Top Film School Talent

In honor of its 110th anniversary, Variety selects 110 students who represent the future of film, media and entertainment.

Nayna Agrawal
AGE: 29
SCHOOL: Northwestern U.
MAJOR: MFA writing for screen and stage
HIGH MARKS: Agrawal’s plays have been produced in theaters in Chicago; Evanston, Ill.; Ithaca, N.Y.; New Bedford, Mass.; and Seattle. She was a writing intern with HBO last summer and the winner of an Emmy Foundation scholarship.

Viraj Ajmeri
AGE: 25
SCHOOL: Ringling College of Art and Design
MAJOR: Motion design
HIGH MARKS: Not only did Ajmeri intern with Psyop and the Mill, two premier motion design studios in New York, but also has been offered a job with the latter. Ajmeri’s national and local freelance work includes a new musicvideo for Jason Derulo.

Will Arbery
AGE: 25
SCHOOL: Northwestern U.
MAJOR: MFA writing for screen and stage
HIGH MARKS: Arbery’s “The Logic” was one of the winning plays for Theater Masters’ 2014 National MFA Playwrights Festival, and went on to be one of the winners of the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, granting Arbery a publishing/licensing contract with Samuel French. Arbery is also a performer, writer and filmmaker.

Brando Benetton
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Ithaca College
MAJOR: Film, photography and visual arts
HIGH MARKS: For Benetton’s senior thesis film, actioner “Nightfire,” he raised funds and gathered an international crew of almost 75 members, including professional stuntmen and actors, to film in various cities in northern Italy. During his semester in the Ithaca College Los Angeles Program, he interned at entertainment marketing and advertising agency Ant Farm.

John Berchtold
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: Columbia College Hollywood
MAJOR: Directing
HIGH MARKS: In 2013, Berchtold won ABC’s competition show “Make Me a Star,” with prizes including a $10,000 talent holding deal that’s ongoing. Berchtold writes, directs and stars in his own YouTube and Vine productions and is in production on a seven-part Web series for Eli Roth and Jack Davis’ Crypt TV.

Aron Bothman
AGE: 32
SCHOOL: CalArts
MAJOR: Character animation
HIGH MARKS: Primarily a stop-motion animator, Bothman was the recipient of the 2014 Princess Grace Awards undergraduate film scholarship. His student films “Still” and “Feast in a Fallen City” were featured in the CalArts Producers’ Show and have screened in film festivals in the U.S. and abroad. In 2012, he was a filmmaker in residence at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Marco Bottiglieri
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Columbia College Hollywood
MAJOR: Directing
HIGH MARKS: Bottiglieri is a director and producer whose work has been featured on the Student Television Network, at the SXSW Film Festival and the Los Angeles Movie Awards. He has also worked as a director of photography on projects including James Franco’s Web series “Undergrads South” and musicvideos featuring artists from “The Voice.” He shot the feature film “8 Days.”

Seth Boyden
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: CalArts
MAJOR: Character animation
HIGH MARKS: Boyden’s film “Hoof It” earned a Vimeo staff pick, was featured on the animation entertainment blog Cartoon Brew and screened at the CalArts Producers’ Show. Last summer he interned at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Stephen Boyer
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Relativity School
MAJOR: Film and digital content
HIGH MARKS: Boyer is working on producing his short film, children’s adventure “The Search for Starship One,” which he will complete this summer. His short film “Paradigm” won best overall film at the 2013 All American High School Film Festival and teen film at the 2013 YoungCuts Film Festivals.

Sydney Clara Brafman
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Pratt Institute
MAJOR: film
HIGH MARKS: Brafman has created several short films, including an animated piece titled “Spoiled Milk” that was screened at the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner. Brafman’s thesis film, “Squib,” will screen this May as part of Pratt’s film/video thesis presentation at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Canon Brownell
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Ithaca College
MAJOR: Emerging media
HIGH MARKS: Brownell spent two summers in Los Angeles interning with three different companies. While there, he shot “Broken Fate,” a project utilizing deserted locations to re-create a “Breaking Bad”-type environment. The movie won the 2014 Golden Doorknob Award.

Merlin Camozzi
AGE: 38
SCHOOL: UCLA
MAJOR: MFA directing
HIGH MARKS: Camozzi’s short film “What We Need” received the Sprite Films Green Ribbon Award and eventually became one of Sprite’s national commercials. It screened at some of the brand’s highest-profile events, including one during the BET Experience weekend in Los Angeles. Camozzi recently completed an industrial film for Morgan Stanley and is working as an assistant director on a scripted adventure pilot for the History channel.

