FACULTY BIOS

JAMIE BABBIT
Artist-in-Residence

Jamie Babbit has directed four features and produced and directed multiple award winning television shows. Her feature credits include the queer comedy "But I'm a Cheerleader" which debuted at The Sundance Film Festival in 1999. Other features include "the Quiet" for Sony Classics starring Edie Falco and "The Itty Bitty Titty Committee" which won the grand jury prize at the SXSW film festival in 2009.

Babbit's directing television credits include HBO's GIRLS, Looking, The United States of Tara, Nip/tuck, The L word and Malcolm in the Middle. Babbit has been profiled in Out Magazine, Time Out, The LA Times, Filmmaker magazine and The Huffington Post and was listed by Variety as a "director to watch".

Babbit began her career as Martin Scorsese's intern on "The Age of Innocence" and worked underneath David Fincher on "The Game". She directed three shorts that premiered at Sundance and her last short "stuck" won a jury prize at Sundance in 2002.

Babbit graduated from Columbia University where she was a centennial scholar in foreign studies and grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

PATTY JENKINS
Artist-in-Residence

Patty Jenkins is a writer/director best known for her debut feature MONSTER, based on the life of convicted serial killer Aileen Wuornos, and helming the pilot episode of AMC's hit show THE KILLING.

Patty began her career as a painter at The Cooper Union in New York City. Upon transitioning to filmmaking, she spent eight years as a First Assistant Camera Person/Focus Puller. After attending the AFI in Los Angeles, she wrote and directed MONSTER.

Patty won BEST FIRST FEATURE at the 2004 INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS, and MONSTER was chosen BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR and #3 OF THE DECADE by acclaimed film critic Roger Ebert, and was voted one of the TEN BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR by The AFI. It also earned star Charlize Theron an OSCAR, GOLDEN GLOBE, SAG AWARD, and numerous critics' awards in the BEST ACTRESS category for her stunning performance.

Jenkins went on to direct many commercials and TV programs including Fox's cult hit ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, HBO's ENTOURAGE and the pilot of ABC's BETRAYAL. She was nominated for a PRIMETIME EMMY for THE KILLING pilot and for the final segment of FIVE - a series of short films about breast cancer for Lifetime she shared with fellow directors Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Demi Moore and Penelope Spheeris. She won the DGA AWARD for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series for THE KILLING pilot.

She recently directed the pilot episode of EXPOSED for ABC, and is currently scheduled to begin production on I AM SUPERMAN, a feature film that she also wrote in the summer of 2014.

KIMBERLY PEIRCE
Artist-in-Residence

Kimberly Peirce staked her place as a director of singular vision with her unflinching debut, BOYS DON'T CRY, which earned numerous honors including the Best Actress Oscar for Hilary Swank, the Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, and other awards for Swank and Chloe Sevigny, and the National Board of Review, FIPRESCI, and Satyajit Ray Directing Awards for Peirce.

Peirce's next film, STOP-LOSS, starring Channing Tatum, Ryan Phillippe, Joe Gordon Levitt, and Abbie Cornish, was a topical and emotionally penetrating drama inspired by real-life stories of American soldiers, including her own brother, fighting in Iraq and coming home. Peirce received the Andrew Sarris Directing Award for the film. For her latest film, Peirce directed a modern version of Stephen King's classic CARRIE. Starring Chloe Moretz, Julianne Moore, and Judy Greer, CARRIE is an American Cinderella horror tale of desire, sexuality, bullying, super powers and revenge.

Peirce received her BA from University of Chicago, MFA from Columbia University, is a graduate of the Sundance Institute's Writing and Directing Film Labs, and is a member of the Academy.

DAISY VON SCHERLER MAYER
Directing Mentor

Daisy von Scherler Mayer wrote and directed her debut film, PARTY GIRL, starring Parker Posey, which premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and was an instant indie hit that remains a cult classic today. The film's success led to a FOX television series.

Since then Daisy has directed the successful children's classic MADELINE for Columbia Pictures starring Oscar winners Frances McDormand and Nigel Hawthorne and based on Ludwig Bemelmans' famed books. For Working Title Films and Universal Pictures Daisy directed the Bollywood influenced comedy, THE GURU starring Heather Graham, Jimi Mistry and Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei. She has also directed two television movies, MORE OF ME for the Lifetime Network, and FRENEMIES for the Disney Channel. Daisy has written for television including the pilot PRICELESS for executive producer Lisa Kudrow and Warner Bros. Television. As a director of episodic television, Daisy has worked on a number of critically acclaimed series including, MAD MEN, NURSE JACKIE and SHAMELESS. Before her work in film and television, Daisy was a New York theater director and comedy improv performer. Prior to that, she studied both film and theater at Wesleyan University.

