CARLOS RAFAEL BETANCOURT
CARLOS BETANCOURT was born and raised in Cuba, where he studied Film at the University of Arts. After winning the Central American funding contest CINERGIA, his short film LA ISLA DE CORCHO was selected by film festivals in Cuba and the U.S., including the New York City International Film Festival and the IFQ Festival in Los Angeles, where it was awarded Best Short Film. He moved to LA in 2012 and studied screenwriting in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program. He is currently a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute and the first Fellow to hail from Cuba.
Brent michael davids
BRENT MICHAEL DAVIDS is an award-winning composer of film scores and concert music, and a citizen of the Mohican Nation. Davids electronic and orchestral scores often employ Native American instruments and instruments of his own design, including his signature quartz crystal flutes. His scores have appeared on ABC, NBC, PBS and Hallmark. Davids trained at Sundance Institute with Shirley Walker (A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN), and apprenticed with Oscar-Winner Stephen Warbeck (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE).
DORIANE DESFAUGERES is an honors graduate from the University of California Davis with BAs in Psychology and Fine Art. After her post baccalaureate painting studies at Columbia University in New York City, she began exploring filmmaking opportunities. She has now production designed several short films and has worked in various art department positions on TV shows and indie feature films. She is currently pursuing an MFA degree in production design at the American Film Institute Conservatory.
JEANETTE X. GODOY
JEANETTE X. GODOY was raised in Inglewood, California and received her MFA in Acting with a Specialization in Costume Design from UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television. She is Associate Producer for Lone Stars Entertainment and was a recipient of the 2015 National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts Entertainment Scholarship Award. Jeanette is the owner of online vintage store LA PACHUCADA, and has styled/designed costumes for the Frida Kahlo Theater, Theater of Note, Cornerstone Theater Company, B.R.I.D.G.E. Theater Project, Michael Patrick Spiller’s WHITTIER BOULEVARD, Tatyana Yassukovich’s THE PERFORMANCE and most recently for a series of UCLA’s Advanced Films. “Nimitz tlacuiquilia ica noche nohc yohlotzi, ome yocan”- OMETEOTL.
Emma Eagle Heart-White
Emma Eagle Heart-White is a survivor, counselor, and advocate who is passionate about helping others find healing from mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual abuse from the impact of intergenerational trauma and historical trauma. She is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation and utilizes her foundational upbringing in Lakota culture, spirituality and language to support others to find their path to healing. She as a holds a Masters of Arts in Counseling (MAC) Degree with a Community emphasis from Lakeland College, a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Educational Policy and Community Studies, and an Interdisciplinary Degree in American Indian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She currently works as a Psychotherapist for Oneida Behavioral Health for the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.
Sarah eagle heart
Sarah Eagle Heart is a powerful storyteller whose deep perspective on healing trauma is rooted in her life story and experiences as a teen activist raised on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, and an internationally accomplished executive focused on education and advocacy on behalf of Indigenous peoples. She has spent the last decade centered on building momentum around healing and sustainability in the spirit of cultural revitalization - work that has been successful because of her influence and ability to activate key leaders and partnerships from grassroots to corporate level through capacity building. Her diverse background in tribal, corporate, and non-profit organizations focusing on communications, marketing, program development, and advocacy offers a vantage point that powerfully amplifies impact. Her latest philanthropy and influencer partnership as the CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy is VR project “Crow: The Legend” with BaoBab Studios starring John Legend, Oprah Winfrey, Tye Sheridan and Liza Koshy.
JOYCE LIU-COUNTRYMAN comes to producing after a career as a human resources consultant for Fortune 500 companies and doctoral studies in clinical psychology at the University of Hawai’i. She earned a BA from UCLA and an MS from the University of Wisconsin. Prior to attending the AFI Conservatory, she produced the award-winning feature film EAT WITH ME that premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, screened at over 60 festivals worldwide, and can be found on SVOD platforms. She has produced narrative shorts, music videos and industrials, and is an award-winning stage and film actor. Joyce believes in the power of narrative films to be a vehicle for social change.
PAOLA MAGRANS is a Sound Designer born and raised in Cuba where she Sound Design for 3 feature films, various documentaries and short films. After moving to Los Angeles in 2013, she worked in Live Broadcasting Sound where she won an Emmy for Best Live Sport Coverage in 2016. She has also worked as a sound editor for films like STORKS and ABC OF DEATH 2, and television Shows like BETTER CALL SAUL, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, LEGION and the 2018 Golden Reel (MPSE Award) winner for best Sound Effect Editing, OZARK.
Born in New Jersey but raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, BRIAN NGUYEN attended the University of Florida and studied Human Nutrition with no intent on becoming a filmmaker. After shooting photography for several years, Brian moved into filmmaking and realized it was his true calling. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking, Brian worked as a camera assistant on large-scale commercials, music videos, and features and eventually moved up, becoming a cinematographer. Since then, Brian has shot several short films that have premiered around the world and continues to tell stories through the camera.
You can see his work at: www.thebriannguyen.com
MARC SEDAKA received his BA from Cornell University and MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where he wrote, directed, and edited numerous short films including the Emmy award-winning THE WORK AGAINST JASE. His professional writing credits for film and TV include OVERNIGHT DELIVERY starring Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd, and two seasons on CBS’s THE KING OF QUEENS. He also taught screenwriting at UCLA and Columbia College. On the post-production side, Marc edited the low-budget comedy feature SUBPRIME in addition to seven short films at the American Film Institutes Conservatory.
HEAD MAKE-UP AND HAIR STYLIST
Born and raised in the city of Newark, NJ, MICHELLE SILVA has always been fascinated by the ability to transform a person through makeup. Eager to learn more about the art form, Silva enrolled into makeup school and graduated soon after, then starting her career as a freelance makeup artist. Freelancing in the east coast, Michelle gained experience in weddings, tv/film, theater and print, allowing her to expand to NYC as a published makeup artist. Motivated to take her career to the next level, Michelle moved to Los Angeles, California and is currently working as a professional makeup artist focusing on tv/film.
TAYLOR TOWNSEND, a Louisville Kentucky born and raised screenwriter, has always been attracted to personal stories. A firm believer that being open about our lives can inspire others, unknown to us, who are going through the same thing. He is a Columbia College Chicago graduate and current screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute Conservatory where he continues to hone his craft in hopes of raising awareness of various social issues.