Michael Canon
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Cal State Northridge
MAJOR: film production
HIGH MARKS: Canon is in post-production on his senior project film, Holocaust love story “When a Flame Stands Still.” He wrote the script and directed the film as a Hollywood Foreign Press Directing Fellow. Canon has also interned for Robert Townsend, was a camera operator for Val Kilmer and works as a development intern and story analyst for Mad Chance Prods.

Miles Carby
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: Savannah College of Art and Design
MAJOR: Film and television
HIGH MARKS: Carby is in production on a short film, “Paperous,” for which he raised more than $4,000 on Indiegogo.

Ali Castro
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: NYU, Tisch School of the Arts
MAJOR: Dance and journalism
HIGH MARKS: Castro, who is minoring in dance performance, is focused on professional choreography as a career path.

Deepak Chetty
AGE: 29
SCHOOL: U. of Texas, Austin
MAJOR: MFA production
HIGH MARKS: Chetty’s film “Hard Reset” is the first 3D UT thesis film. In addition to his directing and vfx expertise, films that Chetty has shot have been featured at festivals including SXSW, Silverdocs, Slamdance and the Seattle Intl. Film Festival.

Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
AGE: 30
SCHOOL: The Catholic U. of America
MAJOR: MFA playwriting
HIGH MARKS: Chisholm has written several plays and has been published in “InterJACtions: 75 Monologues by Some of America’s Finest Playwrights” and Arcadia, an online magazine. This year, Chisholm was honored with the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s first-place Hip-Hop Creator Award and second-place Lorraine Hansberry Award.

Nic Christopher
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Hofstra U.
MAJOR: Theater arts
HIGH MARKS: Christopher has designed professionally for several New York companies, including the New York Intl. Fringe Festival. He has interned with David Arsenault Design, Kef Theatrical Prods. and the Irondale Ensemble Project. He is the head of the Hofstra student chapter of United States Institute for Theater Technology. Christopher is writing a play about German prisoners of war and the families that housed them in Colorado during WWII.

Chris Cornwell
AGE: 31
SCHOOL: National Film & Television School, U.K.
MAJOR: MA screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: Already signed to literary agency Curtis Brown, Cornwell’s personal interest in 1980s sci-fi and horror genre films inspired him to write two short films set in space including “Exit Log,” which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, and “Dark Was the Night.”

Cameron Covell
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: USC
MAJOR: Film & TV production
HIGH MARKS: Covell is a 2013 YoungArts Winner in Cinematic Arts and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts whose short film “The Most Beautiful Thing” went viral, garnering more than 3.5 million views on his YouTube page.

Andrew Craig
AGE: 24
SCHOOL: Tulane U.
MAJOR: MFA musical theater
HIGH MARKS: Craig is an aspiring musical director who is directing Sondheim’s score “Into the Woods” for Tulane’s Musical Theatre Workshop.

Megan Davis
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Los Angeles Film School
MAJOR: Entertainment business
HIGH MARKS: Davis was accepted into the Recording Academy’s Grammy U program for students pursuing a career in the recording industry. Upon her graduation in May, her dream is to work for Disney music licensing.

Revati Dhomse
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Cal State Northridge
MAJOR: Film production
HIGH MARKS: Dhomse wrote and directed her senior project film, “The Death of Colm Canter,” while a Hollywood Foreign Press Directing Fellow. She has interned for a number of film development companies, including Chernin Entertainment, Valhalla Motion Pictures and Marvel Entertainment. She is penning episodes for a Web series, pitching a comicbook adaptation, polishing a TV pilot script and writing her first feature-length screenplay.

Jazmin Diaz
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: U. of Texas, Austin
MAJOR: Radio-television-film
HIGH MARKS: Diaz premiered her film “Carne Seca” at this year’s SXSW and won a fan in “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, who tweeted about the film. Diaz previously directed the shorts “Random Access Memory” and “Imprint.”

Sara Doering
AGE: 27
SCHOOL: Boston U.
MAJOR: MFA film production
HIGH MARKS: Originally from Germany, Doering premiered her first short “Am I Not Your Girl” at the 2014 Berlin Independent Film Festival. The short has since been screened in film festivals in over a dozen countries. She’s also directed several narrative shorts, as well as musicvideos. Her 2014 documentary “Tianjin Driver” was a finalist in the 2015 Redstone Film Festival.

Ross Domoney
AGE: 26
SCHOOL: National Film & Television School, U.K.
MAJOR: Directing documentary
HIGH MARKS: Domoney’s 2014 documentary, “Gazi to Gezi: A Stone’s Throw Away,” chronicling a revolt in Istanbul, has been selected for the European Independent Film Festival. Domoney’s previous documentaries have won awards at festivals including Thessaloniki and Prime Cuts, and his short “The High Price of Gold” won a Limelight award. He also shoots freelance videos for the Guardian.