Daisy also trained at The Circle in the Square, Williamstown Theater Festival and Atlantic Theater Company, where she went on to work as a director. Daisy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, film composer David Carbonara, and two daughters, Ava and Colette.

MICHAEL URBAN
Screenwriting Mentor

Michael Urban is a graduate of the AFI Screenwriting program (Class of 2000). His first feature film SAVED! (co-written with Brian Dannelly) was produced by MGM/UA in 2004. He has since completed writing assignments for several major film and television studios including: Twentieth Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers Television, ABC Television, Lionsgate and HBO. His most recent feature film, WAVW premiered at the 2013 Outfest.

NICOLE ETTINGER
Production Mentor

Nicole Ettinger is an experienced producer and line producer with a background in entertainment law and film finance. Among her many credits, Nicole Co-Produced the critically acclaimed NATURAL SELECTION, which won the SXSW film festival in 2011 and was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards.

Most recently Nicole Co-Produced PERNICIOUS, a horror film shot entirely in Thailand (currently in post-production) as well as all 26 episodes of the Hulu series EAST LOS HIGH, a half-hour drama about teenagers living in East Los Angeles. In addition to her work producing and line producing independent films, Nicole has also worked as an executive for Grosvenor Park Media, a film finance company specializing in gap and tax-based financing.

Nicole received her M.F.A. in Producing from the American Film Institute in 2004. Prior to AFI, she practiced law in both Washington, D.C. and San Francisco where she represented media companies in all aspects of corporate law. Nicole received her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and her B.A. in English from the University of California, Davis. She continues to practice corporate and entertainment law on a contract basis.

MARCIE BEGLEITER
Faculty

Marcie Begleiter is currently writer/director of the feature documentary "Tracing the Rope:Eva Hesse," now in post-production. She has also been a designer and illustrator for features, television and stage working as art director and storyboard artist with Bill Condon, Jennifer Warren, Alex Cox, Paul Bogart and Jonathon Wacks. Her book "From Word to Image: Storyboarding and the Filmmaking Process" is a bestseller, available in 5 languages, and she is recipient of numerous grants including an NEA project grant, a Durfee Foundation award and a Foundation for Arts Resources grant.

In academia, Begleiter is one of the founding faculty members of the International Filmschule in Cologne, was the founding director of the Integrated Learning Program at Otis College of Art and recently was the director of Production Design and Pre-Visualization for the Graduate Film Department at Art Center College of Design. More details can been seen at www.marciebegleiter.com and Eva Hesse Documentary

BRUCE BLOCK
Faculty

Bruce Block is a producer, director, visual consultant and author. His producing credits include Baby Boom, the Father of the Bride films, The Parent Trap, I Love Trouble, What Women Want, Something's Gotta Give, Christmas with the Kranks, America's Sweethearts and The Holiday. He was the creative consultant on a variety of films including Irreconcilable Differences, Bachelor Party, Pretty In Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, As Good As It Gets, Affair of the Necklace, Spanglish, Stuart Little and How Do You Know.

Mr. Block has directed second units for feature films, television programs, commercials, documentaries, IMAX films, visual effects, industrial films and corporate presentations. Mr. Block founded the visual effects company Matte Effects and supervised work on over 100 feature film and television projects. Additionally, Mr. Block is the author of 'The Visual Story', which is considered the classic modern text on the relationship between story structure and visual structure. The book is available in six languages and is used all over the world by working professionals and film students.

Mr. Block is also a visual consultant and conducts seminar at a wide variety of studios and universities. His clients include: Aardman Animation, AFI, Binger Film Institute, Blizzard Entertainment, Blue Sky Studios, CalArts, Detroit College of Creative Studies, Direct TV, Disney Studios, DreamWorks Animation, EA, Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg, Google, Hasbro, Hewlett- Packard, ILM, Laika Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., Nickelodeon, Nord Media, PDI, Pixar, Relic Entertainment, Screen Training Ireland, Starz Cable Networks & Animation, Troika Design Group, UCLA, and Valve Software.

