times Op-Doc and Kitty and Ellen that screened at Doc NYC. Her past documentary projects include a College-Emmy-Award winning tale of a traveling abortion doctor, The Provider, which screened at SXSW and Beyond the Wall. Leah currently leads workshops for Creators' Co-op.

Alex Gonzalez

Alex Gonzalez

Adjunct Faculty

Alex Gonzalez is a writer, filmmaker and virtual reality developer. He teaches students across the tri-state area how to get started in VR, including how to brainstorm, code, design 3D digital worlds and rapidly iterate ideas into practice. Recently, Alex served as Ridgefield Library's first "Maker-in-Residence" and was awarded New Haven's first ever "Creative-in-Residence". His debut VR film Beyond the Mountain will hit wide release in late 2018 and his debut VR Game Magenta will arrive shortly after. 

Bill Gordh

Bill Gordh

Adjunct Faculty / Seeing Stories Curriculum Designer

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 design Seeing Stories, a curriculum and professional development program that uses storytelling and media to foster early literacy.

Diane Hodson

Diane Hodson

Adjunct Faculty

Diane is an award-winning documentarian, podcast producer, and educator. She spent nearly a decade teaching at a public high school in Brooklyn prior to earning her MFA in Documentary Filmmaking from Wake Forest University. Diane teaches filmmaking and storytelling at New York University and Westchester Community College and produces serialized audio documentaries with Pineapple Street Media, most recently contributing to Missing Richard Simmons and Heaven's Gate. Diane also works as a story and outreach consultant for independent filmmakers.

Emily Ann Hoffman

Emily Ann Hoffman

Adjunct Faculty

Emily Ann Hoffman is an award winning animator, filmmaker, and artist. She has written and directed three short films thus far, Nevada (Sundance 2018), Ok, Call Me Back (Slamdance 2018), and The Emily & Ariel Show (LA Film Festival 2016). She spent 2017 as a Sundance Ignite Fellow and recently emerged from an Emerging Artist Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center. She is currently a screenwriting mentee with Sundance’s Feature Film Program. She has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Imani Humphries

Imani Humphries

Education Associate

Possessing 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  Keating

Emily Keating

Director of Education

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

John C. Koch

Adjunct Faculty

John C. Koch is a New York City-based writer/director, cinematographer, editor and photographer working in documentary and narrative film. He has made over a dozen original short films and three narrative features, with his fourth, The Red Goodnight premiering in 2018. He has taught at Jacob Burns Film Center since 2013. John is also the curator and founder of Cinema Revolution Society, an online resource for streaming cinema for international film lovers. John holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Sarah Lempke O'Hare

Sarah Lempke O'Hare

Manager of School Programs

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.

Ann MacDonald

Ann MacDonald

Registrar / Administrative Director of Education

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 Mace

Aaron Mace

Senior Faculty / Manager of Program & Curriculum Development

Aaron specializes in teaching people of all ages how to tell stories though video, animation, and photography. Having trained with master storyteller Bill Gordh, oral storytelling forms the backbone of his early childhood work, with students as young as four. Aaron focuses on supporting the stories while keeping the technology in students' hands to create new work. From 2009-2016 Aaron was the Director of the JBFC's Summer @ the Lab. He has also worked behind the scenes as a film projectionist.

Rob Morton

Rob Morton

Adjunct Faculty

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 various screenwriting Courses @ the Lab, including courses for Creators’ Co-op and Creative Culture.

Gregory Nemec

Gregory Nemec

Adjunct Faculty

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 for a variety of animation Courses @ the Lab.

Emily Ohara

Emily Ohara

Senior Faculty / Program & Curriculum Development / JBFC Kids Curator & Creative Producer

Owing her early passion for watching films to the Jacob Burns, Emily’s appetite for film stuck during college, leading her to a B.A. in Cinema Studies at SUNY Purchase. In 2018, Emily received her Masters in Educational Studies from Manhattanville College allowing her to continue finding innovative ways to effectively teach young people the power of film. Since 2010, she has been a JBFC educator who loves teaching, filmmaking, and exposing young viewers to films they never would have seen. And somehow, Emily still finds time to do yoga!

Anne Marie Santoro

Anne Marie Santoro

Adjunct Faculty / See Hear Feel Film Curriculum Designer

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 third grade programs, as well as adult writing courses. She created the professional development course, Teaching and Technology in the Digital Age.

Brandon Shenkman

Brandon Shenkman

Senior Faculty / Lab Courses Coordinator / Program & Curriculum Development

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 teaches various Courses @ the Lab.

Joseph Summerhays

Joseph Summerhays

Adjunct Faculty

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 also teaches animation Courses @ the Lab.

Darrel Swann

Darrel Swann

Senior Faculty / Program & Curriculum Development / Teaching Assistant Manager

Darrel received his B.A. in Political Science from Boston College, attended New York Film Academy for screenwriting, and is a screenwriter and filmmaker. As a Senior Faculty member, he teaches a wide variety of courses both on and off of the JBFC's campus.

Reweina Tessema

Reweina Tessema

Adjunct Faculty

Reweina graduated from SUNY Purchase with a degree in Mass Media and Communications. As an adjunct faculty member, she has lead 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.

Michael C. Williams

Michael C. Williams

Adjunct Faculty

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 an M.A. in school counseling. Mike works as a school counselor at Scarsdale Middle School. He teaches acting courses at the JBFC. Mike and his wife, Toni, also teach at their own studio in Hawthorne (www.mcwactingstudio.com) which they opened in 2016.

Nancy Woolf

Nancy Woolf

Adjunct Faculty

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 the third grade programs since 2009.