Ciara Duggan
AGE: 24
SCHOOL: Boston U.
MAJOR: MFA screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: Duggan is working as a writing fellow in Boston U. College of Communication’s Writing Center and was recently awarded second place in the Fleder-Rosenberg Screenwriting Competition for her short script “Not Trying.” She has also participated in the Yale Writers’ Conference for screenwriting.

Emily Erhart
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Pratt Institute
Major: film
High Marks: Erhart has done commercial work for brands including Doc Martens, Lipton Tea and Pantene. After graduating, she aspires to launch her own production company, Skeletal Film Prods.

Daril Fannin
AGE: 26
SCHOOL: Loyola Marymount U.
MAJOR: MFA screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: As a combat medic-turned-screenwriter, Fannin is creating content for veterans and servicemen. He landed a position as writer-host-content creator at All Warrior Network and worked on post-production and graphics for the dramedy feature “Ktown Cowboys,” which recently screened at SXSW.

Mark Fingerhut
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: Pratt Institute
MAJOR: Digital arts, interactive arts emphasis
HIGH MARKS: In 2014, Fingerhut represented Pratt’s digital arts department as a finalist in LG Electronics Art of the Pixel competition. Fingerhut and his creative partner, Ian Faris, were featured on “Off the Air,” an anthology television series created by Dave Hughes for Adult Swim. As co-founders of the audio-visual group Wolfshirt, Fingerhut and Faris have performed and created content across the country.

Zachary Friedman
AGE: 23
SCHOOL: Cal State Northridge
MAJOR: screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: Friedman wrote, directed and produced feature-length film “Lori Sheedy, F*** You.” He works as a production designer and wrote a paper in an advanced film theory class that was recently accepted for presentation at the upcoming Society for Cinema and Media Studies Undergraduate Conference at Smith College.

April Rose Gabrielli
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Pace U.
MAJOR: Arts and entertainment management
HIGH MARKS: Gabrielli is a production assistant at Blue Man Group NYC, an artist management intern at Red Light Management NYC and the general manager and lead musician in the alternative rock band the Serotones. Gabrielli wrote, produced and directed an original rock musical.

Leah Galant
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Ithaca College
MAJOR: Documentary studies and production
HIGH MARKS: Galant’s documentary “The Provider,” which follows the story of a traveling abortion doctor, is a finalist at this year’s College Television Awards, sponsored by the Television Academy Foundation. Her other project, “Beyond the Wall,” about a former inmate and his successful re-entry to society, was screened at Visions Film Festival & Conference and at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth.

Joseph “JD” Gardner
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: School of Visual Arts
MAJOR: Computer art,
HIGH MARKS: A dean’s list student, Gardner worked as a production artist intern at Look Effects in New York City, where he was a 3D specialist on Darren Aronofsky’s feature film, “Noah.” Last summer, Gardner also participated in the highly competitive Pixar U. Program.

Juan Pablo Gonzalez
AGE: 30
SCHOOL: U. of Texas, Austin
MAJOR: MFA production
HIGH MARKS: Gonzalez’s film “The Solitude of Memory” won the documentary short prize at Slamdance and played at SXSW earlier this year. He has received a grant from the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts.

Samantha Gorman
AGE: 31
SCHOOL: USC
MAJOR: Third-year doctoral candidate in the division of Media Arts + Practice
HIGH MARKS: Gorman’s work explores the divide between novel, film and app. Her digital publishing experiment “Pry” was a finalist at the Future of Storytelling event last year.

Tyler Harmon-Townsend
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: U. of North Carolina School of the Arts
MAJOR: Filmmaking
HIGH MARKS: Harmon-Townsend’s camera work on “The Matador” won him second place in the Society of Camera Operators’ 2014 National Student Operator competition.

Melissa Hauser
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: Chapman U.
MAJOR: Creative producing
HIGH MARKS: Dubbed “a born producer” by Chapman faculty members, Hauser is one of five students selected to participate in the Cusamano Option Initiative led by Donna Roth and Susan Arnold (Roth/Arnold Prods.). As part of the initiative, Hauser was awarded $5,000 to option a script for Chapman Filmed Entertainment, the university’s feature film company.

Ellie Heagney
SCHOOL: Los Angeles Film School
MAJOR: Entertainment business
HIGH MARKS: A graduate of the Los Angeles Recording Studio, Heager is a 4.0 student and a member of the National Honor Society of the Entertainment Arts.

Tiahnn Heusmann
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: New York Film Academy
MAJOR: filmmaking
HIGH MARKS: A budding director studying at the school’s Sydney campus, Heusmann’s films often feature little to no dialogue. Her thesis film, which is in production, tells the story of a rocking chair as a generational heirloom.