Mr. Block is a tenured professor at USC's School of Cinematic Arts and holds the Sergei Eisenstein Endowed Chair in Cinematic Design.

JOAN DARLING
Faculty

Joan Darling has been nominated four times for an Emmy, three times as a director and once as an actress. She won an Emmy for the ABC special "Mom's on Strike." She has also been nominated for two DGA awards, winning one.

She directed the episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show, "Chuckles Bites the Dust" which was selected the number one television episode of all time by TV Guide. In the nineteen seventies, she was one of the first women to begin directing film and television. She was the original director of "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman", and she directed the famous episode of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show", "Chuckles Bites the Dust" which the New York Times called, "The funniest half-hour in television history." She also directed many television pilots including the pilot of the hit show, "One Day at a Time", as well as such shows as "Phyllis", "Doc", "Rhoda", "Rich Man Poor Man". She is the only woman to direct "Magnum PI" with Tom Selleck. Scenes from the Emmy nominated Mash she directed were included in "The Best of Mash" She also directed two of the highest rated episodes of Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories", winning the "Image Award for "The Sitter". Her first feature film, "First Love" starring Susan Dey, was selected one of the year's ten best films by CBS.

Joan is also a well-known actress, having starred on and off Broadway as well as in London. She starred as Viola in Twelfth Night at the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Connecticut. She appeared for four years in the hit, award-winning improvisational and political satire show, "The Premise". And is well remembered as a series regular on the hit TV show, "Owen Marshall". Her performance as "Dorothy Parker" in "Woven in a Crazy Plaid" won her another Emmy nomination for acting. She will be starring in THE LAST SILVER ZEPHEYR at the New York Fringe Festival in August of 2005.

She is a world-renowned teacher. She has taught at Carnegie Mellon, where she served on the President of the University's advisory board for the department of drama, University of North Carolina, University of West Virginia, USC, and Cal Arts. She teaches at Robert Redford's Sundance film lab, and has created the "Directing the Actor Workshop" for the Sundance Institute. She has been a creative advisor for the Sundance film lab for thirteen years. She also teaches at Moonstone, the European branch of the Sundance Film Lab.

STEPHEN ENDELMAN
Faculty

Grammy-nominated composer, arranger and producer Stephen Endelman has successfully demonstrated his ability to write music and collaborate in a variety of genres. His scores range from lush, classical orchestrations, to contemporary, pop-driven tapestries. In the contemporary music world, Endelman has worked with music icons including Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Robbie Williams, Alanis Morissette, Natalie Cole and soprano Renee Fleming. As a film composer, Endelman has collaborated with Oscar®-lauded filmmakers including David O. Russell (Flirting With Disaster), Martin Scorsese (Kicked in the Head), Irwin Winkler (Home of the Brave), David Mamet (Redbelt), Bruce Beresford (Evelyn) and Robert Deniro (A Bronx Tale). Endelman's wide-ranging works have spanned the rich orchestral score for The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill, but Came Down a Mountain, to his minimalist, modern score for the hit comedy Flirting with Disaster.

His current project, Rob The Mob, reteams Endelman with Director Raymond De Felitta for whom Endelman scored the Sundance Film Festival award-winner Two Family House. Endelman's collaboration with De Felitta on Rob the Mob was a rather unique, creative working experience as the director opted to edit the film in the composer's Los Angeles studio. Endelman feels especially close to the subject matter of Rob The Mob because he lived in New York during the time of the original incident as well as personally met numerous mobsters during the production of ABronx Tale..

The British-born composer has spent his entire life honing his craft. Endelman began playing the clarinet at age seven and became a full-time scholar at The Purcell School of Young Musicians at age twelve. He studied composition at London's Guildhall School of Music Drama and the Banff School of Fine Arts in Canada. As a prodigy, he composed two operas and at the age of 18. He went on to write music for the Tony-Award winning Broadway production of Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten.

An ardent film-lover, Endelman moved to New Yorkin the early 1990's to pursue a career in film music. His first score for a feature film was Nancy Savoca'sHousehold Saints. He subsequently worked closely with Robert De Niro on his directorial debut, A BronxTale. In 2000, Endelman garnered critical praise for his unique score for Passport to the Universe, a public commission for the first Space Show in the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Subsequently, the show moved to Paris, France. He was then commissioned to write the music to the second planetarium show The Search for Life, Are We Alone? narrated by Harrison Ford which went on to the New York at the Museum ofNatural History.

