SpeakersList of speakers that will be at the festival. This list will keep growing so stay tuned for updates!
Will Wallace Will has produced, written, & directed numerous award- winning films. He is a producer at Sunflower Films with Terrence Malick & Ed Pressman in L.A. His projects include executive producing the new IMAX film “Flatland: The Movie” (Martin Sheen & Kristen Bell), & directing the multi- award winning comedic feature entitled Dick, & Jason Alexander), “Clear Lake, WI”, (Michael Madsen) and “The Appearing”, (Dean Cain, Quinton Aaron) (Lionsgate release). Most recently, Will directed the feature entitled, “Red release). Most recently, Will directed the feature entitled, “Red Wing”, starring Bill Paxton, Frances Fisher and Luke Perry, which had a limited theatrical release and is On Demand in over 100 million homes (Warner Brothers). Will is now slated to direct the film “Trafficked”, shooting mid 2015. film “Trafficked”, shooting mid 2015. As an actor, Will has worked on over 40 films including: “The Thin Red Line”, “I Am Sam”, “Rules of Engagement”, “The New World”, “The Tree of Life”, and “Broke Sky” for which he received a best actor nomination from San Fran Indyfest. Will has also played roles on TV shows such as “Leverage”, “Beverly Hills”, ?90210”, “Pensacola” and “Baywatch”. He was recently seen in the film “Detention” (Dane Cook, Josh Hutcherson) and “Doonby”, both theatrically released and currently “On Demand”.
Justin Chang is senior film critic at Variety, also editing and overseeing film reviews for the Hollywood trade publication. His book FilmCraft: Editing, a series of interviews with 17 of the world’s top film editors, was published in 2011. He currently serves as secretary of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and also is a member of the National Society of Film Critics. A Southern California native, he holds a journalism degree from USC and lives in Pasadena.
Barbara is a member of the Writers Guild of America-West and has written screenplays for several production companies. Her most recent credit is as a co-writer with Benedict Fitzgerald on the 2013 Lionsgate release, Mary, Mother of the Christ. She also completed Polosuasion, a contemporary resetting of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. She wrote Fatima: Message and Miracle about the events that that took place in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 and is currently working on Theotokos, a story of the early Church. Barbara is an adjunct professor of cinema at Pepperdine University and Azusa Pacific University.
Brian Godawa has been a professional filmmaker, writer, and designer for over 20 years. As an award-winning screenwriter, his first feature film was To End All Wars, starring Kiefer Sutherland. His skills and experience quickly expanded to include writing and directing documentaries and video promotionals, as well as worldwide published articles on faith, imagination and movies. Brian’s book Hollywood Worldviews, is a staple of film departments in Christian colleges around the country. His Biblical fantasy saga, Chronicles of the Nephilim, is an Amazon best-selling series of novels.
Vicki Peterson is a screenwriter and founding partner of Catharsis, which offers script consulting. Vicki’s most recent writing projects include a television pilot, Alum Rock Ave, based on her hometown in East San Jose, which is in development at Cortez Brothers. She is also developing a feature called Mother at War, based on the inspirational true story of Mary Ann Bickerdyke with producer Ken Stewart. Her script, Jesus Stole My Boyfriend, was recently a finalist at the Broad Humor Film Festival, and her former projects include features, TV specs, and rewrites for smaller production companies.
Jason Jones is the Producer of Crescendo and Co-Executive Producer of BELLA, recipient of The People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. Crescendo, winner of 15 International awards and has raised over 5 million dollars for Pregnancy Centers across the United States and Canada. Jason’s “Movie To Movement” aims at transforming the culture with a message of beauty, truth, and love.
Mark Joseph is a music and film producer, author, and founder of MJM Entertainment Group. From 2000-2005 he worked in development and marketing for Walden Media and Crusader Entertainment and oversaw a 9-member grassroots marketing team. He is the producer of the feature films Tolkien & Lewis, Max Rose, and Reagan, a biopic of Ronald Reagan currently in pre-production. He has worked in the development and/or marketing of 40 films including Ray, Holes, I Am David, Little Boy, The Chronicles of Narnia, Because of Winn-Dixie, The Passion of The Christ, Son of God and others. His honors include the Frank Capra and a GMA Music Award for his role as producer of the rock soundtrack for The Passion of The Christ. In 2000 he co-founded the nation’s first spiritually-themed short film festival, the Damah Film Festival and is currently the president of the board of directors. Joseph is the author of four books including The Lion, The Professor & The Movies: Narnia’s Journey To The Big Screen and is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and the publisher of BullyPulpit.com.
Christopher Lockhart is a Hollywood executive, filmmaker and educator. He started his career at ICM working alongside legendary talent agent Ed Limato as his story consultant, advising him on projects for his star-studded clientele such as Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Gere, Steve Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and Liam Neeson. His tenure at the agency included running the Story Department, where he hired and trained story analysts, and managing the Agent Trainee Program. Chris followed Limato to the fabled William Morris and stayed by his side through the merge with Endeavor (forming WME) until the agent’s death in 2010. Chris remains at WME Entertainment as the Story Editor, helping to find projects for celebrated talent like Denzel Washington. Chris is also an award winning and Emmy nominated filmmaker. He co-produced the cult horror film “The Collector” and its sequel “The Collection.” He wrote and produced “Most Valuable Players,” a documentary about a high school musical theater awards ceremony, which was acquired by the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). He is currently in pre-production on “Crooked Creek,” a rural thriller. Chris is an adjunct professor at National University’s Professional Screenwriting Program. He has lectured around the country; published several articles on screenwriting; hosts a monthly call-in podcast, where aspiring writers pitch their scripts to him.