Zach E. Hines
AGE: 32
SCHOOL: Los Angeles Film School
MAJOR: Entertainment business
HIGH MARKS: Hines’ thesis project, “Raise the Devil,” which he wrote, directed and produced, was accepted into the 2015 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival.

Jeff Hodges
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Chapman U.
MAJOR: Film production
HIGH MARKS: When he’s not updating his tech blog, Jeff Hodges is developing his take on performance-capture technology, aiming to combine camera tracking, skeletal data and facial motion capture.

Hayden Hoyl
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Pratt Institute
MAJOR: Film
HIGH MARKS: Hoyl’s short narrative film “Advent” has been selected to appear in Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner. He’s co-directing a project in collaboration with the American Ballet School and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mree Hsiao
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: NYU
MAJOR: Recorded Music
HIGH MARKS: Marie Hsiao (artist name Mree), of Taiwanese and Bulgarian descent, began writing her own songs at age 15. She released album “Grow” in 2011 and it debuted at No. 18 on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart.

Christene Hurley
AGE: 30
SCHOOL: U. of North Carolina School of the Arts
MAJOR: Filmmaking
HIGH MARKS: A two-time Semans Art Fund Grant recipient, Hurley saw her film “Helpless” screen at 11 film festivals and win honors at seven, including at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival, where it took the short prize from Women in Film & Television.

Tatianna Kantorowicz
AGE: 33
SCHOOL: Columbia U.
MAJOR: MFA, film
HIGH MARKS: Originally from Colombia, Kantorowicz has had her short film “Adelaida” run in local theaters ahead of features. She is finishing her thesis about Bogota — her first feature.

Clint Keller
AGE: 23
SCHOOL: Baylor U.
MAJOR: M.A. communication (emphasis in film & digital media)
HIGH MARKS: Keller’s work has already won festival awards including best film at the Knoxville Horror Fest Grindhouse Grind-Out in 2011 and a kudos at the Maryville Film Festival in 2011.

Rachel Kempf
AGE: 32
SCHOOL: U. of Texas, Austin
MAJOR: MFA screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: Kempf’s feature script “Erotic Romance” explores a marriage of convenience in an erotic novel publishing house. She co-wrote, co-produced and co-directed the comedic Web series “Texting With Gosling.”

Nada Khan
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Ringling College of Art and Design
MAJOR: Business of art and design
HIGH MARKS: A first-year student, Khan is working as the executive producer on indie “Art Is Dead,” building a marketing platform for the film and securing financial investors. She has also begun pre-production for her next project, a documentary film that investigates class disparity in India.

Zachary Korpi
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Baylor U.
MAJOR: M.A. communication (emphasis in film & digital media)
HIGH MARKS: Korpi is a Tiffen-trained Steadicam operator whose footage was used in a Visa commercial during the closing ceremony of the Olympics. His work has also been used for high-frame rate testing, shown at Hollywood Post/Professional Alliance Tech Retreat.

Emma Kragen
AGE: 25
SCHOOL: UCLA
MAJOR: MFA cinematography
HIGH MARKS: Kragen was hand-picked to be part of polar explorer and environmentalist Robert Swan’s Intl. Antarctic Expedition 2015. While on this journey, Kragen filmed a documentary showcasing the effects of global climate change. A Motion Picture Assn. of America Award recipient, Kragen’s second film is being produced by James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Prods.

Johan Lallerstedt
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Relativity School
MAJOR: Film and digital content
HIGH MARKS:The Swedish-Spanish director’s short film “Solus” won best film at the Hotchkiss Film Festival 2014. He interns at Relativity Digital Studios creating digital content in pre-production.

Tori Lancaster
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: U. of North Carolina School of the Arts
MAJOR: Filmmaking
HIGH MARKS: Lancaster has interned for the wardrobe department of “The Walking Dead” and with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. Her production design in the student film “Combustabilly” recently appeared at the Ivy Film Festival.

Christian Larrave
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Rhode Island School of Design
HIGH MARKS: Larrave’s feature, “Lesley the Pony Has an A+ Day” won the prize for undergraduate film at the Ottawa Intl. Festival of Animation. His work combines his interests in music and comedy.

Ron Lechler
AGE: 25
SCHOOL: U. of North Texas
MAJOR: MFA film, video and media studies
HIGH MARKS: A standup comic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the past eight years, Lechler follows amateur comedians in his documentaries. His film “Clip Joint” won the audience and short film award at the Regent Film Festival in Allegan, Mich.

Joanna Lin
AGE: 23
SCHOOL: Rhode Island School of Design
MAJOR: Film/animation/video
HIGH MARKS: “Soft Surprise,” a film Lin co-directed and animated with Koji Yamamoto in spring 2014, was part of RISD’s school reel and won best school reel at the 2014 Ottawa Intl. Animation Festival.