Stephen Endelman gained scoring notoriety on indie films including The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, Household Saints and Jeffrey before composing for Oscar®-lauded filmmakers David O. Russell (Flirting With Disaster), Irwin Winkler (Home of the Brave), David Mamet (Redbelt) and Bruce Beresford (Evelyn). As the soundtrack producer on Winkler's film De-Lovely,Endelman arranged a number of classic Cole Porter tunes, culminating in a Grammy nomination for his work.

Stephen Endelman has scored nearly 100 film and television projects as well as produced numerous recording artists. Stephen Endelman has received numerous accolades including Grammy nominations and several ASCAP Film & TV Music Awards for scoring excellence. Additional, he was awarded the prestigious ASCAP Foundation Award as Resident Composer at the Metropolitan Opera Guild where he was a resident artist for several years. Endelman currently resides in Los Angeles.

JAY FLOYD
Faculty

Jay Floyd earned his BFA in screenwriting and directing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. His first feature, FORGIVING THE FRANKLINS, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2006. He is the sole proprietor of Now Clear This, a legal clearance company that has served film and television productions since 1998.

TIMOTHY GOOD
Faculty

Tim was born and raised in Oak Park, IL, and graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He traveled to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film editing. After 7 years of apprenticeship with mentors including Ray Lovejoy (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, THE SHINING, ALIENS) and Norman Buckley, A.C.E. (editor- professor-director), he began editing on television series such as THE O.C., GOSSIP GIRL, and FRINGE. He recently co-edited his first feature film, DEAD MAN DOWN, directed by Niels Arden Oplev of the Swedish film THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. He also edited the pilot and first season for Steven Spielberg and Stephen King's adaptation of UNDER THE DOME with Oplev. He most recently was co-producer for the NBC series BELIEVE, shepherding post production for Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams at his BAD ROBOT PRODUCTIONS. He will next be producer on AQUARIUS, an NBC event series starring David Duchovny. He is also a visiting professor at UCLA's graduate film program, and was recently inducted into the American Cinema Editors, an honorary society of elite editors in the industry.

MATTHEW HARRISON
Faculty

Matt Harrison's feature film KICKED IN THE HEAD was Executive Produced by Martin Scorsese, released theatrically by Universal and premiered as an official selection at Cannes. His network and cable television directing credits include SEX AND THE CITY for HBO. Matt's feature film RHYTHM THIEF won a JURY PRIZE at the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. Matt recently completed his new comedy MY LITTLE HOLLYWOOD and is now preparing his sixth feature film MENTIROSA. He has served on film festival juries around the world including Gijon International Film Festival, AFI Fest and Slamdance Film Festival. The production division of Harrison's company Film Crash recently produced Nick Flavin's CLOSE FRIENDS and Ben Rodkin's BIG HEART CITY starring Seymour Cassel (LIFE AQUATIC) and Shawn Andrews (DAZED AND CONFUSED). Mr. Harrison Executive Produced. Matt currently teaches film at UCLA Extension and has taught graduate film at CalArts. He has lectured at New York University Tisch, AFI, São Paulo School of Film, Brazil, Syracuse University and The New School For Social Research. Harrison won a full scholarship at the Cooper Union School of Art where he completed his BFA. He completed post-graduate studies at NYU. Matt is a Feature Film Director member in good standing with the Directors Guild of America, sponsored by Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.

DEBORAH LANDIS
Faculty

Deborah Nadoolman Landis, costume designer and historian, received an MFA in Costume Design from UCLA and a PhD in the History of Design from the Royal College of Art, London. Her distinguished career includes the horror/comedy Burke & Hare (2010), the classic Animal House (1978), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Coming to America (1988, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award®), and the costumes for the groundbreaking music video Michael Jackson's Thriller (1983).

Professor Landis is the author of many books including Screencraft/Costume Design (Focal Press, 2003), Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design (Harper Collins, 2007), Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration (Harper Collins, 2012), FilmCraft: Costume Design (Ilex Press, 2012) and the 2012 catalogue for the landmark exhibition, Hollywood Costume, which she curated at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and is currently on tour at the Phoenix Art Museum. Deborah Nadoolman Landis served as a two-term president (2001-2007) of the Costume Designer's Guild, Local 892, of which she has been a member for more than 35 years. She is a Governor for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Professor Landis holds the David C. Copley Chair and is the Founding Director of the David C. Copley Center for Costume Design at UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television.