Starting her career doing news for companies like NBC News and Fox Entertainmnet, Martha Cotton transitioned to the world of feature films on UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, a movie set in the world of TV news. That film led to VOLCANO, where Martha produced, wrote, cast and directed all the news elements in the film. She served as either a first unit video producer/director or consultant on other films, such as DEEP IMPACT, ENEMY OF THE STATE, THE NEGOTIATOR, an HBO film, as well as an NBC pilot about the TV news business. Partnered with Peter Tortorici, she developed and wrote a miniseries for cable. She has also consulted with writers and producers in the script development process and is currently collaborating on several film and television projects with other parties. She also co-wrote and directed a 3D documentary about the origins of the universe and the Big Bang Theory.
Social media expert Ash Greyson is one of the leaders in this ever-changing industry. With more than 20 years of multimedia experience, Greyson is an innovator, a change-maker and expert in helping companies transition to the digital universe. In a space full of consultants, gurus and mind-numbing strategists, Greyson is measured by results. Some of the successes driven by Greyson are God’s Not Dead, America: Imagine the World Without Her, 2016: Obama’s America, Son of God, and many many more.
Paul Lauer, Founder and CEO of Motive Entertainment, designed and executed the record-breaking grassroots marketing campaigns for The Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia, Polar Express, and Rocky Balboa, collectively generating over $2 billion in global revenues. One of the most innovative marketing and development executives in Hollywood, frequently tapped to reach and mobilize huge audiences, Paul has been honored as one of Ad Age’s Top 50 Marketers of the Year. Paul also founded the successful YOU! Magazine for teens, and has worked with numerous celebrities and sports stars, hosted radio and TV shows, produced the World Youth Day Music Festival for over 100,000 young people (Denver, 1993), produced documentary television, co-authored four books, and has appeared on CNN, Fox, and TBN, and in over 50 newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal.
An internationally known writer and speaker, Phil Cooke has produced media programming in nearly 50 countries around the world. In the process, has been shot at, survived two military coups, fallen out of a helicopter, and in Africa, been threatened with prison. And during that time – through his company Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California – he’s helped some of the largest nonprofit organizations and leaders in the world use the media to tell their story in a changing, disrupted culture.
John W. Sullivan is a film producer and marketing executive with 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. He wrote, directed and produced 2016: Obama’s America, the #2 highest grossing political documentary in history, and produced Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, the #12 highest grossing political documentary. He started in the live music business working on over 100 headline concerts and music festivals ranging from small club shows to large amphitheater tours.
Clyde leads the Visual Story Network, a coalition of leaders in 80 nations working to expand a worldwide movement of media so everyone has the opportunity to encounter Jesus and His kingdom. Since the VSN launch in 2007, more than 100 projects, products and partnerships have been established reaching an estimated 2.3 million people. Prior to this, he developed new media for The JESUS Film Project and coordinated the campus work of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
Christina Lee Storm
Christina Lee Storm is an international independent producer who has collaborated with filmmakers from around the world. Her most recent producing credits include To Save A Life, The Least of These, and Flesh: Bought & Sold in the U.S., a documentary about the widely overlooked yet widespread practice of human trafficking in the United States. Christina was Production Supervisor for the highly acclaimed, 2012 Oscar-winning film The Artist. She was Manager of Digital Production at Rhythm & Hues Studios (R&H), which recently won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for their ground-breaking visual effects work on Life of Pi. While at R&H in digital production management, Christina also worked on over a dozen films including The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Happy Feet, and most recently Hunger Games, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Christina currently is Executive Director of Act One, Inc. where she provides leadership and vision for the 15 year innovative, faith-based training and incubator for writers and producers in film, television, and digital media. Her latest producing project is a documentary about Rhythm & Hues.
Eduardo most recently produced and appeared in the World War II drama Little Boy, starring Oscar nominated actors Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson, which was released Spring 2015. He was also seen alongside Kevin James in Sony Pictures’ Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Born and raised in northern Mexico, Eduardo left home for Mexico City at the age of 18 to pursue a career in entertainment. He toured the world with Latin pop sensation Kairo and is an acclaimed solo artist. In 2004 Eduardo graced the cover of People en Español’s 50 Most Beautiful People edition. In 1997, Eduardo signed an exclusive television contract with TELEVISA and appeared on some of the network’s highest rated shows. He followed this success landing the lead role of Thomas Fuentes in Twentieth Century Fox’s 2003 film Chasing Papi, alongside Sofia Vergara, Roselyn Sanchez, and Jaci Velasquez. Additional credits include CSI: Miami and Charmed. In 2012 he starred in For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada alongside Andy Garcia, Peter O’Toole and Eva Longoria. Last year, Eduardo executive produced the Spanish Language version of Mark Burnett’s, “Son of God.” Eduardo also voiced ‘Jesus Christ’ in the translated version of the film. Taking a step behind the camera, Eduardo opened L.A. based production company, Metanoia Films, with the goal of producing films that had the potential to not only entertain but also to make a difference in society. His first feature film, Bella, which he produced and starred in, won the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award.