Daisy Lora
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: Ringling College of Art and Design
MAJOR: Business of art and design
HIGH MARKS: Lora cast, produced, directed and edited a one-hour documentary film in which she interviewed 15 students about their first experience kissing, drinking and smoking. The black-and-white film aired in a gallery, projected onto three walls simultaneously.

Magdalena Marinova
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: New York Film Academy
MAJOR: Animation
HIGH MARKS: Marinova’s prodigious illustrations have drawn rave reviews from her instructors, who describe them as “first class and getting more refined with each passing day.”

Daniel Masciari
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Ithaca College
MAJOR: Cinema and photography
HIGH MARKS: Masciari supervises student editing teams at Park Prods., Ithaca College’s professional video unit. He also edited “Water in the Cloudforest,” which won the Smithsonian in Motion video contest in the natural world category and nabbed the student documentary trophy in the Broadcast Education Assn.’s Festival of Media Arts.

Nicole McCormick
AGE: 26
SCHOOL: Boston U.
MAJOR: MFA screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: McCormick worked as a page at NBCUniversal and as a post-production coordinator on the FX series “The Americans.” She has also contributed to Cineaste Magazine and was recently chosen as a finalist in the Fleder-Rosenberg short screenplay competition.

Karina Mena
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: Allegheny College
MAJOR: Communication arts
HIGH MARKS: Mena is a lead technician in the Playshop Theatre and will attend the 2015 USITT Conference in Cincinnati, the leading professional conference for theater technology and production.

Alissa Milano
AGE: 23
SCHOOL: State U. of New York, Purchase
MAJOR: New media
HIGH MARKS: Milano’s work explores how our interpersonal relationships have changed as they’ve migrated online. In her senior thesis, she has created a set of videos in which she used text messages as a script for her and her ex-boyfriend, her friends and mother.

Daphne Montgomery
AGE: 47
SCHOOL: Los Angeles Film School
MAJOR: Entertainment business
HIGH MARKS: The founder of Bushveld Mission Home, an orphanage in South Africa, Montgomery’s primary goal is to create and produce inspiring, nonviolent films for abused and neglected children.

Jonah Nigro
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: Bennington College
MAJOR: Visual arts: animation, media and design
HIGH MARKS: Known for his provocative interactive installations, Nigro is leading a team that is creating a mobile app to enable creative young people to share their digital work with audiences in various specific locations.

Alexandra Osten
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: Pace U.
MAJOR: Arts & entertainment management and global marketing
HIGH MARKS: In an effort to reshape the world of entertainment, Osten created two student organizations: Successful Women at Pace and Universal Pace, a partnership with Universal Pictures catering to students interested in the film industry. Osten was also the recipient of the Ruth Whitney for Glamour Award from New York Women in Communications. Her senior thesis focuses on the relationship between social media and television.

Ian Packard & Tom Day
AGES: 23 (Packard), 22 (Day)
SCHOOL: National Film & Television School, U.K.
MAJOR: M.A. producing & directing television entertainment
HIGH MARKS: After completing their undergrad degrees in 2013, the pair formed their own TV production company, Front Lawn Films, which has produced short films, corporate videos, documentaries and sports coverage.

Wesley Palmer
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: Boston U.
MAJOR: Film and television
HIGH MARKS: Palmer created and directed the Web series “Paper Trail,” which takes a look at academic cheating and was a top-three nominee for the Emmy Foundation’s 2015 College Television Award for scripted series. Palmer’s professional credits include work on “Top Chef” and “NBC Sports.”

Hannah Sanghee Park
AGE: 28
SCHOOL: USC
MAJOR: MFA writing for screen & television
HIGH MARKS: A former U.S. Fulbright scholar, Park holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She received an Annenberg Fellowship and the Jay Roach Endowed Award for her feature screenplay “Contrary States” and is a CBS Writers Program Fellow. In 2014, Park’s first book won the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award.

Brian Pickens
AGE: 23
SCHOOL: USC
MAJOR: MFA interactive media and games division
HIGH MARKS: Pickens is employing his Native American heritage to design funny, educational games like “Awesome Ghost Hunting,” “Kitastrophy” and “Scared Stupid,” which are geared toward disadvantaged kids in his home state of Oklahoma.

Maria Cecilia Pugliesi
AGE: 32
SCHOOL: School of Visual Arts
MAJOR: MFA computer art
HIGH MARKS: A Fulbright scholar, Pugliesi holds an MA in animation and an MS in cognitive science and interactive media. In addition to interning at Blue Sky Studios, Pugliesi earned a School of Visual Arts Alumni Scholarship Award for her thesis project, “Shift.”