HEIDI LEVITT
Faculty

Heidi Levitt is a Los Angeles-based casting director and producer. She recently finished casting Wim Wender's feature film, EVERY THING WILL BE FINE, starring James Franco and the feature film 5 TO 7, which will premiere at TIFF in September 2013. She also cast two films currently in post-production, Diego Luna's feature film CHAVEZ, starring Michael Pena, America Ferrera, and Rosario Dawson as well as Cynthia Mort's Nina Simone biopic NINA, starring Zoe Saldana and David Oyelowo and last year she cast and executive produced GINGER & ROSA written and directed by Sally Potter.

Heidi is thrilled to be back at AFI teaching "casting" and her other notable films, include THE ARTIST, NIXON, JFK, NATURAL BORN KILLERS, and THE JOY LUCK CLUB. Currently she is casting VERNON GOD LITTLE, directed by Werner Herzog. Heidi is a graduate of Barnard College and the AFI Producers Program

In 2010, she created Actor Genie, which is available on iTunes and Android. The app tells actors what's casting and who's who, and it has loads of inspiring quotes and advice from well known actors, directors, writers, acting coaches, and much more.

STEPHEN LIGHTHILL
Faculty

Among the many documentaries he has filmed are GIMME SHELTER and BERKELEY IN THE '60s. His cinematography credits for independent features include OVER-UNDER, SIDEWAYS-DOWN, HOT SUMMER WINDS, and SHIMMER, all for PBS' American Playhouse. Lighthill served as Director of Photography on the TV series VIETNAM WAR STORY for HBO, EARTH 2, and NASH BRIDGES. In 2005 he returned to documentaries with HBO's BOFFO! TINSELTOWN'S BOMBS AND BLOCKBUSTERS and HBO's THE ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT: "Caregivers."

He is on the Board Of Governors Of the American Society of Cinematographers and the National Executive Board of the International Cinematographers Guild. In 2010 he received the Deluxe Bud Stone award for Outstanding Educational Contributions to the Art and Craft of Cinematography from the ICG and was awarded the 2010 SMPTE Kodak Education Award for Outstanding Contributions In Film Production Education. He served as President of the American Society Of Cinematographers, 2012-2013.

ADAM MOORE
Faculty

Adam Moore is a Los Angeles-based screenwriter, video game writer, comic book writer, and writing instructor. He received his BFA in Dramatic Writing and Cinema Studies from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and is a graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory (MFA Screenwriting), where he was given the Richard Levinson Award for artistic excellence.

Adam was one of the writers of RATCHET AND CLANK: TOOLS OF DESTRUCTION, Insomniac Games' blockbuster next-gen follow up to its highly successful PlayStation franchise, and was the Lead Writer on DIRT 3, Codemasters sequel to it's top-selling off-road racing game. Together with AFI Directing alum Kevin Abrams, Adam co-founded FAIRTRADE FILMS, an intellectual property and content creation company based in Los Angeles. Fairtrade is known for innovative and visionary concepts that can live in a variety of media, from comic books and video games, to film and television. The first project in their IP pipeline, a graphic novel called VENDOR, was published by Viper Comics in 2008 and is currently being developed into a video game and television series. Adam has developed films, television series, and comic books for Scott Stuber, Dark Horse Entertainment, Julie Yorn, Landscape Entertainment and Kapital Entertainment, among others. He is repped by WME Entertainment and FilmEngine.

RON NAJOR
Faculty

Ron graduated from San Diego State University with a master's degree in Television, Film, and New Media. While there he was selected three times to receive National Student Emmy Awards.

Ron's first produced independent feature film "I AM NOT A HIPSTER' was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. SHORT TERM 12, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW in 2013, is his follow up feature and marks his second collaboration with writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton. SHORT TERM 12 was selected to be on over 30 top-ten lists for 2013 and garnered a Gotham Award for Best Actress for Brie Larson and an Independent Spirit Award for Best Editing.