Jose Alejandro Gomez Monteverde is a Mexican film director. His first film, Bella took top prize at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival by winning the “People’s Choice Award”. The director of the Department of Citizenship gave Monteverde the “American by Choice” award for Bella’s positive contribution to Latino art and culture in the U.S. Monteverde directed and co-wrote Little Boy, a film set during World War II released in May.
Raised in San Francisco the second oldest of five children, Way dreamed of being a professional ballerina. However, a sudden move to Oregon and being cast in her very first play changed those plans. She quickly threw herself into theater and never looked back. She studied Shakespeare and theater at Portland State University, and vocal training in Vancouver, B.C. In Los Angeles she has continued her study with Joan Scheckel, Steppenwolf Theater West, and Will Wallace. She has been seen on TV as a regular on SyFy’s Alphas, and ABCs Detroit 187, as well as appearances on The Mentalist, Agents of SHEILD, Betrayal, Castle, Grimm, Greys Anatomy, Warehouse 13, Hawaii Five-0, and Private Practice. Most recently she filmed a pilot for HBO called “New World,” directed by Gus Van Sant. In film, Way has worked with acclaimed directors such as Joe Dante, Bryce Dallas-Howard, Ron Howard, and Mark Ruffalo. She resides in Los Angeles and is in a perpetual state of trying to find a hobby outside of acting.
Dean Yamada is a filmmaker and professor at Biola University, where he teaches courses in production and post-production. Cicada marks his fifth collaboration with students and first feature film as director. His previous collaborations with students have screened at Venice, Clermont-Ferrand and Aspen Shortsfest, and won awards at Heartland, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and Sapporo Short Fest. As a media educator, he has twice received the King Foundation Best of Festival award at the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts.
Kristle is the voice singing the Oscar award winning song Can You Feel the Love Tonight in Disney’s animated film The Lion King and a prolific songwriter with a catalogue of over 100 songs. Her voice can also be heard on the sound track for The Lady Killers, as well as on two made for television movies: Voyage of the Unicorn; and In Search of Dr. Seuss. Raised in Washington, DC, Kristle started singing at the age of five and began playing piano at ten. She began her professional recording career when she sang a duet with the legendary gospel great Andraé Crouch titled I’ll Be Thinking of You from the Grammy Award winning album of the same name. Her first album titled I Can’t Let Go, featuring six of her original songs, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Contemporary. Three years later, she was nominated for a Grammy for Best Soul Gospel Performance, Female for the song Jesus Come Lay your Head on Me from the Andraé Crouch album No Time To Lose. Throughout her career, Kristle has worked on album projects of superstars such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguillera, Brandy and Barbra Streisand to name a few. She has been a staple in the Andraé Crouch camp and was a featured soloist on four of his critically acclaimed albums.
Susan E. Isaacs
Susan Isaacs is a writer and comedienne with many credits in TV and film, including Planes Trains & Automobiles, Scrooged, “Seinfeld” and a recurring role on “Parks & Recreation.” She is an alumna of LA’s famous Groundlings sketch comedy troupe. Her memoir, Angry Conversations With God, was named a top-ten religion book of the year by Publisher’s Weekly and Relevant magazine. She is a regular contributor to Donald Miller’s Storyline blog and teaches at the Storyline conference. She travels the country speaking and teaching at churches, colleges and conferences, including Calvin College’s Festival of Faith and Writing, Catalyst conferences, and many others. Susan’s solo show, Angry Conversations With God (based on her memoir), is an official entry at the United Solo Theater Festival in New York this fall. She earned an MFA in screenwriting from the University of Southern California, taught graduate writing at Pepperdine University, and currently teaches screenwriting and sketch comedy at Azusa Pacific University.
George Escobar is an award-winning filmmaker for feature films and documentaries. He directed THE ISAIAH 9:10 JUDGMENT which was Amazon’s No. 1 Faith DVD for 75 weeks. It was based on the New York Times Bestseller THE HARBINGER by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. Escobar also co-wrote/co-directed and produced ALONE YET NOT ALONE, which garnered a controversial 2014 Oscar Nomination for Best Original Song. His latest film includes HERO, released by Capitol Distribution. Previously he directed and produced COME WHAT MAY, distributed by Provident Films. Other recent documentaries Escobar directed for WND Films include: BLOOD MOONS, THE RABBI WHO FOUND MESSIAH and TRAPPED IN HITLER’S HELL, which is being made into narrative feature. He also co-produced END TIMES EYEWITNESS with Joel Richardson and Joseph Farah.
Escobar was a producing fellow at the American Film Institute. He is Vice President of WND Films and TV and co-founder of Advent Film Group. Previously he was Vice President of Product Development for Discovery, Executive Director at AOL/Time Warner, and Vice President for Tele-TV. He holds seven U.S. patents for interactive design and technologies. Escobar is a regular speaker at many Christian film festivals and homeschool conferences.