Adam Quinn
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: U. of Michigan
MAJOR: Directing
HIGH MARKS: Quinn began his directing career as a junior in high school, when he worked as an assistant director to Gordon Greenberg on “America Rocks!” at New York’s Lucille Lortel Theater. Now a senior at Michigan, Quinn has directed three full-scale plays on campus, including “Next to Normal,” “Rent” and “Into the Woods.”

Tyler Rabinowitz
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: NYU
MAJOR: Film & TV
HIGH MARKS: Rabinowitz is a 2011 YoungArts Winner in Cinematic Arts and a U.S. presidential scholar in the arts who creates his own short films. Rabinowitz has interned with Warner Bros. and “Sesame Street” and is shopping pitches for children’s TV series.

Allen J. Redwing
AGE: 37
SCHOOL: New York Film Academy
MAJOR: One-year filmmaking program
HIGH MARKS: Redwing has written and directed dozens of film and digital video shorts, including “#112,” which is based on the true story of a young woman haunted by a 911 call she made at age 5.

Malou Leth Reymann
AGE: 27
SCHOOL: National Film & Television School, UK
MAJOR: MA directing fiction
HIGH MARKS: In addition to being a TV and film actress, Reymann wrote and directed “13,” which won best short at Odense Film Festival in 2011, and the short “Copenhagen — Oslo,” which was nominated for a 2014 Danish Academy Award.

Erica Robinson
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Hofstra U.
MAJOR: Film/TV/video
HIGH MARKS: Robinson worked as a videographer, photographer and editor on Hofstra Entertainment Access Television Network’s “Thursday Nite Live” and “Director’s Cut” TV series, and produced the Long Island-focused arts series “For Your Island.” She also turned a 2013 internship with ad agency Slightly Mad into a full-time job as video production manager.

A.J. Roy
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Northwestern U.
MAJOR: Theater
HIGH MARKS: Roy is co-chair of the student-run theater coalition, StuCo, which puts on about 80 productions during the school year. The actor and playwright is also focused on theater business and earning a Kellogg School of Management certificate.

Evan Scott Russell
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: U. of North Carolina School of the Arts
MAJOR: Filmmaking
HIGH MARKS: Russell collaborated with director Christene Hurley to write and produce the short film “Helpless,” which earned awards at seven of the 11 festivals at which it screened, including the Humboldt Intl. and Nashville fests.

Brynn Sankey
AGE: 30
SCHOOL: Baylor U.
MAJOR: M.A. communication (emphasis in film & digital media)
HIGH MARKS: Sankey worked as a cinematographer on director Maverick Moore’s short film “Shotgun,” which will screen at more than 20 film festivals this year, including the Cannes Short Film Corner.

Larissa Schiavo
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: USC
MAJOR: Film and TV production
HIGH MARKS: Schiavo is the undergraduate showrunner of the USC Web series “The 2400 Club,” which chronicles a group of neurotic teenagers stuck in an SAT prep class. The series was selected for production during a three-day pitch event at USC.

Denali Schmidt
SCHOOL: Rhode Island School of Design
MAJOR: Film, animation, video
HIGH MARKS: As a multimedia producer, Schmidt has made short fiction films and animated films using stop-motion and traditional techniques. She’s shooting a short documentary about the prison system and the children of incarcerated parents.

Ethan Seneker
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Relativity School
MAJOR: Film and digital content
HIGH MARKS: Seneker has written, produced and directed more than 20 short films, including “Huckleberry Delight,” which won for direction at the All American Film Festival and the audience award at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth in 2014.

Russell Sheaffer
AGE: 27
SCHOOL: Indiana U.
MAJOR: Doctorate communication and culture
HIGH MARKS: Since 2012, Sheaffer has worked closely with theater director Jon Vickers at the Indiana U. Cinema program to help program the Underground Film Series. He also created the experimental film “Acetate Diary,” a camera-less film that cost $6 to make and screened at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. In 2014 and 2015, Sheaffer also served as co-director and co-programmer of Bloomington’s Iris Film Festival.

Emily Sheehan
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: Boston U.
MAJOR: Directing
HIGH MARKS: A 2013 Tribeca and 2014 Cannes intern, Sheehan won the 2014 New England College Emmy for her episode of the Web series “Welcome Back Brotter.” She also received the Adrienne Shelly Production Grant for her upcoming short, “Skipping Stone.”

Nicole Simmons
AGE: 19
SCHOOL: Los Angeles Film School
MAJOR: Entertainment business
HIGH MARKS: Simmons has written four feature-length screenplays and contributes film reviews to Moviepilot.com. She also serves as a peer adviser to students new to the campus, and her goal is to start her own production company.