ANGELA ROBINSON
Faculty

BARRY SABATH
Faculty

Holding an MA and PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University, Sabath has nearly two decades of feature film development experience. He ran the film division of Marsha and Robin Williams's Blue Wolf Productions, whose productions include MRS. DOUBTFIRE, PATCH ADAMS and JAKOB THE LIAR. At Twentieth Century Fox, he was senior vice president of production for Paul Schiff Productions, where he oversaw MY COUSIN VINNY and was co-producer on GHOST IN THE MACHINE and PCU. He spent four years at Columbia Pictures, as executive story editor and vice president of production, and supervised FLATLINERS and IMMEDIATE FAMILY. Sabath also taught film history and criticism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Illinois State University.

AMY SCHIFFMAN
Faculty

Amy Schiffman has been a literary agent in the film and television fields for over twenty years.

She attended Hamilton College, and after graduation, moved to New York where her first job was at CBS news (TV journalists Bill Moyers and Walter Cronkite were both still on the air and in the halls). Wanting to work with writers, and to do more writing herself, she moved to magazines, where she became an editor and columnist, working first for the award winning American Photographer Magazine, and later for GQ and Diversion magazines

Her career in Hollywood began when she moved to Santa Monica, and, to get "a foot in the door," in the motion picture business, applied for temporary work and interviewed to be an assistant in the Motion Picture Literary Department at the storied William Morris Agency. She landed the first job she went up for, as assistant to the late Judy Scott-Fox, whose clients included Stephen Frears, Christopher Hampton, Cameron Crowe, Gillian Armstrong and Wayne Wang. Two years after starting on Judy Scott-Fox's desk, Schiffman was promoted to agent and swiftly ascended to Vice President in the Motion Picture Literary department, running the agency's Literary Properties division. While at William Morris she sold the books Friday Night Lights, Apollo 13, Sleepers, Permanent Midnight and Primal Fear, all of which were produced as feature films during her tenure at The Agency.

In 2001 Schiffman joined The Gersh Agency as Vice President of Books and Literary Properties. There she built a literary list that includes novelists Dennis Lehane (Mystic River, Gone, Baby Gone, Shutter Island); Don DeLillo (White Noise, Underworld) Daniel Woodrell (Winter's Bone) and journalist Dan Savage (The Kid, The Commitment, Savage Love). After eight years at Gersh she became a literary manager and a partner at Intellectual Property Group. She continues to sell literary properties to feature films, TV series and the stage. Some recent sales include "The Drop,' based on Dennis Lehane's first original screenplay (Searchlight, September 2014) "Cosmopolis," (EOne 2012) based on the Don DeLillo novel, directed by David Cronenberg, staring Robert Pattinson, and "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, an international bestseller, which is currently being cast as to shoot in England with Simon Curtis (my week with Marilyn) directing.

Schiffman has been a guest speaker at The University of Southern California's prestigious Peter Stark program, as well as at the Master of Professional Writing program. She has also quest lectured at American Film Institute and California State University at Northridge. Her own writing will appear in two books next year: Lost Orchard, (SUNY Press), and My City, My Los Angeles (Globe Pequot).

MAYA SIGEL
Faculty

Maya Sigel holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and is a graduate of the MFA program in Production Design at the American Film Institute. She is an accomplished Production Designer with over ten years experience in feature films, commercials, music videos, and web content.

Frequently working in both New York and LA, her feature film credits include Tribeca Film Festival favorites TiMER, BEWARE THE GONZO, and most recently GLASS CHIN starring Billy Crudup and Corey Stoll. In 2011, GUN HILL ROAD was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and was released in theaters across the country. That same year, Maya designed five commercials for a Google campaign that won the Gold Prize at the Cannes Lions International Festival. Other credits include the SXSW selection SOME GIRL(S), a Neil LaBute script starring Adam Brody, Kristen Bell, Emily Watson, and Zoe Kazan that gave her the opportunity to design and build five unique hotel rooms on a soundstage in LA. Maya just wrapped principal photography on Eddie O'Keefe's SHANGRI-LA SUITE, a period film starring Ron Livingston, Luke Grimes and Emily Browning.