John William Doryk
John William Doryk is an award winning composer, who has been creating original music for film, television, and theater for over 25 years. Doryk eventually studied the craft of film composing under one of Hollywood’s top orchestrators, Steven Scott Smalley. He has had his work aired on The Discovery Channel, History Channel, PBS, ABC Nightline, BBC, FOX Network, Netflix, various theatrical venues and many independent feature films and documentaries. He has also worked with Focus on the Family Films, Compassion Intl, NRB Network, and Answers in Genesis. In 2010, he won “Gold” at the prestigious Park City Film Music Festival for his work on “For Love of Liberty:The Story of America’s Black Patriots” hosted by Halle Berry and featuring the voices of Morgan Freeman, Samuel Jackson, Avery Brooks, Allan Rickman and many others. In 2014, he provided original music to the PBS national special “Unsung Heroes”, directed by Frank Martin and produced by Ron Howard. He spent much of 2015, composing music and songs for Sight & Sound Theater’s latest theatrical musical, “Samson” as well as music and sound design for Stone Table Films latest feature film “Badge of Faith”. He currently resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado with his wife and two children.
Beverly Holloway has been a Casting Director for TV and feature film for almost 20 years and is proud to be a member of The Casting Society of America. Focusing primarily on independent films, Beverly has had the opportunity to work with some of the best actors in the industry. Credits include the soon to be released comedy MOMS’ NIGHT OUT starring Patricia Heaton, Sarah Drew, Sean Astin, Harry Shum Jr. and Trace Adkins. Other film credits include TRADE OF INNOCENTS (starring Dermot Mulroney, Mira Sorvino), a film on which Beverly also served as Associate Producer, as well as the David Zucker comedy AN AMERICAN CAROL (starring Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voight, James Woods, Dennis Hopper, Kevin Farley), THE ULTIMATE GIFT (Starring James Garner, Abigail Breslin Drew Fuller, Brian Dennehy), BOBBY JONES: Stroke of Genius (Starring Jim Caviezel, Claire Forlani, Malcolm McDowell, Jeremy Northam), and the award winning film LIKE DANDELION DUST (Starring Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Cole Hauser). In addition, Beverly is responsible for casting the children’s video series HERMIE & FRIENDS with amazing talent such as Tim Conway, Don Knotts, Richard Kind, Judge Reinhold, John O’Hurley, Fred Willard, Tahj Mowry and Vicki Lawrence among others
Kim Dorr-Tilley is the co-owner of Defining Artists Agency . She has worked in entertainment, specifically with on-camera talent, for over 30 years. She developed and ran the Casting Department of The Arthur Company, an independent television productin company, for nine years. She cast many hours of comedy and drama for cable, syndicated, and prime time programming while also finding and developing talent for the company. She jumped across the desk in 1993, becoming a talent agent at the Bobby Ball Agency where she headed up the Children’s and Young Adult TV/ Film Division and started the Adult Theatrical Department. In 2002, Defining Artists, an Adult Theatrical Boutique Agency, was born out of the Adult Theatrical Department of BBA. In 2005, Kim took over ownership of Defining Artists with her business partner.
Charles B. Slocum is assistant executive director of the Writers Guild of America, West, with responsibility for strategic analysis, residuals enforcement, membership, diversity, and other administrative areas. Slocum has worked for the guild since 1987. Prior to that, Slocum worked in finance at Paramount Pictures, in audience research at ABC and as a game show judge at NBC. He has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. In his spare time, he has earned an MA in theology and the arts at Fuller Seminary and is pursuing a PhD there. He is chair of Act One and is active at Bel Air Presbyterian Church.
John Bucher is a storyteller, author, filmmaker, screenwriter and culture creator. He owns Sideshow Media Group, a culture communications company that produces film, music, comics, novelties and literature around areas of spirituality, pop culture and americana. He has been a speaker and teacher on story and matters of faith on 5 continents and teaches regularly at The Los Angeles Film Studies Center. He is based out of Hollywood, California.
Mr. Cale Boyter has been Executive Vice President of Production at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., since March 2008. Mr. Boyter served as Executive Vice President of Development of New Line’s. He worked on and executive produced some of New Line’s most successful films including “Elf,” “Wedding Crashers” and “A History of Violence.” Mr. Boyter got his start in the entertainment business with Paradigm Talent Agency. He joined New Line in 1998, and served as its Executive Assistant to Executive Vice President of Development for 10 years. He also shepherd the 2008 New Line releases “Semi-Pro,” “Pride and Glory” and “Journey 3D: To the Center of the Earth.” Mr. Boyter graduated from SMU in Texas.
Bryan E. Miller
Bryan E. Miller is a creative film composer, dedicated to maximizing the emotional impact of visual media by creating powerful, evocative film scores. He is founder of SENSORY OVERLOAD MUSIC, a music production company providing original and licensed music to clients including DISNEY, 20TH CENTURY FOX, LIONSGATE, NBC, CBS, ABC, and A&E. Bryan most recently worked with John Sullivan, Dinesh D’Souza and Academy Award-winning producer Gerald R. Molen to score the feature film, AMERICA: IMAGINE THE WORLD WITHOUT HER – one of the highest grossing documentary of all time. In addition to Bryan’s extensive work in film, his compositions are featured in film trailers, Super Bowl commercials, and shows such as AMERICAN IDOL, DANCING WITH THE STARS, NEXT TOP MODEL, and ACCESS HOLLYWOOD.