Beto Skubs
AGE: 35
SCHOOL: UCLA
MAJOR: MFA screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: Skubs is a Fulbright scholar who is developing a TV project with Sony’s Crackle. The Brazil native’s award-winning screenplay “Fade Out: Painless Suicide” was turned into a best-selling graphic novel and his short film “Viver Outra Vez” was nominated for a grand prize by the Brazilian Film Academy.

Derek Speedy
AGE: 19
SCHOOL: Harvard U.
MAJOR: Undeclared
HIGH MARKS: Speedy has appeared in more than 30 stage productions and was the only freshman cast in Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ “Oops … Madrid It Again!” The freshman has also published and produced four on-act plays — On Stage Press, a division of Samuel French, is the publisher — and has served as producer and assistant producer on several on-campus productions.

Ruby Rae Spiegel
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: Yale U.
MAJOR: American Studies
HIGH MARKS: A 2011 YoungArts Winner in writing, Spiegel saw her last play, “Dry Land,” chosen as a critics pick by the New York Times and Time Out New York. Last year, she adapted Donald Barthelme’s short story “Some of Us had Been Threatening Our Friend” into a short film directed by Chris Rubino.

Nicolle Leigh (Colleigh) Stein
AGE: 21
SCHOOL: New York U., Gallatin School of Individualized Study
MAJOR: Individualized study in the adaptation of ancient, medieval, and modern literature for film & TV
HIGH MARKS: Stein was the Gallatin Review prose editor for two years and has made dean’s list all four years of study. She’s conducting research into the role fan communities play in the success and creativity of TV series.

Justine Stewart
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Chapman U.
MAJOR: Digital arts
HIGH MARKS: Stewart is producing a videogame for her senior thesis and also works full-time at gaming company Jumpstart, where she’s a narrative designer on DreamWorks Animation’s multiplayer game “School of Dragons,” a spinoff of DreamWorks’ feature “How to Train Your Dragon.”

Lucretia Stinnette
AGE: 33
SCHOOL: UCLA
MAJOR: MFA directing
HIGH MARKS: Stinnette is the recipient of the Princess Grace Graduate Film Scholarship from the Princess Grace Foundation USA for her film “Quyen,” about a young Vietnamese woman who is adjusting to an arranged marriage in South Korea.

Melissa Terry
AGE: 24
SCHOOL: Savannah College of Art and Design
MAJOR: MFA sound design
HIGH MARKS: Terry is a recipient of the Verna Fields Golden Reel award for sound editing on a student film and was the Foley artist on the film “Sea Odyssey.” Terry is the president of the Professional Audio Student Organization.

Matthew Thompson
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: Loyola Marymount U.
MAJOR: Film production
HIGH MARKS: Thompson, who made two award-winning features while still in high school, has received the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences student scholarship four years in a row and has won multiple awards from the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. He’s in post-production on his junior thesis film, a super 16mm spaghetti Western short, “Wild West Fan Co.”

Ian Timothy
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: CalArts
MAJOR: Experimental animation
HIGH MARKS: In addition to being a 2013 YoungArts Winner in Cinematic Arts, Timothy interned at Laika animation studios after his first summer in college.

Marisa “Ginger” Tontaveetong
AGE: 28
SCHOOL: Savannah College of Art and Design
MAJOR: MFA animation
HIGH MARKS: Tontaveetong has animated a cultural short film for the Atlanta Film Festival and is working with the festival office to connect young filmmakers all over the country with organizations like animators’ guild Asifa.

Tripp Townsend
AGE: 26
SCHOOL: New York Film Academy
MAJOR: MFA producing
HIGH MARKS: Already a pro at short form media, Townsend has 10 producing credits to his name, including the award-winning video short “Deliver Us,” which was screened at the 2014 Imagine Film Festival. He’s also worked with Red Light Management producing videos for their clients, including the musicvideo for the song “Lytah” by the DJ and musician Rusko.

Kristine Tsui
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: Ithaca College
MAJOR: Integrated marketing communications
HIGH MARKS: Tsui received a gold award at the AVA Digital Awards, recognizing excellence in digital communication. Tsui was a PA on “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” and “Tracers.”

Conner Troxclair
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Loyola Marymount U.
MAJOR: Animation
HIGH MARKS: Troxclair was the first-ever juror representing the U.S. for the Mexcal Award at Mexico’s Guadalajara Festival. Three years ago he started LMU’s Cinema Club, which remains a diverse hub for campus screenings.

Daniel Romero Uribe
AGE: 23
SCHOOL: Savannah College of Art and Design
MAJOR: Motion media
HIGH MARKS: Uribe’s piece “Memory Stream” won the Adobe Design Achievement Awards for Motion Media in 2014. Uribe, who maintains a 4.0 GPA, has been working closely with leading design houses since his sophomore year.