BRIAN UDOVICH
Faculty

Brian Udovich is an award winning feature film producer residing in Los Angeles, California. His credits include ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE (Amber Heard, Anson Mount), THE WACKNESS (Ben Kingsley, Josh Peck, Olivia Thirlby), A NECESSARY DEATH, and WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE (Mark Pellegrino, Mackenzie Davis) which recently had it's world premiere at 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Mr. Udovich earned his Masters degree in Producing from the American Film Institute (AFI), and his bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University. His AFI thesis THE MONSTER AND THE PEANUT was the recipient of a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation and won the first prize "Emmy" for best dramatic student film in 2004 from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2007 he was awarded the Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from Illinois Wesleyan University. For the last three years he has served as the committee chair for the selection of the prestigious Piaget Producers Grant for the Independent Spirit Awards. He is a co-founder of a film development and production company ROUGH & TUMBLE FILMS and co-founder and programmer of the weekly genre screening series REEL GRIT SUNDAYS.

SANDRA VALDE
Faculty

Sandra got her start in documentary, working for an Emmy-award winning documentary cameramen, Tony Foresta, who taught her the beauty of the image is found in simplicity.

After seven years as a camera assistant and operator, Sandra Valde pursued a full-time career as a cinematographer by attending the American Film Institute's MFA program in Cinematography. While at AFI, Sandra honed her craft in the art of visual storytelling, learning from master cinematographers and deepening her knowledge of light and composition. She had the invaluable opportunity to mentor under Stephen Lighthill, ASC, Steven Poster, ASC, Larry Parker, and Alan Caso, ASC. Since graduating from AFI, Sandra has been able to take her passion of cinematography throughout all mediums of storytelling.

Sandra shot the last season of the very popular MUN 2 Reality show, THE CHICAS PROJECT, which brought Sandra across the country. Her camera has allowed her to be part of the political and socially conscience filmmaking of BRAVE NEW FILMS. The newly formed news channel Al Jazeera America will feature Sandra's documentary camera work for a series titled THE AMERICAN DREAM PROJECT: DAISY & MAX directed by Sundance documentary veteran Jennifer Maytorena Taylor. She has traveled the world shooting, from Paris for the relaunched MTV House of Style to Mexico for PBS Voces “Tales of the Masked Men” co-produced by Latino Public Broadcast and ITVS. Some of her other clients include USC, MAX Films, TED, and Mastercard.

Sandra shot indie guru, Gregg Araki's last two features. KABOOM was an official selection at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, 2011 Sundance Film Festival and released in 40 cities around the US under IFC. Araki's WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival will be released by Magnolia Pictures in the Fall. Her narrative work has been seen in festivals spanning across the world from SXSW to Cannes. Her films HELLO HERMAN, FLY AWAY, ACTS OF MERCY, and CHRISTMAS IN COMPTON are in limited release via VOD. Sandra continues to shoot powerful stories in the realm of independent narrative and documentary. Sandra is also on faculty at the AFI Cinematography Department.

ANDREW WAGNER
Faculty

Writer/Director, Wagner graduated from Brown University with a degree in Creative Writing. He attended NYU's Graduate Film School where his short, THE HARDEST HIT, won the Francois de Menil Scholarship. He moved to Los Angeles to write WACCABUC, a screenplay for United Artists, and then became a Directing Fellow at the American Film Institute where he received a Masters in Fine Arts and his thesis film, THE LAST DAYS OF HOPE AND TIME, won the Franklin J. Shaffner Fellowship for distinction in directing. Andrew adapted THE MAN WHO GAVE UP HIS NAME — from the collection of novellas, LEGENDS OF THE FALL, by Jim Harrison — which he developed at the Sundance Writer's Lab. He went on to direct the independent shorts, SOUTH MAIN and COUNTING.

Andrew's first feature film, THE TALENT GIVEN US, was an Official Selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. THE TALENT GIVEN US also won the Jury Prize at the CineVegas Film Festival and Best First Feature at Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival. It went on to play theatrically in over 30 cities and made the New York Times' and other critics' Best Films of 2005 lists. Andrew was a Breakthrough Director nominee at the 2005 Gotham Awards. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING, Andrew's second feature, starring Frank Langella, Lili Taylor, and Lauren Ambrose, premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and was released theatrically by Roadside Attractions. Frank Langella was voted Best Actor of 2007 by the Boston Critics Association and was Runner-Up for Best Actor in voting by critics associations in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas/Ft. Worth. STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING was named one of the Top 10 Independent Films of 2007 by the National Board of Review and made over 30 critics' Best Films of 2007 lists, including A.O. Scott's and Stephen Holden's of the New York Times, and Roger Ebert's of the Chicago Sun-Times. It was nominated for two Spirit Awards: Best Male Lead and Best Screenplay.

AFI Membership
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