Karen is a producer, co-owner of Joint Effort – a film production company, and co-owner with her husband Jim, of JC Productions – a music production company. Karen has had extensive experience producing TV specials, documentaries and children’s programming; such as Coordinating Producer for the PAX special Changed Lives: Miracles of the Passion, as Associate Producer for Headliners & Legends with Matt Lauer, as Co-Producer for the television special America’s Throwaway Children, starring Dennis Franz and Danny Glover and as Post-Production Producer for the animation company TMS Entertainment, Inc.. She has also produced documentaries DVDs for HPN entitled The Hollywood Crisis, The Hollywood Tribe and The Hollywood Community and directed a short doc. for Go Public. She has written episodes of the TV Series The Incurables, created and produced the rock gospel music show pilot Good News Rock, and was Associate Producer with Shari Lewis for two of her Home Video series, One Minute Bedtime Stories and One Minute Bible Stories. She is currently in development with the feature film Charley Parkhurst.
James Covell began his career writing music immediately after graduating in music composition from USC. He has been working ever since scoring, songwriting, conducting and arranging in every medium. James has written scores for many feature films, including DENACE THE MENACE CHRISTMAS, THE LIST and LEFT BEHIND, recorded with the London Symphony. That Soundtrack CD, and twelve other soundtracks are available on his website at www.JamesCovell.com. Along with his work in film, James has worked for all four of the major networks scoring Pilots, TV Movies, Specials and Series. Currently running is “Last Shot With Judge Gunn” on syndication and recent scores are his themes on the new Veria Health Network and two TLC series, U.S. MARSHALS and THE HUNT FOR AMAZING TREASURES, along with his score on the TV Special CHANGED LIVES: MIRACLES OF THE PASSION. James has also written a full-scale musical play entitled A HOUSE DIVIDED and an Orchestral Trumpet Concerto. His other commissioned Orchestral works premiered with great success by the Denver Symphony.
Howard G. Kazanjian (born 1942) is an American film producer known for Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Kazanjian is also a former 8-year Vice President of Lucasfilm, Ltd., and a published non-fiction author. As Lucasfilm’s Vice President of Production, Howard Kazanjian was intimately involved in the day-to-day strategic and practical operations of Lucasfilm during the times immediately after the 1977 release of Star Wars until approximately 1984 or 1985.
Michael Levine is a writer and public relations expert. He is the author of numerous books on public relations including Guerrilla P.R. He has represented 58 Academy Award winners, 34 Grammy Award winners, and 42 New York Times best-sellers, with such names that include Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, and George Carlin. Levine also appeared in POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, the 2011 documentary by Morgan Spurlock.
Alfred Hopton is a PR professional. Hopton began his career at Rogers & Cowan. He has worked for Carl Samrock Public Relations, the Laugh Factory, NBC Enterprises, B|W|R Public Relations and recently Triple 7 PR. Throughout his career Hopton has handled media relations for such companies as WWE, Ripe Digital, MEN7/Bennett Media, The Gersh Agency and Gersh Sports, New Wave Entertainment and more. Hopton has handled media relations for major companies, television shows, authors, entrepreneurs and talent. In recent years, Hopton has worked with ITV Studios America on “America Now,” Discovery Channel for “The Devils Ride,” Associated Television for “The Hollywood Christmas Parade” and the Hallmark Channel’s daytime talk show “Home & Family.”
Leo Partible is a storyteller. He tells stories through his screenwriting, comic books, music, and film. He began in the entertainment industry as a storyboard artist, mentored by legendary comic book and animation artist Nestor Redondo. In the film industry, Leo was a film executive for different production companies, developing comic books into feature films. As a writer Leo contributed to several books including Behind the Screen: Insiders on Faith, Film and Culture, The Gospel According to Superheroes: Religion and Pop Culture (with a Forward by Stan Lee), the Forward to Who Needs a Superhero, Filipinas: A to Z and co-wrote the story for the comic book series Killer Stunts, Inc. Leo has also written for InfuzeMag.com, IESB.net online and Risen Magazine in print. His public speaking includes panels and lectures at U.C. Berkeley, Azusa Pacific University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Biola University, as well as pop culture gatherings such as the Damah Film Festival, Sunscreen Film Festival, Stan Lee’s Comickaze, Hollywood Black Film Festival and the San Diego Comic-Con. Leo has been interviewed by NPR, The Atlantic Monthly, Publisher’s Weekly, World Magazine, The Washington Post, Fanboy Radio, and many other outlets. His album “Parallel Worlds and the Eucatastrophe” will be released on iTunes. He is a screenwriting consultant and also teaches screenwriting online at Act One.
