Mary Evangelista is an award-winning filmmaker born in the Philippines with an MFA from NYU Tisch, Mary pursues transformative stories full of bullish heart and levity. Her film screenings include Tribeca 2019 (co-creator, Water Melts), Sundance 2019 (writer/director, Fran This Summer), and Slamdance 2018 (producer, Fish Bones). She is currently a Film Independent Project Involve Directing Fellow.
Stephanie Adams-Santos is a multidisciplinary Guatemalan-American writer whose work spans poetry, prose, screenwriting, and hybrid genres. Her work is rooted in the crossroads of ritual, ancestry, identity, and environment. Her full-length poetry collection, Swarm Queen's Crown (Fathom Books) was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, which celebrates excellence in LGBTQ voices. She is also the author of Total Memory (Finishing Line Press), and the award-winning chapbook The Sundering (Poetry Society of America), selected for a New York Chapbook Fellowship. Stephanie has an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and studied English and Human Biology as an undergrad at Stanford University. She has conducted poetry workshops at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, Literary Arts, Portland Community College, University of San Francisco, Reed College, Purchase University, Marylhurst, Portland Book Festival, NW Conference of Magic, and others. She is the founder of Tarot Obscuro and Ojo de la Selva Press. Stephanie's work has been generously supported by fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and Film Independent, as well as by grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Oregon Arts Commission. She is currently a screenwriting fellow with Project Involve.
Lorena Durán was born in New York and raised in Dominican Republic. She has shot many films with a great variety of cultural backgrounds, and her work has screened in numerous international festivals. She was awarded the Purin Foundation Scholarship and Tisch School of the Arts Scholarship for a M.F.A. in film with a concentration in directing and cinematography at N.Y.U.’s Tisch School of the Arts. Prior to moving to New York, she worked in film productions in Dominican Republic. She is a 2019 Film Independent Project Involve Cinematography Fellow and a 2019 Volker Bahnemann Cinematography Award finalist.
Born and raised in a city with not much else to do, Amy Ma found herself watching copious amounts of television and movies as a child. One of her favorite pastimes was renting flicks from the local Blockbuster to watch with her family. Naturally, she developed a passion for storytelling and took that passion with her to UC Berkeley, where she double majored in Film Studies and Social Welfare. Currently, Ma is the Assistant to the Partners at Literate, a boutique TV-focused management company, with dreams of developing content that challenges the status quo and inspires people to think outside the box.
Gia Rigoli is a producer raised on the United States/Mexico border, currently based in Los Angeles. At 22, she produced two feature films and is currently being mentored by Michael Apted in developing a documentary. Her first feature film, Rock Steady Row, premiered at the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival, taking home both the Narrative Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. Gia’s thesis film, Pasajeros en Trance was a Student Academy Award finalist and she was selected as a 2019 Berlinale Talent participant. Gia is also a Film Independent Project Involve Producing Fellow. Currently, she works as a freelance producer whilst developing her next feature film.
Apoorva Charan is an LA based producer who was born in Hyderabad, India and raised in Northern California. Charan started her television career at FremantleMedia Singapore, where she worked on major television series, including Asia's Got Talent, Thailand’s Got Talent, Vietnam Idol, and X Factor Indonesia as a digital producer before moving to New York to pursue her MFA in Film at Columbia University.
During her time at Columbia, Charan was awarded the Katharina Otto Bernstein Production Award and the Sarah Jones Safety Grant and produced over fifteen short films. Her credits include LIFE COACH, licensed to Gaia TV, ZENITH, a semi-finalist for 44th Student Academy Awards, NOWHERE, screened at the Museum of Moving Image as part of New York Women in Film's Immigrant Stories series, INTERIORS which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018 and was an official selection for Clermont-Ferrand 2019, and GREEN, which won the Short Film Jury Award for US Fiction at Sundance 2019.
Charan is a 2019 Project Involve producing fellow for Film Independent. Her current producing projects include GULAAB, a feature film set in Pakistan which was selected for the Open Doors Hub at Locarno in 2018, AKRA, a series set in coastal India, and FINS OF FURY, an animated children’s fantasy series set in the underwater world. Focused on diverse and innovative storytelling, Charan aims to produce refreshing and unique narratives for a global audience.
A graduate from Spelman College and Northwestern University School of Law, Adanne Ebo had one of her earliest bouts with critical thinking when her church dedicated an entire sermon to the “evils” of Harry Potter. A lover of storytelling, Adanne fell in love with producing when she produced her twin sister’s UCLA MFA short film. The sisters then co-founded Ejime Productions, with Adanne serving as lead producer. She loves animation, dark comedy, sci-fi, and fantasy. Her passions also include video games, fashion, and anime, along with training to become the Avatar—master of all four elements.
After editing trailers and music videos for several years in Korea, Sunghwan Moon moved to Los Angeles to attend American Film Institute. His thesis film, Tracks, starring Lakeith Stanfield, was screened at AFI Fest and won Audience Favorite Short Award at Miami International Film Festival. Moon has been working as an assistant editor on TV shows such as Jane The Virgin, The Originals, The Bold Type - he worked as an editor on one of episodes - and Roswell, New Mexico. He also recently edited a short film, Scrap, which won Best Director-Short Film; and nominated for Best Actress(Short) and Best Actor(Short) at Firstglance Film Festival. While trying to be a good editor, Moon also dreams of having a room with full of books and a long nice wooden desk.
Sam Neidenbach is a Production Designer currently living in Los Angeles. He grew up observing a variety of decors, calling home to Washington DC, London, Connecticut, and Stockholm.
Sam developed his passion of bringing fictional settings to life during his time at Chapman University, graduating with a BFA in Creative Writing. He told stories through settings and colors as echoes of his ever-changing childhood. In his free time he studied color theory and its interplay in story telling through designing many of his friends school projects and theses.
Since graduating, Sam has been a freelance Production Designer based in Echo Park. His primary focus lies in narrative, but he designs for music videos and commercial work as well. Recently, he designed a series that was an official selection of SXSW 2019. Currently he is involved in development for two features shooting this summer.
Emiliana Ammirata is a Venezuelan independent filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She is a Sundance Ignite Fellow ’17 and holds a BFA degree in Film from Chapman University. Her work has been featured in Variety, REMEZCLA, and most recently recognized by La Biennale Di Venezia. Emiliana currently assists the Documentary Film & TV department at Participant Media and is now producing two feature documentaries in Venezuela and a VR immersive experience with the Biennale College Cinema VR ’19. She is heavily influenced by her roots, and hopes to make relevant and timely independent cinema that does not satisfy itself to one method of storytelling.