Claire van Ryzin
AGE: 23
SCHOOL: School of Visual Arts
MAJOR: Animation
HIGH MARKS: Van Ryzin has used traditional and stop-motion animation to create several shorts, including “Hot Bod,” “Gluteny” and “Tub.” She also served as a designer on the Ted-Ed original short “The History of Tattoos.”

Pierre Vanderweerd
AGE: 24
SCHOOL: Sheridan College, Ontario, Canada
MAJOR: Animation
HIGH MARKS: Vanderweerd has worked as an intern at Chucak Gammage Animation, contributing to a Rice Krispies ad and the animated feature “Curious George.”

Gaia Violo
AGE: 25
SCHOOL: UCLA
MAJOR: MFA screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: Prior to being accepted into UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Violo penned “Absentia,” which won second place at the 2014 Samuel Goldwyn Awards. Violo is currenly developing two TV projects, one with Sony and another with Sony Crackle.

Ping-Wen Wang
AGE: 27
SCHOOL: Loyola Marymount U.
MAJOR: MFA production
HIGH MARKS: A third-year graduate student, Wang competed for and was offered a position on a Martin Scorsese production, “Silence,” in Taiwan. “Silence,” set in the 17th century Japan, revolves around two Jesuit priests (played by Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield) who experience violence and persecution while spreading the gospel of Christianity. Last year, Wang’s film “Between Us,” about an unhappy wife’s passionate affair with her children’s female art tutor, screened at Palm Springs Shorts Fest.

Chantelle Wells
AGE: 34
SCHOOL: Loyola Marymount U.
MAJOR: MFA writing and producing
HIGH MARKS: Wells’ one-hour period drama “Verona” landed her the CBS Writers Fellowship and earned her a slot in the 2014 Austin Film Festival. Wells recently landed a staff writing job on the hit CW comedy “Jane the Virgin.”

Kevin Wolf
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: Chapman U.
MAJOR: Film production
HIGH MARKS: Wolf spent a week in the Virgin Islands shooting, editing and doing graphics for a video for Richard Branson’s Extreme Tech Challenge designed to find the most exciting new tech companies in the world, runs his own production company that has helped to create commercials for Red Bull and, as an intern for NBCUniversal, edited promos for “The Voice” and “The Blacklist.”

Darien Wulf
AGE: 20
SCHOOL: Baylor U.
MAJOR: film & digital media
HIGH MARKS: A standout student holding a 4.0 GPA, Wulf served as the continuity person for Baylor’s High Frame Rate shoot in which students shot several scenes at 120 fps to study motion blur. These tests were shown at the Hollywood Professional/Post Alliance. She was also one of five students selected by Baylor faculty to attend a master class with “Mad Men” costume designer Janie Bryant.

Zeyu Xu
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: School of Visual Arts
MAJOR: Film
HIGH MARKS: A native of Chengdu, China, Zeyu founded the Chinese Filmmakers Assn. of America to promote collaboration between Chinese and American filmmakers. His thesis film, “Clay of Indigo,” is a story of upheaval of identity, sexuality and self-awareness that results when an outgoing American journalist and a humble local ceramic artist fall in love.

Igor Yankilevich
AGE: 27
SCHOOL: CalArts
MAJOR: Film directing
HIGH MARKS: Yankilevich’s thesis film, “Emunah,” which explores the insular world of Orthodox Judaism, has drawn raves from faculty members and will be released as part of CalArts end-of-year screenings. Additionally, Yankilevich has been interning with Trigger Street Prods. (“Captain Phillips,” “House of Cards”).

Devon Young
AGE: 18
SCHOOL: Relativity School
MAJOR: Film and digital content
HIGH MARKS: Young is learning to translate her visions from stage to screen. She’s worked as an assistant to Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Warren Carlyle and Richard Jay-Alexander, executive director in the New York office of Cameron Mackintosh. She is working with Relativity Digital Studios as an intern creating digital content of the pre-production process of the upcoming digital release “Summer Forever.”

Matt Young
AGE: 42
SCHOOL: Cal State Northridge
MAJOR: MFA screenwriting
HIGH MARKS: Young was one of 10 writers chosen to participate in the inaugural Sundance Episodic Story Lab, where he workshopped a one-hour pilot, “Still,” set in the world of Depression-era moonshiners. He’s in negotiations to develop another pilot with Animal Planet and has been hired by MarVista Entertainment to write a feature-length crime thriller that is slated for production later this year. He is repped by CAA and Echo Lake Management, and will be included in the Blacklist’s 2015 TV Writers book.

Mitchell Zemil
AGE: 22
SCHOOL: NYU
MAJOR: Film and television
HIGH MARKS: Zemil leads a double life as an animator and live-action filmmaker. Zemil’s short, “The Ghost in the Scarf,” won third place at NYU’s New Visions and Voices festival and the 2015 James Janowsky award.

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