Van Partible is a Filipino-born American animator, writer, and producer best known for creating the animated television series Johnny Bravo. A successful player in the animation industry for over 15 years, Partible has produced countless hours of quality animated shows all around the globe. He excels at writing and developing characters and stories while working hands-on with entire crews and staff in 2D and Flash animation. He has produced original materials for Film Roman, Walt Disney Television Animation, Fox Kids and for NBC’s Medium, for which he was the animation producer for the premiere of the third season. Partible is currently serving as executive producer for Cartoon Network Asia’s original programming, teaches animation workshops at Loyola Marymount University, and he is working on a pilot for Disney as well as a video game titled Dancers of War.
Buzz Dixon is a writer best known for his work on the G.I. Joe cartoon, though he also worked on other Marvel/Sunbow projects for Hasbro properties, including My Little Pony, Inhumanoids, Jem & the Holograms and of course Transformers, specifically the Generation 1 cartoon. Dixon created Hector Ramirez, a character that he inserted into several of the above cartoons, thereby—he claims—uniting them into one universe. He also created Cobra-La, whose name he apologizes sincerely for. Outside of his work for television, he also did work for Marvel Comics and Eclipse Comics as well as the “Buck Rogers” game.
Jim Krueger graduated Marquette University with a degree in Journalism. He won two Addy Awards during his first year as a copywriter. A year later he became a creative director at Marvel Comics and has since become a freelance comic book writer/property creator. His original works include the Foot Soldiers, Alphabet Supes, The Clock Maker and the soon-to-be-released, The Last Straw Man . His first short film, They Might Be Dragons , which he wrote, directed, and produced won “Best In Class” at NYU and a “Best Short Film” award from The New York Independent Film Festival. Other comic book writing includes the award-winning Earth X trilogy for Marvel Comics, as well as Avengers, X-Men, Star Wars, Matrix and Batman , and he has since introduced two new comic book formats. Jim is also president and publisher of his own comic book entertainment company, 26 Soldiers, and was named as one of the top ten writers in comics and an innovator in the field by Wizard Magazine.
Cory Edwards made his feature film debut with Hoodwinked, but he has already had a long career as a filmmaker. Involved in almost every creative area of the business for over twenty years, he has served as writer, director, producer, actor, animator, art director, and editor. After founding Blue Yonder Films in 1995, Cory produced and acted in his brother’s feature debut, Chillicothe, an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival. Soon after, Cory and his brother Todd pitched a Red Riding Hood crime story to a private investor, and Hoodwinked was born. Made totally outside of the studio system and for a tenth of the cost, the film was picked up by moguls Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Cory worked with the voice talents of Glenn Close, Anne Hathaway, Chazz Palminteri and Jim Belushi, and voiced the coffee-addicted squirrel, “Twitchy” himself. He also wrote two of the songs for the soundtrack. Hoodwinked was one of the top grossing movies during its theatrical release in spring of 2006, and has since grossed over 150 million dollars worldwide. Since Hoodwinked’s success, he’s written its sequel, the sci-fi feature Escape From Planet Earth, the web series Krogzilla Gets A Job, Roger Cosmonkey (the world’s first Twitter Series) and a ton of Veggie Tales episodes. Cory has developed projects for industry greats like John Davis (producer of the Predator franchise, Chronicle), Paul Schiff (producer of Rushmore), John Shestack (producer of Air Force One) and Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Taken) and most notably Fraggle Rock: The Movie for the Jim Henson Company.
Dana Niu is an award–winning composer. In 2010, the music she composed for Dean Yamada’s film Jitensha won Best Original Score at the Sapporo International Short Film Festival. Most recently, her score for the film Fort McCoy won Best Music at the 2012 Milan International Film Festival. She is based in Los Angeles and her work spans well over 100 films, including orchestrations for the films Avengers: Age of Ultron, Gone Girl, The Prestige, The Wolverine, and The Conjuring. She recently completed composing the score for Final Recourse starring Teri Polo, Chazz Palminteri and Tia Carrere.
Matthew began his career in film working for MJM Entertainment Group on the production, development and/or marketing of the films such as The Hornet’s Nest, America: Imagine the World Without Her, Persecuted, Little Boy, and more. Matthew produced the feature film Cicada, which has begun to make the rounds at film festival. It recently won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. He also produced the upcoming film The Unknowns, a documentary on the extreme dedication shown by soldiers that guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
Kelly Greyson is an actress best known for her break out role in “Alone Yet Not Alone,” and “Return to the Hiding Place.” In her work, Kelly portrays an uncommon poise and authenticity as well as an aptness for the physically demanding roles she often plays. Kelly was seen this summer in the film “Little Boy,” which featured an all-star cast including Michael Rappaport, Kevin James and Emily Watson. Most recently Kelly portrayed “Maggie,” starring next to Rance Howard and Ivan Sergie in Broken Memories. Earlier this year, Kelly played opposite Sean Astin in the film Woodlawn. She also plays the leading role of Jocelyn Stewart in the period film “To Have and To Hold,” due out next year.
Kelly is also a dedicated advocate of many charitable causes, most of which involve helping the most vulnerable and innocent among us … children at risk. She gives tirelessly of her time, energy and resources to many benevolent organizations. This includes groups that fight human trafficking, care for orphans around the world, and promote religious liberties. Kelly believes that we can all live beyond ourselves and uniquely contribute in our own way to make a difference in the world. She also believes that setting such a personal example is the best way to motivate others.
Aaron has been a wedding videographer and business owner for the last four years. When he first moved to Los Angeles in 2008 I began working at the age of 18 as a music video and commercial director in Hollywood. After directing music videos for two years, he found his true passion – visual effects and teaching people about filmmaking. Aaron began teaching on YouTube where he would upload tutorials on visual effects (VFX Bro 212,865 subscribers and 10 million tutorial views). Over the last few years Aaron been able to teach visual effects across the globe on vfxbro.com while shooting/editing my own projects on the side. Having worked with his college dorm mate Zach King for 7 years on visual effects intensive videos, you may recognize some videos from Aaaron’s recently started Facebook page dedicated to making fun videos with Animals utilizing the visual effects skills he’s learned over the years.
Mark Sommerville is a writer and creative producer for The Zach King Team. Led by viral video sensation Zach King, the six-person team creates videos each week for millions of fans across the globe through Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Their work has captured the imaginations of millions and has led to successful partnerships with Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Nike, and Coca-Cola, as well as The Oscars, American Idol, and many more. As a writer and creative producer for The Zach King Team, Mark not only writes and develops concepts for new videos, he also plays a crucial, hands-on role in determining how to “magically” bring those ideas to life on set.
Jakob Salvati is making quite an impression in Hollywood and at age 10, has numerous credits to his name. Jakob made his big screen debut in the 1940’s film, LITTE BOY, playing the lead, “Pepper Busby/Little Boy,” alongside Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Kevin James, and David Henrie; about a young American boy struggling to achieve the impossible – to bring his father back from World War II. Prior to that Jakob played the series regular role of “Boris,” in the ACB series, RED WIDOW, with Radha Mitchell. Jakob recently rapped a guest star role on the television series GRIMM for NBC that will soon air and before that the recurring role of “Tyler” for Sony Pictures Television series CLEANERS. Other credits include: Television’s Mad Men, Victorious, and Til’ Death; Independent film’s Escape From Tomorrow, Behavior with Friends, Nickel or Dime, Gospel Adventures and Silent Killer; National commercials for Target, Nintento Wii, and Harley Davidson. Jakob was also featured in Unthinkable, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss and Michael Sheen, and the 2011 festival award winning, short film, Crescendo.
Daniel Lusko is best known for the film Persecuted, which he wrote and directed. Lusko attended film school at the New York Film Academy and directed the documentaries Inside the Revolution and Epicenter based on Joel Rosenberg’s New York Times bestsellers as well as Never Surrender with Lt. General Jerry Boykin, that chronicled the true origins of Delta Force. In the past two years Lusko directed his first action/advendture feature film 500 MPH Storm and a gritty crime drama, 11 Seconds starring Casper Van Diem (Sleepy Hollow and Starship Troopers)
Tom is Vice President of Good News Communications dba the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry and Editor of MOVIEGUIDE®. Author of MYTH CONCEPTIONS: JOSEPH CAMPBELL AND THE NEW AGE and co-author with Dr. Ted Baehr of FRODO & HARRY, he has a doctorate in film studies from Northwestern University and has taught film and mass communication classes at several universities. Tom has also done postgraduate studies in philosophy, theology, and Christian apologetics at Mars Hill Academy and Simon Greenleaf University, now called Trinity Graduate School. He has more than 25 years of experience as a journalist, including a stint with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Orange County Register.
Bob is the president of the film marketing firm Propeller. He joined Propeller in 2006 and since then has marketed over 30 films, as well as run the operations of the company. As head of distribution marketing at Word Entertainment, Bob was responsible for selling and merchandising multi-platinum recording artists and videos and in 1999 he was recruited by Big Idea Productions, the award winning production company and creator of VeggieTales® to head up their sales department.
Dr. Gonzales is an award winning commercial film director garnering recognition with numerous Aurora and Telly Awards. His short film, “BRAVURA”, was awarded Best Director Short Subject Category at the Sabaoth International Film Festival in Milan, Italy. Bravura also received a prized nomination for best theatrical short or student film at the 20th Annual Imagen Awards held in Beverly Hills, CA. Dr. Gonzales was a 2010 American Doc Showcase film expert invited by the U.S. Department of State to represent the United States in Ecuador with Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Scott Hamilton Kennedy. Mike is currently serving the Writers Guild of America as a member of the WGA’s Education Committee. He is currently a consultant to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Video Production Unit and the City of La Verne Police Department.
Larry Ross is President of A. Larry Ross Communications, a full-service agency he founded in 1994 to provide cross-over media liaison to and from the Christian market. He has more than 38 years experience in mainstream and Christian public relations. A New York Times Magazine personal profile feature quoted him as saying his job is “…to find the sweet spot where faith and culture intersect.” His work includes consultation and ongoing representation for many of the world’s most influential Christian leaders, including Pastor Rick Warren; Christian ministries; churches; and national theatrical film releases, such as “The Passion of The Christ.”
Born in Newport Beach, California, Chad has twenty years of experience as a global strategist, international consultant, producer, published author and prominent speaker. Founder of Devonfield, Chad’s areas of expertise are global strategy, film and media production, and international marketing. Chad has worked at Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. A few of the companies he has consulted with include Cisco Systems, Moen, Nissan North America, PepsiCo, Pratt-Whitney and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Charlie Nelson is a Dynamic communication executive, publicist, and public relations expert. He has worked in the past as the Vice president of Buena Vista Picture Marketing, Senior Vice President of Grace Hill Media, and as an executive consultant to 20th Century Fox, Summit Entertainment, and Roadside Pictures becoming involved with such films as “Life of Pi”, “Ender’s Game” and “Gimme Shelter”. He currently works as an Executive Consultant or Rogers and Cowan one of the leading entertainment PR firms.
Joey O’Connor is the founder and executive director of The Grove. Joey is a writer, screenwriter, artist, creative coach and pastor. He’s written 20 books and an award-winning screenplay. He lives in San Clemente with his wife and family.
In 1998, he co-founded SLATE Entertainment Fellowship at Bel Air Presbyterian Church, which he led for 5 years. Now John is the Founder and Director of 168 Film, which has birthed nearly 1,000 short films since 2003, giving thousands of filmmakers a chance to grow and to learn about the craft.
Holly McClure is a multimedia personality with over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. Her background as a producer, creative director, film reviewer, filmographer, writer and media consultant, has made Holly a recognized name in the entertainment and faith-based community. Currently Holly is a Producer for the Word Network. Her Holly on Hollywood movie reviews and entertainment content, can be seen on numerous Parables.tv syndicated networks including; Daystar, GOD TV, NRB, and others. To her name is also a producer’s and director’s credit for the behind the scenes on “The Passion of the Christ”.
Mimi Sagadin began her acting career in Chicago during the 90’s and studied improv at The Players Workshop of the Second City.Since beginning her Film and TV career in 2005, she has appeared in over 40 projects. As an actor she has worked directly with Vince Vaughn, Ron Howard, Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah. And most recently John Rhys-Davies in “Return to the Hiding Place”, which she has the honor of playing Holocaust survivor, Corrie ten Boom.
After spending several years in the advertising industry, Peter Spencer founded Halo TV and Film. Peter has won numerous national awards for writing, producing and directing – including his TV series Heroes of the Faith shown on over 2,000 stations worldwide. His interviews with his mentor Hans Poley led him to research the Dutch Archives, life histories, and survivors of the Hiding Place and their friends. This inspiration created a world immersed in the realities of Holland in the 40’s, inspiring a meticulous, realistic script for Return to the Hiding Place. Now a fully-realized feature film, Return to the Hiding Place has won an astounding 19+ film honors and festival wins combined.
Since receiving her MFA from Yale, Rachel has consistently performed all over the world, from playing Maggie in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the English Theater of Vienna, to the world-premiere of the new musical “Fly by Night” in Palo Alto, CA. Most recently she played the role of Aty in Return to the Hiding Place.
Award-winning Producer; Senior Producer at Bromley Communications, an international leading Hispanic ad agency w/high profile clients including Trix, Cheerios, Progresso, and Fiber One. Most recently she was the producer on Return to the Hiding Place.
Jennifer Willingham is an entertainment PR and marketing veteran with more than twenty years of experience. A co-founder of Icon Media Group, Jennifer has worked on a variety of theatrical releases, DVD launches as well as more than 30 New York Times best-selling books and more than 500 faith-based best-selling projects plus numerous non-profit/cause campaigns. Together, the principles of Icon have helped sell more than 1 billion dollars in tickets and product sales. Recent entertainment projects include GOD’S NOT DEAD, the Kendrick Brothers’ forthcoming film WAR ROOM, the January feature CAGED NO MORE and the Broadway musical launch for “Amazing Grace”.
Margo Allsbrook has worked in various aspects of film and television: working in entertainment, reality programing and live action. She has worked for an NBC affiliate, ABC, worked as a packaging producer, sold a treatment titled “Danny” and written the screenplays “The Amulet”, “She’s Banking It” and “Enter the Arena.” She worked with Alan Landsburg Co, Steve Krantz, Taurus Films, Extended Media and independently as a writer, producer, director. She also published a series, Lotto Weekly and a documentary on California Lotto Winners. She also worked in capacities as a consultant, producer, director and editor for music video’s, That Kid and Promises, along with documentaries and coverage for live bands and events.
Stewart Schill has directed Charmed on WB, was 2nd unit director on Jericho at CBS, produced and directed specials for Discovery Channel, and most recently directed episodes of Nickelodeon’s hit show Big Time Rush. As an editor he has cut feature films, episodic shows, and pilots, most recently editing American Horror Story on FX, Battlestar Galactica at SciFi, and Dexter for Showtime, and has been nominated three times for an ACE Award. In addition to directing and editing Stewart has written and sold a number of award-winning screenplays, including The Continued Adventures of Reptile Man and Splashdown. His screenplay for Frank vs. God was a finalist at the prestigious Austin Screenwriting Conference competition, and was 1 of 5 of over 5,000 entries given that distinction.
Scott Schill is the producer of the film Frank vs. God, which his brother Stewart Schill Scott wrote and directed. Schill previously produced the independent feature Inheritance and the short film White Face which won the Audience Award at the Slamdance Film Festival among many other honors. Scott is an attorney at Yarmuth Wilsdon, PLLC in Seattle.